2 Samuel 13:1-2
13:1 In the course of time [no precise time frame indicated; sometime after the conquest of the Ammonites (12:29-31)], Amnon [David’s firstborn son (3:2); his mother was Ahinoam the Jezreelitess (2:2)] son of David fell in love [“lust” better describes Amnon’s feelings] with Tamar [Amnon’s half-sister; daughter of David and Maacah], the beautiful [Amnon lusted after Tamar because of her physical beauty] sister of Absalom [David’s third son; his mother was Maacah (3:3)] son of David.
13:2 Amnon became frustrated to the point of illness [emphasizes Amnon’s obsession] on account of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin [Tamar was committed to sexual purity; this word contrasts her purity with Amnon’s sinful lust], and it seemed impossible for him to do anything [to indulge his sexual fantasies] to her.
13:3-5 Amnon’s cousin Jonadab helped him devise an evil plan to have his way with Tamar. He advised Amnon to feign illness and request David to send Tamar to care for him.
Note: What are some factors that lead to a frustrating obsession such as Amnon had for Tamar? What are some situations in which we might be faced with sexual temptations? What are some practical actions to help us avoid such frustration?
2 Samuel 13:6-15
13:6 So Amnon lay down and pretended [Amnon added lying to his sins] to be ill. When the king [Amnon deceived David and made him an unwitting partner in his evil plan] came to see him, Amnon said to him, “I would like my sister Tamar to come and make some special bread [perhaps a bread made with ingredients that would accelerate healing] in my sight, so I may eat from her hand.”
Note: Because both seduction and force are tools for sexual abuse, what are some ways sexual abuse victims are sometimes lured? How can we train family members and others to avoid situations that could facilitate sexual abuse?
13:7 David sent word to Tamar at the palace: “Go to the house [from same Heb. word as “palace” and may indicate Amnon had an apartment elsewhere in the palace] of your brother Amnon and prepare some food for him.”
13:8 So Tamar [obeyed her father; she had no reason to distrust David or Amnon] went to the house of her brother Amnon, who was lying down. She took some dough, kneaded it, made the bread in his sight [indicates Amnon more interested in Tamar than in the food] and baked it.
13:9 Then she took the pan and served him the bread, but he refused to eat. “Send everyone out of here,” Amnon said. So everyone left him [created a situation that facilitated abuse].
13:10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food here into my bedroom [to be alone in a bedroom with a person of the opposite sex can be potential trouble] so I may eat from your hand [thus putting Tamar in range of attack from Amnon].” And Tamar took the bread she had prepared and brought it to her brother Amnon in his bedroom.
Note: Have you been with a person of the opposite sex in such a way that was inappropriate or could have looked to others that you were using poor judgment?
13:11 But when she took it to him to eat, he grabbed her and said, “Come to bed with me, my sister [the law prohibited sexual relations between half brother and half sister (cf. Lev. 18:6,9,11; Deut. 27:22)].”
13:12 [Tamar immediately protested three times] “Don’t, my brother!” she said to him. “Don’t force [humble] me. Such a thing should not be done in Israel! Don’t do this wicked [foolish] thing [breach of law leading to consequences for family/ nation].
13:13 [Tamar tried to reason with Amnon] What about me? Where could I get rid of my disgrace? And what about you? You would be like one of the wicked fools in Israel. [Tamar offered Amnon a better solution] Please speak to the king [their father David]; he will not keep me from being married to you.”
13:14 But he refused to listen to her [Amnon ignored Tamar’s rational arguments and pleas], and since he was stronger [sexual abuse is an expression of a desire to dominate and control others] than she, he [overpowered Tamar] raped her.
Note: Why do you think rational arguments usually are ineffective in deterring one from abusing another sexually?
13:15 Then Amnon [after selfishly gratifying his sexual desires] hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated [indicates rape has nothing to do with love] her more than he had loved [true feelings were lust] her. Amnon [Amnon refused to honor law (pay fine and marry the woman; cf. Ex. 22:16-17; Deut. 22:28-29)] said to her, “Get up and get out!”
2 Samuel 13:19-22
13:19 Tamar [had lost her virginity, innocence, trust, and reputation and displayed the customary signs of grief…] put ashes on her head and tore the ornamented robe [cf. 13:18] she was wearing. She put her hand on her head and went away, weeping aloud as she went.
13:20 Her brother Absalom said to her, “Has that Amnon, your brother, been with you? Be quiet now, my sister; he is your brother. Don’t take this thing to heart.” And Tamar lived in her brother Absalom’s house [an environment where she would be free from further danger], a desolate woman [describes the impact of Amnon’s brutality of the innocent Tamar; depicts Tamar’s utter helplessness and hopelessness].
13:21 When King David heard all this, he was furious [but failed to act, thus paving the way for greater tragedy two years later (cf. 2 Sam. 13:23-39)].
13:22 Absalom never said a word to Amnon, either good or bad; he hated Amnon because he had disgraced his sister Tamar.