After several chapters in the book of Psalms, we now move back to 2 Samuel.
“In the course of time, Amnon son of David fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom son of David.” – 2 Samuel 13:1
It’s a love story…between brother and sister. Maybe Tamar is a step-sister, depending on the mother.
“Amnon became so obsessed with his sister Tamar that he made himself ill.” – 2 Samuel 13:2
I was a teenager once, so been there, done that, although not with a sibling!!! Just want to be clear on that!
“When the king came to see him, Amnon said to him, ‘I would like my sister Tamar to come and make some special bread in my sight, so I may eat from her hand.’” – 2 Samuel 13:6
Okay, that’s a weird request. Bring me my sister so I can eat from her hand. Um…
“Then Amnon said to Tamar, ‘Bring the food here into my bedroom so I may eat from your hand.’” – 2 Samuel 13:10
And the story gets creepier.
“But when she took it to him to eat, he grabbed her and said, ‘Come to bed with me, my sister.’” – 2 Samuel 13:11
And now incestual rape is part of the story.
“’No, my brother!’ she said to him. ‘Don’t force me! Such a thing should not be done in Israel! Don’t do this wicked thing.’” – 2 Samuel 13:12
This makes it clear there Tamar has not given her consent.
“But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her.” – 2 Samuel 13:14
It’s official. Amnon raped his sister, Tamar. Where is God? God will surely step in now, right?
“Her brother Absalom said to her, ‘Has that Amnon, your brother, been with you? Be quiet for now, my sister; he is your brother. Don’t take this thing to heart.’” – 2 Samuel 13:20
Don’t take this thing to heart? WTF? She was raped!
“When King David heard all this, he was furious.” – 2 Samuel 13:22
David has done many horrible things, but he wasn’t part of this rape and he has every right to be furious.
“Absalom ordered his men, ‘Listen! When Amnon is in high spirits from drinking wine and I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon down,’ then kill him. Don’t be afraid. Haven’t I given you this order? Be strong and brave.’ So Absalom’s men did to Amnon what Absalom had ordered. Then all the king’s sons got up, mounted their mules and fled.” – 2 Samuel 13:28-29
Sigh. There are several problems with this. First, killing the rapist is not the solution, regardless of how ‘right’ it may seem. Second, it is mentioned in the previous verse that this takes place two years after the rape. Why is punishment, even if the wrong punishment, not doled out immediately? Why wait two years?
“After Absalom fled and went to Geshur, he stayed there three years. And King David longed to go to Absalom, for he was consoled concerning Amnon’s death.” – 2 Samuel 13:38-39
This chapter is a horrible story in which a sister is raped by her brother. Although God has a heavy hand in his relations with David, God does nothing to stop this. David is rightfully upset, but then does nothing. Although killing the rapist is the wrong move, in my opinion, David sat by and did nothing. He had no intention of punishing Amnon, other than being upset with him. And this is a book of morals?
Coming Soon: 2 Samuel – Chapter 14: Absalom Returns to Jerusalem