Amnon, Tamar and Absalom

2 Sam 13:1-39

David’s troubles begin today – a result of his disobedience to God in the issue of Bathsheba. The trouble was through his Children – Amnon, Tamar and Absalom. Within these three, crimes similar to those committed by David were committed. We saw lust and covetousness, adultery, and eventually murder.

Amnon had a “strange” desire for his half sister, Tamar – who was Absalom’s direct sister. Like his father, he lusted after Tamar until he made himself sick. With cunning advice from Jonadab his friend, he devised a plot to have Tamar in his room. He pretended to be sick, and requested the king to send Tamar to make cakes for him. After Tamar made the  cakes he would not eat it until all the me had left the chambers. On presenting him with the cakes in his chamber, he held Tamar on her hands and asked her to lie with him. Despite Tamar’s refusal and words of reasoning on how foolish it would be to do such a shameful thing, Amnon did not listen, and he forced her to have sex with him. After the deed was done, it was as though Amnon had a negative experience of what he thought sleeping with Tamar would mean, for he hated her afterwards much more than he had even loved her before, and he sent her away. So, Tamar was violated by her half brother, and when her brother Absalom knew about it, he told her not to worry, and he hated Amnon from that day, refusing to speak with him, and already started plotting his revenge.

Two years later, Absalom’s plan was executed. He had sheep shearers in Baal-hazor, and invited all the king’s sons to the event, pleading with David that Amnon too should come. So, while at the event, at the command of Absalom, his men smote Amnon and killed him, with the king’s other sons running away. When David heard the news, he was very sad and tore his garments, he initially thought all his sons had been killed but later confirmed it was only Amnon. Later his sorrow was for Absalom his dear son, as the young man fled after the atrocity he had commited.

So, David’s trouble came in the form of problems in his family, especially his children. He knew sadness and sorrow because of them. The sword had begun to act in his family as God promised, but he is yet to fulfil the price for his sin in taking Bathsheba and killing Uriah. Sin does have great consequences and price – avoid it at all cost.

Some verses to remember

vs 14-15: Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her. Then Amnon hated her exceedingly; so that the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her.

vs 28-29: Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have not I commanded you? be courageous, and be valiant. And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded.


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