II Samuel Chapter 13

"David's Sin. Punished."
"Amnon's Sin, Desire for his Sister [1-4]."
"Amnon's Sin [5-22]."
"Absalom's Revenge [23-39]."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org

II Samuel 13:1 "And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her."

Absalom and Amnon were both sons of David, yet they were from two different mothers. Yet David's daughter Tamar and Absalom were full brother and sister to each other, from the same mother. The word "Tamar" means "palm tree", and David loved this daughter of his.

II Samuel 13:2 "And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar: for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do any thing to her."

This Amnon was a half brother to Tamar. Amnon was older than Absalom, for Amnon was about twenty two years of age. Tamar at this time would be about fifteen years of age. Amnon did not live in the same house as Tamar, but he saw her and became love sick over her. Being in love with her, there is no way that Amnon wanted any harm to come to Tamar.

II Samuel 13:3 "But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man."

There is only one other Jonadab mentioned in the bible and he was the one that brought down Jehu's downfall many years later. That Jonadab was a Kenite and sought to destroy the king line of Judah. Even though it says here that this Jonadab was the son of Shimeah, the brother of David, there is no record as to that relationship, whether by blood or adoption. This is merely stated to be aware of the two, for what they are doing was quite similar. This Jonadab was very subtle, sort of like a snake. David's brother might have thought this lad was his son, but there is to many marks of Kenite dealing with this rascal Jonadab. This identity of Jonadab simply can't be documented from the bible, and his true lineage has to enter into our mind. God expects us to discern what people are by their actions and their words.

II Samuel 13:4 "And he [Jonadab] said unto him, "Why art thou, being the king's son, lean from day to day? wilt thou not tell me?" And Amnon said unto him, "I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister."

Jonadab is calling to Amnon's attention that he is looking very sick. Amnon then reveal to Jonadab what was causing all his troubles. Amnon was in love with this half sister of his, and by law Amnon knows that it was forbidden to take Tamar for his wife and lover, it's called incest. However this Jonadab is going to give Amnon a very bad piece of advice, that will in the end cause his death.

II Samuel 13:5 "And Jonadab said unto him, "Lay thee down on thy bed, and make thyself sick: and when thy father cometh to see thee, say unto him, `I pray thee, let my sister Tamar come, and give me meat, and dress the meat in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it at her hand.' "

Jonadab is telling to Amnon a plan that will bring Tamar to him and place her in a position to where she cannot refuse the request of Amnon. Think back now to the prior chapters, when David saw the beautiful lovely woman bathing out his window, and David made his plans to take her, than cover up the sin with his murderous plot to kill her husband. This plot will also end in the murdering plot of one brother killing another. This is just as the prophet Nathan revealed to David that God would allow to happen within his own household. We are talking of David's sons and daughters here, and the first sin is just like David's sin.

So this entire idea of plotting to rape his sister, and the method that would be used was not Amnon's idea, but Jonadab's plot. The subtlety of a troublemaker can be very destructive, and though at the beginning it seems to be so good and right, in the end it is a way to your destruction.

II Samuel 13:6 "So Amnon lay down, and made himself sick: and when the king was come to see him, Amnon said unto the king, "I pray thee, let Tamar my sister come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat at her hand." "

Amnon did exactly as Jonadab told him to do, and in time the king came to visit his sick son Amnon, to see if there was anything that he could do for him. In Ezekiel 4:12 there is another story of one making half baked cakes, made of human dung, to demonstrate to Israel what he thought of them allowing the Gentiles to defile them. The pan that was used in the demonstration was symbolic of the subtlety that the enemy would bring against our people in the latter days. This was all given to us as an "ensample' of things that would come later, even in our generation.

So David is now going to be used in the plot of deception by Jonadab to destroy his own household, and cause the trouble that is about to come.

II Samuel 13:7 "Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, "Go now to thy brother Amnon's house, and dress him meat." "

On the surface David saw nothing wrong with this for he loved all of his family. The request seemed to be a normal request of one family member helping another.

II Samuel 13:8 "So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house; and he was laid down. And she took flour, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and did bake the cakes."

The intention of Tamer was to cheer Amnon up and get him well. She did exactly as Amnon requested of her. Remember in Ezekiel 4, the pan was the wall of Jerusalem, and it was all to be a sign to the house of Israel. This goes into a deeper study.

II Samuel 13:9 "And she took a pan, and poured them out before him: but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, "Have out all men from me." And they went out every man from him."

Amnon was the prince and the king's son. When the prince asks those servants to him to leave the room, they leave or get themselves in trouble. With the men out of the room, Tamar is completely at her older brother's wishes.

II Samuel 13:10 "And Amnon said unto Tamar, "Bring the meat into the chamber, that I may eat of thine hand." And Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother."

After everyone had left and only Tamar was there with Amnon, Amnon wanted to be served the cakes in his bed chamber. This girl is fifteen years old, and she was innocent of the wickedness on the mind of this older brother. She is trying to make him well and naturally she would try to please him in serving him dinner in bed.

II Samuel 13:11 "And when she had brought them unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, "Come lie with me, my sister." "

When she entered the bedroom, Amnon gets right to the point; he does not desire her cakes, but her body.

II Samuel 13:12 "And she answered him, "Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly."

We know that Leviticus 18:6-9 forbids such acts between family members.

Leviticus 18:6 "None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD." 

Leviticus 18:9 "The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or the daughter of thy mother, whether she be born at home, or born abroad even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover."

These are from the laws of God that were given to Moses, and written and taught in David's household. Both Tamar and Amnon know that this act is forbidden, and would be a disgrace to all Israel.

II Samuel 13:13 "And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king; for he will not withhold me from thee." "

Tamar is asking Amnon; If you commit this act on me, what can do to cover and hide the shame? That was the same situation that David was in with Bath-sheba, for Bath-sheba was pregnant, and it just could not be covered up. All this was said by Tamar, that if the king would say it was proper, she would go along with Amnon to bed and in marriage. Tamar and Amnon both knew that the king would not go along with such filthy acts as incest, and she was just trying to buy some time to get out of there. You know that David would not allow such a thing in his house, especially after what had happened to him because of his sinful acts.

II Samuel 13:14 "Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her."

Amnon would listen to nothing that Tamar said, and raped her and forced her to lay with him.

II Samuel 13:15 "Then Amnon hated her exceedingly; so that the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her. And he said unto her, "Arise, be gone."

After the rape act was over, Amnon knew that what he had done was nothing more than rape and lust. And because he knew that he was played for a sucker by Jonadab, he wanted Tamar out of his sight. He than hated Tamar more than he had lusted after her before. By tradition, to have a woman sent away after sex was a worse shame than having been raped.

II Samuel 13:16 "And she said unto him, "There is no cause: this evil in sending me away is greater than the other that thou didst unto me." But he would not hearken unto her."

So we will now see the public guilt coming to the forefront. The sin will be brought out into the light of day for all the house of Israel to know what went on within David's own household. Lets go back to the prophecy of Nathan in II Samuel 12:10; "Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised Me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.' "

This than was the cause of all the things that were happening in David's house, to Tamar, and even to the wives and his brother's son. We must ask ourselves; Did David's brother's wife conceive by a Kenite to have Jonadab?

II Samuel 12:11 "Thus saith the Lord, `Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun."

Now after this act by David's son Amnon, at the direction of Jonadab, Tamar brought this act of rape and incest to public inspection, to where all Israel will be aware of it. Tamar changed from a virgin to a widow in one moment of that sinful act. Bath-sheba also changed from a widow also in one sinful act, and the murder that followed.

II Samuel 13:17 "Then he called his servant that ministered unto him, and said, "Put now this woman out from me, and bolt the door after her." "

We see from this that many times Kenite advice can divide a family. Jonadab's advice [the methods of the Kenites] was subtle and hidden to the point that Amnon did not understand all the trouble that his acts would cause. Jonadab may have claimed to be David's brother's boy, but the things that Jonadab did leads us to consider highly that Jonadab was the child of an adulteress affair between a Kenite and one of David's brother's wives.

II Samuel 13:18 "And she had garment of divers colours upon her: for with such robes were the king's daughters that were virgins appareled. Then his servant brought her out, and bolted the door after her."

Tamar would no longer be able to wear the beautiful robes that designated her as a virgin daughter of the king.

II Samuel 13:19 "And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent her garment of divers colours that was on her, and laid her hand on her head, and went on crying."

This destroyed Tamar. She could not get over this act of rape that was committed on her by her own half brother.

II Samuel 13:20 "And Absalom her brother said unto her, "Hath Amnon thy brother been with thee? but hold now thy peace, my sister: he is thy brother; regard not this thing." So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom's house."

Absalom is trying to pick up the spirits of Tamar, and he is telling Tamar that he will take care of the problem. What Absalom was saying here is that he is going to kill Amnon his older brother for doing this to Tamar. Remember the law for rape is death, to be carried out by the hand of the next of kin. "Tamar remained desolate", means that this fifteen year old girl was then "treated as a widow", and remained in Absalom's home.

II Samuel 13:21 "But when king David heard of all these things, he was very wroth."

David can see that the things that Nathan had prophesied were coming true, and he was wroth at himself. He loved all his family, and now he can see his family household falling apart. Brother raping sister, and brother killing brother and where will it all end. David was wroth at himself for he knew that God is allowing this to come to pass. This was the very sentence that David passed on his own house, when Nathan gave him the parable of the rich man and poor man with his little lamb.

II Samuel 13:22 "And Absalom spake unto his brother Amnon neither good nor bad, for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar."

Absalom did not go charging against Amnon, but he held his peace for the right moment to act. Absalom would avenge the rape of his sister but it would be on his terms, to where it would be well known why the death of Amnon had to happen. Absalom knew it all, yet he said not one word that would allow Amnon to know the hatred that he had for him. As far as Amnon was concerned, they were still close brothers and friends.

II Samuel 13:23 "And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal-hazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king's sons."

Sheep shearing was a time for a festival, a party time after all the work was done. That was where poor old Judah got into a lot of his trouble also, but Absalom is inviting all of the king's sons, and it should be no surprise what Absalom was planning for Amnon at the party. This is a time when everyone will be there.

II Samuel 13:24 "And Absalom came to the king, and said, "Behold now, thy servant hath sheepshearers, let the king, I beseech thee, and his servants go with thy servant."

II Samuel 13:25 "And the king said to Absalom, "Nay, my son, let us not all now go, lest we be chargeable unto thee." And he pressed him: howbeit he would not go, but blessed him."

David was telling Absalom that his place simply was not big enough for the whole family, with the friends and other guests. David did not want to overburden Absalom with the cost of such a large feast. Remember that wherever David went, his servants went also, so David declined to go. Absalom knew that David would refuse.

II Samuel 13:26 "Then said Absalom, "If not, I pray thee, let my brother Amnon go with us." And the king said unto him, "Why should he go with thee?"

David knew what happened, only Absalom had not said a word about the incest of Amnon against his sister Tamar. There had been two full years that passed, and David thought it had all blown over.

II Samuel 13:27 "But Absalom pressed him, that he let Amnon and all the king's sons go with him."

David was now thinking that maybe it might be good for all his sons to get together and talk things over.

II Samuel 13:28 "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."

The plot has thickened, everything is in place and all the guests will arrive right on time. Before the party began, Absalom took his servants aside, and instructed them that at a certain time, the time of his order, the slaughter would take place. Absalom would give the orders, and the servants would do the killing. Remember back, David did the plotting, David gave the orders, and Joab the servant of David did the killing. What goes around, comes around. Joab had the courage and was valiant, just as these servants of Absalom were to be of courage and valiant. It took two full years to avenge Tamar over the attack by Amnon on his little sister, but the next of kin will do the avenging, and it will all take place within David's household.

II Samuel 13:29 "And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king's sons arose, and every man gat him up upon his mule, and fled."

When the word came to kill Amnon, the rest of the sons of David saw what was happening to their older brother, and they hopped on their mules and rode out of there.

II Samuel 13:30 "And it came to pass, while they were in the way, that tidings came to David, saying, "Absalom hath slain all the king's sons, and there is not one of them left."

Remember that the feast took place at Baal-hazor, many miles away, off in the land of Ephraim, yet immediately David gets this report that all the kings sons are dead. Where did these tiding come from, when the nightly news had not come on the air, so to speak. Someone knew that Amnon was to be killed, and assumed that all the sons of the king would be killed also. These sons of David are returning home at full speed on their donkeys and they hadn't reached David yet. Pay attention to what is happening and wise up to the ways of the Kenites.

Why would we say that it was through their plot? for if the Kenite Jonadab did the killing, he would have killed all of them, for that is the way that the Kenites are. The only one that Absalom cared about killing was Amnon, in avenging the rape and incest of his sister. The heart of a Kenite is evil and would have killed them all senselessly, and Jonadab assumed that Absalom was the same as he.

This goes far deeper than on the surface here, for it would be destroying all those that had a line to the crown over Israel. It also would have destroyed the lineage that the Christ child would come through. Satan has been trying all the way back to the time of the garden of Eden to destroy the lineage of Christ, and it started when his son Cain murdered Able his half brother, just as Absalom killed his sinful half brother Amnon. So it should be obvious as to how the tidings arrived so quickly back to David, long before anyone could have carried it. It was the subtle one that helped plan the murder in the first place.

The Kenites are always trying to move in with the man at the top, and be in a spot of control should the time arrive. With all the sons dead, and Absalom the only son to be left alive, Jonadab thought he was in with the next inline to the throne. Right there at the top to control the trade agreements and the protection of their merchandising.

II Samuel 13:31 "Then the king arose, and tare his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes rent."

David remembered what God had told him in the last chapter, and David assumed that what Jonadab had said was the truth. Jonadab was the bearer of half truths and shaded lies. David knew that incest and killing would come to pass in his own house. Jonadab told him the worse and David believed him just as Saul believed the familiar spirit at Endor.

II Samuel 13:32 "And Jonadab, the [assumed] 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 Amnon only is dead: for by the appointment of Absalom this hath been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar."

After Jonadab had saw the effect of his lie, he tones it down just a bit. For now ask yourself, how would Jonadab know that only Amnon was dead? He wasn't there, but Jonadab is modifying the story, just incase other's did escape. The statement that Jonadab is the son of Shimeah, David's brother, was also a lie, for though Shimeah's wife had Jonadab, Shimeah was not the father. Everything about Jonadab, even to his name was that of a Kenite, so why think any other way. How would Jonadab know all these things unless his was in all from the very start.

He placed the thought in Amnon's mind to do the act in the first place, he saw the devastation to Tamar, and he knew where Tamar had gone to stay. Jonadab had two years to plant the idea in the mind of Absalom, and see to it that the details of the plan were met. Then when it happened he place himself right near by the king. He directed the thoughts of David after killing was completed. David had a spy in his own family, in his own household that sought to destroy his entire family, and his name was Jonadab.

II Samuel 13:33 "Now therefore let not my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king's sons are dead: for Amnon only is dead."

Jonadab thinks he is making points with the king, in making the statement that "only Amnon is dead". To Jonadab it was a matter of working the numbers so that there were not all sons lost. However, to David it was a matter of losing another of his sons. All of David's sons were important to him. Where Jonadab considered his lies good news, David still observed the news as being very bad.

II Samuel 13:34 "But Absalom fled. And the young man that kept the watch lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came much people by the way of the hill side behind him."

David has one son dead at birth, one son dead by murder, and another son gone out of the country.

II Samuel 13:35 "And Jonadab said unto the king, "Behold, the king's sons come: as thy servant said, so it is." "

Again, how did the word come to Jonadab before the sons arrived there, unless Jonadab was the planner of the entire plot to kill Amnon, his cousin. Never underestimate subtlety. Pay attention as to why and where it comes from and who is carrying the news. You can bet that they did arrive safely for Jonadab planned the whole thing. Even the rape of Tamar was his idea, along with the waiting for the right moment for the killing. The plan was timed to when Jonadab would be near the king, and would gain the greatest benefit from the entire plan. That is the way of the Kenite, and it always will be.

This should be a lesson to us living today, for we ought to be away of the people who are making their claim, and the reality to what is being said. Pay attention to those little things that just don't add up, and seek the motives for the one making the statements.

II Samuel 13:36 "And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of speaking, that, behold the king's sons came, and lifted up their voice and wept: and the king also and all his servants wept very sore."

The kings sons are back, yet they are all still weeping because of the death of Amnon, David's oldest son. Though the rest of the family was weeping, I am sure that Tamar was not weeping over the death of Amnon.

II Samuel 13:37 "But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai, the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day."

The mother of Absalom and Tamar, David's wife, was the daughter of this Ammihud, king of Geshur. Absalom returned to his grandfather on his mother's side of the family for protection. At this point, David's mourning is for Amnon, his older son. Absalom is still alive and out of the country, and in the location of Syria today, and he remained there three years.

II Samuel 13:38 "And Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years."

II Samuel 13:39 "And the soul of king David longed to go forth unto Absalom: for he was comforted concerning Amnon, seeing he was dead."

David knew that he could do nothing for the one son that was dead, yet there was another son that was still alive and out of the country. David wanted to be with Absalom his son, and forgive him for the deed that he had done. David did not want to go there to where Absalom was to confront him, rather he stayed in Jerusalem and wait for Absalom's return. After David had committed his sin, guilt was to heavy burden for him, and he just could not face even his own family, for he knew that he was the cause of what was happening.

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