Disclaimer: Today’s story does deal with rape, if that makes you uncomfortable, please feel free not to read on, and I’ll see you next week ❤ I have a trigger warning beside the scripture that covers that exact scene if you want to read everything else but skip it.
Last time we were in 2 Samuel we finished reading about David dealing with the consequences of his sins, his son died.
Today, we are going to cover the tragic tale that happened in David’s family. This story is what sets in stone Absalom’s story.
Today’s Reading: Chapter 13:01-22
Ammon’s Forbidden Love
It should be known David had many wives. This means that there would be many half-siblings and possibly stepchildren (depending on when the women were married if they were widowed?)
Absalom was the son of David, and he had a beautiful sister, Tamar.
Ammon was also a son of David, and he was in love with Tamar. But he couldn’t do anything about it because she was a virgin, it was improper. (v. 02) I’m not sure why if she wasn’t a virgin it would then be any more proper?
Ammon’s Friend Devises A Plan
Ammon had a crafty friend, Jonadab. It was visibly apparent Ammon was not eating and looking sickly. One day, he asked Ammon what was going on, and he learned of Ammon’s love for Tamar. This crafty man tells Ammon that he should pretend to be sick in bed and request Tamar to feed him.
There seems no debating over this, Ammon immediately follows the instructions.
Tamar Is Taken Advantage Of
David walks into Ammon’s room and sees that his son appears to be sick. Ammon lies about being sick and requests Tamar. David sends for Tamar to go to Ammon’s house.
Tamar makes food and tries to feed Ammon, but he refuses. (v.07-09)
(TRIGGER WARNING) He sends everyone else out and then has Tamar bring the food into the bedroom. This is then where he attempts to get her consent to lie with him, but she refuses. Tamar tries to tell him how disgraceful it would be in Israel. She even requests that he ask the king first in that the king more than likely would not refuse the request. But Ammon does not listen to hear, and eventually overcomes her and forces her to lie with him. (v.11-14)
Immediately after, a hatred grows in Ammon’s heart against Tamar. It is said his hate for her overcame the love he once had for her. He quickly tries to send her away. But Tamar refuses. She tells him how his actions in sending her away are even worse than taking advantage of her.
Ammon won’t hear of it. He has a servant take her out, and fasten a bolt on the door behind her.
Tamar’s Grief & Absalom’s Hatred
Tamar wore a beautiful robe of multiple colors because the king’s virgin daughters wore such robes. But she tears this robe up in pieces and puts ashes on her head, which I believe is a sign of how the Jews mourned. She went away crying bitterly. (v.19)
Absalom discovers her and he didn’t need an explanation to guess what happened. He encourages her to hold her peace. She stays desolate in Absalom’s home.
King David hears of what was done and becomes very angry. Absalom is fairly neutral on how he spoke of his brother, neither good nor bad. However, he hated his brother and what his brother did to Tamar. (v.21-22)
What To Take Away: It is horrible when situations like this happen. Not only does hurt come out of it, but seeds of bitterness and hatred can easily grow. Vengeance/revenge often tempts the heart. But the truth is this is something for God to deal with, not something we can take into our own hands. (Not that we shouldn’t report and follow the laws, we absolutely should, and not cover up this kind of wrong.) When we try to deal with these problems in anger and hate nothing good comes out of it because nothing good started from it. Cycles of hate, evil, and bitterness only continue.
Next time we will cover Absalom’s revenge and the consequences of it.
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