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2 Samuel 13

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 1 And it came to pass after this, that Absalom, the son of David, had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon, another son of David, loved her.1

 2 Amnon was so obsessed, that he became sick for his half-sister Tamar; since she was a virgin, Amnon thought it was impossible for him to do anything with her.

 3 But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David's brother; and Jonadab was a very crafty man.

 4 And he said to Amnon, "Why are you, being the king's son, looking so downbeat from day to day? Will you not tell me?" And Amnon said to him, "I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister."

 5 And Jonadab said to him, "Lay down on your bed, and pretend you are sick; and when your father comes to see you, say to him, 'I beg of you, please let my sister Tamar come and give me food, and prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it at her hand.'"

 6 So Amnon lay down, and pretended to be sick; and when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, "I beg of you, let Tamar my sister come and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat at her hand."

 7 Then David sent a message to Tamar at her home, saying, "Go now to your brother Amnon's house, and prepare him some food.

 8 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house; and he was laying in bed. And she took flour, kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and then baked the cakes.

 9 She took a pan, and poured them out before him; but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, "Send all men out of here from me." And they all left him, every man.

 10 Amnon said to Tamar, "Bring the food into the bedroom so I can eat as you feed me." Tamar took the cakes that she had made and brought them into the bedroom to Amnon, her brother.

 11 And when she had brought them to him to eat, he took hold of her and said to her, "Come lie with me, my sister."

 12 And she answered him, "No, my brother, do not force me for no such thing ought to be done in Israel; do not do this foolish thing.

 13 And how would I be able to get rid of my shame? And as for you, you would be considered one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I beg of you, speak to the king about me [in marriage]; for he will not withhold me from you."

 14 However, he would not listen to her voice; instead, because he was stronger than she, he forced her to lay with him.

 15 Afterwards Amnon hated her greatly; so that his hatred for her was greater than the love that he had loved her.2 And Amnon said to her, "Arise, be gone."

 16 And she said to him, "There is no cause [for you to do this]; the evil in sending me away is greater than the other evil that you did to me." But he would not listen to her.

 17 Then he called his servant who ministered to him, and said, "Put this woman out of here away from me, and bolt the door after she leaves."

 18 Tamar was wearing a robe of many colors because the virgin daughters of the king dressed in such robes. Then Amnon's servant took Tamar out of the house and bolted the door behind her.

 19 Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore her garment of many colors that was on her, and laid her hand on her head, and went home crying and wailing.

 20 And Absalom her brother said to her, "Has Amnon your brother been with you? Keep silent about this my sister, he is your brother; do not dwell on this matter." So Tamar remained in her brother Absalom's house as a desolate woman.

 21 But when king David heard about this matter, he was very angry.

 22 Absalom never spoke to his brother Amnon, neither pleasantly nor threatening; but Absalom [secretly] hated Amnon because he had raped his sister Tamar.

 23 And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheep shearers in Baalhazor, which is beside Ephraim; and Absalom invited all the king's sons.

 24 And Absalom came to the king, and said, "Behold now, your servant has sheep shearers; let the king, I beseech you, and his servants [sons] go there with your servant [for the celebration feast]."3

 25 And the king said to Absalom, "No, my son, let us not all now go, for fear that we become an expensive burden to you." Absalom continued to press David, but David would not go; However, he did give him his blessing.

 26 Then Absalom said, "If you will not go, then let my brother Amnon go with us." And the king said to him, "Why should he go with you?"

 27 But Absalom pressed him, so that he let Amnon and all the king's sons go with him.

 28 Now Absalom had given orders to his servants, saying, "Listen now, when [in the feast] Amnon's heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, 'Strike Amnon;' then kill him. Have no fear because, have not I ordered you? So be courageous, and be valiant."

 29 The servants of Absalom killed Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king's sons arose [from the feast], and every man got on his mule and fled.

 30 While the king's sons were still traveling home, the news came to David, saying, "Absalom has slain all the king's sons, and there is not one of them left."

 31 Then the king arose, tore his garments, and lay prostrate on the floor; and all his servants stood by with their clothes also torn [in grief].

 32 And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David's brother, answered and said, "Let not my lord suppose that they have slain all the young men the king's sons for only Amnon is dead. This has been the plan of Absalom as determined on the day that Amnon raped his sister Tamar.

 33 Now therefore my lord the king do not take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king's sons are dead for only Amnon is dead."

 34 But Absalom fled. The young man that kept the watch lifted up his eyes, and looked, and saw many people approaching by the way of the hillside behind him.

 35 And Jonadab said to the king, "Look, the king's sons are coming; as your servant said, so it is."

 36 And it came to pass, as soon as he had finished speaking, that the king's sons came in and lifted up their voices and wept; and the king also with all his servants wept very sorrowfully.

 37 When Absalom fled, he went to Talmai, the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son [Absalom] every day.

 38  Absalom had fled to Geshur, and was there for three years.

 39 The soul of king David longed to go forth to visit Absalom for he was comforted concerning Amnon, since he was dead.4


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1 And Amnon, another son of David, loved her. No, he didn't love her. He lusted after her beauty. He wanted to use her to satisfy his own pleasure; that is not love; that is lust. Love is to be considerate of the other person; love is to give with no expectation of return. Love is to look at someone and wish to know how you can help that person. Lust is to look at someone and think about what that person can do for you: money, power, pleasure, etc. Love and lusts are opposites, but the world has them confused. Love would never have sex with a half-sister; but lust would. Love would never consider using another person for one's own sexual pleasure; but lust would. Love would never lie to someone pretending to have a permanent interest in their welfare in order to seduce them sexually; but lust would.

2 Afterwards Amnon hated her greatly; so that his hatred for her was greater than the love that he had loved her. This proves he had no love for her at all. Once his lust was satisfied, he hated the object of his own weakness, blaming her for his own failure by hating her. Again, we have all been misled about what love is; we are all confused between lust and love. Love is patient, love is kind, love does not insist on its own way, love is not self seeking, love protects. 1 Cor 13.

3 Why would Absalom expect King David or his other sons to come to his sheep shearing? Sheepshearing in ancient Israel was much more than a pastoral duty; it was a significant celebration, characterized by feasting, drunkenness and the settling of debts. As a result of these associations of revelry and revenge, sheepshearing became an ideal backdrop — both literary and actual — for events in Israel’s past involving the repayment of debts or the righting of wrongs. Because both David and Absalom took advantage of sheepshearing for this purpose — and, in the process, aided their own ascents to power — sheepshearing became intimately associated with the establishment of the Davidic dynasty, evenproviding the narrative backdrop for the emergence of the royal clan.

4 The soul of king David longed to go forth to visit Absalom for he was comforted concerning Amnon, since he was dead. Most of the translations assume that Davisd was mourning Amnon. But David was very angry at what Amnon had done to Tamar; and Absalom had taken the kind of revenge that was characteristic of David. I think David mourned the absence of Absalom and that Absalom's revenge on Amnon was actually comforting to David.The first verse of the next chapter supports this translation: Now Joab, the son of Zeruiah, perceived that the king's heart was toward Absalom. 2 Sam 14:1

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