Read chapter in full: www.biblegateway.com/passage/?version=ESV&search=2Samuel+013
CHAPTER 13 (ESV)
15 Then Amnon hated her with very great hatred, so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, “Get up! Go!” 16 But she said to him, “No, my brother, for this wrong in sending me away is greater than the other that you did to me.” But he would not listen to her. 17 He called the young man who served him and said, “Put this woman out of my presence and bolt the door after her.” 18 Now she was wearing a long robe with sleeves, for thus were the virgin daughters of the king dressed. So his servant put her out and bolted the door after her. 19 And Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the long robe that she wore. And she laid her hand on her head and went away, crying aloud as she went.
20 And her brother Absalom said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? Now hold your peace, my sister. He is your brother; do not take this to heart.” So Tamar lived, a desolate woman, in her brother Absalom’s house. 21 When King David heard of all these things, he was very angry. 22 But Absalom spoke to Amnon neither good nor bad, for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had violated his sister Tamar.
- Tamar has been raped by her brother, Amnon, and then kicked out of his house. She has lost her virginity and is a “damaged goods” in the society (a victim of BOTH rape and incest). Her other brother Absalom, ignoring the stigma, received her into his house to protect and provide for her.
- David, on the other, was angry upon hearing the news but did nothing to pursue justice “because he loved (Amnon), for he was his firstborn (v21, NRSV)”. David’s inaction left Amnon unpunished and Tamar ignored. It is likely too that his own sinfulness hampered his ability/willingness to discipline Amnon.
- What would a God-fearing father do when his daughter was wronged so violently and suffering from shame, pain and hopelessness? How would he want to seek ways to bring comfort and healing to her? What about disciplining the offender, even if that was his son and heir? If David had intervened and banished Amnon, he might have avoided Amnon’s murder by Absalom (v29) and Absalom’s later rebellion against him (Ch 15-16).
Has the story brought back some painful memories? Abuse? Neglect? Misunderstanding? Alienation? Pause for a few moments and allow myself to grow still and be embraced in God’s loving arms.
Stay in Jesus’ arms and listen to him saying these words to me,
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”(Matt 11:28-29)