2 Sam 13:1-22 — Amnon Violates Tamar
2 Sam 13:23-39 — Absalom Murders Amnon and Flees
2 Sam 14 — Absalom Returns to Jerusalem
2 Sam 15:1-12 — Absalom’s Conspiracy
2 Sam 15:13-37 — David Flees Jerusalem
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One Reply to “Mar 18 — 2 Samuel 13-15”
Amnon and Absalom were mentioned in our reading last week as two of David’s six sons from different wives. Amnon (David’s first son) “fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom” (2 Sam 13:1). It seems this “love” was really a burning, lustful desire. With the help of an advisor Jonadab, David’s brother, Amnon lures Tamar to his bedside. Amnon makes sexual advances toward Tamar and ignoring her pleas, he rapes her (2 Sam 13:12-14) then rejects her and sends her out, adding insult to injury (v18). So Tamar went to live at Absalom’s house, “a desolate woman” (v20). David was furious, but for some reason takes no action.
Two years later Absalom devises a plan of revenge. The brothers are invited to join him as the celebrate shearing of the sheep, but David says, “we would only be a burden to you” (2 Sam 13:25). Absalom says, “if not, please let Amnon come with us” (v26) and eventually David sends all the brothers to the feast. Absalom orders his men to kill Amnon once he’s “in high spirits from drinking wine” (v28), and they kill him. The brothers run away and David hears the report “Absalom has struck down all the king’s sons; not one of them is left” (v30) and he is heartbroken. Jonadab returns to the scene and let’s David know “only Amnon is dead” (v33). Absalom runs and stays away for three years. “David longed to go to Absalom, for he was consoled concerning Amnon’s death” (v38-39).
Through Joab’s plot and Tekoa’s great acting (Shakespeare-like), David is told a story that compels him to let Absalom return, though Absalom is not allowed to see David’s face (2 Sam 14:24). For two years Absalom lives there without seeing David’s face, so he asks Joab for help, but he refuses. Absalom sets Joab’s field on fire to get his attention and Joab finally relents, asks David as requested, and Absalom is allowed to see him.
In chapter 15, Absalom sets himself up to be declared king in Hebron after four years of careful planning, “he stole the hearts of the people of Israel (v6). He lies to David and asks for his blessing to “worship the Lord in Hebron” (v8), goes there and has himself announced as king in Hebron and “Absalom’s following kept on increasing” (v12). David decides to leave Jerusalem rather than battle with Absalom. “David with his entire household” (v16) set out. David wants to know God’s will in this, so he sends Zadok with the ark of God to Jerusalem saying, “if I find favor in the Lord’s eyes, he will bring me back” (v26). The help his case, David prays that Absalom’s counselor will be foolish (v31).
These 3 chapters cover a lot of lessons and quite a bit of time. The one that sticks out to me is Jonadab, David’s brother and Amnon’s advisor. Though his plan doesn’t explicitly suggest raping Tamar, he doesn’t appear to do anything to point out that it is repulsive for Amnon to lust after his sister; rather, he helps get her close to him to fuel his lust. Later he consoles David by saying, “only” Amnon is dead. Wise counsel? Where is “seeking the Lord’s direction” in this reading? These stories are not of prophet or God’s advice, just the schemes of men. May this remind me to seek wisdom from God alone, through His wisdom, His word and direction.