Amnon rapes his sister Tamar. David refuses to prosecute Amnon. UPDATED.
VERSE 1. After this, Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her.
Amnon the son of David loved her. Based on the rest of this chapter, we think a better translation is this:”Amnon the son of David lusted for her.”
VERSE 2. Amnon was so troubled that he became sick because of his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and it seemed hard to Amnon to do anything to her.
it seemed hard to Amnon to do anything to her. Tamar did not consent to Amnon’s overtures.
To say “No” Is well within her rights. It defines an absolute boundary.
VERSE 3. But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother; and Jonadab was a very subtle man.
VERSE 4. He said to him, “Why, son of the king, are you so sad from day to day? Won’t you tell me?” Amnon said to him, “I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.”
VERSE 5. Jonadab said to him, “Lay down on your bed, and pretend to be sick. When your father comes to see you, tell him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and give me bread to eat, and prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it from her hand.’ ”
Jonadab said. Jonadab is doing a sinister thing. He is teaching Amnon how to sexually assault a woman.
VERSE 6. So Amnon lay down and faked being sick. When the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Please let my sister Tamar come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat from her hand.”
faked being sick. What Amnon is doing is a lie. He is doing an evil thing in order to do an even more evil deed.
Many Christians base their moral decisions on outcomes. If the consequences are good, they say it is OK to do anything that is necessary. However, we believers CANNOT do evil that good may result. Read more »
VERSE 7. Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, “Go now to your brother Amnon’s house, and prepare food for him.”
VERSE 8. So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house; and he was lying down. She took dough, and kneaded it, made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes.
VERSE 9. She took the pan, and poured them out before him; but he refused to eat. Amnon said, “Have all men leave me.” Then every man went out from him.
Have all men leave me. Amnon is setting the stage for his evil deed.
VERSE 10. Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the room, that I may eat from your hand.” Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them into the room to Amnon her brother.
that I may eat from your hand. To feed him, Tamar will need to be right next to him.
VERSE 11. When she had brought them near to him to eat, he took hold of her, and said to her, “Come, lie with me, my sister!”
VERSE 12. She answered him, “No, my brother, do not force me! For no such thing ought to be done in Israel. Don’t you do this folly.
No. Tamar clearly says NO. She does NOT give consent.
my brother. Tamar is pointing out the sinister nature of what Amnon wants to do. They are siblings.
do not force me! Tamar clearly says NO. Again.
no such thing ought to be done in Israel. That is, rape is against the Commandments of the LORD God.
Don’t you do this folly. Tamar says NO. Again.
VERSE 13. As for me, where would I carry my shame? And as for you, you will be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king; for he will not withhold me from you.”
VERSE 14. However he would not listen to her voice; but being stronger than she, he forced her, and lay with her.
he forced her. Amnon is a coward. Like all cowards, he uses superior strength to overpower someone weaker than himself.
lay with her. That is, Amon raped Tamar. This is a profound violation of Divine Law.
VERSE 15. Then Amnon hated her with exceedingly great hatred; for the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. Amnon said to her, “Arise, be gone!”
Then Amnon hated her. Amnon never ever loved Tamar. He merely lusted after her. Now that he has raped her, he hates her.
with exceedingly great hatred. Amnon’s hatred for Tamar is extreme. He is not only a rapist. He is also a misogynist.
VERSE 16. She said to him, “Not so, because this great wrong in sending me away is worse than the other that you did to me!” But he would not listen to her.
VERSE 17. Then he called his servant who ministered to him, and said, “Now put this woman out from me, and bolt the door after her.”
put this woman out from me. In further violation of Divine Law, Amnon sends Tamar away.
VERSE 18. She had a garment of various colors on her; for the king’s daughters who were virgins dressed in such robes. Then his servant brought her out and bolted the door after her.
VERSE 19. Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore her garment of various colors that was on her; and she laid her hand on her head, and went her way, crying aloud as she went.
VERSE 20. Absalom her brother said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? But now hold your peace, my sister. He is your brother. Don’t take this thing to heart.” So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom’s house.
David’s kingdom started out small. Then step by step, he made it into a powerful empire:
- He did things that people approved of.
- He achieved victory in battle.
- He brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.
- He worked tirelessly for the betterment of his own people.
- He defeated Ammon and Syria.
- And he had the idea of building a house for the LORD.
God had been with him wherever he went (see 2 Samuel 7:9).
But then he began to crumble his own empire. He seduced a married woman and had her husband executed.
Then came the most pivotal moment in David’s life. His favorite son Amnon committed a heinous crime. Amnon raped a woman. The woman was named Tamar. She was the sister of Absalom.
when king David heard of all these things, he was very angry. He is probably angry at Tamar. If so, that is victim-shaming.
However, Tamar is the victim, not the perpetrator.
What Amnon did was a heinous crime. When David heard of it, he did not prosecute the crime. Instead, he tolerated a heinous evil.
By tolerating it, David:
- Favored the rapist against the female victim
- Brought no end of evils into his entire household
David should have done what was required by the Law:
Deuteronomy 22:25. But if the man finds the lady who is pledged to be married in the field, and the man forces her, and lies with her; then only the man who lay with her shall die.
VERSE 22. Absalom spoke to Amnon neither good nor bad; for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar.
VERSE 23. After two full years, Absalom had sheep shearers in Baal Hazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king’s sons.
VERSE 24. Absalom came to the king, and said, “See now, your servant has sheep shearers. Please let the king and his servants go with your servant.”
VERSE 25. The king said to Absalom, “No, my son, let’s not all go, lest we be burdensome to you.” He pressed him; however he would not go, but blessed him.
VERSE 26. Then Absalom said, “If not, please let my brother Amnon go with us.” The king said to him, “Why should he go with you?”
VERSE 27. But Absalom pressed him, and he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him.
VERSE 28. Absalom commanded his servants, saying, “Mark now, when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine; and when I tell you, ‘Strike Amnon,’ then kill him. Don’t be afraid. Haven’t I commanded you? Be courageous, and be valiant!”
VERSE 29. The servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose, and every man got up on his mule, and fled.
VERSE 30. While they were on the way, the news came to David, saying, “Absalom has slain all the king’s sons, and there is not one of them left!”
Absalom has slain all the king’s sons. Actually, Absalom only killed one person, as we see in verse 32 below.
David REFUSED to do the righteous thing that the Bible required. So Absalom stepped up and killed wicked Amnon, as required by the Law.
VERSE 31. Then the king arose, and tore his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes torn.
VERSE 32. Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, answered, “Don’t let my lord suppose that they have killed all the young men the king’s sons; for Amnon only is dead; for by the appointment of Absalom this has been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar.
Amnon only is dead. Absalom only killed one person.
VERSE 33. Now therefore don’t let my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king’s sons are dead; for only Amnon is dead.”
VERSE 34. But Absalom fled. The young man who kept the watch lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold, many people were coming by way of the hillside behind him.
VERSE 35. Jonadab said to the king, “Behold, the king’s sons are coming! It is as your servant said.”
VERSE 36. As soon as he had finished speaking, behold, the king’s sons came, and lifted up their voice, and wept. The king also and all his servants wept bitterly.
VERSE 37. But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai the son of Ammihur, king of Geshur. David mourned for his son every day.
David mourned for his son every day. David’s response was to mourn for the death of his wicked son Amnon. His wicked son who raped his sister.
And David put a price on Absalom’s head. Absalom had to flee for his life.
Tamar is a rape victim and will never be able to be married. She has lost everything. Yet David does not mourn for her.
Instead, he mourns for her rapist. David’s worldview is completely corrupted.
Absalom fled, and went to Geshur. David did not fulfill the requirements of the Law. He refused to execute a known rapist.
Instead, it fell to Absolom to do as the Law required. Now Absolom has to flee for his very life.
While David sits around in his luxurious kingly palace. And mourns for a rapist.
David’s priorities are completely corrupted.
VERSE 39. King David longed to go out to Absalom; for he was comforted concerning Amnon, since he was dead.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.