2Samuel 13

 

2Samuel 13:1–13

Amnon Rapes Tamar; Absalom Kills Amnon


Outline of Chapter 13:

 

Introduction

 

         vv.     1–2           Amnon Rapes Tamar: Introduction

         vv.     3–6           Amnon Rapes Tamar: the Planning, which Involves King David

         v.       7           Amnon Rapes Tamar: King David is Duped

         vv.     8–14         Amnon Rapes Tamar: the Execution of the Plan

         vv.    15–20         Amnon Rapes Tamar: the Aftermath

         v.       21           The Impotent King

         vv.    22–23         Absalom Kills Amnon: the Waiting

         vv.    24–27         Absalom Kills Amnon: King David is Involved

         vv.    28–29         Absalom Kills Amnon: the Execution of the Plan

         vv.    30–36         Absalom Kills Amnon: the Aftermath; David’s Sons Run Home to David

         vv.    37–39         Absalom Flees to His Grandfather in Geshur 

 

Addendum


Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines:

 

         Introduction         Matthew Henry’s Simple Outline of 2samuel 13

         Introduction         A Portion of the Davidic Timeline

         Introduction         What Each Installment of Restitution Means

         Introduction         David’s Sons and Daughters

         Introduction         A Brief History of the Hurrians

         Introduction         A Map of the Early Hurrian Empire

         Introduction         The Three Mothers: Ahinoam, Abigail and Maacah

         Introduction         Single Parent Statistics

         Introduction         New Translations Used in this Chapter

 

         v.       1              Amnon’s Sexual Obsession

         v.       1              David, His Wives, and the Children born to him in Hebron

         v.       3              The “Friendship” of Amnon and Jonadab

         v.       5              Summary Points on Jonadab’s Advice

         v.       5              Jonadab’s Lack of Character

         v.       5              Jonadab’s Aspirations

         v.       5              Jonadab’s Plan

         v.       5              Entitlement Arrogance and Amnon

         v.       6              A Summary of 2Samuel 13:6

         v.       7              A Summary of 2Samuel 13:6–7

         v.       7              A Psychological Profile of These People So Far

         v.       9              The Wâw consecutive and the Imperfect Tense

         v.       9              Tamar’s Situation and Psyche

         v.      12              The Grounds for Tamar’s Objection

         v.      13              Tamar’s Pleas

         v.      15              Characteristics of the Psychopathic Personality and Amnon

         v.      15              Sex and Love

         v.      16              The Textual Problems of 2Sam. 13:16a

         v.      16              A Summary of 2Samuel 13:16

         v.      16              A Public Humiliation Following a Private Humiliation

         v.      17              Tamar—a Picture of Innocence Destroyed by Sin

         v.      18              Tamar, the Law and the Outside World

         v.      19              Why Did God Remove the Wall of Protection Around Tamar?

         v.      20              Tamar Remained in the House of Absalom, Her Brother

         v.      20              What We Know About Tamar’s Future

         v.      21              Textual Criticism and 2Samuel 13:21

         v.      21              2Samuel 13:21c–e Text from the Greek Septuagint

         v.      21              David was a Lousy Disciplinarian

         v.      21              Why is the Word of God not Perfectly and Supernaturally Preserved?

         v.      21              The Pulpit Commentary on David’s Non-Action

         v.      21              Practical Parenting From Proverbs by Richard J. Boone

         v.      21              Questionable Sources

         v.      22              Absalom’s Will Choose Revenge

         v.      23              Map of Baal-hazor and Geshur

         v.      24              2Samuel 13:24 Summarized

         v.      27              2Samuel 13:27c Additional Text from the Greek Septuagint

         v.      28              Why Don’t Absalom’s Servants Object?

         v.      30              How Does the Message Get There before David’s Sons Do?

         v.      30              What we learn from a message coming to David this quickly

         v.      34              The Jonadab Plot

         v.      34              2Samuel 13:34d Additional Text from the Greek Septuagint

         v.      35              The Doctrine of Jonadab

         v.      37              Just Who is Talmai ben Ammihur, the king of Geshur?

         v.      39              Different Interpretations of 2Samuel 13:39a

 

         Addendum          A Complete Translation of 2Samuel 13

         Addendum          The Pulpit Commentary on Absalom’s Future


Chapter Outline

 

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

Forward

Doctrines Covered and Alluded to

Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Definition of Terms

Introduction

Text

Addendum

www.kukis.org

 

Exegetical Studies in Samuel


Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To

Doctrine of Entitlement Arrogance

4 Generation Degeneracy

The Davidic Timeline

The Doctrines of Inspiration

 

Laws of Divine Establishment

Polygamy

 


Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

2Samuel 5

2Samuel 11

2Samuel 12

Psalm 51


Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

 

 

 

 


Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

 

 

 

 


Many who read and study this chapter are 1st or 2nd generation students of R. B. Thieme, Jr., so that much of this vocabulary is second nature. One of Bob’s contributions to theology is a fresh vocabulary along with a number of concepts which are theologically new or reworked, yet still orthodox. Therefore, if you are unfamiliar with his work, the definitions below will help you to fully understand all that is being said. In addition to this, I will use a number of other more traditional technical theological terms which will be used and therefore defined as well.

Definition of Terms

Anti-societal arrogance

This is where a person rebels against societal norms and standards, to the point where, if society classifies some as right, he questions it; if society classifies something as wrong, he does it. He looks at other people who adhere to these rules with disdain and sees them as inferiors. A great many filmmakers suffer from this sort of arrogance. They attempt, in their films, to continually push the envelope when it comes to societal mores. Because they question society’s conventions, they see themselves as superior and insightful to those who abide by them. However, from time to time, they we latch on to an axiom of counter-culture morality and display it with great self-righteousness (such as, tolerance).

Criminal arrogance

Criminal arrogance seeks to solve problems by violence and/or by criminal actions. The modus operandi of a person in criminal arrogance is criminal behavior. Believers are susceptible to this kind of arrogance just as unbelievers are.

Installment retribution; installment discipline

Our sins and often our addictions can be so great, that God cannot simply discipline us and we start from zero again. God has to, on several occasions subsequent to confessing our sins to God, make us face the results of our sins, to the point where we choose God over our addiction. This is how David was cured from his sexual addiction.

interlocking Systems of Arrogance

The interlocking systems of arrogance refers to many clusters of sins which have a tendency to interlock with one another. That is, a person may become involved in one cluster of sins, and that will interlock with another cluster of sins, so that he become vulnerable to this other cluster of sins that did not appeal to him in the first place.

Laws of Divine Establishment

These are the laws for a nation and morality for a people which applies to believers and unbelievers alike. A nation which adheres to the laws of divine establishment will be a great nation with freedom and societal order.

Psychopathic arrogance

Psychopathic arrogance is total divorcement from all reality. It is a result of bad decisions, not genetics. It is intense concentration on self. Emotions take precedence over reason.

Rebound (Restoration to fellowship with God)

In the New Testament, this is naming your sins to God, so that you are both restored to temporal fellowship with God and are then filled with the Spirit of God. In the Old Testament, naming your sins to God would result in a restoration of fellowship and, in some cases, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit once again (the Holy Spirit was not given to all Old Testament believers).

Reversionism

Reversionism is the act of reverting to a former state, habit, belief, or practice of sinning. Reversionism is the status of the believer who fails to execute the plan of God for the Church Age. He returns to his pre-salvation modus operandi and modus vivendi. This means that the believer gets out of fellowship and stays out of fellowship.

Sexual arrogance; sexual addiction

This is the points where sexual desire overrides all else in a person’s psyche. It overrides reason, compassion, protocol. Just as the drug addict might be willing to do nearly anything for a fix; so the sexually addicted will be willing to do and even risk anything in order to fulfill their lusts. For the sexual addict, the object of his sexual lust is simply an object; his sexual lust does not indicate any sort of love is involved; not even like.

Some of these definitions are taken from

http://www.bibledoctrinechurch.org/?subpages/GLOSSARY.shtml

http://rickhughesministries.org/content/Biblical-Terms.pdf

http://www.gbible.org/index.php?proc=d4d

http://www.wordoftruthministries.org/termsanddefs.htm

http://www.realtime.net/~wdoud/topics.html

http://www.theopedia.com/


——————————


An Introduction to 2Samuel 13


I ntroduction: 2Sam. 13 is quite an amazing chapter. When David had been restored to fellowship, God warned him: So says Jehovah, “Listen up, I will raise up evil against you out of your house, and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor. And he shall lie with your wives in the sight of the sun.” (2Sam. 12:11). In this chapter, the first portion of God’s promise is fulfilled: “I will raise up evil against you out of your own house.” David’s eldest son, Amnon, will rape his half-sister, Tamar. Tamar’s older brother, Absalom, will then plot to kill Amnon. This is the evil from David’s own house that he will face. The sins which David committed would find their parallels in the crimes committed by his own children.


I was tempted to either present this as two chapters or to give the outline below:

Matthew Henry’s Simple Outline of 2samuel 13

Section

General Information

Part I

Amnon ravishing Tamar, assisted in his plot to do it by Jonadab his kinsman, and villainously executing it (vv. 1-20).

Part II

Absalom murdering Amnon for it (vv. 21-39).

These two sections are further abbreviated by Keil and Delitzsch: Amnon’s Incest and Absalom’s Fratricide.

From Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible; from e-Sword, 2Sam. 13 introduction.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


All of David’s sons and one daughter are found in this chapter—three of whom are named—yet Jehovah Elohim is not mentioned. We develop a greater understanding of their living arrangements, their morality, their character and their relationship to God. For most of them, it appeared as though they had no relationship to God.


This chapter is also another installment of discipline for David because of his taking of Bathsheba, a married woman, and then his killing of her husband. The background for this is found in in 2Sam. 11 (HTML) (PDF) and in 2Sam. 12 (HTML) (PDF). As has been discussed in 2Sam. 12, David had gone so far in his lust for Bathsheba (and for women in general), that this needed to be dealt with severely, or that would be a mark of David’s life forever more, which would destroy the kingdom of Israel and his position as king. Obviously, when David is in fellowship, it is no longer discipline, but suffering for blessing, and the suffering is to make it clear to him, at the most fundamental level, that his alley cat ways cannot continue. In fact, this suffering, which is directly related to his sin of 2Sam. 11, will eventually cure his continued sexual lust.


Sexual lust, sexual addiction and sexual arrogance are very much a part of this and previous chapters of Samuel. The sexual arrogance gate (HTML) (PDF) is one place to go for background teaching on this. Degeneracy sins (HTML) (PDF) is covered in 2Sam. 11 (HTML) (PDF). There are a great many other related doctrines both found in 2Sam. 11 and 2Sam. 12 (HTML) (PDF).


In the past, David had great men heading his army who could go to war and lead a great army against most of their enemies. David would be consulted, but, for the most part, David was not required to be involved in wartime matters on a day to day basis. So, for a few years, David had some time to tomcat around. His soldiers—which would be much of the male population—would be off to war in the Spring, so that David, the most eligible and sought after non-bachelor in town, could fancy the womenfolk. We do not know how long this continued. Some timelines suggest as long as 10 years.


A Portion of the Davidic Timeline

Bible Truth 4U

Reese’s Chronology Bible

Scripture

Narrative

 

1006 b.c.

2Sam. 10:1–14

1Chron. 19:1–15

Conflict with the Ammonites.

 

 

2Sam. 10:15–19

1Chron. 19:16–19

David defeats the Aramæans.

 

 

2Sam. 11:1

1Chron. 20:1a

Conflict with Ammonites is resumed. 1Chron. 20:1 And it happened after the year had ended, at the time kings go forth, Joab led out the power of the army and wasted the country of the sons of Ammon. And he came and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem. And Joab struck Rabbah and destroyed it.

 

1005 b.c.

c. 1016 b.c. (Klassen)

2Sam. 11:2–25

David’s sin with Bathsheba. He has her husband, Uriah the Hittite, killed in battle.

 

1004 b.c.

c.1016 b.c. (Klassen)

2Sam. 11:26–12:23

Psalm 32 51

David marries Bathsheba. David is rebuked by Nathan. David calls for God’s forgiveness and cleansing.

1000 b.c.

1003 b.c.

c. 1015 b.c. (Klassen)

2Sam. 12:24–25

Birth of Solomon. David is approximately 40 years old (BT4U).

 

 

2Sam. 12:26–31

1Chron. 20:1b–3

Conflict with Ammonites is concluded.

990 b.c.

1002 b.c.

2Sam. 13:1–22

David’s son, Amnon, rapes David’s daughter, Tamar.

 


1001–999 b.c.998 b.c. (Klassen – date was changed; typo in Reese)

 2Sam. 13:23–39

David’s son Absalom kills Amnon and flees. 2Sam. 13:23 And it happened after 2 full years Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal-hazor, beside Ephraim. And Absalom invited all the king's sons. 2Sam. 13:38 And Absalom fled and went to Geshur, and was there 3 years.

See the entire Davidic Timeline (HTML) (PDF).


When we get to 2Sam. 11, David had gotten to the point where he lusted after a woman and took her without regards to her marital status (Bathsheba). And then, because he was unable to manipulate her husband, David had this noble man killed in battle. As a result, David’s suffering for blessing will include the death of their infant son (2Sam. 12), the rape of his daughter Tamar and the murder of David’s son, Amnon (2Sam. 13) followed by the rebellion of Absalom against David (2Sam. 14–18). All of this is based upon David’s sin with Bathsheba and her husband Uriah.


As we have studied earlier, David will suffer because of his sin; however, because most of this suffering will occur while David is in fellowship, it will be suffering for blessing as opposed to discipline from God. How God dealt with David was not a series of random events, but each related directly to the sins committed by David.

It was David himself who determined that his restitution should be fourfold: "As the LORD lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity." (2Sam. 12:5b–6).

What Each Installment of Restitution Means

David’s Suffering

What It Meant

The death of the son of David and Bathsheba.

There is no lasting joy in sin; nothing good comes of sin. 2Sam. 12b

The rape of Tamar. Amnon allowed his sexual lust to take control and overpower his good sense.

David illegitimately took Bathsheba; and it may possibly be seen as a rape (although the text is not clear at this point), simply because David, the most powerful man in Israel, had Bathsheba trapped with him at his palace. 2Sam. 13a

Amnon is killed by Absalom’s servants. Absalom allowed his revenge lust to overpower his good sense.

Uriah (Bathsheba’s husband) is killed in battle by the orders of Joab, David’s servant. 2Sam. 13b

Absalom rebels against David. Absalom allows his lust for power to overpower his good sense.

David rebelled against God, knowing that he was not to multiply wives to himself. 2Sam. 14–19

David knew from the Word of God what he was doing was completely wrong. However, he allowed his sexual lust to overrule his good sense.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Have you ever wanted to take a liberal and shake him and reason with him and then shake him again and then reason with him, until you finally get him past his faulty liberal thinking? You know that, if given enough time, enough shaking, and if you spent enough time reasoning with him, showing him again and again examples where liberal solutions make a country worse and not better, you could finally straighten him out. But it would take time and great effort to reach down past all of his false knowledge and prejudices and confusion to a core of rational thinking that you could build upon. This is what God is doing with David, but with his sexual sins. God is showing David how giving in to his unbridled lust results in suffering for the entire country.


What David has done will affect his life and the direction of nation Israel for the next 10 years. This is because God stepped in, by means of Nathan, and put a halt to David’s unbridled sexual desires. Had God not done this and had David not responded, Israel could have fallen as a nation during those 10 years or soon thereafter.


Recall from 1Sam. 15, that King Saul had done wrong, and God sent Samuel to speak to Saul. This was a crossroads in the life of Saul and in the life of Israel.


Application: The greater your authority, influence and/or social circle, the more affect your sin nature is going to have on other people. Do not think that God is going to give you some great position of authority so that you can simply use your authority to satisfy your sexual lusts.


Because we are going to be dealing with several of David’s children in this chapter, it might be good just to see who they are and how they fit into this narrative that we are studying. I will bold the names of those who are mentioned several times in this chapter. This chart originally appeared in 2Sam. 5 (HTML) (PDF).

What I will do is list every Scriptural reference of each wife and all of David’s children. When this person is prominent in a chapter, then the entire chapter will be indicated, as opposed to the individual verses.

Those who play a part in this chapter will be noted in boldface.

David’s Sons and Daughters

1.      In Hebron, Amnon (2Sam. 3:2 13 1Chron. 3:1 4:20) by Ahinoam, the Jezreelitess (1Sam. 14:50 25:43 27:3 30:5 2Sam. 3:2 ).

2.      Daniel (1Chron. 3:1) by Abigail, the Carmelitess (1Sam. 25 27:3 30:5 2Sam. 3:2–3 1Chron. 3:1) (who is not to be confused with Abigail, David’s sister (2Sam. 17:25 1Chron. 2:16–17).

3.      Absalom (2Sam. 3:3 13 14 16 18 19 20:6 1Kings 15:2, 10 (?) 1Chron. 3:2 2Chron. 11:20–21 Psalm 3:1) by Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur (2Sam. 3:3 1Chron. 3:2).

4.      Tamar (2Sam. 13 1Chron. 3:9) daughter by Maacah. We do not know whether or not David had more daughters, but Tamar figures in prominently with David’s life, so she must be mentioned along the way. Since daughters are typically left out of genealogies, it is reasonable to suppose that David had roughly an equal number of daughters as sons.

5.      Adonijah (2Sam. 3:4 1Kings 1–2 1Chron. 3:2) by Haggith (2Sam. 3:4 1Kings 1:5, 11 2:13 1Chron. 3:2). Although Adonijah will play barely a supporting role in this chapter (never mentioned by name); he will later make his own play for the throne against Solomon in the 1st chapter of Kings.

6.      Shephatiah (2Sam. 3:4 1Chron. 3:3) by Abital (2Sam. 3:4 1Chron. 3:3).

7.      Ithream (2Sam. 3:5 1Chron. 3:3) by Eglah (2Sam. 3:5 1Chron. 3:3)

8.      In Jerusalem, Shimea (also called Shammua) and Shobab (2Sam. 5:14 1Chron. 3:5 14:4) both by Bathsheba (2Sam. 5:14 11–12 2Kings 1–2 1Chron. 3:5 Matt. 1:6).

9.      Nathan (by Bathsheba) (2Sam. 5:14 1Chron. 3:5 14:4 Luke 3:31)

10.    Solomon (by Bathsheba). He reigned 40 years (2Sam. 5:14 12 1Kings 1–11 1Chron. 3:5 22:5–16 29:1 2Chron. 1–9). Solomon wrote Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes and much of Proverbs.

11.    Ibhar, Elishua, Eliphelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada and Eliphelet (by David’s other wives) (2Sam. 5:15–16 1Chron. 3:6–8 14:5–6).

David had other unnamed children by his unnamed mistresses.

If there is only one verse in 2Sam. 3 and one in 1Chron. 3, then we know nothing else about this son (and mother) apart from them being in David’s line, as these are simply genealogical listings.

We will go into much greater detail as to who is who, and their interactions as we get further along in David’s life. Obviously, when there is more than one son to a king, almost anything can happen.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


In that era, a king taking many wives and mistresses was not out of the ordinary. In fact, certain successful and dynamic men were able to pull this off, and that is what David did. He began with Michel, whom he temporarily lost, the love of his youth; but, when in reversionism, he took to himself 2 more wives (Ahinoam and Abigail), and this began his problems with sexual lust and polygamy.


Some sins, up to a certain point, do not destroy a person’s life. However, David’s sexual lust had begun to define him as a person and to take him into areas of his sin nature which people for centuries have found shocking. Footnote He has reached a point where, if he continues with succumbing to this lust—and he is clearly addicted—he would destroy Israel and die the sin unto death. So, this chapter continues shaping David’s thinking, making it clear to him why succumbing to his sexual lust for so many years was wrong.


What happens in this chapter is a clear result of his sexual lusts and polygamy over the years. In fact, to prepare for this chapter, you may want to examine the Doctrine of Polygamy (HTML) (PDF).


Three of David’s children in particular play prominent parts in this chapter. The first two are Absalom and Tamar, who are David’s son and daughter by Maacah. Maacah is David’s only royal wife. She is the daughter of Talmai, the king of Geshur. It is possible that David married her for political reasons—to have a strong political alliance with Geshur—but he apparently liked this woman and had 2 children by her. David obviously had little to do with raising his children; but this royal woman raised her children to be royalty—it was in her training and she passed this along, the best that she could. However, essentially, she raised these 2 as a single mother. The strong hand of a father to guide these children was never there.


According to R. B. Thieme, Jr., Maacah and her royal father are Hurrians.

A Brief History of the Hurrians

1.      According to R. B. Thieme, Jr., the names Job and Samson are both Hurrian names.

2.      The Hurrians were an Indo-European people who migrated into the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers during the middle bronze age (2100–1550 b.c.).

3.      They lived in the Khabur River valley for roughly a millennium.

4.      The Hurrians had two great enemies: the Hittites in the north, who mostly lived in the area that we today called Turkey; and the Egyptians in the south.

5.      During the time of Joseph, the Hurrians controlled Egypt as the Hyksos dynasty. The Egyptian words are heqa khasewet, which mean "foreign rulers," although it is also given the meanings prince of the desert, shepherd king. R. B. Thieme, Jr. calls this a Hyksos dynasty; wikipedia says only the dynasty in Egypt around 1600 b.c. is properly the Hyksos dynasty.

6.      The Hurrians occupied the area of Edom before it was Edom. The descendants of Esau pushed them out. Deut. 2:12

7.      The Hurrians became famous as aristocratic rulers in the ancient world, ruling over the Mitannis, various states of Palestine.

8.      They were famous for both the horses and chariots, which apparently gave them a military edge.

9.      The Hurrians also conquered India, and the Indian honor code is apparently based upon the Hurrians honor code.

10.    When the Egyptians marched north during the 16th dynasty (around 1600 b.c.), they encountered the Hurrians in Syria. There appears to have been a bond that formed. The Egyptians were impressed with the honor code and the horsemanship of the Hurrians.

11.    The ruling Hurrians knights often sent their children to Egypt to be educated. In turn, the Egyptians gave them a civilization, to which they adapted to, and eventually took it over. When their kids came back with a good education, they decided, that is a country worth ruling over.

12.    This would have been around 1620–1530 b.c. and is properly known as the Hyksos dynasty.

13.    It is not clear to me whether these two dynasties in Egypt under rule by Hurrians were both called Hyksos; or why one is properly Hyksos and the other is not; nor is it clear how close the Hurrian groups were which took control of Egypt on those two occasions.

14.    Apparently, during the time of David, there is this small Hurrians nation called Geshur and David marries the king’s daughter named Maacah. This occurs probably immediately after David is made king over southern Israel in Hebron (compare 1Sam. 30:5 and 2Sam. 3:2–3).

15.    R. B. Thieme, Jr. calls this nation one of the last stands for the Hurrian knights.

16.    David’s two children, Absalom and Tamar, are both half-Hurrian (on their mother’s side).

17.    Absalom and Tamar were primarily brought up by their mother, who taught them the Hurrian honor code. An honor code is simply a code of chivalry or, if you will, a system of morality.

18.    The idea is, a true aristocracy is based upon following an honor code. This is one way in which aristocrats are differentiated from the hoi polloi.

19.    On the surface, Absalom could have been a great man. He had Bible doctrine from his father and the teaching of the honor code from his mother. However, it becomes apparent that David did not teach this boy Bible doctrine, and that became a part of his tragic flaw.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurrians accessed January 8, 2012.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixteenth_dynasty_of_Egypt accessed January 8, 2012.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyksos accessed January 8, 2012.

R. B. Thieme, Jr. lectures from the David series, series 631, lesson #292.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


A Map of the Early Hurrian Empire

hurrianmap.jpgFrom: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c8/Orientmitja2300aC.png

The other mother here—Ahinoam—was one of David’s first wives, probably his first after Michel and he were separated by circumstances. David would have met Ahinoam the Jezreelitess Footnote when he was out in the desert wilderness running from Saul—maybe she was one of the people who came to him, or the adult daughter of someone who had come to him (1Sam. 22:2). Her name means my brother is delightful (pleasant, beautiful); and David’s marriage to her was probably a result of her being very attractive (which is suggested by her name). However, we know next to nothing about this woman, other than these things. She is nearly always mentioned in conjunction with Abigail, David’s other wife of that early era (who was a very classy and intelligent woman) and she bears David’s firstborn son, Amnon.


What seems to be suggested here is, David is first and foremost attracted to Ahinoam and he marries her and immediately has a son by her. However, when he meets a woman with character and spunk—Abigail—David thinks, “Now, that’s the kind of woman I want!” And so he marries her, probably while Ahinoam is pregnant with Amnon.


Let’s summarize what we know.

The Three Mothers: Ahinoam, Abigail and Maacah

1.      David’s first wife is Michel, and she is not in view here. He married her, they had to separate; King Saul gave her to another man, and then David reclaimed her. However, because she expressed her negative volition toward doctrine in her disapproval of David’s dancing when he brought the Ark to Jerusalem, she is not a factor here.

2.      While separated from Michel and while out on the road, David apparently met Ahinoam; and they will have a child once David is made king in Hebron. This would be Amnon. 2Sam. 3:2

3.      Then David, in the course of a workday, ran into Abigail, who was smart, gorgeous, and she had spunk. At this point, David decided to marry a second woman (at this time, Michel would have been out of the picture, but he was married to Ahinoam). 1Sam. 25:18–44

4.      It would not be a stretch to think that Ahinoam did not like another woman being brought in as David’s second wife.

5.      David then married Maacah, and we know very little about this marriage. Her father was a king of a small country apparently under Israel’s control. As was often the case, a marriage between Maacah and David was brought about probably as a treaty. However, interestingly enough, the King of Geshur would have been quite a distance away from David, with the northern king of Israel between them. However, it is possible that this king saw the writing on the wall and decided, he needed to be allied with David when it came to the long-term. David had raided a number of Geshurites groups down south and decimated them, killing even the women and children.

6.      David apparently like Maacah, and she would have brought things to the table that Ahinoam and Abigail did not; she was royalty, so she would have been raised as royalty. David was king. This is a good match. Therefore, David had at least 2 children by her (Absalom and Tamar). 2Sam. 3:3 13:1

7.      Ahinoam thought she was the first wife (or the second wife with Michel out of the picture); and, all of a sudden, she has 2 other women to contend with.

8.      At some point in time, David was made ruler of Judah and all of these women lived with David in Hebron, where they began to have their children. Ahinoam and Abigail were both acquired when David was hiding out from Saul; but we do not know when the others became a part of David’s life.

9.      Like many divorced and single mothers, Ahinoam apparently over-indulges her son Amnon and she finds her emotional strength in him. He becomes her little man, her little king. So, Amnon apparently grows up without any real responsibilities, expecting to become king. His life was all about being entitled.

10.    Interestingly enough, Amnon does not appear to be particularly intelligent on his own (he will require guidance in this chapter in order to develop a scheme to get what he wants: his half-sister, Tamar. .

11.    Abigail has a son by David, and he never engages in any of these things. We do not hear from him, although he would have been roughly the age of Amnon and Absalom. Abigail appears to be a fairly independent woman, and it is possible that she raises her son to be independent of this entire palace intrigue. Also, she would probably have been heir to her former husband’s fortune, which could have been considerable.

12.    At no time does her son, Daniel, become involved in a power struggle or a serious dispute with his half-brothers. He is not mentioned in these chapters of political intrigue.

13.    Maacah’s children, Absalom and Tamar, although probably in their mid-teens when this chapter occurs, have a natural ascendancy to a throne, simply because they are the children with a royal mother and a royal father. However, there is no indication of an entitlement mentality in Absalom until later chapters of Samuel.

14.    David, having a half-dozen or so wives is well on his way to developing sexual arrogance or a degenerate sexual addiction. David’s children, for the most part, will be anything but honorable and royal because he does not appear to raise or train any of them. Being king and having so many wives certainly suggests that David simply does not have the time to be a father to his children. As a result, he is often over-indulgent with his kids and he has a blind-side when it comes to his children.

15.    Polygamy will make David into a weak father. His wives will fend the best that they can with their children; some will raise good or great children (Abigail and Bathsheba) and some will raise flawed children (Ahinoam) and some will raise a mixed bag (Maacah).

16.    I cannot recall any individual passage which clearly associates any of David’s children with Jesus Christ, the God of Israel. So, it is even possible that not all of his children are believers. Recall that, in this chapter, one which brings out more information of 3 of David’s children, God’s name is never mentioned even once in the text. Nothing could be worse for David than to (1) not participate in the raising of his children and (2) not give them enough gospel information in order to be saved, which means he will not be able to spend eternity with them.

17.    No parent is perfect; every parent makes mistakes in raising their children. However, the worst mistake would be raising a child apart from Jesus Christ, the God of Israel.

Doctrines like this allow you to have a feel for how many moving parts are involved here. God’s ideal is one husband, one wife, and x amount of children. David’s many wives means this part of his life will be quite messy indeed.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


What will be clear by this narrative is, Amnon has no training whatsoever. He suffers from David’s sexual lust, and is willing to do anything to satiate his desires. He will lie and deceive, as long as it takes him where he wants to go. In this chapter, he will plot to get his half-sister Tamar alone with him in a room and then he will rape her; after which, he will throw her out of his palace. He is a despicable, selfish, and heartless man.


Essentially, over the years, David has impregnated a lot of single mothers. When it comes to training up any of his children, he waits a long time before he recognizes that this is a part of his responsibility. So, we know there are so many single mothers living off the state; that is essentially what was going on with David’s wives. They lived off the state; David was more than generous with their living quarters, as we find that Amnon and Tamar live in separate homes and that they appear to have a staff under them—but it is also clear that Amnon is a lusting, self-centered young man with little or no self-control. Here is where a father is important. Mothers often have a difficult time disciplining their children and they are too softhearted about it. Amnon probably reminded Ahinoam of David, so he was almost a surrogate for David. Therefore, she indulged this little boy until he became a young man with raging hormones and no ability to control them. A father exerts external controls on his sons until they grow to a point where they can control themselves. Amnon did not have this. His father was the King of Israel and his father had many other wives and sons; so King David could be the hands-on parent that he needed to be.


Essentially what we have in the United States are single mothers living off the state. Here are some recent statistics to tell us how well children of such mothers fare.

Single Parent Statistics

1.      Births to unmarried women constituted 36 percent of all births in 2004, reaching a record high of nearly 1.5 million births. Over half of births to women in their early twenties and nearly 30 percent of births to women ages 25-29 were to unmarried women>

2.      Along with the number of births to unmarried women, the birth rate for unmarried women rose in 2004. The 2004 rate of 46 births per 1,000 unmarried women ages 15-44 matches the historic high reported a decade earlier, in 1994.

3.      Between 1980 and 1994, the birth rate for unmarried women ages 15-44 increased from 29 to 46 per 1,000. Between 1995 and 2003, the rate has fluctuated little, ranging from 43 to 45 per1,000.

4.      In 1995, nearly six of 10 children living with mothers only were near the poverty line. About 45 percent of children raised by divorced mothers and 69 percent by never-married mothers lived in or near poverty, which was $13,003 for a family of three in 1998.

5.      75% of children/adolescents in chemical dependency hospitals are from single-parent families.

6.      More than one half of all youths incarcerated for criminal acts lived in one-parent families when they were children.

7.      63% of suicides are individuals from single parent families.

8.      75% of teenage pregnancies are adolescents from single parent homes.

A child needs the strong hand of his or her father combined with the love and nurturing of his or her mother.

In our society, many have rejected God as all-sufficient, so we believe that it is up to the federal and state governments to step in and help us when we make mistakes. The unintended consequences are, single women realize that they do not have to be that careful about having sex because the government will either help them abort an unwanted child or will help pay for them to raise this child. Let’s say this young single mother lives at home and her parents are giving her jazz, now and again, for her mistake; she can now say, “You can’t tell me what to do” and then gather up government benefits like food stamps and housing and strike out on her own. Before such government benefits, a single mother would be living at home, under the roof of her own parents, and they would help her raise the child and, at the same time, make it clear that this was a serious mistake that she has made. So, even though she was dumb enough to have sex with a man she was not married to, with her parents giving her jazz, it was unlikely she would have a second child out of wedlock. However, because of the welfare state, I have met hundreds of single women who have 4 or 5 or 6 or more children.

I bring all of this up because David’s wives are essentially living off the state and bringing up his children as single mothers. Therefore, we will expect his children to have a disproportionate number of screw-ups, ne’er-do-wells, narcissists and criminals.

From http://www.singleparentsuccess.org/stats.html where the sources of these stats are given.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


What happens when you have children who are raised only by the mother, who have a sense of entitlement, and the ability to get much of what they want? This results in 2Sam. 13.


Application: It is not the material things that you give your children that count; it is the time and training that both parents give these children.


Application: Our society has determined that we should just give money, food and housing to these single mothers and that will solve the problem. Note here that all of David’s wives and children have all of their physical needs met. He is the king. So no one suffers from want. However, his children end up in great conflict because David, the father, does not take the time to train them. The key to raising children properly is a good father, not meeting all of their physical needs.


Application: For all intents and purposes, women are told in the United States that, if they have children out of wedlock, Uncle Sam will pay for their food and housing. The less responsibility that they exhibit, the greater will be their remuneration from the government. No job, no husband means more money and a better house. In other words, our government encourages women to do everything wrong and will pay them to do so. It is the old adage: tax something if you want less of it; subsidize something if you want more of it. The more rich people are taxed, the fewer rich people there will be; the more single mothers are given, the more single mothers there will be.


Application: Taking this one step further, how do you solve these problems? Simply removing welfare for single mothers would solve this problem, although, this could not be done overnight. Such people would have to be weaned off of welfare and life subsidies. This is done by limiting freedom and requiring greater responsibility. Food stamps (or, the food stamp card) should be limited to milk, cereal, fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, chicken and fish. Prepared and packaged food should be disallowed; and sweets and junk food should be disallowed. Those on housing, each year, must contribute more to their own housing, which means they must earn more from year to year, so that they can contribute more. New applicants should be screened more rigorously; those with family would be disallowed help.


Okay, back to David, Amnon, Tamar and Absalom.


Part I: Amnon Rapes Tamar: What happens in this chapter is, Amnon, David’s oldest son, lusts after Tamar his half-sister (vv. 1–2). He has a ner-do-well friend, Jonadab, one of David’s nephews, who suggests a plan to get him alone in the same room with Tamar (vv. 3–5). So, Amnon goes ahead with Jonadab’s plan, which involves acting sick (as if he had been poisoned) and asking for Tamar to come and feed him directly (vv. 6–10). When they are alone, and Tamar begins to feed Amnon, he grabs her and forces her to have sex with him, despite her pleas not for him to do this (vv. 11–14). Given the era and her position, Tamar’s virginity is meaningful; and now that she no longer a virgin, she is tainted, even though this was not her fault. Amnon, meanwhile, having satisfied himself, now hates Tamar as strongly as he lusted after, and orders her thrown out (vv. 15–16). Again, Tamar tries to reason with Amnon, and he is not interested; he has her thrown out of his palace and she wanders about crying (vv. 17–19). Her brother Absalom figures out pretty quickly what was going on and her father David is quite angry (vv. 20–21). However, nothing appears to come from David’s anger.


Part II: Absalom Kills Amnon: Absalom apparently bides his time with Amnon, pretending as though he has no strong feelings about Amnon, one way or the other (vv. 22–23). He sets up a party to coincide with the shearing of his sheep at his ranch in northeastern Israel and he asks his father, the king, who politely refuses (vv. 24–25). Who Absalom wants at the party is Amnon, so he specifically asks King David to see to it that Amnon is there, and David agrees to that (vv. 26–27). Having everything in Jerusalem put into place, Absalom instructs his own servants to pay attention to Amnon, and when he is slightly drunk and when Absalom gives the go-ahead, his servants are to kill Amnon (v. 28). Absalom’s plan comes off without a hitch, and Amnon is killed before his eyes (v. 29a). All of his brothers, also attending the party, panic, and jump on their mules and make a run for it (v. 29b).


Part III: The Aftermath: David is at his palace in Jerusalem and he receives a report from up north that Absalom has killed all of his sons (v. 30). David and his servants begin crying and tearing their clothing (v. 31). Jonadab suddenly steps up and tells David that Absalom killed Amnon only, which was something that he had purposed to do 2 years ago (vv. 32–33). David’s watchman sees a cloud of dust and many people coming quickly along the mountainside, and Jonadab steps forward once more and says, “Those are your sons coming.” (vv. 34–35). The king’s sons come into the palace to a great deal of emotion white Absalom flees to the district of Geshur where his grandfather rules, remaining there for 3 years (vv. 36–39).


As in any narrative in the Bible, there is a lot more that we can get out of this other than the general plot points and character developments, which is what will endeavor to do in the next 300 pages or so.


Most of the history of David’s life, beginning here and continuing to 2Sam. 23, is not found in the book of Chronicles (apart from a few isolated incidents).


You will have some difficulty relating to the cultural norms and experiences found in this chapter. First thing is, Tamar, as a young girl, was never alone with any of her half-brothers. It is likely that she was never even alone with her own brother, Absalom. This simply did not occur in that era, particularly among royalty. It is possible that part of this was simply due to having smaller homes with fewer rooms. A young woman would simply not be alone in a room with a male. A typical house was a 10' square, one-room dwelling. So, how could a young boy and girl be alone? For royalty, even though they had more rooms and larger rooms, but the norms for the women were the same—young women did not accidentally end up alone with young men.


Secondly, virginity was the norm and understood to be the norm. A woman had sex with one man and one man only throughout her entire life. Dating, premarital sex, and experimentation were virtually unknown to these people. Adultery was a sin punishable by death (Lev. 20:10). Because of this, even rape was viewed differently; and it was not abnormal for a man who has raped a woman to be first fined and placed into an undissolvable marriage with the woman he has raped (Deut. 22:28–29).


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


I added a number of new translations to this study, so let me tell you a little about them:

New Translations Used in this Chapter

Scripture

Date/Media

Accuracy

Commentary

An American Translation by William Beck

1976

Book (relatively rare)

This is free translation which is moderately close to the Hebrew.

Very readable translation.

The Christian Community Bible

1971 conception

http://www.bibleclaret.org/bibles/english.htm You download the actual text.

This is a free translation which is moderately close to the Hebrew.

Very readable translation.

The Common English Bible

2010

http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Common-English-Bible-CEB/

This is a free translation which is moderately close to the Hebrew.

Very readable translation.

The New Berkeley Version

1969

Book (reasonably easy to find)

This is a free translation which is moderately close to the Hebrew.

Very readable translation.

The Ferrar-Fenton Bible

Begun 1853; first published in 1903.

http://thetencommandmentsministry.us/ministry/ferrar_fenton/pdf/second-samuel.pdf

This is a reasonably accurate translation which is moderately close to the Hebrew.

Dates are included with the text. All versions I have found on the internet are an image of the book, so text cannot be copied and pasted.

Webster’s Bible Translation

1833

http://studylight.org/desk/?l=en&query=2+Samuel+13&section=1&translation=wbt&oq=2sam%252013&new=1&sr=1&nb=2sa&ng=13&ncc=13

This is a very nearly word-for-word translation from the ancient Hebrew.

This is written in “proper” English and is relatively accurate. The source I use has the words not actually found in the text with brackets. Bible Database has this version, but without the brackets.

In every verse, at least 2 or 3 of these provide a fresh perspective of the text.


One more thing: God presents truth to us in a variety of ways. In the epistles, it was concentrated doctrine; in the psalms, it is through poetry; but hee, it is by means of an historical narrative. The amount of doctrinal material in this chapter is going to be phenomenal. When all is said and done, there will be over 300 pages of commentary on this one chapter. There will be episodes and situations which are unique to the Word of God; and we will be able to understand those lessons, even though they took place over 3000 years ago, and there is no running commentary written into the Word of God to tell us the lessons that we need to understand. These things will be revealed in the narrative itself.


——————————


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Amnon Rapes Tamar: Introduction


Slavishly literal:

 

Moderately literal:

And so he is after so: and to Absalom, a son of David, a sister, beautiful, and her name, Tamar. And so desires her Amnon, a son of David.

2Samuel

13:1

And it was, after these things that David’s son Absalom had [lit., to Absalom] a beautiful sister, and her name [was] Tamar. And [another] son of David’s, Amnon, lusted after her.

And it came to pass after these things that David’s son Absalom had a beautiful sister whose name was Tamar. Another of David’s sons, Amnon, lusted after her.


Here is how others have translated this verse:

 

Ancient texts:                       Note: I compare the Hebrew text to English translations of the Latin, Syriac and Greek texts, using the Douay-Rheims translation Footnote ; George Lamsa’s translation, and Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton’s translation as revised and edited by Paul W. Esposito, respectively. I often update these texts with non-substantive changes (e.g., you for thou, etc.). I often use the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible instead of Brenton’s translation, because it updates the English text.

 

The Septuagint was the earliest known translation of a book (circa 200 b.c.). Since this translation was made before the textual criticism had been developed into a science and because different books appear to be translated by different men, the Greek translation can sometimes be very uneven.

 

When there are serious disparities between my translation and Brenton’s (or the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible), I look at the Greek text of the Septuagint (the LXX) to see if a substantive difference actually exists (and I reflect these changes in the English rendering of the Greek text). I use the Greek LXX with Strong’s numbers and morphology available for e-sword. The only problem with this resource (which is a problem for similar resources) is, there is no way to further explore Greek verbs which are not found in the New Testament. Although I usually quote the Complete Apostles’ Bible here, I have begun to make changes in the translation when their translation conflicts with the Greek and note what those changes are.

 

The Masoretic text is the Hebrew text with all of the vowels (vowel points) inserted (the original Hebrew text lacked vowels). We take the Masoretic text to be the text closest to the original. However, differences between the Masoretic text and the Greek, Latin and Syriac are worth noting and, once in a great while, represent a more accurate text possessed by those other ancient translators.

 

In general, the Latin text is an outstanding translation from the Hebrew text into Latin and very trustworthy (I say this as a non-Catholic). Unfortunately, I do not read Latin—apart from some very obvious words—so I am dependent upon the English translation of the Latin (principally, the Douay-Rheims translation).

 

Underlined words indicate differences in the text.

 

Bracketed portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls are words, letters and phrases lost in the scroll due to various types of damage. Underlined words or phrases are those in the Dead Sea Scrolls but not in the Masoretic text.

 

Latin Vulgate                          And it came to pass after this that Ammon the son of David loved the sister of Absalom the son of David, who was very beautiful, and her name was Thama.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so he is after so: and to Absalom, a son of David, a sister, beautiful, and her name, Tamar. And so desires her Amnon, a son of David.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    AND it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a sister whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her.

Septuagint (Greek)                And it happened after this that Absalom the son of David had a very beautiful sister, and her name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her.

 

Significant differences:           And it came to pass or it happened after this are reasonable translations from the Hebrew text. The relative pronoun found in the English of the Latin and Syriac is not out of line with the actual Hebrew.

 

The final verb is legitimately translated to love, to desire. The English translation of the Latin text dramatically changes the word order.

 

So, even though the English translation seems slightly different, there is nothing which calls into question the Hebrew text of this verse.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Christian Community Bible     Now David’s son Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar. It happened that Amnon, another of David’s sons, loved her..

Common English Bible           Amnon rapes Tamar

Some time later, David's son Amnon fell in love with Tamar the beautiful sister of Absalom, who was also David's son.

Contemporary English V.       David had a beautiful daughter named Tamar, who was the sister of Absalom. She was also the half sister of Amnon, who fell in love with her.

Easy English (Pocock)           David had a son called Absalom and another son called Amnon. Absalom had a beautiful sister called Tamar. Amnon loved Tamar.

Easy-to-Read Version            David had a son named Absalom. Absalom’s sister was named Tamar. Tamar was very beautiful. Another one of David’s sons, Amnon [Amnon was half-brother to Absalom and Tamar. They all had David as their father, but Amnon had a different mother. See 2Sam. 3:2–3.],...

Good News Bible (TEV)         David's son Absalom had a beautiful unmarried sister named Tamar. Amnon, another of David's sons, fell in love with her.

The Message                         Some time later, this happened: Absalom, David's son, had a sister who was very attractive. Her name was Tamar. Amnon, also David's son, was in love with her.

New Berkeley Version           About 990 b.c.

After this, it developed that David’s son Amnon fell in love with a beautiful sister of David’s son Absalom, whose name was Tamar.

New Living Translation           The Rape of Tamar

Now David's son Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar. And Amnon, her half brother, fell desperately in love with her.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Now, AbSalom (one of David's sons) had a very pretty sister named Tamar, and AmNon (another son of David) was in love with her. 2 In fact, he was so smitten with her that he was sick. Tamar (his sister) was a virgin, and AmNon would have done anything to have her.

Ancient Roots Translinear      So afterward, Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister, named Tamar. Amnon the son of David loved her.

Beck’s American Translation Later, the following happened. Absalom, David’s son, had a beautiful sis. Her name was Tamar. And Amnon, David’s son, fell in love with her.

God’s Word                         After this, David's son Amnon fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of David's son Absalom.

New American Bible              Amnon's Rape of Tamar.

After this, the following occurred. David's son Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar, and David's son Amnon loved her [2Sam. 3:2-3 1Chron. 3:9].

NIRV                                      Some time later, David's son Amnon fell in love with Tamar. She was the beautiful sister of Absalom. He was another one of David's sons.

New Jerusalem Bible             After this, the following events took place. Absalom son of David had a beautiful sister whose name was Tamar; Amnon son of David fell in love with her.

New Simplified Bible              David had a beautiful daughter named Tamar. She was Absalom’s sister. She was also the half sister of Amnon. Amnon fell in love with her.

Revised English Bible            The following occurred some time later. David’s son Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar, and David’s son Amnon fell in love with her.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             Now after this, it came about that Absalom, David's son, had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar; and David's son Amnon was in love with her.

Complete Jewish Bible           Now Avshalom the son of David had a beautiful sister named Tamar. Some time after the previous events, Amnon the son of David fell in love with her.

HCSB                                     Some time passed. David's son Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar, and David's son Amnon was infatuated with her.

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               This happened sometime afterward: Absalom son of David had a beautiful sister named Tamar, and Amnon son of David became infatuated with her.

NET Bible®                             The Rape of Tamar

Now David's son Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar. In the course of time David's son Amnon fell madly in love with her [Heb "Amnon the son of David loved her." The following verse indicates the extreme nature of his infatuation, so the translation uses "madly in love" here.]. When it comes to making an actual material change to the text, the NET Bible® is pretty good about indicating this. Since most of these corrections will be clear in the more literal translations below and within the Hebrew exegesis itself, I will not continue to list every NET Bible® footnote.

New Advent Bible                  And it came to pass after this that Ammon the son of David loved the sister of Absalom the son of David, who was very beautiful, and her name was Thama.

The Scriptures 1998              And after this it came to be that Abshalom son of Dawid? had a lovely sister, whose name was Tamar, and Amnon son of Dawid? loved her.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                ABSALOM SON of David had a fair sister whose name was Tamar, and Amnon [her half brother] son of David loved her.

Context Group Version          After this, Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David gave allegiance to her.

English Standard Version      Now Absalom, David's son, had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar. And after a time Amnon, David's son, loved her.

English Standard V. – UK       Amnon and Tamar

Now Absalom, David's son, had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar. And after a time Amnon, David's son, loved her.

exeGeses companion Bible   AMNON AND TAMAR

And so be it, after this,

Abi Shalom the son of David

has a beautiful sister, and her name is Tamar;

and Amnon the son of David loves her;...

LTHB                                     And afterward it happened that Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister, and her name was Tamar. And Amnon the son of David loved her.

Modern KJV                           And it happened after this Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister whose name was Tamar. And Amnon the son of David loved her.

New RSV                               Some time passed. David's son Absalom had a beautiful sister whose name was Tamar; and David's son Amnon fell in love with her.

Syndein/Thieme                     And it came to pass after this {after the Fall of Rabah, cursing of the 1st installment of discipline turned into blessing, and a period of prosperity and intake of doctrine that followed}, that Absalom, the son of David, had an 'extremely beautiful' {yapheh} sister, whose name was Tamar.

Updated Bible Version 2.11   And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her.

Young’s Updated LT             And it comes to pass afterwards that Absalom son of David has a fair sister, and her name is Tamar, and Amnon son of David loves her.

 

The gist of this verse:          One of David’s son, Amnon, has a strong lust for his half-sister Tamar, the sister of Absalom.


2Samuel 13:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

Without a specific subject and object, the verb hâyâh often means and it will come to be, and it will come to pass, then it came to pass (with the wâw consecutive). It may be more idiomatically rendered subsequently, afterwards, later on, in the course of time, after which. Generally, the verb does not match the gender whatever nearby noun could be the subject (and, as often, there is no noun nearby which would fulfill the conditions of being a subject).

ʾachărêy (אַחֲרֵי) [pronounced ah-kuh-RAY]

behind, after; following; after that, afterwards; hinder parts

preposition; plural form

Strong’s #310 BDB #29

kên (כֵּן) [pronounced kane]

so, therefore, thus; then, afterwards; upright, honest; rightly, well; [it is] so, such, so constituted

properly, an active participle; used primarily as an adverb

Strong's #3651 BDB #485

These two words together literally mean after so; however, they appear to mean afterward, afterwards, after these things, after this, [and] after that. See Gen. 15:14 23:19 25:26 Lev. 14:36 Deut. 21:13 1Sam. 10:5.


Translation: And it was, after these things... Most of Samuel is in chronological order, with a few glosses. Footnote Phrases like this indicate that first the incidents which are spoken of in the previous chapter occurred, and then these things happen afterwards.


The order is both logical and chronological. David sins with Bathsheba and has her husband killed (2Sam. 11). Then Nathan speaks to David and causes him to understand that he has sinned (2Sam. 12), which led us into his confession of this sin, in Psalm 51 (HTML) (PDF).


There is an implication that what happened before leads to what will occur in this chapter. David’s sins and lusts lead us to this chapter where he sees them played out with his own family.


I mentioned the term glosses. This is material which was likely added after these chapters were written. A good example of this is 2Sam. 3:2–5, where David’s family is given. It is not clear that they had all been born at the time that this chapter was written. The length of David’s reign, given in 2Sam. 5:4, was likely added after these events occurred and were recorded. Now this in no way detracts from the inspiration of the Scriptures—God simply allowed for these glosses, which could have been added by David at a later time or by Solomon, after his father had died. As mentioned in the footnote, most often, these glosses are simple objective facts.



2Samuel 13:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Additional meanings of the lâmed preposition: with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to.

ʾĂbîyshâlôwm (אֲבִישָלוֹם) [pronounced ub-ee-shaw-LOHM]

my father is peace and is transliterated Absalom

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #53 BDB #5

An alternate form of this word is ʾAbeshâlôwm (אַבְשָלוֹם) [pronounced ahbe-shaw-LOHM].

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

ʾâchôwth (אַחוֹת) [pronounced aw-KHOWTH]

sister, half-sister; relative; beloved [bride]; figuratively of intimate connection; metaphorically for relationship between Israel and Judah; another

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #269 BDB #27

yâpheh (יָפֶה) [pronounced yaw-FEH]

fair, beautiful, attractive; handsome

feminine singular adjective

Strong’s #3303 BDB #421

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shêm (שֵם) [pronounced shame]

name, reputation, character

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong’s #8034 BDB #1027

Tâmâr (תָּמָר) [pronounced taw-MAWR]

palm-tree, date-palm and is transliterated Tamar

feminine singular proper noun

Strong’s #8559 BDB #1071

Interestingly enough, this, when used as a simple noun, is a masculine singular noun; however, as a name, it is considered a feminine singular noun, since it is applied to women.


Translation: ...that David’s son Absalom had [lit., to Absalom] a beautiful sister, and her name [was] Tamar. In this first verse, all of the principle characters of this chapter are introduced: David, Absalom, Amnon and Tamar.


Geshur is a piece of land directly east of the Sea of Galilee (then the Sea of Chinnereth). When David was on the run from Saul, he was nowhere near Geshur. When David ruled over the southern kingdom for 7 years, he would have to go through then central and northern portion to get to Geshur. However, when he ruled over all Israel, then David’s kingdom butted up against Geshur. So, it would seem logical that David, after he became king over all Israel, probably made an alliance with Talmai, the King of Geshur and married his daughter. However, as we have already studied in the introduction, There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. And David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul became weaker and weaker. And sons were born to David at Hebron: his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam of Jezreel; and his second, Chileab, of Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur (2Sam. 3:1–3). So, somehow, David made an alliance with the king of Geshur while he was at war with the house of Saul. We are never given any of the particulars here, as to who made the first move; or how David knew the king of Geshur. We simply know that David’s 3rd son is Absalom, a grandson of Aramæan royalty.


At the time that David married Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, he already had 2 other wives (Ahinoam and Abigail), so it is reasonable that this is a political marriage and that his father-in-law was cool with a David having several wives (which suggests he also probably had several wives). Whereas, it was culturally acceptable for a king to have many wives, this was not God’s preference (Deut. 17:17).


Like the ruler of any small kingdom, Talmai would have kept up with current events and the nations around him. He knew of the split between northern and southern Israel, between the house of Saul and the house of David, and he probably had known Saul and had met David at one time or another. What appears to be the case is, Talmai picked David as the man who would likely prevail and was determined to set up an alliance with him, as opposed to being allied with the house of Saul. My guess is, Talmai wanted a clear alliance with Israel, believed strongly that David would prevail, and proposed an alliance with David when he was still involved in a civil war. Whether this was a political calculation or a spiritual one, we do not know.


It should be added that Talmai, the king of Geshur, was not a political genius who necessarily studied Saul and David carefully and chose David. Many people were aware that David would become the next king over all Israel. Samuel anointed David as king over all Israel back in 1Sam. 16 and Jonathan recognized that God would remove David’s enemies and impediments to the throne in 1Sam. 20:12–15.


Maacah, daughter of Talmai, was likely very attractive, and she and David had 2 very attractive children, Absalom and Tamar. Absalom appears to have all of the potential of David with his charisma, intelligence and good looks. Tamar is an incredibly beautiful woman who arouses the lusts even in her own half-brothers.


These children are probably all in their teens and early 20's at this time (I lean toward these children as being in their middle teens). This may help you to understand how a chronologer comes up with his date for this time period. We have these children born to David in Hebron in 2Sam. 3; for them to reach a stage in their lives where clearly understand sex and rape, that would be about 20 years later. Since David is facing installment retribution, his sin with Bathsheba would have occurred probably a year or so earlier.


2Samuel 13:1c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâhêb (אָהֵב) [pronounced aw-HAYVB]

to desire, to breathe after; to love; to delight in; human love [for another] [familial, sexual]; human love [desire, appetite] for [food, drink, sleep, wisdom]; human love [for, to God]; God’s love [toward men, people of Israel, righteousness]; to like

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong’s #157 BDB #12

ʾAmenôwn (אַמְנוֹן) [pronounced ahme-NOHN]

faithful; transliterated Amnon

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #550 BDB #54

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187


Translation: And [another] son of David’s, Amnon, lusted after her. David’s 2nd wife, after Michel (who was out of the picture at the time), appears to have been Ahinoam, who was probably a very attractive woman, but not really what David was looking for in a wife and companion (which became even more clear after they married). So David has one son by her (or, one who is named). Amnon is the eldest son, and the heir to the throne because his is David’s firstborn. However, Absalom is born of two royal parents, and has a claim to the throne, bearing that in mind.


Ammon is quite the odd duck here. He is David’s son, heir to the throne; he has his own house. He is probably handsome and intelligent. So Amnon could probably have his choice of a number of different women. However, he is strongly attracted to his half-sister Tamar. As we will find out, that is simply a powerful sexual attraction. It is not the Hebrew word which tells us this, but the text of this chapter. As soon as Amnon has his way with her, he throws her out of his house (v. 17). So, this man is an emotional wreck. He will do anything to scheme to have his way with his half-sister; but then, after he haves her, he hates her (v. 15) and he hates her even more than he desired her. So Amnon is overly-emotional, he is hard-headed, he thinks of no one but himself and his own desires, and he has little or no self-control.


Given what we know about David, it is reasonable to suppose that his children have healthy libidos.

Amnon’s Sexual Obsession

1.      We do not know the ages of Amnon, Tamar or Absalom, but it is reasonable to assume that they are probably in their teens.

2.      Amnon quite obviously developed sexually but not emotionally.

3.      Amnon required the firm hand of a father to teach him about women and the proper way to relate to women. David did not do this, so there is this great lack in Amnon’s training.

4.      Amnon had apparently developed a crush on Tamar, his half-sister, which developed into a sexual obsession.

5.      A person with a sexual obsession has no actual interest in the soul of the object of his obsession.

6.      Amnon cares nothing for Tamar personally; he apparently knows very little about her personality, likes, dislikes, or anything else.

7.      He is obsessed with her sexually and desires only to take her sexually.

8.      His brain has not processed what this will do to her; how this will affect her; nor does Amnon have any plan as to what happens after he takes her.

9.      Amnon does not consider the taboo involved with having sex with one’s relatives nor does he consider any of the consequences of having sex with Tamar.

10.    His obsession is with her physicality and with whatever superficial things that he has observed of her.

11.    His desire is to satiate his sexual obsession, but for the consequences to be damned.

12.    Again, the key is his lack of training. No one has taken Amnon and has taught him that every time that he acts, there is a series of consequences which take place. No one has taken the time to teach Amnon that, just as other people’s thoughtless acts can hurt him; his thoughtless acts can similarly hurt other people.

13.    As a result, Amnon has no concept of sympathy or empathy. He does not see where his acts will lead; or, if he can anticipate what might happen, then he does not care as to the results of his actions. He has no sympathy for others; he is unable to put himself in the place of others to see how is actions really affect them.

14.    Therefore, Amnon’s sexual obsession has nothing to do with love or affection. It is only about self-satisfaction.

Having sexual desires is not a sin; acting on those desires improperly—outside of marriage, in masturbation, with obsessive thoughts, with pornography, in a homosexual relationship, in an incestuous act, or with someone who is underage—is the sin.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Our verse reads: And it was, after these things that David’s son Absalom had [lit., to Absalom] a beautiful sister, and her name [was] Tamar. And [another] son of David’s, Amnon, lusted after her. The key verb is ʾâhêb (אָהֵב) [pronounced aw-HAYVB], which means to desire, to breathe after; to love; to delight in; human love [for another] [familial, sexual]; human love [desire, appetite] for [food, drink, sleep, wisdom]; human love [for, to God]; God’s love [toward men, people of Israel, righteousness]; to like. Strong’s #157 BDB #12. Because of Ammon’s treatment of Tamar, before and after he rapes her, I believe that to lust is the proper way to render the final verb.


David could not have been married very long to Ahinoam for very long before he met Abigail and decided, “Hmm, this woman is more my style.” As we have studied back in 1Samuel 25, she was quite an impressive women who, for reasons that we do not know, was hooked up with a worthless husband, Nabal.


These 3 wives, Ahinoam, Abigail and Maacah, do not start having children until David is made king over southern Israel and has his headquarters in Hebron (2Sam. 3:2–3). How does the timing of this work? According to Reese’s chronology, David marries Abigail in 1027 b.c. (1Sam. 25), which suggests that he had already been married to Ahinoam for, say, 6 months to a year. David moves to Philistia after a run-in with Saul and stays there for a year (1Sam. 27). Jonathan and Saul are killed in battle, and David becomes king over southern Israel (1Sam. 31), which would have been in 1025 b.c. (Reese’s chronology). So, we are looking at a year or two of marriage before David’s first two wives begin to have children. As has been deduced, David probably married Maacah while king in southern Israel and had 2 children by her. All of this chapter, logically, takes place about 20 years after the birth of these children. So this chapter takes place about 1005 b.c.; and, according to Reese, 1002 b.c. The chronology and dates can be found here: the Davidic Timeline (HTML) (PDF).


David, His Wives, and the Children born to him in Hebron

David

David’s wives

Ahinoam

Abigail

Maacah

Haggith

Abital

Eglah

David’s children

Amnon

Chileab

Absalom

Tamar

Adonijah

Shephatiah

Ithream

This all comes from 2Sam. 3:1–5. Those italicized above play a part, directly or indirectly (as mothers), in this chapter. Ahinoam, David’s first wife, no doubt told her firstborn, Amnon, that he was entitled to the throne as the firstborn. Maacah, although probably a believer in Jehovah Elohim, taught her son Absalom that he was true royalty, unlike his older two brothers, but to hold back and keep it inside until the time is right. These characterizations are logical, play out in this chapter, but are not specifically found in the Bible (that is, you will not find a verse that specifically states that Amnon is a sexually-obsession narcissistic psychopath, but this conclusion may be drawn based upon his actions).

What is clearly lacking in the upbringing of these children is David’s strong hand as a father; as a man who understands the desires of a man. We know this based upon 3 things: (1) the actions of Amnon and Absalom in this chapter; (2) David’s inability to deal with Amnon objectively; (3) and the fact that David continued to collect wives and mistresses, suggesting that he spent very little time with his current wives. Women and children require a lot of time. A man cannot go off chasing after other women if he is engaged fully with his current family (in David’s case, families). The amount of time that he spends with his children would be not unlike the time a divorced dad spends with his.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


——————————


And so he binds up to Amnon to make [himself] sick because of Tamar, his [half-] sister for a virgin [is] she, and so he is difficult, in eyes of Amnon, to do to her anything.

2Samuel

13:2

And it is distressing to Amnon to be grieved [or, weakened with sickness] because of Tamar, his half-sister, for she [is] a virgin. Therefore, it is impossible, in the eyes of Amnon, to do anything to her.

Because his half-sister, Tamar, is a virgin, Amnon was distressed to the point of illness, for he thought that it was impossible for him to do anything to her.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And he was exceedingly fond of her, so that he fell sick for the love of her: for as she was a virgin, he thought it hard to do any thing dishonestly with he.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so he binds up to Amnon to make [himself] sick because of Tamar, his [half-] sister for a virgin [is] she, and so he is difficult, in eyes of Amnon, to do to her anything.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And Amnon was much grieved on account of his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon felt unable to say anything to he.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Amnon was distressed even to sickness, because of Tamar his sister; for she was a virgin, and it seemed very difficult in the eyes of Amnon to do anything to her.

 

Significant differences:           Because this is so difficult in the Hebrew, we would expect ancient translations to be freer in their interpretation. In the Latin, we have Amnon being exceedingly font and having love for her, although these words do not appear in the Greek (I base this upon the English translation from the Latin). In the Syriac and Greek, Amnon is treated as the subject of the first verb, which it is not. However, that smooths out the translation.

 

The Latin leaves out Tamar’s name and the fact that she is Amnon’s half-sister. In the final sentence, the Latin interprets in the eyes of Amnon as he thought it... This is a reasonable interpretation. The English translation of the Syriac has this as Amnon felt.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Amnon was so upset over his half sister that he made himself sick. She was a virgin, and it seemed impossible in Amnon's view to do anything to her.

Contemporary English V.       But Tamar was a virgin, and Amnon could not think of a way to be alone with her. He was so upset about it that he made himself sick.

Easy English (Pocock)           But Amnon loved her so much that he became ill. Tamar was a young unmarried girl. So, Amnon could not do anything to he.

Easy-to-Read Version            ...was in love with Tamar. Tamar was a virgin [A woman who has not had sexual relations with anyone.]. Amnon did not think he should do anything bad to her. But Amnon wanted her very much. Amnon thought about her so much that he made himself sick [Or, "Amnon thought up a plan to pretend he was sick."].

Good News Bible (TEV)         He was so much in love with her that he became sick, because it seemed impossible for him to have her; as a virgin, she was kept from meeting men.

The Message                         Amnon was obsessed with his sister Tamar to the point of making himself sick over her. She was a virgin, so he couldn't see how he could get his hands on her.

New Berkeley Version           Amnon felt so frustrated about his sister Tamar that is made him ill, because she was a virgin, and it seemed to Amnon impossible to get in touch with her.

New Century Version             Tamar was a virgin. Amnon made himself sick just thinking about her, because he could not find any chance to be alone with her.

New Life Bible                        Amnon was so troubled because of his sister Tamar that he became sick. She was a woman who had never had a man, and Amnon thought how hard it would be to have he.

New Living Translation           Amnon became so obsessed with Tamar that he became ill. She was a virgin, and Amnon thought he could never have her.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          In fact, he was so smitten with her that he was sick. Tamar (his sister) was a virgin, and AmNon would have done anything to have her.

Ancient Roots Translinear      Amnon troubled and sickened because of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin. In Amnon's eyes to do anything for her was an accomplishment.

Beck’s American Translation Amnon felt to anxious about his half-sister Tamar he got sick, because she was a birgin and he found it impossible to make love to her.

God’s Word                         Amnon was so obsessed with his half sister Tamar that he made himself sick. It seemed impossible for him to be alone with her because she was a virgin.

New American Bible              He was in such anguish over his sister Tamar that he became sick; she was a virgin, and Amnon thought it impossible to do anything to her.

NIRV                                      Amnon's sister Tamar was a virgin. It seemed impossible for him to do what he wanted to do with her. But he wanted her so much it almost made him sick.

New Simplified Bible              Tamar was a virgin. Amnon could not think of a way to be alone with her. He was so upset about it that he made himself sick.

Revised English Bible            Amnon was so tormented that he became ill with love for his half-sister, for he thought it an impossible thing to approach her since she was a virgin.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And he was so deeply in love that he became ill because of his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin, and so it seemed hard to Amnon to do anything to her.

Complete Jewish Bible           Amnon became so obsessed with his sister Tamar that he became ill, for she was a virgin, and Amnon thought it would be impossible to approach her.

HCSB                                     Amnon was frustrated to the point of making himself sick over his sister Tamar because she was a virgin, but it seemed impossible to do anything to her.

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               Amnon was so distraught because of his [half-]sister Tamar that he became sick; for she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her.

NET Bible®                             But Amnon became frustrated because he was so lovesick [Heb "and there was distress to Amnon so that he made himself sick."] over his sister Tamar. For she was a virgin, and to Amnon it seemed out of the question to do anything to her.

New Advent Bible                  And he was exceedingly fond of her, so that he fell sick for the love of her: for as she was a virgin, he thought it hard to do anything dishonestly with her.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                And Amnon was so troubled that he fell sick for his [half] sister Tamar, for she was a virgin, and Amnon thought it impossible for him to do anything to her.

A Conservative Version         And Amnon was so frustrated that he fell sick because of his sister Tamar. For she was a virgin, and it seemed hard to Amnon to do anything to her.

Context Group Version          And Amnon was so aggravated that he fell sick because of his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and it seemed hard to Amnon to do anything to her.

Emphasized Bible                  And it so troubled Amnon, that he made himself ill on account of Tamar his sister, for, a virgin, was she, and it was monstrous in Amnon’s own eyes, to do, anything, unto her.

English Revised Version        And Amnon was so tormented that he made himself ill because of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her.

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and Amnon is so depressed

he falls sick for his sister Tamar;

for she is a virgin;

and it is marvellous in the eyes of Amnon

to work aught to her.

Ferrar-Fenton Bible                ...and Amnon grieved until he made himself ill because of Thamar his cousin, for she was a maiden. But it was difficult in the opinion of Amnon to acquire her in any way.

Heritage Bible                        And Amnon was so distressed that he was worn out on account of his sister, Tamar, because she was a virgin, and it was difficult in the eyes of Amnon to do to her anything..

LTHB                                     And Amnon was distressed, even to becoming sick, because of his sister Tamar. For she was a virgin, and it was hard in the eyes of Amnon to do anything to he.

Modern KJV                           And Amnon was so troubled that he fell sick for his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin. And Amnon thought it hard for him to do anything to her.

New King James Version       Amnon was so distressed over his sister Tamar that he became sick; for she was a virgin. And it was improper for Amnon to do anything to her.

New RSV                               Amnon was so tormented that he made himself ill because of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin and it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her.

Syndein                                  And Amnon became so frustrated that he made himself ill {lusting} because of his sister Tamar . . .for she was a virgin. {b@thuwlah - a special word for a virgin - meaning that she was not only a literal virgin but one with integrity. She was satisfied with her state and willing to wait for her right man to both marry and have relations with a man} And Amnon considered it impossible to do anything at all to her..

Young’s Updated LT             And Amnon has distress—even to become sick, because of Tamar his sister, for she is a virgin, and it is hard in the eyes of Amnon to do anything to her.

 

The gist of this verse:          David’s eldest son, Amnon, has allowed his lust for his half-sister to be fixated in his mind to the point that, this consumed his thinking to the point of seeming ill.


2Samuel 13:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

tsârar (צָרַר) [pronounced tsaw-RAHR]

to press, to compress; to bind up, to bind together; to lay hold of; to shut up; to oppress, to persecute, to treat with hostility; intransitive meanings: to be distressed [stressed, in anguish]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect; probably a homonym

Strong’s #6887 BDB #864 and #865

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ʾAmenôwn (אַמְנוֹן) [pronounced ahme-NOHN]

faithful; transliterated Amnon

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #550 BDB #54

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

châlâh (חָלָה) [pronounced chaw-LAW]

to make oneself sick [with grief]; to feign sickness [illness]

Hithpael infinitive construct

Strong’s #2470 BDB #317

The basic understanding of this word is to polish, to wear down. The end result is, something is worn down. When applied to a person, this can refer to sickness, weakness or simply being worn down.

baʿăbûwr (בַּעֲבוּר) [pronounced bah-ģub-VOOR]

because of, for, that, for the sake of, on account of, in order that; while

preposition/conjunction; substantive always found combined with the bêyth preposition

Strong’s #5668 BDB #721

Actually a combination of the bêyth preposition (in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before) and ʿâbûwr (עֲבוּר) [pronounced ģawv-BOOR] which means a passing over, a transition; the cause of a crossing over; the price [of transferring ownership of something]; purpose, objective. Properly, it is the passive participle of Strong’s #5674 BDB #720. Strong’s #5668 BDB #721.

Tâmâr (תָּמָר) [pronounced taw-MAWR]

palm-tree, date-palm and is transliterated Tamar

feminine singular proper noun

Strong’s #8559 BDB #1071

ʾâchôwth (אַחוֹת) [pronounced aw-KHOWTH]

sister, half-sister; relative; beloved [bride]; figuratively of intimate connection; metaphorically for relationship between Israel and Judah; another

feminine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #269 BDB #27


Translation: And it is distressing to Amnon to be grieved [or, weakened with sickness] because of Tamar, his half-sister,... The first thing that we need to look at here is the grammar of the Hebrew, which is quite difficult. Amnon is not the subject of the verb but the indirect object of the verb because Amnon is preceded by the lâmed preposition (to, for). So the subject of the verb is somewhat indefinite here, referring back to the situation described in v. 1 (And it was, after these things that David’s son Absalom had [lit., to Absalom] a beautiful sister, and her name [was] Tamar. And [another] son of David’s, Amnon, lusted after her.). So, the situation of having a sister that he lusted after was binding, distressing, stressing or anguish to Amnon. This construction is out of my depth insofar as my knowledge of Hebrew goes, but Keil and Delitzsch Footnote render this as literally “it became narrow (anxious) to Amnon, even to making himself ill.” Therefore, I am reasonably confident that I am correctly interpreting this verse, grammatically speaking.


Also, in this portion of v. 2, we have the Hiphil infinitive construct of châlâh (חָלָה) [pronounced chaw-LAW], which means, to make oneself sick [with grief]; to feign sickness [illness]. Strong’s #2470 BDB #317. If you have read ahead, you know that Amnon is going to feign sickness later on in this chapter. He is not feigning sickness right now; nor is he physically ill. The verb has the fundamental meaning to polish, to wear down. Amnon has allowed himself to become so infatuated with Tamar, that he is worn down, grieved, in a state, so to speak. Have you ever seen a woman that, it is difficult to stop staring at her because she is so attractive? Let’s say, she is stimulating to look at, and you cannot hide your obvious interest. Amnon is to that point and beyond. Now, he is the king’s son, the eldest, the one in line for the throne, so he has to have a certain protocol about his life; however, this whole Tamar thing has just put him into a state where he cannot hide his desire for her.


The words found here, along with Amnon’s obsession with Tamar, indicate that he is giving an inordinate amount of time to thinking about his half-sister Tamar. Had he real responsibilities which consumed much of his day, it would have been more difficult for him to obsess as he is. One of the reasons work is such an innate necessity is, it requires us to focus on something other than ourselves. Amnon is able to focus only upon his own desires and the fixation of his desires, Tamar. This fixation borders on a mental illness. At the very least, Amnon is completely and totally self-absorbed, because he only desires Tamar for what she can do for him.


The use of this word châyâh is known as foreshadowing. Amnon will later, in the chapter, make himself sick, in order to get close to Tamar.


Then the Bible does something which we find now and again—it clearly defines the relationships of the people the narrative is about. We saw this way back in Gen. 16:3, where the relationships of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar, their slave-girl, are clearly laid out. They were laid out by God the Holy Spirit because Abraham was about to make a very bad decision and introduce another moving part into his marriage (Hagar, the Egyptian girl). As a slave-girl, she had a place in their family; but not as a surrogate mother. Here, the God the Holy Spirit does the same thing. He indicates that Tamar is Amnon’s sister. So, Amnon may be in this state of great lust, but listen, this is Amnon’s half-sister we are talking about.


Application: There are points at which we need to put on the brakes, so to speak. You may be a teacher with a beautiful student—a student with such beauty and grace, you cannot believe it. However, you are that student’s teacher—your relationship is thus defined, and to change that is to take unfair and sinful advantage of the student. The same thing is true of people in authority in the workplace. You may have a secretary who is the most beautiful doll you have ever seen, but, she is your secretary. Here is when your self-control must kick in. Here is where you recognize that your lust is not the overriding factor, but your relationship is. Obviously, the same thing is true if you are married and you come across a member of the opposite sex that you find incredibly attractive; that person is simply out of bounds, and, believe it or not, you have control over what you think about. The same self-control must be applied if you are attracted to members of your gender or if you find yourself attracted to minor children. Simply having a sexual desire does not mean that you ought to fixate on that sexual desire nor does it mean that you ought to act on that sexual desire. God has made clear the boundaries within which our sexual desires may be expressed: in the confines and boundaries of marriage.


Amnon was exercising very little self-control—almost none. He did not just out and out rape her, but part of this reason was, he could not find a point in time when they are alone together.


As is hinted in this verse, which the strong emotional language and the construction of this sentence (which suggests that Amnon allows himself to be overpowered by his own lust). Amnon is a very emotion young man who is used to being gratified. If he wants something, he generally gets it.


How does this happen? Recall that his mother, Ahinoam, is David’s first wife (David’s actual first wife, Michel, at that time, was out of the picture). So she is pregnant with Amnon or she has this marriage with a wonderful and admired leader, David, and suddenly, David brings home Abigail. “Honey, I’m home, and I brought with me a second wife.” We do not know how exactly this all played out, but Abigail, for many reasons, was more appealing to David, so he brought her home and began to spend more of his time with her. That left Ahinoam as his first wife, but not as valued. So, she has this young man, and she over-compensates, she becomes dependent upon her son’s love, and she completely messes up her son’s development. Ultimately, the responsibility for this is on David’s shoulders, but she, as a responder, had little to respond to in David, so she got this from his son, Amnon, who is David’s spitting image.


So, Amnon is a monster. He is raised mostly by his mother, who was no doubt hurt when David began to bring home new wives; and her female soul responds to Amnon rather than to David. He becomes her little man and her little king; the little man that she teaches no discipline or self-restraint to.


Amnon’s obsessive behavior did not suddenly appear. People do not go from being normal to being obsessive psychopaths overnight. His mother would have observed this behavior and either ignored it or rewarded it. His father, David, observed very little of this behavior because he was king, he had other wives, and therefore, his life was taken up by other responsibilities. In fact, when it came to his wives and children, David simply showed little or no responsibility whatsoever.


Can we excuse David because of the time in which he lived? Many wives was the norm for a king. Here’s the thing: David had studied the Bible—we know this because of the moving of the Ark of God. He tried to do so and it was unsuccessful. He studied the Bible, and then he successfully moved the Ark. So David knew that he was not supposed to multiply wives to himself as a king (Deut. 17:17). David clearly knew where he was falling short of God’s grace; and that is why he is facing this installment discipline or this installment of retribution. David is going to have his nose rubbed in his shortcomings again and again. The end result is, he will settle down with one woman, he will become a good father to his second family, and he will not go out tom-catting after different women. God will cure David’s sexual addiction. Recall, the first installment was the death of his son by Bathsheba and this second installment will be the rape of his daughter Tamar by Amnon.


You may personally have problems with this. You may think, “Why is God allowing all of this evil stuff to occur? How is it right for Tamar to suffer in order for David to be straightened out?” God allows these things to occur; God does not make these things happen. Everything in this chapter is a result of the exercise of David’s free will; Amnon’s free will; Tamar’s free will; and Absalom’s free will. All of this was set into motion because of David’s sexual addiction. My point is, David has caused all of this. David is simply facing the results of everything that he set into motion.


Application: People with power, authority and influence have great responsibility in their actions. When a huge number of Congressmen withdrew monetary support for our soldiers in Vietnam, they set into motion millions of events which resulted in the horrible deaths of millions of people, followed by a spread in communism to all over the world. The evil of that one act of voting by mostly liberal politicians caused some of the greatest suffering ever known throughout the world. Unfortunately, few politicians really witness first-hand the evil of their actions; and they almost always deny the evil of their actions.


In this narrative, David will fully face the consequences of years of bad decisions.


So far, this is what we have in v. 2: And it is distressing to Amnon to be grieved [or, weakened with sickness] because of Tamar, his half-sister,... It appears to be the case the Amnon was physically affected because of his sexual obsession. As R. B. Thieme, Jr. taught Footnote in this lesson, Amnon’s arrogance + Amnon’s frustrated = physical illness. Amnon was actually affected physically because of his sexual obsession with Tamar. The mind is very powerful, and what occurs in our thinking can result in real, physical illness. People who are under great stress who cannot handle it are often more susceptible to various illnesses, e.g., the cold or a simple flu. Somehow—we do not know exactly how this works yet—we are mentally capable of reducing our body’s natural resistence to some illnesses.


2Samuel 13:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

bethûwlâh (בְּתוּלָה) [pronounced beth-oo-LAWH]

virgin; a virginal male; a newly married woman, young women; cities; states

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #1330 BDB #143

hîyʾ (הִיא) [pronounced hee]

she, it; also used as a demonstrative pronoun: that, this

3rd person feminine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214


Translation: ...for she [is] a virgin. God the Holy Spirit further defines the relationships: Tamar is a virgin and she is waiting for her right man. She is a princess, like her mother; and she anticipates marrying royalty. The norms and standards of that day required that a woman be a virgin when married. Even one slip up in the life of such a woman, and marriage was almost out of the question.


The fact that Tamar’s virginity is mentioned gives us a peek into the norms and standards of that time. As we will find out, her virginity is extremely important. In that era, it is apparent that no royal suitor was interested in a woman who was not a virgin.


Amnon was well aware of the social norms of his day. At one time, these were the norms of society in the United States. In fact, when I was a young male, it was common for one to expect to marry a virgin. Because there is such indulgence in our age (I write this in 2011), let me pass on some statistics: 48% of women were virgins at marriage in 1960-64; this dropped precipitously to 21% of the women who married in 1975-79. Footnote Even today, if someone poses any question or opinion on the internet about virginity and marriage, there will be a flurry of respondents, and a significant number of them in favor of marrying as a virgin. The statistics I have heard most lately suggest that only 1 woman in 20 is a virgin at marriage. However, a change which occurs in society does not make that which is wrong right, or vice versa. It is still God’s plan for all sexual exploration and gratification to take place within the confines of marriage.


In any case, Amnon knew that Tamar was not going to simply fool around because that was far outside of the norms of that time and place.


What should be also noted is, Amnon at no time thinks about Tamar’s soul. Amnon does not know what Tamar thinks, how she feels about this or that, what she likes and what she dislikes. He knows that she is a virgin, which would be expected, but he does not know what is in her soul. A real relationship is based upon a coalition of two souls, not the coalition of two bodies. As Miss Manners writes: A gentleman and a lady both pretend that they are cultivating each other for common interests, shared humor, or whatever—and then they both act surprised when passion strikes them like lightning. This shock is considered exciting by proper ladies and gentlemen, who regard instant matings, based on the idea that we all have standard parts that may be fitted together interchangeably, to be dull as well as distasteful. Footnote


At first, the impression is, Amnon has this great puppy dog crush on Tamar, despite being her half-brother. However, it is going to become apparent that, whatever age Amnon happens to be, this is not an innocent crush. He has a great lust for Tamar, but he cares nothing for her soul or for her person. As we will find out, after he rapes her, he will throw her outside, not the least concerned for her well-being, her mental state or her future. Amnon wants self-gratification and nothing else, a fact which will become clear as we continue in this chapter.


Amnon is an arrogance man-boy. He is incapable of love. He has his desires, his “needs” and he has no thought or consideration for others. This will become quite clear as this chapter plays out. It will also become clear that David has a blind side when it comes to his children. He is unable to see them for what they really are. This is probably a lot of guilt compounded with his own sexual arrogance.


2Samuel 13:2c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

pâlâʾ (פָּלָא) [pronounced paw-LAW]

to do that which is extraordinary [marvelous, incredible], to do that which is unusually difficult [which may or may not be a miracle], to do an extraordinary thing

3rd person masculine singular, Niphal imperfect

Strong's #6381 BDB #810

The Niphal also includes the following meanings, if the context does not point to a particular action: to be beyond one’s power, be difficult [nearly impossible] to do; to be difficult to understand; to be wonderful, be extraordinary.

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

ʿêynayim (עֵינַיִם) [pronounced ģay-nah-YIM]

eyes, two eyes, literal eye(s), spiritual eyes; face, appearance, form; surface

feminine plural construct

Strong’s #5869 (and #5871) BDB #744

Together, the bêyth preposition and the construct ʿîynêy (י̤ני.ע) [pronounced ģee-NAY], literally mean in the eyes of; it can be understood to mean in the opinion of, in the thinking of, in the estimation of; as ____ sees things to be.

ʾAmenôwn (אַמְנוֹן) [pronounced ahme-NOHN]

faithful; transliterated Amnon

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #550 BDB #54

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ʿâsâh (עָשָֹה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare, to manufacture

Qal infinitive construct

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

meʾûwmâh (מְאוּמָה) [pronounced me-oo-MAW]

 anything, in any way; at all; it is usually found in negative sentences; therefore, with the negative, it is often rendered nothing

indefinite singular pronoun/adverb

Strong’s #3972 BDB #548


Translation: Therefore, it is impossible, in the eyes of Amnon, to do anything to her. Because Tamar is a virgin, and because virginity was expected, particularly in a royal marriage, Tamar was protected and it would be rare for her to be alone with any male. By the Mosaic Law, if a woman came to the marriage bed, but was not a virgin and was hated by her husband for that reason, she could be stoned to death (Deut. 22:16–21). So, there would be no lax social time where Amnon and his virgin half-sister would be spending any time alone together.


It appears as if Tamar is nearly under lock and key. At this point in her life, she apparently does not go out and she is never left alone with a man. There don’t appear to be socials going on, where young people can slip away. Maacah, Tamar’s mother, appears to be protecting her. So, there is no point at which Amnon can envision a time where they might be alone together. Tamar is watched over and protected and she is not going be to allowed to be alone with any of her half-siblings. She is not being protected from Amnon per se; she is being protected from all young men like Amnon.


Amnon has obviously thought about this situation on many occasions, and, in his opinion, the chances of him having a relationship with Tamar were nil.


There seems to be no implication here of a relationship, a marriage, or anything like that. His lust may seem so great to him that, he might even view a long-term relationship with her as ideal; but, the reality is very different. However, we do not know what he is thinking, apart from having a great lust for his sister and a desire for self-gratification, at any cost.


This verse reads: And it is distressing to Amnon to be grieved [or, weakened with sickness] because of Tamar, his half-sister, for she [is] a virgin. Therefore, it is impossible, in the eyes of Amnon, to do anything to her. We do not know much about Tamar at this point. What I suspect is, once these children began to reach puberty, Tamar was protected and kept under lock and key. She was simply not allowed to freely associate with her half-brothers. We do not know how smart she was or how perceptive she was. However, as a general rule, girls tend to mature more quickly than boys; and Tamar’s mother was royalty; therefore, it is reasonable to assume that she received better training than Amnon did. Kids, when they interact, often recognize character flaws, although they may not specifically verbalize them. You may have a childhood friend, and that friend may do some things which you recognize as wrong. At this point, you are tested as to your own training. Do you go along with them because they are your friend, or do you step back from the activity? My guess is, if Tamar had any early exposure to Amnon, she probably recognized that this boy was flawed.


As a teacher, I recall one of my good girls coming up to me and talking about a date that she had with one of my bad boys. She understood immediately some of the choices that she faced and that this young man wanted to influence her to do wrong. I don’t recall any of the specifics, but I do recall that she understood that this was a guy who wanted to do that which was wrong and influence her in the same way. I recall the young man because he routinely cheated on my tests and I had the toughest time catching him doing it. I probably would have not even realized it if he were not such an arrogant little snot Footnote to tried to rub my nose in it (that he cheated and I did not catch him). My point is, this young lady recognized that this young man had serious character flaws. So, it is very possible that Tamar recognized the character flaws of Amnon, depending upon whether they spent time together in their youth or not.


Again, this verse reads: And it is distressing to Amnon to be grieved [or, weakened with sickness] because of Tamar, his half-sister, for she [is] a virgin. Therefore, it is impossible, in the eyes of Amnon, to do anything to her. We are told essentially one thing about Tamar that Amnon knows, that she is a virgin. I would assume that this is a result of knowing the norms and standards of that day; but it ought to strike you as odd that this would be mentioned. We are seeing this, to some degree, from Amnon’s viewpoint, and it is possible—this seems to be partly what might be suggested here—is that Amnon has the odd kink of desiring to deflower a virgin. Whether this figures into the narrative or not is a matter of speculation; however, her virginity is mentioned here in relationship to Amnon. What is suggested is, he sees this as a game; he sees this as reaching some sort of goal. Again, Tamar’s feelings are never considered. What she thinks about all of this is never deemed important by Amnon. As R. B. Thieme, Jr. said Footnote (I am paraphrasing), arrogant men are stimulated and gratified from sexually abusing a woman. Such men desire to rape, humiliate and/or deflower women. Women are seen only as objects of their pleasure and they never consider a relationship as a two-way street. Such arrogance is incapable of love. What Amnon says and what he does will indicate that, despite his obsession with Tamar, he actually has very little interest in her. He is probably incapable of having a normal male-female relationship.


Furthermore, arrogant men are often overly competitive men. There is nothing wrong with competition; but arrogant men seem to be incapable of turning it off. They are inordinately competitive. So, they are competitive in a relationship with others, always trying to show that they are better in this way or that. Or they are competitive in this situation of desiring to be the first man to take Tamar. As R. B. Thieme, Jr. said Footnote (again, this is paraphrased), Arrogance will always despise that which arrogance can conquer. Whether in sex or in business or in athletics or in any field of competition in life, arrogance despises what it conquers. You cannot have any kind of a relationship with an arrogant person. One of the reasons we know Amnon to be arrogant is, his obsession with Tamar is increased by the fact that she is so unobtainable. Let me give you an example: it is okay to find a movie star attractive. Jennifer Lopez is a beautiful woman and it is normal for a male to acknowledge this. However, when the same man has an obsession with her, and has an excessive interest in her, and tries in some way to meet her—that is arrogance. The fact of her being unattainable, when this actually increases a person’s interest, indicates that person is particularly arrogant.


Here is what we have so far: And it was, after these things that David’s son Absalom had [lit., to Absalom] a beautiful sister, and her name [was] Tamar. And [another] son of David’s, Amnon, lusted after her. And it is distressing to Amnon to be grieved [or, weakened with sickness] because of Tamar, his half-sister, for she [is] a virgin. Therefore, it is impossible, in the eyes of Amnon, to do anything to her. Amnon is miserable. Amnon has never been taught any empathy; he has not been taught any self-discipline; he has not been taught to put off his desires until tomorrow. Children who are raised without training and self-discipline grow up to be miserable teens and miserable adults. Amnon is clearly unhappy and frustrated, and even when he gets what he wants, his unhappiness will not change.


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Amnon Rapes Tamar: the Planning, which Involves King David


And to Amnon an associate and his name [is] Jonadab ben Shimeah, brother of David. And Jonadab [is] a man of intelligence very.

2Samuel

13:3

Amnon has [lit., to Amnon] an associate whose [lit., and his name] name [is] Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother. And Jonadab is a very intelligent man.

Amnon also has a friend whose name is Jonadab son of Shimeah, David’s brother. Jonadab is a man of great intelligence.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          Now Ammon had a friend, named Jonadab the son of Semmaa the brother of David, a very wise man.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And to Amnon an associate and his name [is] Jonadab ben Shimeah, brother of David. And Jonadab [is] a man of intelligence very.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    But Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother; and Jonadab was a very wise man.

Septuagint (Greek)                Now Amnon had a friend, and his name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah the brother of David: and Jonadab was a very cunning man.

 

Significant differences:           The second phrase is not translated exactly in the English translation of the Latin and Syriac.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       Amnon had a friend named Jonadab, who was the son of David's brother Shimeah. Jonadab always knew how to get what he wanted,...

Easy English (Pocock)           But Amnon had a friend called Jonadab. He was the son of David's brother Shimeah. Jonadab was a very clever man.

Easy-to-Read Version            Amnon had a friend named Jonadab son of Shimeah. (Shimeah was David’s brother.) Jonadab was a very clever man.

The Message                         Amnon had a good friend, Jonadab, the son of David's brother Shimeah. Jonadab was exceptionally streetwise.

New Berkeley Translation      But Amnon had a friend named Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimeah, and Jonadab was a shrewd person.

New Life Bible                        But Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab. He was the son of David's brother Shimeah. And Jonadab was very good at making plans.

New Living Translation           But Amnon had a very crafty friend-his cousin Jonadab. He was the son of David's brother Shimea [Hebrew Shimeah (also in 13:32), a variant spelling of Shimea; compare 1 Chr 2:13.].


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Well, AmNon had a friend named JoNadab (the son of SamaA, David's brother). And JoNadab was a very wise man.

Ancient Roots Translinear      Amnon had a neighbor, named Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother. Jonadab was a very wise man.

Beck’s American Translation But Amnon had a friend by the name of Jonadab, a son of Shimea, David’s brother. Jonadab was a very smart man.

New Simplified Bible              Amnon had a friend named Jonadab. He was the son of David’s brother Shimeah. Jonadab usually knew how to get what he wanted.

Today’s NIV                          Now Amnon had an adviser named Jonadab son of Shimeah, David's brother. Jonadab was a very shrewd man.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             But Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David's brother: and Jonadab was a very wise man.

Complete Jewish Bible           But Amnon had a friend named Yonadav the son of Shim'ah David's brother; and Yonadav was a very shrewd fellow.

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               Amnon had a friend named Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimah; Jonadab was a very clever man.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

A Conservative Version         But Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David's brother. And Jonadab was a very sly man.

English Standard Version      But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David's brother. And Jonadab was a very crafty man.

exeGeses companion Bible   And Amnon has a friend,

and his name is Yah Nadab the son of Shimah

the brother of David;

and Yah Nadab is a mighty wise man:

Heritage Bible                        And to Amnon was a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, and Jonadab was a very skillful man..

LTHB                                     And Amnon had a friend, and his name was Jonadab the son of Shimeah, David's brother. And Jonadab was a very shrewd man.

Syndein                                  Now Amnon had an intimate friend {a cousin}, whose name was Jonadab, the son of David's brother Shimea. And Jonadab was a man of extreme cunning.

Third Millennium Bible            But Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother; and Jonadab was a very subtle man.

World English Bible                But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David's brother; and Jonadab was a very subtle man.

Young’s Updated LT             And Amnon has a friend, and his name is Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David”s brother, and Jonadab is a very wise man,.

 

The gist of this verse:          Amnon has a friend, Jonadab, who is David’s nephew.


2Samuel 13:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ʾAmenôwn (אַמְנוֹן) [pronounced ahme-NOHN]

faithful; transliterated Amnon

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #550 BDB #54

rêaʿ (רֵעַ) [pronounced RAY-ahģ]

associate, neighbor, colleague, fellow, acquaintance; fellow citizen; another person; one, another [in a reciprocal phrase]

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7453 BDB #945


Translation: Amnon has [lit., to Amnon] an associate... What Amnon has a friend; but one must understand, that in order to have a true friend, one needs to have a true capacity for friendship. Criminals can pal around together and call one another brother, but, when the situation calls for it, one often turns on the other. So Amnon knows people, and they are probably very much like him—lacking in character.


2Samuel 13:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shêm (שֵם) [pronounced shame]

name, reputation, character

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #8034 BDB #1027

Yôwnâdâb (יוֹנָדָב) [pronounced yoh-naw-DAWB]

Yah is willing; Yah is noble [liberal, has impelled]; transliterated Jonadab

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3082 & #3122 BDB #220

The more formal spelling of this is Yehôwnâdâb (יְהוֹנָדָב) [pronounced yah-hoh-naw-DAWB], which is, properly Strong’s #3082.

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Shimeʿâh (שִמְעָה) [pronounced shim-ĢAW]

report, fame, reputation and is transliterated Shimeah

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #8092 & #8093 BDB #1035

Hitchcock gives the alternate meanings that hears, or obeys; perdition. The alternate spelling for this proper noun is Shimeʿâʾ (שִמְעָא) [pronounced shim-ĢAW]. Strong’s #8092.

ʾâch (אָח) [pronounced awhk]

brother, kinsman or close relative

masculine singular construct

Strong's #251 BDB #26

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187


Translation: ...whose [lit., and his name] name [is] Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother. David had several brothers, and most of them were worthless. Shimeah is the third eldest child of Jesse. We barely ever see David’s brothers in Scripture, and, when we do, they are generally portrayed in a negative light. So, we have a man probably without character (Shimeah) having a son. What are the changes that this son lacks character as well?


When I was a teacher, and I had a problem kid, when I met the parents, the reason that this kid was a problem was quite obvious. He had lousy parents. They either indulged him, had no control over him, and/or had no clue as to what this kid was like. I remember one conference with parents and several others, and I pointed out that their kid drew marijuana leaves on everything—on all of his school folders—and I told them, this is your problem, your kid is smoking too much dope. Well, not only were they shocked that I said this, but so were some administrators who were there as well. The parents were unable to see their own child with even a modicum of objectivity.


Shimeah, David’s brother, is never shown to have any personal honor; there is never any greatness that the Bible recognizes in him; so his son, Jonadab, is probably equally deficient in character.


It is reasonable to ascertain that Amnon, being of low character, would have sought out a friendship with someone else who was of low character, under the principle that water seeks its own level. When we read about what Amnon does to Tamar, we will conclude that Amnon was a lousy human being who deserved to die. However, later on in this chapter, we are going to see Jonadab also attempt to manipulate additional circumstances in order for him to gain the favor of David. In fact, Jonadab is going to allow his friend Amnon to be killed, and he will use his death in order to try to manipulate David the king. However, with David, it won’t work. David will not allow himself to be manipulated.


David has 3 great nephews (or, had in the case of one). Joab, Asahel and Abishai, all by David’s sister Zeruiah. They have become his generals and these are brave and tough men (Asahel was killed by Abner back in 2Sam. 2). However, Jonadab is not a part of David’s army. Jonadab hangs out with Amnon and, apparently, they spend much of their time thinking of evil stuff to do.


It is very possible the Jonadab discovered, early on, that Amnon is deficient when it comes to thinking, and Jonadab likes that. Here is the next king, he isn’t too bright, and he likes hanging out with Jonadab. Jonadab will be able to use that to his own advantage. Amnon will use Jonadab to his advantage, because he can think up stuff that Amnon could not.


These young men have become friends under the principle that water seeks its own level.

The “Friendship” of Amnon and Jonadab

1.      Amnon, as the eldest of David’s sons, sees himself as entitled to anything that he wants.

2.      If he cannot get something legitimately, and he wants it, then he will take it in any way that he can. We will see this with Tamar, his half-sister, and how he will rape her and then discard her like trash.

3.      Jonadab is extremely intelligent—his plan will be brilliant—but he lacks personal character.

4.      David has some great nephews, whose names come up in Scripture over and over again. They are great war heroes.

5.      Jonadab is not one of these great nephews.

6.      Both he and Amnon appear to be layabouts, because they hang out together, and they do not seem to have jobs to do.

7.      Amnon is next in line for the throne, and he expects for things to be handed to him easily. He is entitled.

8.      Jonadab’s father does not have David’s status, nor is his father have any sort of power and status in the kingdom, so Jonadab hooks up with Amnon.

9.      They have a symbiotic relationship. Jonadab wants greatness, but he does not want to have to achieve it as his other cousins have—in battle. Amnon expect greatness to be thrust upon him, but he lacks the mental agility of his father. So Jonadab will use Amnon’s expected position and Amnon will use Jonadab’s brain.

10.    Arrogant people often have friendships where they use the other person. This is exactly the friendship that Amnon and Jonadab have. As long as one person can get from the other what he wants, the friendship continues.

11.    Jonadab would like to become prime minister of Israel; he wants to be the brains behind Amnon. In this chapter, he sets himself up to become just that.

12.    Now, these men may have had some limited affection for one another, but much of it is based upon one man being deficient and the other man filling that deficiency.

13.    Jonadab is deficient in power and status; Amnon is deficient in brain power.

14.    It is possible that Jonadab did not realize what Amnon would do when he gets Tamar alone. However, Jonadab does not appear to go to David in order to straighten any of this out in the end. We will hear from Jonadab again in this chapter, but not in connection with the rape that will occur.

15.    Later in this chapter, Jonadab will recognize that Amnon has become a liability to him getting what he wants in life—a free ride. So Jonadab will use Amnon’s death to his own advantage.

16.    Jonadab will reveal at the end of this chapter that he knew all along that Amnon would be killed by Absalom; but he did not warn “his friend.” What kind of a friendship is that?

17.    Both of these young men are arrogant layabouts; they feel entitled and they do not feel as if they need to work for anything.

18.    Both of these young men will show themselves to be heartless when it comes to getting what they want.

19.    Therefore, they have a bond here; but it is purely symbiotic. Once it becomes clear to Jonadab that Amnon no longer has a straight shot to the throne, he reassesses their friendship and, for all intents and purposes, betrays Amnon in the end.

20.    

Application: You cannot depend upon an arrogant person for friendship; you cannot depend upon a person who lacks character for friendship.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


2Samuel 13:3c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Yôwnâdâb (יוֹנָדָב) [pronounced yoh-naw-DAWB]

Yah is willing; Yah is noble [liberal, has impelled]; transliterated Jonadab

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3082 & #3122 BDB #220

ʾîysh (אִיש) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular construct

Strong's #376 BDB #35

châkâm (חָכָם) [pronounced khah-KAWM]

capable of knowing [judging]; intelligent, wise; skillful, adept, proficient; subtle, crafty

feminine plural adjective construct

Strong’s #2450 BDB #314

This word tends to be applied in a very positive way, even when those being spoken of might not be highly regarded in God’s eyes. The Pharaoh of Egypt called in wise men in Ex. 7:11, just as the pharaoh of Joseph’s day called in wise men in his era (Gen. 41:8). However, Joseph is proclaimed wise by the pharaoh in Gen. 41:39. This word can be applied to craftsmen who are well-skilled in their craft (Ex. 35:10). This word is used over and over again in the book of Proverbs (Prov. 3:5–7, 35) in a very positive sense. However, in 2Sam. 13:3, it is clearly used of a man who is intelligent, whose advice is accurate, but the intention is evil.

meʾôd (מְאֹד) [pronounced me-ODE]

exceedingly, extremely, greatly, very

adverb

Strong’s #3966 BDB #547


Translation: And Jonadab is a very intelligent man. As noted in the Hebrew exegesis above, the intelligence of this man can be used for good or for evil. Even though this is exactly the same word used for wise in Proverbs, here, the use of this word is not necessarily a great compliment. It should be obvious that many men are wise; but what they use their wisdom for is far more important. As we will find, Jonadab was quite adept at manipulating people and situations.


It is Jonadab who is going to teach Amnon how to manipulate the situation so that he can be alone with Tamar. Now, why are we introduced to him? This is because David, after he had taken Bathsheba, tried to manipulate her husband into being with his wife while his brothers were at war. What we see is, all this evil that David did comes back on him. The same things that he did against Uriah and Bathsheba were done to him.


It is clear that Jonadab wants power and influence, but he recognizes that, on his own, there is no way that he can attain these things. However, through Amnon, he has his door to power, influence and wealth. If he becomes the chief advisor to the king (and Amnon is next in line for the throne), then Jonadab gains all of those things, but with very little work. He just puts himself in a position to advise Amnon, and, as we will find out, his advice is both evil and brilliant. He will set up a situation where it is clear David will actually order his virgin daughter to spend time with Amnon—time that could potentially involve them being alone together. Furthermore, if you read this for yourself, you will not understand just how brilliant Jonadab’s plan will be.


We do not know how this information got out—that Jonadab would advise Amnon how to get his sister alone. However, God the Holy Spirit saw to it that either Jonadab or Amnon revealed this information; or that one of Amnon’s servants—loyal to David—after the fact, realized what had happened and told David. My theory is, after the rape of Tamar occurred, David began a half-hearted investigation, which then petered out. That Jonadab had something to do with this probably came out in the investigation. However, all of that is just speculation. Whoever wrote this history would have had access to this information in some way or another.


I tend to land on the side of non-supernatural when it is reasonable. This does not mean that I believe that God is impotent, but that He does not often overrule the laws of the world that He put into motion. For this reason, I would take the position that whoever wrote these words came upon the details of this narrative in a very natural manner. God the Holy Spirit did not sit on his shoulder dictating to him this chapter word by word and verse by verse. At the same time, the stamp of divinity of God the Holy Spirit is found on each and every word and on each and every phrase. In this way, everything in this narrative is both fully human, gathered with normal and natural means; and fully divine, inspired by God the Holy Spirit. See the various doctrines of inspiration linked to from here. David, in a superficial investigation, questioning some of Amnon’s servants, probably put this together.


——————————


And so he says to him, “Why [are] you so listless, O son of the king, in the morning in the morning? [Will] you not make [this] known to me?” And so says to him Amnon, “Tamar, sister of Absalom my brother I am desiring.”

2Samuel

13:4

And he [Jonadab] said to him, “Why [are] you so listless [or, despondent], O son of the king, morning after morning? [Will] you not make [this] known to me?” Amon said to him, “I continually desire Tamar, the sister of Absalom, my [half] brother.”

And Jonadab asked him, “Why are you so listless every single morning? You are the king’s son! Won’t you tell me what the problem is?” Amnon answered him, “I continually desire Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And he said to him: Why do you grow so lean from day to day, O son of the king? why do you not tell me the reason of it? And Ammon said to him: I am in love with Thamar the sister of my brother Absalom.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so he says to him, “Why [are] you so listless, O son of the king, in the morning in the morning? [Will] you not make [this] known to me?” And so says to him Amnon, “Tamar, sister of Absalom my brother I am desiring.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And he said to Amnon, O son of the king why are you so losing weight from day to day? Will you not tell me? And Amnon said to him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister.

Septuagint (Greek)                And he said to him, What ails you, that you are weak like this? O son of the king, morning by morning? Will you not tell me? And Amnon said, I love Tamar the sister of my brother Absalom.

 

Significant differences:           Amnon is not found in the first phrase, but added in the Syriac probably for clarity. In the morning in the morning is no doubt an idiom for day after day, every single day, morning after morning; which explains the idiomatic translations above.

 

In the final sentence, to him is not found in the Greek.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Christian Community Bible     “Oh son of the king, why do you look so miserable morning after morning? Will you not tell me?” Amnon replied, “I love Tamar, sister of my brother Absalom.”

Common English Bible           ."Prince," Jonadab said to him, "why are you so down, morning after morning? Tell me about it."

So Amnon told him, "I'm in love with Tamar, the sister of my brother Absalom."

Contemporary English V.       ...and he said to Amnon, "What's the matter? You're the king's son! You shouldn't have to go around feeling sorry for yourself every morning." Amnon said, "I'm in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister."

Easy-to-Read Version            Jonadab said to Amnon, “Every day you look thinner and thinner! You are the king’s son! {You have plenty to eat, so why are you losing weight?} Tell me!”

Good News Bible (TEV)         Jonadab said to Amnon, "You are the king's son, yet day after day I see you looking sad. What's the matter?" "I'm in love with Tamar, the sister of my half brother Absalom," he answered.

The Message                         He said to Amnon, "Why are you moping around like this, day after day--you, the son of the king! Tell me what's eating at you." "In a word, Tamar," said Amnon. "My brother Absalom's sister. I'm in love with her."

New Berkeley Translation      He observed to him, “Why this wasting away morning after morning, you king’s son; would you not tell me?” Amnon confessed to him,”It is Tamar, sister of my brother Absalom; I am in love with her!”

New Century Version             He asked Amnon, "Son of the king, why do you look so sad day after day? Tell me what's wrong!"

Amnon told him, "I love Tamar, the sister of my half-brother Absalom."

New Living Translation           One day Jonadab said to Amnon, "What's the trouble? Why should the son of a king look so dejected morning after morning?"

So Amnon told him, "I am in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister."


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Then JoNadab asked AmNon, 'Why are you so puny every morning, O son of the king. tell me what's wrong.'

And AmNon, told him, 'It's Tamar, my brother AbSalom's sister. I love her.'.

Ancient Roots Translinear      He said to him, "Why are you, the king's son, poor from morning to morning and you tell me nothing?" Amnon said to him, "I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister.

Beck’s American Translation “Why are you, the king’s son, so haggard morning after morning?” he asked him. “Won’t you tell me?”

“I’m in love with Tamar, Absalom’s sister,” he answered.

God’s Word                         He asked Amnon, "Why are you, the king's son, so worn out morning after morning? Won't you tell me?" "I'm in love with Absalom's sister Tamar," he answered.

NIRV                                      He asked Amnon, "You are the king's son, aren't you? So why do you look so worn out every morning? Won't you tell me?"

Amnon answered, "I'm in love with Tamar. She's the sister of my brother Absalom."

New Simplified Bible              Jonadab said to Amnon: »You are the king’s son. Even so day after day I see you looking sad. What is the problem?« Amnon answered: »I am in love with Tamar, the sister of my half brother Absalom.«

Revised English Bible            ...and he said to Amnon, ‘Why are you, the king’s son, so low-spirited morning after morning? Will you not tell me?’ Amnon told him that he was in love with Tamar, his brother Absalom’s sister.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And he said to him, O son of the king, why are you getting thinner day by day? will you not say what your trouble is? And Amnon said to him, I am in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister.

HCSB                                     ...and he asked Amnon, "Why are you, the king's son, so miserable every morning? Won't you tell me?" Amnon replied, "I'm in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister.".

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               He asked him, “Why are you so dejected, O prince, morning after morning? Tell me!” Amnon replied, “I am in love with Tamar, the sister of my brother Absalom!”

Judaica Press Complete T.    And he said to him, "Why are you becoming so thin, O' son of the king, from morning to morning? Will you not tell me?" And Amnon said to him, "I love Tamar, the sister of Absalom."

NET Bible®                             He asked Amnon [Heb "and he said to him."], "Why are you, the king's son [An more idiomatic translation might be "Why are you of all people.?"], so depressed every morning? Can't you tell me?" So Amnon said to him, "I'm in love with Tamar the sister of my brother Absalom."

New Advent Bible                  And he said to him: Why do you grow so lean from day to day, O son of the king? Why do you not tell me the reason of it? And Ammon said to him: I am in love with Thamar the sister of my brother Absalom.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                He said to Amnon, Why are you, the king's son, so lean and weak-looking from day to day? Will you not tell me? And Amnon said to him, I love Tamar, my [half] brother Absalom's sister.

Concordant Literal Version    And he said to him, Why, O son of the king, are thou emaciated this way from day to day? Will thou not tell me? And Amnon said to him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister.

Updated Emphasized Bible    So he said to him,—Why are you looking so wretched—a king”s son too—morning by morning? Will you not tell me? And Amnon said to him, With Tamar, my brother Absolom”s sister, am I in love.

English Standard Version      And he said to him, "O son of the king, why are you so haggard morning after morning? Will you not tell me?" Amnon said to him, "I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister."

exeGeses companion Bible   and he says to him,

Why are you, the son of the sovereign,

so poor morning by morning?

Why not tell me?

And Amnon says to him,

I love Tamar the sister of my brother Abi Shalom.

Ferrar-Fenton Bible                ...so he asked him, “Why, now, are you like this? A king’s son downhearted morning after morning! Why not tell me?”

So Amnon said to him, “It is about Thamar, the cousin of Absalom, whom I love!”.

Heritage Bible                        And he said to him, Why are you, the king’s son, just dangling in need from dawn to dawn? Will you not cause it to stand out boldly to me? And Amnon said to him, I love Tamar, the sister of Absalom, my brother..

Syndein                                  {The Weak Prince} And he {Jonadab} 'said to'/'inquisited to gain advantage over' him, "O 'son of the King' {a formal title of the crown prince (next in line to the throne)}, why are you so depressed . . . morning after morning? {when the arrogant are frustrated, they become depressed} Will you not tell me?" And Amnon replied unto him, "I am in love with Tamar . . . my brother Absalom's sister." {'love' in itself is nothing - it is only as good as the character of the person who utters the phrase. So, here it just means this arrogant prince has found an object of his self-gratification - to satisfy his narcissus syndrome or maybe she is just a challenge}.

Webster’s Bible Translation  And he said to him, Why [art] thou, [being] the king's son, pining from day to day? wilt thou not tell me? And Amnon said to him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister.

Young’s Updated LT             And he says to him, “Why are you thus lean, O king”s son, morning by morning? Do you not declare to me?” And Amnon says to him, “Tamar—sister of Absalom my brother—I am loving.”

 

The gist of this verse:          Jonadab asks Amnon why he is so despondent. Amnon tells him that he desires his half-sister Tamar.


2Samuel 13:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

madduʿa (מַדֻּעַ) [pronounced mah-DOO-ahģ]

why, wherefore, on what account, and it is probably a contraction of a word which means what being known

adverb

Strong’s #4069 BDB #396

ʾattâh (אַתָּה) [pronounced aht-TAW]

you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #859 BDB #61

kâkâh (כָּכָה) [pronounced KAW-kaw]

like this; thus, so

adverb

Strong’s #3602 BDB #462

dal (דַּל) [pronounced dahl]

frail, helpless, powerless, weak, listless, languid, sluggish; [one who is] low, poor, needy

masculine singular noun/adjective

Strong’s #1800 (and #1803) BDB #195

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

meleke (מֶלֶך׃) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

bôqer (בֹּקֶר) [pronounced BOH-ker]

morning, daybreak, dawn; the next morning

masculine singular noun with a definite article

Strong’s #1242 BDB #133

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

bôqer (בֹּקֶר) [pronounced BOH-ker]

morning, daybreak, dawn; the next morning

masculine singular noun with a definite article

Strong’s #1242 BDB #133


Translation: And he [Jonadab] said to him, “Why [are] you so listless [or, despondent], O son of the king, morning after morning? As we will find out, neither Jonadab or Amnon are very good people; so, under the principle, water seeks its own level, they hung out together. Hebrews in that day tended to be very demonstrative, so Jonadab would get up to hang out with his friend, Amnon, and he was lethargic and listless; he did not seem as though he wanted to do anything. This occurred day after day after day. It was something that Jonadab saw; it was probably something which Amnon did intentionally.


Jonadab calls Amnon son of the king. The idea is, “What is your problem? You’re the king’s son. You can do pretty much anything that you want to do. You’re next in line for the throne. You’ve got it made, dude. So, why are you acting like such a little bitch?” (I am attempting to put this into 2011 vernacular).


The phrase in the morning, in the morning simply indicates that this occurs day after day after day. They probably get up and hang out together from the earliest morning. And, each morning, Amnon seems to despondent.


Said is in the imperfect, which can either indicate a longer conversation, or a conversation over several days; or it can simply indicate the present tense as we understand it. In this case, Jonadab had asked Amnon this question several times, probably over a period of several days. Have you ever seen someone who was so taken by his own emotional state that he wanted to milk it for all it is worth? That appears to be what we have heard. Amnon is listless and sad, and he wants Jonadab to spend a little time asking him, so that Jonadab will appreciate the depth of his sadness.


2Samuel 13:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hă (הֲ) [pronounced heh]

interrogative particle which acts almost like a piece of punctuation, like the upside-down question mark which begins a Spanish sentence. The verb to be may be implied.

Strong’s #none BDB #209

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

Hă lôʾ together expect an affirmative answer. In fact, these two words together present a question with an obvious, self-evident answer.

nâgad (נָגַד) [pronounced naw-GAHD]

to make conspicuous, to make known, to expound, to explain, to declare, to inform, to confess, to make it pitifully obvious that

2nd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #5046 BDB #616

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition with the 1st person singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: [Will] you not make [this] known to me?” This final phrase indicates that Jonadab did not ask this question once; he asked Amnon on several occasions, “What is wrong with you?” Each time, Amnon said, “Nothing, not a thing. What do you want to do today?”


Essentially, what is being said here is, “You were listless yesterday, and I asked you ‘What’s wrong?’ and you said ‘nothing.’ You were listless the day before, and I asked you what is wrong, and you said ‘nothing’ again. What is the deal? Why won’t you be straight with me? Why won’t you tell me?” This phrase simply indicates that Jonadab asked Amnon on several occasions what was wrong with him, and Amnon gave no explanation whatsoever. Amnon simply tried to look even more despondent, something he had gotten down to a science. As will become clear in this chapter, Amnon is a great actor. He is a master of expression. One thing that I learned about actors over the year is, they are very good at expressing their emotions—they are able to let their emotions be seen by the things that they do, they way that they speak and the things that they say. Amnon feels sad and listless, so he is very good at expressing this. He makes Jonadab dig deep in order to find out why.


2Samuel 13:4c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

The imperfect tense does not always indicate continued action. My hypothesis is, the imperfect tense when following the wâw consecutive can simply refer to the next action which occurs. So the duration of the verb is not the key factor but the succession of events is what is being developed.

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ʾAmenôwn (אַמְנוֹן) [pronounced ahme-NOHN]

faithful; transliterated Amnon

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #550 BDB #54

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Tâmâr (תָּמָר) [pronounced taw-MAWR]

palm-tree, date-palm and is transliterated Tamar

feminine singular proper noun

Strong’s #8559 BDB #1071

ʾâchôwth (אַחוֹת) [pronounced aw-KHOWTH]

sister, half-sister; relative; beloved [bride]; figuratively of intimate connection; metaphorically for relationship between Israel and Judah; another

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #269 BDB #27

ʾĂbîyshâlôwm (אֲבִישָלוֹם) [pronounced ub-ee-shaw-LOHM]

my father is peace and is transliterated Absalom

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #53 BDB #5

ʾâch (אָח) [pronounced awhk]

brother, kinsman or close relative

masculine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #251 BDB #26

ʾânîy (אָנִי) [pronounced aw-NEE]

I, me; in answer to a question, it means I am, it is I

1st person singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #589 BDB #58

ʾâhêb (אָהֵב) [pronounced aw-HAYVB]

desiring, breathing after; loving; delighting in

Qal active participle

Strong’s #157 BDB #12


Translation: Amnon said to him, “I continually desire Tamar, the sister of Absalom, my [half] brother.” Finally, Amnon explains. They are probably alone at this time. Amnon says, “Tamar.” Those are the first words out of his mouth (actually, the untranslated direct object is what he says first, and then Tamar. This throws all of the emphasis upon the name Tamar. Essentially, Amnon is blaming Tamar for the way that he feels.


He explains the relationship, which Jonadab probably already knows. “She’s the sister of Absalom, my brother.” As we have studied, Absalom and Tamar have the same mother and father; and David is the father of Absalom, Tamar and Amnon. By explaining her in this way, Amnon gives the impression that she is afar off, in a place where he cannot touch her. This is not necessarily afar off geographically, but in terms of culture—he had no chance with this woman. It was unfeasible, as she was his half-sister.


This is the second time in 4 verses that Absalom has been mentioned, and yet, he is not a part of the action here. What is probably occurring is, Absalom protects his sister. Absalom watches over her, and when she is out in public, Absalom is there with her, protecting her. So, much of the time when Tamar is named, it is always in conjunction with her older and very protective brother.


We find subtlety throughout the Scriptures. There are so many times where a custom or a practice is revealed, without saying anything about that custom or practice. When speaking of Tamar, it is normal to insert her brother’s name in the same breath, because he is there with her, preserving her honor and protecting her. This would have been a part of his training from a royal mother.

 

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown: In Eastern countries, where polygamy prevails, the girls are considered to be under the special care and protection of their uterine brother, who is the guardian of their interests and their honor, even more than their father himself (see on Gen. 34:6-25). Footnote


So, for Amnon, Absalom is the obstacle. Absalom is why Amnon is unable to get Tamar alone. Now, note how different these two half-brothers are. Amnon wants to take Tamar sexually, and he will do anything to make that happen. However, he does not even feel any real affection for her (which will become clear later in this chapter). Absalom sees his sister as a woman who should be protected; whose honor must be protected.


Here’s the verse again: Amnon said to him, “I continually desire Tamar, the sister of Absalom, my [half] brother.” When Amnon explains what the problem is, he begins with the 1st person singular personal pronoun, I. That is who is important in all of this? Amnon. He’s the one that Amon thinks about; his needs, his desires. What he does is put in the Qal active participle, which indicates continual action, which may or may not be at successive intervals. We had this word back in v. 1, and it means to desire, to breathe after; to love; to delight in; human love [for another] [familial, sexual]; human love [desire, appetite] for [food, drink, sleep, wisdom]; human love [for, to God]; God’s love [toward men, people of Israel, righteousness]; to like. Given the Qal active participle, Amnon is obsessing about Tamar nearly all the time.


Application: For many men and women, they are thrown into a tizzy when someone else says, “I love you.” Their brain goes into overdrive and often they see this as a statement of long-time commitment. Amnon is declaring his love of Tamar to his friend Jonadab. However, this declaration of love is meaningless. The key is not the words I love you but the person who is saying these words. If he has no character, then his declaration of love is meaningless as well. If this is a man of solid character, then his declaration of love means something.


I know a guy that, when he met this woman for the first time, he told her that he would marry her. They did eventually get married. Their marriage was a mess. It is because the guy was a nutjob. If someone declares undying love to you within, say, 1 week of meeting you, I would suggest running the opposite direction. A restraining order might be worth looking into. Unless you two have spent every moment together for that entire week, you have barely begun to peel aside the layers of onion.


This intense desire of Amnon means nothing. He has no character so his feelings do not last. This will become crystal clear as we proceed in this chapter.


Amnon simply has a deep and abiding sexual desire for Tamar. As we will see, this will last just as long as he is unsatisfied; once he has had her, he will hate her as strongly as he desired her (v. 15). As long as you understand that Absalom’s character is the issue rather than his words, what happens in this chapter will make perfect sense.


So, Amnon is not declaring this deep, abiding love for his half-sister; he is not saying that his love is so strong, it will overcome the social restrictions he and Tamar face. Amnon is simply expressing a very strong sexual desire for Tamar. He may or may not recognize that this is all that he has. However, men like Amnon are not necessarily known for their deep introspection.


Application: If you have a daughter, this is the kind of man that you warn your daughter about. There are men who will say or do anything to satisfy themselves. Such men come in all different packages with many different personalities. You cannot look at what is superficial about a man and draw conclusions about them. You cannot think, “Well, Charlie Brown is so shy and has such a difficult time with women; and he comes from such a good background, that I think he could be a great husband.” These are all superficialities and these characteristics could be applied to Amnon. Whether a guy is smooth or clumsy, rich or poor, from an aristocratic background or from the wrong side of the tracks; all of these things are superficialities. Creeps don’t wear a hat reading, “I’m a creep; don’t get involved with me.”


——————————


And so says to him, Jonadab, “Lie down upon your bed and feign sickness and has come in your father to see you. And you have said to him, ‘Comes in, please, Tamar, my sister and she gives me to eat bread and she has prepared in my eyes the food with the intent that I see [it being prepared] and I have eaten from her hand.’ ”

2Samuel

13:5

So Jonadab said to him, “Lie down on your bed and feign sickness When your father has come to see you, you will say to him, ‘Please let Tamar, my sister, come and give me bread to eat. She will prepare the food in my sight for the purpose that I may see [it being prepared] and I will eat [it] from her hand.’ ”

So Jonadab said to Amnon, “First lie down on your bed and feign sickness until you father comes to see you. Then say to him, ‘Please allow Tamar, my sister, to come and give me bread to eat. This way, she can prepare the food in my sight so that I can see it being prepared. I will eat it from her hand.’ ”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And Jonadab said to him: Lie down upon your bed, and feign being sick: and when your father will come to visit you, say to him: Let my sister Thamar, I pray you, come to me, to give me to eat, and to make me a mess, that I may eat it at her hand.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so says to him, Jonadab, “Lie down upon your bed and feign sickness and has come in your father to see you. And you have said to him, ‘Comes in, please, Tamar, my sister and she gives me to eat bread and she has prepared in my eyes the food with the intent that I see [it being prepared] and I have eaten from her hand.’ ”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And Jonadab said to him, Lie down on your bed and pretend that you are sick; and when your father comes to see you, say to him, Let my sister Tamar come and give me food to eat and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may see it and eat it from her hand.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Jonadab said to him, Lie upon your bed, and make yourself sick, and your father shall come in to see you; and you shall say to him, Let Tamar my sister come, and feed me with morsels, and let her prepare food before my eyes, that I may see and eat at her hands.

 

Significant differences:           The words with morsels are not actually found in the Greek, but implied by the verb. The English translation of the Latin leaves out in my eyes. The Syriac adds a couple of cakes as the object of what is being prepared.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       Jonadab told him, "Lie down on your bed and pretend to be sick. When your father comes to see you, ask him to send Tamar, so you can watch her cook something for you. Then she can serve you the food.".

Easy English (Pocock)           Jonadab said, `Go to bed and pretend to be ill. Then your father will come to visit you. Say to him, "Please ask my sister Tamar to come and give me some food. I would like to watch her while she makes it. Then she can feed me." '

Easy-to-Read Version            Jonadab said to Amnon, “Go to bed. Act like you are sick. Then your father will come to see you. Tell him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come in and give me food to eat. Let her make the food in front of me. Then I will see it, and eat it from her hand.’”

Good News Bible (TEV)         Jonadab said to him, "Pretend that you are sick and go to bed. When your father comes to see you, say to him, 'Please ask my sister Tamar to come and feed me. I want her to fix the food here where I can see her, and then serve it to me herself.' "

The Message                         "Here's what you do," said Jonadab. "Go to bed and pretend you're sick. When your father comes to visit you, say, 'Have my sister Tamar come and prepare some supper for me here where I can watch her and she can feed me.'"

New Berkeley Version           Jonadab went on to suggest to him, “Lie down on your couch, and make out that you are sick. Your father will come to see you; then say to him, ‘Oh please, let my sister Tamar come and give me something to eat. Have her fix the meal before my eyes, so that I may be able to see what I eat from her hand!’ ”

New Living Translation           "Well," Jonadab said, "I'll tell you what to do. Go back to bed and pretend you are ill. When your father comes to see you, ask him to let Tamar come and prepare some food for you. Tell him you'll feel better if she prepares it as you watch and feeds you with her own hands."


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And JoNadab said to him, 'Go to bed and act like you're sick. And when your father comes to see you, tell him, 'Send my sister Tamar to prepare my food before me and feed me, so I can see her, and eat from her hands.'

Ancient Roots Translinear      Jonadab said to him, "Lay over your pallet, sickened. As your father comes to see you, say to him, 'Please, bring my sister Tamar to dine on bread with me, and make the dinner in my eyes. Therefore I will see it and eat from her hand."

Beck’s American Translation “Lie down on your bed,” Jonadab told him. “Act sick, and when your father comes to see you, tell him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and feed me and prepare food before me so that I can watch her and eat from her hand.’ ”

God’s Word                         Then Jonadab told him, "Lie down on your bed. Act sick, and when your father comes to see you, say to him, 'Please let my sister Tamar come to feed me. She can prepare a meal in front of me as I watch her, and she can feed me.'"

New American Bible              Then Jonadab replied, "Lie down on your bed and pretend to be sick. When your father comes to visit you, say to him, `Please let my sister Tamar come and encourage me to take food. If she prepares something in my presence, for me to see, I will eat it from her hand.'"

NIRV                                      "Go to bed," Jonadab said. "Pretend to be sick. Your father will come to see you. When he does, tell him, 'I would like my sister Tamar to come and give me something to eat. Let her prepare the food right here in front of me where I can watch her. Then she can feed it to me.' "

New Jerusalem Bible             Then Jonadab said, 'Take to your bed, pretend to be ill and, when your father comes to visit you, say, "Please let my sister Tamar come and give me something to eat; let her prepare the food where I can see. What she gives me I shall eat." '

New Simplified Bible              Jonadab said: »Pretend that you are sick and go to bed. When your father comes to see you, say to him: ‘Please ask my sister Tamar to come and feed me. I want her to fix the food here where I can see her. Then she can serve it to me.’«


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             Then Jonadab said to him, Go to your bed, and let it seem that you are ill: and when your father comes to see you, say to him, Let my sister Tamar come and give me bread, and get the food ready before my eyes, so that I may see it and take it from her hand.

Complete Jewish Bible           Yonadav said to him, "Lie down on your bed, and pretend you're sick. When your father comes to see you, say to him, 'Please let my sister Tamar come and give me food to eat, and have her prepare the food where I can watch. I'll eat what she serves me.".

NET Bible®                             Jonadab replied to him, "Lie down on your bed and pretend to be sick [This verb is used in the Hithpael stem only in this chapter of the Hebrew Bible. With the exception of v. 2 it describes not a real sickness but one pretended in order to entrap Tamar. The Hithpael sometimes, as here, describes the subject making oneself appear to be of a certain character. On this use of the stem, see GKC 149-50 §54.e.]. When your father comes in to see you, say to him, 'Please let my sister Tamar come in so she can fix some food for me. Let her prepare the food in my sight so I can watch. Then I will eat from her hand.' "

NIV – UK                                Go to bed and pretend to be ill, Jonadab said. When your father comes to see you, say to him, 'I would like my sister Tamar to come and give me something to eat. Let her prepare the food in my sight so that I may watch her and then eat it from her hand.'


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

American KJV                        And Jonadab said to him, Lay you down on your bed, and make yourself sick: and when your father comes to see you, say to him, I pray you, 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.

exeGeses companion Bible   And Yah Nadab says to him,

Lie down on your bed and make yourself sick:

and when your father comes to see you, say to him,

I pray you, have my sister Tamar come

and cut me bread to chew

and work cuttings in my eyes

that I may see and eat from her hand.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 J’onadab, however, replied, “Lie on your bed, and sham sickness; when your father will come to see you. Then say to him, “Will you send Thamar, my cousin, and let her make cakes before my eyes, so that I may see it, and I will eat from her hand.’ ”

Heritage Bible                        And Jonadab said to him, Lie down on your bed, and pretend to be worn out; and your father will come to see you, and you say to him, Please, let my sister Tamar come, and feed me food, and make the food before my eyes that I may see and eat from her hand.

LTHB                                     And Jonadab said to him, Lie down on your bed and pretend to be ill. And your father will come in to see you, and you shall say to him, Please let my sister Tamar come in and give me food to eat. And she shall make the food before my eyes, so that I may see and may eat from her hand.

Modern KJV                           And Jonadab said to him, Lay down on your bed and make yourself sick. And when your father comes to see you, say to him, Please let my sister Tamar come and give me food, and prepare the food in my sight so that I may see and eat it at her hand.

 

Syndein                                  Consequently, Jonadab said unto him {Amnon}, "Lay down on your bed and pretend to be sick {to fain illness}. Now when your father comes to see you, say unto him {David}, please/'I pray you', let my sister Tamar come, and give me something to eat. Let her prepare the food in my sight, that I may watch and eat it from her hand."

Webster’s Bible Translation  And Jonadab said to him, Lay thee down on thy bed, and make thyself sick: and when thy father cometh to see thee, say to him, I pray thee, let my sister Tamar come, and give me food, and dress the food in my sight, that I may see [it], and eat [it] at her hand.

Young’s Updated LT             And Jonadab says to him, “Lie down on your couch, and feign [as if you are] sick, and your father has come in to see you, and you have said unto him, “Let, I pray you, Tamar my sister come in and give me bread to eat; and she has made the food before mine eyes so that I see it, and have eaten from her hand.”

 

The gist of this verse:          Jonadab advises Amnon to pretend to be sick. When his father comes, David will ask that his sister come and feed him so that he can actually watch her prepare the meal and eat the food from her hands. The implication is, Amnon believes that he is being poisoned and he wants someone he trusts feeding him.


A true friend might say, “This obsession of yours is improper. She is your sister. So, you cannot take this thing any further. Besides, the Mosaic Law forbids this sort of thing. Lev. 18:9 20:17.” Not Jonadab. The Mosaic Law was not of any concern to him. What is right or wrong was not the issue. He and Amnon were of the new generation and they made their own rules. So, the rightness or wrongness of Amnon’s listless lust is not an issue to either of the young men.


There’s one more thing—Jonadab does not care one whit for Tamar. He does not quiz Amnon as to his intentions. He is not concerned with Amnon is obsessed or whether he might have real feelings for Tamar. He is interested in his buddy Amnon, the next king; so he wants to assist the next king in any way that he can. Jonadab needs an in with royalty. He is the son of David’s brother, and has a limited status in Israel. So he gains his status through his association with Amnon.


Application: We see this sort of thing often in the celebrity world, where a variety of hangers-on will get close to a celebrity. Some often provide drugs for the celebrity.


2Samuel 13:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Yôwnâdâb (יוֹנָדָב) [pronounced yoh-naw-DAWB]

Yah is willing; Yah is noble [liberal, has impelled]; transliterated Jonadab

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3082 & #3122 BDB #220

shâkab (שָכַב) [pronounced shaw-KAHBV]

to lie down, to lie down [to sleep, to have sexual relations, to die; because of sickness or humiliation]; to relax

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative

Strong’s #7901 BDB #1011

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

mishkâb (מִשכָב) [pronounced mish-AWBV]

bed, couch; bier; laying down, the act of lying down

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #4904 (from #7901) BDB #1012


Translation: So Jonadab said to him, “Lie down on your bed... Jonadab devises a plan that is brilliant. What he is hoping to do is to get Amnon and Tamar together in the same room alone. Jonadab’s plan is actually based upon what Amnon looks like to him—he is listless and unmotivated, and possibly is not sleeping or eating much. So, Jonadab tells Amnon to first lay down on his bed. This is quite easy for Amnon to do.


Application: Dishonest people will spend a great deal of time on ill-gotten gain. They could spend the same amount of time actually working, and they would have the same income. There are people who tear the copper and aluminum wire out of houses and then drive it on over to a metal recycler and sell it. All of this is a lot of work, to say nothing of the enormous damage they have caused to the property that they vandalized. However, they do not care one whit for the damage which they have caused, and they do not mind the work involved, as long as the end result is ill-gotten gain. People in all walks of life, in business, in school and in the armed forces, will go to great lengths to steal this or that, whereas the same time invested into legitimate work would have resulted in the same benefits.


2Samuel 13:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

châlâh (חָלָה) [pronounced chaw-LAW]

to make oneself sick [with grief]; to feign sickness [illness]

2nd person masculine singular, Hithpael imperative

Strong’s #2470 BDB #317

The basic understanding of this word is to polish, to wear down. The end result is, something is worn down. When applied to a person, this can refer to sickness, weakness or simply being worn down.

According to the NET Bible: This verb is used in the Hithpael stem only in this chapter of the Hebrew Bible. With the exception of v. 2 it describes not a real sickness but one pretended in order to entrap Tamar. The Hithpael sometimes, as here, describes the subject making oneself appear to be of a certain character. On this use of the stem, see GKC 149-50 §54.e. Footnote


Translation: ...and feign sickness. We had this exact same word earlier, which word was used to describe Amnon. Amnon looked ill to Jonadab. He apparently was not eating much, he was losing sleep, and he was being very demonstrative about his feelings. Maybe he sighed a lot; maybe he indicated disinterest in nearly everything that Jonadab suggested. So, this will not be difficult for Amnon to feign being ill. It is pretty much what he is doing right now.


The implication will be, this is not just a natural sickness. Jonadab is not going to say this out loud, nor will Amnon give a reason for his illness. However, the reason for his feigned sickness is going to be implied in this verse and throughout this passage.


Jonadab has been coming over to hang out with Amnon, and this has gotten pretty boring, with Amnon acting all passive and what not, so he might as well spend a few days in bed acting as if he is sick. It is not going to be that much different than what he has been doing.


2Samuel 13:5c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

The wâw conjunction is used as ➊ a simple copulative, used to connect words and sentences, in which case it is usually rendered and. ➋ It can be used to explain one noun or clarify one noun with another, in which case it is rendered even or yea (see Job 5:19 Dan. 4:10). ➌ The wâw conjunction can introduce two nouns, where the first is the genus and the second is the species; in which case, we would render it and particularly, and specially, and namely, and specifically (and it can be used the other way as well) (see 2Kings 23:2 Psalm 18:1 Isa. 1:1 2:1 Zech. 14:21). ➍ It can be prefixed to a verb also by way of explanation; it could be reasonably rendered as a relative pronoun (who, which) (see Gen. 49:25 Job 29:12 Isa. 13:14). ➎ It can be used to begin an apodosis (the then portion of an if...then... statement) (see Gen. 2:4, 5 40:9 48:7). ➏ It is used between words and sentences in order to compare them or to mark their resemblance (1Sam. 12:15 Job 5:7). ➐ When doubled, it can mean both...and... (Num. 9:14 Joshua 7:24 Psalm 76:7). ➑ It can be prefixed to adversative sentences or clauses and rendered but, and yet, although, otherwise (Gen. 2:17 15:2 17:20 Judges 16:15 Ruth 1:21 Job 15:5 6:14). ➒ And, what we were after, is the wâw conjunction can be used in disjunctive sentences; that is, it can be rendered or (which will help us to understand what Jephthah does) (Ex. 21:17 Lev. 5:3 Deut. 24:7). ➓ Finally, the wâw conjunction can be used before causal sentences and rendered because, for, that, in that (Gen. 18:32 30:27 Psalm 5:12 60:13); before conclusions or inferences, and therefore rendered so that, therefore, wherefore (2Kings 4:41 Isa. 3:14 Ezek. 18:32 Zech. 2:10); and before final and consecutive sentences, which mark an end or an object: in order that (Gen. 42:34 Job 20:10 Isa. 13:2). To paraphrase Gesenius, frequently, it is put after verbs and sentences standing absolutely, especially those which imply time or condition and is reasonably rendered then.1

1  H. W. F. Gesenius, Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament; ©1979 by Baker Books; p. 234. When I give a slightly different rendering to a word which I have, 99% of the time, been translating one way, I thought that I should include some documentation for a different usage.

bôwʾ (בּוֹא) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

ʾâb (אָב) [pronounced awbv]

father, both as the head of a household, clan or tribe; founder, civil leader, military leader

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1 BDB #3

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

râʾâh (רָאָה) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know

Qal infinitive construct with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #7200 BDB #906


Translation: When your father has come to see you,... Amnon’s father, King David, is going to be called upon to come and see him. David was not a completely absent father. He loves his children and he probably indulges them. He is not unlike the divorced dad who lives down the street from his family. He will drop in on occasion but he is not there for all of the day to day stuff.


Although Jonadab does not suggest this, it is reasonable that, if Amnon does this for a couple of days and David does not show up, then he will make a request for his father David to come to him. In any case, getting his father to come to him is the easy part. That will happen.


2Samuel 13:5d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bôwʾ (בּוֹא) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

nâʾ (נָא) [pronounced naw]

now; please, I pray you, I respectfully implore (ask, or request of) you, I urge you

a primitive particle of incitement and entreaty

Strong's #4994 BDB #609

Nâʾ is used for a submissive and modest request. It is used to express a wish (Job 32:21: “Oh, that I may not respect any man’s person”); to incite or to urge (Jer. 5:24); it is depreciatory when affixed to the 2nd person with a particle of negation (do not, I implore you—see Gen. 33:10 19:18); with the it expresses a wish or request (Psalm 124 129:1 SOS 7:9), a challenge (Jer. 17:15), asking leave (Gen. 18:4), and depreciation with a negation (Gen. 18:32). In many of these examples, we would express this with the addition of the word let.

Tâmâr (תָּמָר) [pronounced taw-MAWR]

palm-tree, date-palm and is transliterated Tamar

feminine singular proper noun

Strong’s #8559 BDB #1071

ʾâchôwth (אַחוֹת) [pronounced aw-KHOWTH]

sister, half-sister; relative; beloved [bride]; figuratively of intimate connection; metaphorically for relationship between Israel and Judah; another

feminine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #269 BDB #27


Translation: ...you will say to him, ‘Please let Tamar, my sister, come... Jonadab is speaking to Amnon, and he says, “Here is what you say to your father, David...” The request will be for David to get Tamar to come to him.


When I first read this, I admit, I didn’t get it. Why would this make sense to David? Why would David simply grant the wish of his son Amnon simply because he is sick. Here is the key: Amnon is going to pretend that he believes that he has been poisoned. There will be people all around most of the time, so he is not going to say this out loud to his father. However, he is going to say enough to his father that David will understand. No accusations are leveled; no suspects are named; Amnon simply wants some he can trust come to feed him. You will note that exactly what Amnon wants is very precise. To another sovereign, the meaning is quite clear. They will speak the same language and understand exactly what is being said, but without saying it.


2Samuel 13:5e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bârâh (בָּרָה) [pronounced baw-RAW]

to give to eat, to cause to eat

3rd person feminine singular, Hiphil imperfect; with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #1262 BDB #136

lechem (לֶחֶם) [pronounced LEH-khem]

literally means bread; used more generally for food

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #3899 BDB #536


Translation: ...and give me bread to eat. Tamar is to come to him and give him bread to eat. But, Amnon does not simply stop here. His directions become more precise. What he asks will tell David what Amnon believes is going on.


2Samuel 13:5f

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʿâsâh (עָשָֹה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare, to manufacture

3rd person ffeminine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

The full set of Qal meanings from BDB: to do, work, make, produce; to do; to work; to deal (with); to act, act with effect, effect; to produce; to prepare; to make (an offering); to attend to, put in order; to observe, celebrate; to acquire (property); to appoint, ordain, institute; to bring about; to use; to spend, pass.

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

ʿêynayim (עֵינַיִם) [pronounced ģay-nah-YIM]

eyes, two eyes, literal eye(s), spiritual eyes; face, appearance, form; surface

feminine dual noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #5869 (and #5871) BDB #744

Together, the bêyth preposition and ʿayin mean in my eyes and they usually mean, in my sight, in my opinion, to my way of thinking, as I see it.

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

bireyâh (בִּרְיָה) [pronounced beer-YAW]

food

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #1279 BDB #135


Translation: She will prepare the food in my sight... Amnon wants to watch Tamar prepare the food. He needs to see this. She is not going to bring food from her home; she is not going to bring into Amnon something that someone else has made; she is going to prepare the food right before his eyes.


Amnon will be pretending to be sick; and it may be because of natural causes; but it may be because he is being poisoned. Therefore, he is requesting to be able to watch Tamar prepare the food.


2Samuel 13:5g

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lemaʿan (לְמַעַן) [pronounced le-MAH-ģahn]

for the sake of, on account of, to the intent of, to the intent that, to the purpose that, in order that, in view of, to the end that; so that

compound preposition and substantive which acts like a preposition

Strong’s #4616 BDB #775

This is the substantive maʿan (מַעַן) [pronounced MAH-ģahn], which means purpose, intent, combined with the lâmed preposition (which is the only way that it is found in Scripture).

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, so that, in that; for that, since; which; when, at what time; who, whom; where, wherever; the fact that = how; because that, because; as, like as; yea, even, yea even; until that; then, so [in an apodosis]

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

râʾâh (רָאָה) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know

1st person singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7200 BDB #906


Translation: ...for the purpose that I may see [it being prepared]... Amnon emphasizes here what he wants. He has two words to indicate purpose or intent. The purpose for all of this is, he is able to see Tamar prepare the food. So, twice, in two different ways, Amnon indicates that he needs to see the food prepared. This is key. At this point, David will certainly understand that Amnon has some fear that he is ill because he might be being poisoned. Footnote


Do you see how brilliant this is? Jonadab does not suggest that Amnon come right out and say he is being poisoned; because he does not know who else might hear him say that. So, he speaks to his father, whom he trusts, and asks for his sister, whom he trusts, to come in and nurse him back to health with food that he sees being prepared.


Following through will be of the utmost importance to David, his father. His son’s life is in his hands. Therefore, King David will be unable to refuse this request.


2Samuel 13:5h

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾâkal (אָכַל) [pronounced aw-KAHL]

to eat; to devour, to consume, to destroy

1st person singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #398 BDB #37

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

yâd (יָד) [pronounced yawd]

generally translated hand

feminine singular noun with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong's #3027 BDB #388


Translation: ...and I will eat [it] from her hand.’ ” Amnon will watch the food being prepared and then he will eat the food directly from Tamar’s hand. So, what will be key here is, Tamar will take care of Amnon and she will concentrate on the food; she will prepare where Amnon can see, and she will not allow the food out of her sight. It will go from her hand into Amnon’s mouth. In this way, there will be no chance that he is poisoned.


Now all of this is a ruse, but it is a very clever ruse. This explains why David would grant such a request, why no one is going to be suspicious, and why Tamar, of all people, would be called upon to come in and feed him. You see, Tamar is not in line for becoming king. Amnon is the #1 son to become king. There are another 8 or 9 sons who would like to see Amnon out of the picture, which puts them closer to the throne. Tamar is a daughter, so she is not going to be the next king. This is brilliant!


Although it is not really clear whether Jonadab realizes what Amnon wants to do, if given the chance, I suspect, knowing how young undisciplined boys talk to one another, that Jonadab knew that Amnon was going to take Tamar sexually, no matter what, if given the opportunity. However, given how Jonadab tells Amnon to communicate to his father; where much of what is communicated is never spoken; it is possible that Amnon and Jonadab never talked about what Amnon would do when he gets Tamar alone with him in a room.


The plot hatched by Jonadab is brilliant, perverse and subtle.

Summary Points on Jonadab’s Advice

1.      Our passage reads: So Jonadab said to him, “Lie down on your bed and feign sickness When your father has come to see you, you will say to him, ‘Please let Tamar, my sister, come and give me bread to eat. She will prepare the food in my sight for the purpose that I may see [it being prepared] and I will eat [it] from her hand.’ ”

2.      Jonadab is a hanger-on. He is not the great military man that his cousins Joab and Abishai are; so he will never achieve the social status that they have. He appears to be a lazy ne’er-do-well who enjoys coming up with plots that will manipulate people like chess pieces on a chessboard. So, he becomes a friend of Amnon’s, who is next in line for the throne. He does not judge Amnon or call him on any of his behavior or ideas. He goes along with this, hoping to hold a position of high authority with few requirements as they both become older.

3.      Jonadab’s scheme is brilliant. He presents the actual problem as being unspoken. Amnon is to act as if he is sick; which is easy to pull off, because he has been acting listless recently anyway. However, Amnon is to step it up a notch. He is to act even more sick until his father, King David, comes to see him.

4.      He will ask King David to allow Tamar, his half-sister, to come a make food before his eyes, so that he can see it being made; and then to eat the food from her hands.

5.      The implications of poisoning are all over this request, but they are subtle. Amnon never uses these words, but it is clear that poisoning is what is implied.

6.      The implication that Amnon is being poisoned is key. His request, David’s honoring that request, and Tamar coming as requested all make perfect sense, given that understanding.

7.      Tamar has no interest in the throne; she is a young women; and therefore, not in line for David’s throne. Because of this, she can be trusted. It is unlikely that she would poison Amnon.

8.      It is possible that Tamar, more than the other children of David, exhibited a substantial amount of personal integrity as well.

9.      David’s other sons, all younger than Amnon, may be interested in becoming king over all Israel; so they all have a reason to kill Amnon.

10.    Therefore, if Tamar shows up to Amnon’s home and makes the food right in front of him, and feeds him, then there is little or no chance that she would poison him, either intentionally or unintentionally.

11.    Some poisons are used to kill a person over a longer period of time, so that they get sick and die. If the person eats untainted food for a time, and drinks untainted liquids, then the poison can be diluted and flushed out of his system. This is what Amnon was suggesting by having Tamar cook for him.

12.    When Amnon says these things to David, there are servants milling about; so he cannot just come out and say, “Listen, Father, I think I am being poisoned.” He has to be subtle. Amnon’s instructions as to what Tamar will do while Amnon is watching, is the key to all of this.

13.    This is a request that David cannot refuse. No way can he tell his son, “Yeah, maybe you’re being poisoned, but I cannot send Tamar here.” David must go along with what Amnon will ask him to do. This is too serious a situation to ignore and the request that Amnon has is reasonable and logical.

14.    This is one of the most brilliantly crafted human plans in the Bible. Jonadab is perversely brilliant, coming up with a plan that will manipulate both King David and Tamar in such a way that, King David and Tamar cannot say no, yet King David will have no inclination to send someone to watch over Tamar, just in case.

15.    Tamar herself has no reason to suspect that it is Amnon who has developed an evil plot. Therefore, she takes no precautions.

16.    This plot reveals to us that an extremely clever man (Jonadab) and an excellent actor (Amnon) can be very shady and disreputable characters.

Application: This is one good reason why you ought to give a wide-berth to Hollywood types in your thinking. They may be brilliant, personable and handsome, but so were Amnon and Jonadab.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Since this is all Jonadab’s idea, we ought to examine just who he is:

Jonadab’s Lack of Character

1.      As has been proposed before, both Jonadab and Amnon are irresponsible layabouts who spend their time thinking up evil things to do.

2.      We have seen that they have a symbiotic relationship, where one supplies the deficiencies that the other one has.

3.      Although we do not have an example of this, it is not abnormal for a manipulator to use flattery in order to manipulate others. Most of us are susceptible to flattery. A woman tells us that we are smart, good-looking and desirable, and we men tend to believe it. We tend to view a woman who says such things as very observant and perceptive. So, very likely, Jonadab established his relationship with Amnon using flattery, and he probably uses it whenever necessary.

4.      Jonadab is clearly a manipulator, who knows how to move people around on a chess board; to get them to do his bidding.

5.      Jonadab is more than willing to use his talent for manipulation in order to cultivate his friendship with Amnon.

6.      If Amnon was not in line to become king, the Jonadab would not be hanging around him as a friend.

7.      In other words, Jonadab wants to use his friendship with Amnon in order to advance his own career.

8.      His ability to use people and then toss them aside will become clear at the end of this chapter where Jonadab allows his “friend” Amnon to be killed so that he can use this to his own advantage.

9.      In this way, Amnon are Jonadab are very similar. They use the people around them to get what they want; and once they get what it is that they want, they cast these people out. Both Amnon and Jonadab will do this in this chapter.

10.    Because of Jonadab’s character flaws, he could never be a true friend; therefore, he could not be a good husband or a good business partner. He would be continually looking to play things out to his own advantage.

11.    Jonadab has the intelligence to do nearly anything that he sets his mind to. However, he does not have the character to back it up.

12.    Jonadab is not willing to work hard for what he wants; he is not willing to show himself to be an honorable and valued ally and friend. He wants to use people and move them around on a chess board so that the end result is to his own advantage.

13.    At the end of this chapter, we will find out that Jonadab can be both dishonest, cunning and conspiratorial. He is not a man you can simply turn your back on, if he has the ear of any rival.

14.    However, he slimy and tricky; he manages to walk away from a situation that he has manipulated without leaving any fingerprints. That is, after being manipulated, you may not have any idea that Jonadab was the one who did it to you.

15.    Jonadab’s intelligence, lack of moral fiber, and his ability to manipulate others, made him the perfect “friend” for Amnon.

David, as king, recognizes that he could be surrounded by sycophants, yes-men and manipulators, if he is not careful. So, at the end of this chapter, he will perceive that something is not right with Jonadab and Jonadab will never become part of David’s full-time staff.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Now that we know what kind of a person Jonadab is, let’s see if we can figure out what he wants from life.

Jonadab’s Aspirations

1.      As ought to be clear, Jonadab’s scheme is brilliant, which indicates that he is a brilliant man.

2.      Jonadab has chosen to hook up with Amnon, one of the worst sons of David, but the next man in line for the throne. Therefore, we know that Jonadab is opportunistic. He does not really care one way or the other about Amnon’s lack of ambition or (lack of) character.

3.      It is clear that Amnon needs an advisor; someone who is smarter than he is.

4.      Since Jonadab will show himself so able to manipulate King David, it is reasonable to assume that Jonadab regularly manipulates Amnon.

5.      This relationship is the best of all possible worlds for Jonadab. Jonadab will have nearly the same prestige as Amnon when Amnon becomes king; without the worry of being assassinated in a regime change.

6.      Jonadab, as Amnon’s top advisor, will have great power. He can both outsmart Amnon, whenever necessary, and wield power and influence by advising Amnon.

7.      At the same time, he has no personal responsibility for what happens. When a king makes a decision, that decision is hung around the king’s neck. Even two of our worst presidents—Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama—at no time do you see either one of them blaming one of their bad decisions on an advisor. Many of the decisions which take place in the White House do not involve the President meditating in a room, but listening to a half-dozen to a dozen advisors talk things out, until the President finally makes a decision, based upon the advice of one or several persons in that room. However, even these two presidents, after making a bad decision, held a press conference and blamed one of their advisors for the decision.

8.      So, Jonadab, a prime minister, gets much of the power and influence, but without having any responsibility for the outcome. This is what he wants for his future.

9.      What happens in this chapter will foreshadow such a relationship—Jonadab will provide the advice and Amnon will act upon it. Amnon will also, eventually, bear the responsibility for what happens. Jonadab will not.

10.    At no time does Jonadab express any concern about Tamar. He never says, “Just what is it that you plan to do, Amnon?” He’s not all that concerned with the results of his schemes.

11.    As a result of taking Jonadab’s advice, Amnon become indebted to him. He also recognizes just how brilliant Jonadab is. Therefore, Amnon will want to keep Jonadab around.

12.    Their relationship is symbiotic; Amnon uses Jonadab and Jonadab uses Amnon. Jonadab is smart enough to make Amnon think that he is using Jonadab.

13.    The more that Amnon appreciates Jonadab’s brilliance and the more he is indebted to him, the more likely it will be that Jonadab will become Amnon’s advisor, both as prince and king over Israel.

14.    As a top advisor to Amnon, bad advice to Amnon will result in criticism of Amnon, not of criticism of Jonadab. Everyone will associate the bad results with the person who gives the orders, not the man behind the scenes.

15.    What job could be more cushy than advisor to the king? Jonadab will take life easy and be well-remunerated for it.

Jonadab likely recognized Amnon early on as his ticket to a cushy life.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


There are people who work hard for what they have. They may put in 10, 12 and 16 hour days; they may seem like workaholics to others. Generally speaking, such people amass a reasonable amount of wealth. However, there are others who work perhaps 3 or 4 hours during the 8 hours they are supposed to work, and goof off the rest of the time. However, they want the same things as the person who works twice and three times as long has.


Similarly, there are people of a certain character who have the brains and the ability to succeed in life, but they intentionally choose unsavory or even dishonest means to get ahead. Even if there is a legitimate pathway before them, they simply choose to take the illegitimate route. These are people with serious character flaws.


Jonadab has the ability to succeed and he has the connections. He could have become a legitimate statesman. He could have examined Amnon and decided, “This man is defective; let me move on to another friendship.” He could have gone to his Uncle David and said, “Sir, I admit that I am not skilled in the art of war, but allow me a chance to function under your authority and I will do right by you. If you want me to empty your latrine each day, then that will be my duty.” He simply had to be willing to endure hard work and to start at the bottom. However, this was not in Jonadab’s character. He wanted to get ahead with as little effort as possible, manipulating others to get them to do his bidding and to further his ends.


Our verse reads: So Jonadab said to him, “Lie down on your bed and feign sickness When your father has come to see you, you will say to him, ‘Please let Tamar, my sister, come and give me bread to eat. She will prepare the food in my sight for the purpose that I may see [it being prepared] and I will eat [it] from her hand.’ ”

Jonadab’s Plan

1.      Jonadab is like the writer and director of a film.

2.      He wants to manipulate people so that, at the very end, Amnon will be alone with Tamar.

3.      Amnon has set this whole thing up with his acting despondent. Jonadab will use that. “You keep acting sick; in fact, play this out to the point that your father comes to see you.”

4.      Jonadab knew the relationship of David and his sons. He knew that David was an overindulgent father because he was mostly an absentee father.

5.      The unspoken word in all of this will be poisoned. Amnon will act sickly, and, for his young age, as royal family, poisoning is always a possibility.

6.      When there are various rivals vying for power in a palace, sometimes poisoning is used to take out one person in order to move someone else ahead.

7.      So, when David comes to see Amnon, Amnon will describe what he wants done: he wants to see Tamar, an outsider, someone who is not in line for the throne, come in to his home and bake bread for him so that he can watch her mix and bake the bread, and then she will feed this to him.

8.      This seems very reasonable to King David, who is aware that palace intrigue occurs. He also understands that Tamar would be brought in as a person with nothing to gain by Amnon’s death. However, David will allow for Amnon to observe her every move when she bakes the bread for him.

9.      David suspects nothing evil from Amnon, who looks too sick to commit evil; and will go along with what Amnon has requested.

10.    So David, the king, will order Tamar, his daughter, to go to the home of Amnon.

11.    At that point, Jonadab is not concerned about what Amnon will do. He will have done his part, and, in return, he will have Amnon’s enduring appreciation and trust.

12.    And if anything goes bad, Jonadab has left no fingerprints behind. Everyone acts in a manner consistent with their character, and there is nothing which occurs that would cause anyone to think that Jonadab is behind all of this. Only Amnon knows that.

This is certainly one of the most brilliant plans in human history.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


One more doctrine:

Entitlement Arrogance and Amnon

1.      We have already discussed Amnon and his mother, Ahinoam.

2.      We have surmised that Ahinoam was upset that David brought another wife (several, in fact), into their home, and this left her to bring up their child alone. David provided for them financially, but, because he was king and because he had several wives, David was not there with them.

3.      However, Ahinoam raised her son with the idea that he would be king because he was the firstborn son to the first wife of David (setting Michel aside, momentarily, with whom David apparently had no children).

4.      So Amnon was raised in such a way as to feel entitled to the throne of Israel. It was not something that he had to earn or deserve, work for or prepare for. He was firstborn, and so it is his.

5.      Although people are not typically the firstborn of a king, they can still be guided to think that they are entitled. Many people today think that Wall Street types and billionaires have somehow taken money that was to them, and we had, in the years 2011 and 2012 several demonstrations by the so-called occupy movement, which could have been renamed the entitlement movement. This was a fascinating gathering of people because, they first gathered, and, a few months later, began to develop some sort of manifesto to explain why they had gathered.

6.      Amnon expects the kingdom; and he will feel no moral pangs about taking Tamar in the verses which follow.

At some point in time, I need to develop the Doctrine of Entitlement Arrogance.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


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And so lays down Amnon and so he feigns illness. And so comes the king to see him. And so says Amnon unto the king, “[Let] come, please, Tamar, my sister and she will make cakes before my eyes—a pair of cakes—and I will eat from her hand.”

2Samuel

13:6

So Amnon laid down and feigned illness, so the king came to see him. Amnon then said to the king, “Please let Tamar, my sister, come [to me] and she will make cakes in my sight—a pair of cakes—that I will eat from her hand.”

So Amnon laid down and pretended to be sick, causing the king to come see him. Amnon then asked the king, Please let Tamar, my sister, come to me so that she can make cakes in my sight—a pair of cakes—so that I can eat them from her hand.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          So Ammon lay down, and made as if he were sick: and when the king came to visit him, Ammon said to the king: I pray thee let my sister Thamar come, and make in my sight two little messes, that I may eat at her hand.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so lays down Amnon and so he feigns illness. And so comes the king to see him. And so says Amnon unto the king, “[Let] come, please, Tamar, my sister and she will make cakes before my eyes—a pair of cakes—and I will eat from her hand.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    So Amnon lay down and pretended to be sick; and when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, Let Tamar my sister come and make me a couple of cakes in my sight that I may eat from her hand.

Septuagint (Greek)                So Ammon laid down and made himself sick; and the king came in to see him. And Amnon said to the king, Let my sister Tamar come to me, and make a couple of cakes in my sight, and I will eat them at her hand.

 

Significant differences:           The English translations from the Latin and Syriac both have and when to translate the wâw consecutive (which is found in several English translations below). The English translation from the Latin reads to visit rather than to see (there is probably no underlying difference here either). The Greek and, apparently the Syriac, leave out please; however, that particle of entreaty could be used simply to indicate that this is a request that is being made, and therefore can be translated let.

 

The verb to make cakes is eventually followed by a couple of cakes. The verb itself may simply mean to do a special kind of baking; however, it is only found twice in the Old Testament, so we are unable to determine its exact meaning. The Latin, Syriac and Greek chose to translate this verb simply to make.

 

In other words, there are a few apparent differences, but none of these differences indicate that these ancient translators had a slightly different text before them than I have.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           So Amnon lay down and pretended to be sick. The king came to see him, and Amnon told the king, "Please let my sister Tamar come and make a couple of heart-shaped cakes in front of me so I can eat from her hand."

Contemporary English V.       So Amnon went to bed and pretended to be sick. When the king came to see him, Amnon said, "Please, ask Tamar to come over. She can make some special bread [Or "heart-shaped bread" or "dumplings."] while I watch, and then she can serve me the bread."

Easy-to-Read Version            So Amnon lay down in bed and acted like he was sick. King David came in to see Amnon. Amnon said to King David, “Please let my sister Tamar come in. Let her make two cakes for me while I watch. Then I can eat from her hands.”

Good News Bible (TEV)         So Amnon pretended that he was sick and went to bed. King David went to see him, and Amnon said to him, "Please let Tamar come and make a few cakes here where I can see her, and then serve them to me herself."

The Message                         So Amnon took to his bed and acted sick. When the king came to visit, Amnon said, "Would you do me a favor? Have my sister Tamar come and make some nourishing dumplings here where I can watch her and be fed by her."

New Berkeley Version           Amnon, accordingly, lay down and pretended illness. When the king came to see him, Amnon repeated to him, “Oh please, let my sister Tamar come and make a couple of cakes before my eyes; then I may be able to eat from her hand!”

New Life Bible                        So Amnon lay down and pretended to be sick. When the king came to see him, Amnon said to him, "I beg you, let my sister Tamar come and make two loaves beside me, that I may eat from her hand."

New Living Translation           So Amnon lay down and pretended to be sick. And when the king came to see him, Amnon asked him, "Please let my sister Tamar come and cook my favorite dish [Or a couple of cakes; also in 13:8, 10.] as I watch. Then I can eat it from her own hands."


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          So, AmNon went to bed and pretended to be sick. And when the king came to see him, AmNon said, 'Send my sister Tamar to me, and have her bake a couple of biscuits, and I'll eat them from her hands'

Ancient Roots Translinear      Amnon lay sickened. The king came to see him, and Amnon said to the king, "Please, bring Tamar my sister to do two favorite pancakes in my eyes, and I will dine from her hand."

God’s Word                         So Amnon lay down and acted sick, and the king came to see him. Amnon asked the king, "Please let my sister Tamar come and make some bread in front of me, and she can feed me."

New American Bible              So Amnon lay down and pretended to be sick. When the king came to visit him, Amnon said to the king, "Please let my sister Tamar come and prepare some fried cakes before my eyes, that I may take food from her hand."

NIRV                                      So Amnon went to bed. He pretended to be sick. The king came to see him. Amnon said to him, "I would like my sister Tamar to come here. I want to watch her make some special bread. Then she can feed it to me."

New Jerusalem Bible             So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill. The king then came to visit him and Amnon said to the king, 'Please let my sister Tamar come and make a cake or two where I can watch. What she gives me, I shall eat.'

New Simplified Bible              So Amnon went to bed and pretended that he was sick. King David went to see him. Amnon said: »Please have Tamar come and make a few cakes here where I can see her. Then she can serve them to me.«

Revised English Bible            So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill. When the king came to visit him, he said, ‘Sir, let my sister Tamar come and make a few bread-cakes in front of me, and serve these to me with her own hands.’

Today’s NIV                          So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill. When the king came to see him, Amnon said to him, "I would like my sister Tamar to come and make some special bread in my sight, so I may eat from her hand."


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             So Amnon went to bed and made himself seem ill: and when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, Please let my sister Tamar come and make me one or two cakes before my eyes, so that I may take food from her hand.

Complete Jewish Bible           So Amnon lay down and pretended he was sick. When the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, "Please let my sister Tamar come and make me a couple of cakes here where I can watch, and I'll eat what she serves me."

Judaica Press Complete T.    And Amnon lay down and feigned sickness; and the king came to see him, and Amnon said to the king, "Let my sister Tamar come now, and make two dumplings before my eyes; that I may eat from her hand."

New Advent Bible                  So Ammon lay down, and made as if he were sick: and when the king came to visit him, Ammon said to the king: I pray you let my sister Thamar come, and make in my sight two little messes, that I may eat at her hand.

New Heart English Bible        So Amnon lay down and faked being sick. When the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, "Please let my sister Tamar come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat from her hand."

NIV, ©2010                             So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill. When the king came to see him, Amnon said to him, "I would like my sister Tamar to come and make some special bread in my sight, so I may eat from her hand."


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Context Group Version          So Amnon lay down, and feigned himself sick: and when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, Let my sister Tamar come, I beg of you, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat from her hand.

exeGeses companion Bible   So Amnon lies down and makes himself sick:

and when the sovereign comes to see him

Amnon says to the sovereign, I pray you,

have Tamar my sister come

and bake me a couple of cakes in my eyes,

that I may chew from her hand.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Amnon consequently lay down, as if sick, and the king came to see him, when Amnon said to him: “I wish you to send Thamar my cousin and let her prepare food and do the cooking before my sight, so that I may see it, and I will eat after her hand!”

Fred Miller’s Revised KJV     So Amnon lay down and made himself sick: and when the king had come to see him, Amnon said to the king, I beseech you, let Tamar my sister come and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat at her hand.

Heritage Bible                        And Amnon lay down, and pretended to be worn out, and the king came to see him, and Amnon said to the king, Please, let Tamar, my sister, come, and make for me a couple of cakes before my eyes, that I may be fed from her hand..

LTHB                                     And Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill. And the king came to see him. And Amnon said to the king, Please let my sister Tamar come, and she shall make two cakes before my eyes, and I shall eat from her hand.

Modern KJV                           And Amnon lay down and made himself sick. And when the king had come to see him, Amnon said to the king, Please let my sister Tamar come and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, so that I may eat at her hand.

Syndein                                  So Amnon went to bed and pretended to be sick. And when the king {David} was came to visit him {Jonadab probably made sure the king knew his oldest son was 'ill'}, Amnon said unto the king, "Please/'I pray you', let Tamar, my sister, come, and prepare me a couple of crapes {rolled pancakes} in my presence, that I might eat from her hand." {Note: Amnon is implying that someone is trying to poison him. But David, is naïve toward his oldest son and will not catch on to the stupidity of this situation. Tamar is protected in David's castle and has no business leaving without her servants and coming to an unprotected place, even if it is with her older half-brother.}.

Young’s Updated LT             And Amnon lies down, and feigns himself sick, and the king comes in to see him, and Amnon says unto the king, “Let, I pray you, Tamar my sister come, and she makes before mine eyes two cakes, and I eat from her hand.”

 

The gist of this verse:          Amnon executes Jonadab’s plan. He pretends to be sick, his father, King David, comes to see him, and he makes the request for Tamar to come and make food for him, so that he can watch the food be made.


2Samuel 13:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâkab (שָכַב) [pronounced shaw-KAHBV]

to lie down, to lie down [to sleep, to have sexual relations, to die; because of sickness or humiliation]; to relax

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7901 BDB #1011

ʾAmenôwn (אַמְנוֹן) [pronounced ahme-NOHN]

faithful; transliterated Amnon

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #550 BDB #54

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

châlâh (חָלָה) [pronounced chaw-LAW]

to make oneself sick [with grief]; to feign sickness [illness]

3rd person masculine singular, Hithpael imperfect

Strong’s #2470 BDB #317

The basic understanding of this word is to polish, to wear down. The end result is, something is worn down. When applied to a person, this can refer to sickness, weakness or simply being worn down.


Translation: So Amnon laid down and feigned illness,... The plan is brilliant, and Amnon puts it into action immediately. After all, he has acted mopey and despondent for a while anyway. All Amnon needs to do is to crank it up a notch. Therefore, him laying down and acting ill is pretty much a continuation of the show he was already putting on. Amnon was already acting listless because he wanted his sister; so all those around him—his servants and his mother (if she is there)—would think, “That was his problem; he was really sick all this time.”


One of the brilliant aspects of Jonadab’s plan is, the maintenance of continuity. After Jonadab and Amnon meet, Amnon does not do anything radically different. He keeps acting sickly; he just acts more sickly. No one in his own household will suspect that anything is amiss.


2Samuel 13:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bôwʾ (בּוֹא) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

meleke (מֶלֶך׃) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

râʾâh (רָאָה) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know

Qal infinitive construct with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #7200 BDB #906


Translation: ...so the king came to see him. We know very little about David’s interaction with his sons, except that it was not really enough. I suspect that days, weeks and even months could go by without David checking in on some of his sons. The reason I can make such a statement is, these sons will show little or no character in their actions. They will behave pretty much like little heathen, even though their father is a spiritual giant.


As an aside, David’s sexual arrogance bled into other areas (see David’s Sexual Arrogance). Pretty much everything associated with his sexual arrogance was distorted. Therefore, all things related to David’s right woman, to marriage and family would, as a result of his sexual arrogance, be distorted, tainted and/or neglected. Therefore, David’s first set of children, for the most part, turned out pretty badly. However, his second set of children, by one woman, Bathsheba, turned out pretty good, despite their obvious flaws (all we know about is Solomon; but it is reasonable to assume that Nathan led a reasonable spiritual life, as he is in the line of Christ through Mary).


However, in this case, Amnon’s sickness—particularly because it appeared to many to have begun weeks or months ago—seemed quite serious, and David came to him. It is unclear whether David was summoned by Amnon’s staff or if Amnon himself called for his father come to him.


Application: Children cannot be raised by a parent who is just there for the emergencies. King David is obviously available to Amnon, but, as is suggested here, only in emergencies. With so many wives and so many children, King David could not get around to give them all the time and attention that they needed. Therefore, it is obvious that a man and a woman who are married need to do everything that they can to remain married if they have children. The worst thing parents can do to their children is divorce. Close behind divorce is continued arguing or having an affair. Anything that leads to a parent being unable to properly raise his or her child is the wrong path for a parent to take.


Application: As a believer in Jesus Christ, children are a great blessing which God has bestowed upon us. Our focus ought to be on our children. God made this fairly simple: just treat your children as you want God to treat you. Treat them in such a way that, when they are no longer under your authority, they will act in such a way that they will be blessed in this life. That means teaching, discipline and guidance.


Application: Most of the time when two married people argue, it is because one or both parents are focused on each other rather than on their children, who are their responsibility. If, by any chance, the argument is about the children, the father is in charge. What he says goes. Now, if you are a woman, you may see this as unfair, but this is God’s design. If you are careful who you married, then the first time your husband overrules your good advice, the end results will reveal this. A smart man will recognize that his wife has a great deal to offer and that he ought to listen to her from time to time. A smart man will recognize when he overruled his wife’s advice, that was a mistake.


Application: We often complain about our position in life; we have not received that promotion that we believe that we deserve. We have not reached the authority level that we believe is appropriate for our talents. Authority requires responsibility. There is nothing more important than how you raise your children. That involves absolute authority combined with absolute responsibility. There is rarely anything greater than your impact as a person on your children. With few exceptions, there are few jobs which involve that kind of responsibility and that kind of impact. The way you raise your children can impact them, their children, and their children’s children.


Application: It is a mistake to think that the problem with David is, he has too many children. The problem is, he has too many families because he has too many wives. Parents, depending upon their abilities, can raise 4 children or a dozen children almost as easily as they can raise one child. The teaching and training is not just given by the parents, but, at some point, reenforced by the care and teaching of the older siblings. If you have, say, 4 or more children, then you are going to naturally get your oldest children involved in the raising of the youngest. This is the best training a young adult can have. They learn to take their life’s focus off of themselves (an occupational hazard for all teens and pre-teens) and to focus on someone who is smaller, weaker and more needy.


Application: Parents and teachers have been doing this for years: taking the older or more advanced children, and have them help the younger or less advanced children. Both sets of children receive great dividends in the process. For example, an older children who tutors or teaches a younger child has the things which he or she is teaching ingrained much more into their own thinking as a result of having to present this material to someone else. As a teacher, I never had a full understanding and appreciation for geometry until I taught it. At that point, I realized, “Wow, this is really great stuff!”


2Samuel 13:6c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

ʾAmenôwn (אַמְנוֹן) [pronounced ahme-NOHN]

faithful; transliterated Amnon

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #550 BDB #54

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

meleke (מֶלֶך׃) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

bôwʾ (בּוֹא) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

nâʾ (נָא) [pronounced naw]

now; please, I pray you, I respectfully implore (ask, or request of) you, I urge you

a primitive particle of incitement and entreaty

Strong's #4994 BDB #609

Tâmâr (תָּמָר) [pronounced taw-MAWR]

palm-tree, date-palm and is transliterated Tamar

feminine singular proper noun

Strong’s #8559 BDB #1071

ʾâchôwth (אַחוֹת) [pronounced aw-KHOWTH]

sister, half-sister; relative; beloved [bride]; figuratively of intimate connection; metaphorically for relationship between Israel and Judah; another

feminine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #269 BDB #27


Translation: Amnon then said to the king, “Please let Tamar, my sister, come [to me]... Whatever niceties in this conversation took place are ignored, and we get right to the request. Amnon certainly puts on a show here. He has to make a clear request to his father, and to seem very ill at the same time.


The particle of entreaty here does not necessarily need to be translated as please, I pray thee, etc.; As several ancient translators did, this could simply be put into the form of a request, as the use of this particle indicates a polite request. So, many translators have, at this point, “Let Tamar, my sister, come [to me].”


I also added the to me for clarity, but Amnon apparently does not use that. Obviously, Tamar would be coming to him; but Amnon goes directly to her purpose in coming, which is the next phrase.

 

Gill: I pray thee let my sister Tamar come; he calls her sister, as Jonadab had directed, the more to blind his design; though it is much that so sagacious a man as David was had not seen through it; but the notion he had of his being really ill, and the near relation between him and Tamar, forbad his entertaining the least suspicion of that kind. Footnote


2Samuel 13:6d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâbab (לָבַב) [pronounced lawb-VAHBV]

to make [bake] cakes, to cook bread

3rd person feminine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #3823 BDB #525

This is a verb with two sets of meanings; this set of meanings is found only her in 2Sam. 13.

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

ʿêynayim (עֵינַיִם) [pronounced ģay-nah-YIM]

eyes, two eyes, literal eye(s), spiritual eyes; face, appearance, form; surface

feminine dual noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #5869 (and #5871) BDB #744

Together, the bêyth preposition and ʿayin mean in my eyes and they usually mean, in my sight, in my opinion, to my way of thinking, as I see it.

shetayim (שְתַּיִם) [pronounced shet-TAH-yim]

two, two of, a pair of, a duo of

feminine numeral construct

Strong’s #8147 BDB #1040

Spelled here shettêy (שְתֵּי) [pronounced sheht-TAY].

lebîbôth (לְבִבוֹת) [pronounced leb-ee-BOHTH]

cakes [made in a frying pan; probably with lots of fat]; bread

feminine plural noun

Strong’s #3834 BDB #525


Translation: ...and she will make cakes in my sight—a pair of cakes—... The verb to make cakes only occurs twice in the Old Testament (it does have a homonym); so it may mean to bake, to cook, to prepare in a particular way. Therefore, many translators did not include the word cakes twice. I simply translated it as part of the verb, as that was the meaning given it by BDB.


As was spoken of before, the whole scheme here is to make David think that Amnon is being poisoned. Again, Amnon, for whatever reason, may not be able to state this outright. Surely there are people hovering about, coming in and out of whatever room he is in; so he is speaking to David almost in code here. At first, it seems as though Amnon just wants some sympathy—someone to come in and cook him his favorite meal. For him, it is Tamar’s cakes (or, so goes his story). However, Amnon inserts into his request that these cakes be made in my sight (literally, before my eyes). So it is clear that Amnon does not want Tamar to make these cakes at her house and them drop them by; he is making a request that he be able to see the cakes being made. David, as a king, understands what Amnon is implying—he is implying that he might be the victim of poisoning, so that he needs to see the food prepared by someone he trusts, and someone from outside his immediate circle of friends, relatives, acquaintances and servants. In other words, if he is being poisoned, or suspects that he is being poisoned, this is a very reasonable request.


David is going to understand what is happening under the circumstances; as a king, the possibility of being poisoned was always there. Furthermore, David is also able to get Tamar to go to Amnon’s home. Obviously, there was enough going on between the families, that Amnon could not simply make this request directly to Tamar. He could not even simply ask his father to get Tamar over there; all of this has to be related to the fact that Amnon thinks that he is being poisoned, but he cannot just come out and say it.


Notice that the plan is not to send a note to Tamar. This would have come completely out of the blue. She may barely know who Amnon is; or know little about him, as they are raised in separate families. So a request to her directly would be unexpected and possibly not honored. King David telling her what to do would result in immediate obedience.


As I have remarked before, this is a brilliant plan. David will say enough to Tamar to get her to go over to see Amnon and to bake some cakes there in front of him. David may not specifically come out and tell Tamar that Amnon thinks that he is being poisoned; but he might say to Tamar, “If Amnon has an unusual request, honor it; he is very sick right now.”


The idea in David’s mind will be, if Amnon is being poisoned, his strength will come back with Tamar there feeding him unadulterated food. At that juncture, they will have to take further steps to determine who is poisoning Amnon. So, David is probably several steps ahead of what is happening—in his own mind—and he has no clue that Amnon is playing him.


You see, David takes this very seriously. Something like this was unknown in his household and in the household of Saul. However, it is not a new idea. Therefore, David is thinking way ahead of this situation, as to who it might be, how they might be caught, what he will have to do as king. Getting Tamar over there to fulfill Amnon’s request is, by the time that David leaves Amnon’s home, in David’s rearview mirror. He is thinking ahead, as many great men do, having no idea that he has just been duped by his own son, the actor.


2Samuel 13:6e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bârâh (בָּרָה) [pronounced baw-RAW]

to cut, to cut apart; to eat; to choose [i.e., to cut and separate out]

1st person singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1262 BDB #136

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

yâd (יָד) [pronounced yawd]

generally translated hand

feminine singular noun with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong's #3027 BDB #388


Translation: ...that I will eat from her hand.” This final request clinches the ruse. Amnon wants to not only watch his food being prepared by an outside person, but then, he wants to eat this food from that person’s hand. Without casting any aspersions or overtly suggesting that anything is going on, Amnon has conveyed to his father David that he believes he is being poisoned by someone inside of his house, and he is depending upon an outside person to come in and revive him. He will watch every step of the process to make certain that he is eating untainted food.


It ought to be clear that, more is said than this one sentence that is recorded. If David comes to see his son, we would assume that they will spend more time together than 17 seconds. Very likely, after the perfunctory hello’s and how-do-you-feel, David no doubt asked his son, “What can I do for you?” or “How can I help?” It is unlikely that Amnon blurted out, “Send Tamar to me to make bread in front of me.” It should seem clear that “Please let Tamar, my sister, come [to me] and she will make cakes in my sight—a pair of cakes—that I will eat from her hand.” is not all that was said during this meeting. We only know what Amnon said.


This request should not perceived by David as a selfish, childish request, as Guzik Footnote as suggested. If David felt like Amnon was just being a big baby about all of this, David would have braced Amnon, saying, “What is wrong with you, boy; you’re a young man now. Don’t act like a damn baby.” The brilliance of Jonadab’s plan is, it does not come off in a way that Amnon seems like a baby making a childish request. The brilliance of Jonadab’s plan is, David, by this time, is thinking way out ahead of sending Tamar in to bake bread cakes for Amnon. David’s mind is on what he will do if Amnon recovers after eating from Tamar’s hand. How will he, David, find the culprit poisoner? At no time, does anyone, apart from Amnon, even think about Jonadab. His hands are dirty, and yet no one knows. He is the true poisoner here, poisoning the relationships of David, Amnon, Absalom and Tamar.


This verse reads: So Amnon laid down and feigned illness, so the king came to see him. Amnon then said to the king, “Please let Tamar, my sister, come [to me] and she will make cakes in my sight—a pair of cakes—that I will eat from her hand.”

A Summary of 2Samuel 13:6

1.      Jonadab’s plan proceeds without a hitch.

2.      This plan is brilliant, in part, because of what it does not say.

3.      Amnon does not come out and say that he has been poisoned. However, the words that he uses cause David to immediately jump to this conclusion.

4.      Therefore, Amnon’s solution to this problem is reasonable: get someone into his house that he knows he can trust—someone who is above reproach—and he will observe her making his food.

5.      David is emotionally caught up in all of this. His eldest son, the young man who David believes will be the next king, appears to be dying from having been poisoned, and David is quite wrought.

6.      Being a brilliant man, David is probably thinking several steps ahead at this time. Who is behind this? Who might the poisoner be? How will we lay a trap to catch him?

7.      David’s blind spot is Amnon himself. David does not really know his son nor did he take the time to properly raise him. So, David’s over-indulgent love blinds him to what Amnon is doing.

8.      Furthermore, this plot is so good and Amnon is so good at what he is doing, few parents would have figured out that they are being deceived.

9.      Although David is worried that his son, Amnon, is being poisoned, he does not recognize that what is poisoned here is Amnon’s soul. David has no idea as to the depth of Amnon’s degeneracy.

10.    David could be faulted in one way: if he knew his son and his son’s penchant for deceit, David would have possibly been suspicious.

11.    

It is very likely that David, when writing the book of Proverbs to teach his son Solomon, thought about his sons that went astray. For instance, A wise child is a father's joy, a foolish child a mother's grief (Prov. 10:1). Or, Prov. 10:6–9 Blessings are on the head of the upright, but the mouth of the godless is a cover for violence. The upright is remembered with blessings, the name of the wicked rots away. The wise of heart takes orders, but a gabbling fool heads for ruin. Anyone whose ways are honourable walks secure, but whoever follows crooked ways is soon unmasked. Note the contrast.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Amnon’s soul is corrupt in many ways. For one, he is intentionally deceiving his father right here. This indicates that Amnon has little respect for his father. The mastermind of this plot, Jonadab, also has little respect for King David, because this plot revolves around getting David to do what they want him to do. That David is king of all Israel is of no concern to them. He is simply a chess piece to be moved about on a chessboard.


Application: When arrogant and duplicitous people use you, they are not your friends.


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Amnon Rapes Tamar: King David is Duped


And so sends David unto Tamar to the house, to say, “Come, please, a house of Amnon your brother and make for him the food.”

2Samuel

13:7

Therefore, David sent [a message] to Tamar at the palace [lit., house, residence], saying, “Go now to the house of your brother Amnon and prepare a meal [lit., food] for him.”

Therefore, David sent a message to Tamar at the palace, saying, “Go now to the house of your brother Amnon and prepare some meals for him.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          Then David sent home to Thamar, saying: Come to the house of thy brother Ammon, and make him a mess.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so sends David unto Tamar to the house, to say, “Come, please, a house of Amnon your brother and make for him the food.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    Then David sent for Tamar, and said to her, Go now to your brother Amnon's house and prepare food for him.

Septuagint (Greek)                And David sent to Tamar to the house, saying, Go now to your brother's house, and prepare food for him.

 

Significant differences:           The Syriac leaves out to the home [of tamar]. Now in the Greek and Syriac are both reasonable translations for the particle of entreaty. The Latin apparently leaves this word out altogether. The Hebrew has a definite article in front of food, which is lacking in the other ancient languages. The significance of this will be discussed in the exegesis.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       David told Tamar, "Go over to Amnon's house and fix him some food."

Easy English (Pocock)           So David sent a message to Tamar in the palace. He said, `Go to your brother Amnon's house. Make him some food.'

Easy-to-Read Version            David sent messengers to Tamar’s house. The messengers told Tamar, “Go to your brother Amnon’s house and make some food for him.”

Good News Bible (TEV)         So David sent word to Tamar in the palace: "Go to Amnon's house and fix him some food."

The Message                         David sent word to Tamar who was home at the time: "Go to the house of your brother Amnon and prepare a meal for him."

New Berkeley Version           David sent to the palace to Tamar, with the instructions, “God now to your brother Amnon’s house and prepare food for him.” Footnote: David of all men should have seen through the scheme, but his sin had deadened his discernment.

New Living Translation           So David agreed and sent Tamar to Amnon's house to prepare some food for him.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      David sent to Tamar's house, saying, "Please go to your brother Amnon's house and make dinner for him."

God’s Word                         David sent for Tamar at the palace. "Please go to your brother Amnon's home," he said, "and prepare some food for him."

New American Bible              David then sent home a message to Tamar, "Please go to the house of your brother Amnon and prepare some food for him."

Revised English Bible            David sent a message to Tamar in the palace ‘Go to your brother Amnon’s quarters and prepare a meal for him.’


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             Then David sent to the house for Tamar and said, Go now to your brother Amnon's house and get a meal for him.

Complete Jewish Bible           David sent this instruction home to Tamar: "Go now to your brother Amnon's house, and prepare him some food."

New Advent Bible                  Then David sent home to Thamar, saying: Come to the house of your brother Ammon, and make him a mess.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

American KJV                        Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, Go now to your brother Amnon's house, and dress him meat.

exeGeses companion Bible   And David sends home to Tamar, saying,

Go now to the house of your brother Amnon

and work him cuttings.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 David, therefore, sent to Thamar at her house to say, “Come to the house of Amnon, your cousin, and make him cakes.”

Heritage Bible                        And David sent to Tamar at the house, saying, Walk now to your brother, Amnon’s house, and make for him food.

Modern KJV                           And David sent home to Tamar, saying, Go now to your brother Amnon's house, and prepare food for him.

Syndein                                  Then David 'sent a message' to Tamar, saying, "Go please {an order from the King to a royal princess - polite, but an order} now to your brother Amnon's palace, and prepare {another order} him food."

Updated Bible Version 2.11   Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, Go now to your brother Amnon's house, and dress him food.

 

Young’s Updated LT             And David sends unto Tamar, to the house, saying, “Go, I pray you, to the house of Amnon your brother, and make for him food.”

 

The gist of this verse:          David sends a royal message to Tamar to go to Amnon’s home and to make food for him.


2Samuel 13:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâlach (שָלַח) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send for [forth, away], to dismiss, to deploy, to put forth, to stretch out, to reach out

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Tâmâr (תָּמָר) [pronounced taw-MAWR]

palm-tree, date-palm and is transliterated Tamar

feminine singular proper noun

Strong’s #8559 BDB #1071

bayith (בַּיִת) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular noun with the definite article and the directional hê suffix

Strong's #1004 BDB #108


Translation: Therefore, David sent [a message] to Tamar at the palace [lit., house, residence],... Most of the time when we have the common verb to send, the words messenger, message are implied.


The definite article here indicates that we are speaking of a specific residence. This implies that Tamar lives in the palace with the king. If it were her own house, it would be more likely for this to read, her house. This would not be unusual; certainly a young woman would be guided and protected by her family. Since we are probably speaking of David’s main residence, the translation palace is apt.


Gill Footnote suggests that she is living with her brother Absalom at this point in time. However, I think that v. 20b (And Tamar lived in the house of her brother Absalom, but she was desolate) indicates a change of residence. This chapter of the Bible seems to be fairly specific about which houses we are speaking of, so when we have David sending a message to Tamar at the house (palace), it is likely this is the king’s palace, although possibly an apartment of sorts attached to the palace, either for Tamar alone or for her and her mother.


No matter where she is living now, it is clear that she is well-protected there and that Amnon could not simply “drop by;” hence the need for this plan of Jonadab’s.


You may recall how David tried to manipulate Uriah the Hittite, but he could not because Uriah had a great personal integrity. Here, David has been completely manipulated. It is because David sends this message that Tamar must go to Amnon’s home.


2Samuel 13:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

hâlake (הָלַךְ) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

go, come, depart, walk; advance

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

nâʾ (נָא) [pronounced naw]

now; please, I pray you, I respectfully implore (ask, or request of) you, I urge you

a primitive particle of incitement and entreaty

Strong's #4994 BDB #609

bayith (בַּיִת) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular construct

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

ʾAmenôwn (אַמְנוֹן) [pronounced ahme-NOHN]

faithful; transliterated Amnon

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #550 BDB #54

ʾâch (אָח) [pronounced awhk]

brother, kinsman or close relative

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person feminine singular suffix

Strong's #251 BDB #26


Translation: ...saying, “Go now to the house of your brother Amnon... Even though David includes the article of entreaty, this is an order from both the king and her father; the imperative mood indicates that there is no time to be wasted here; she is to come right on over.


The construction of the Hebrew here, referring to Amnon as your brother, indicates that this is the actual text of the message that David sends to Tamar.


Again, the idea is, his own servants or someone in his household is poisoning Amnon, so he needs to get some untainted food, and that will come by means of Tamar. This is an emergency that needs to be attended to immediately, is what David would be thinking right now. Because this is an emergency, no one has any time to think this through or to offer an alternative approach.


A word ought to be said about these residences. It is both reasonably clear and logical that Amnon and Absalom have their own houses. If Amnon lived at the palace or in an apartment adjacent to the palace, it would be less likely that he would have his own separate staff, including his own cook. David would not have to send a message to Tamar if they all lived together. Tamar will later be said to live with Absalom in his house for most of her life; and Absalom has a ranch in northeastern Israel. So, logically, David, Amnon and Absalom all live in separate residences scattered throughout Jerusalem. We are not certain about Tamar or their respective mothers. However, Absalom and Amnon are both potential future kings; therefore, it would be logical for them to assume autonomous lives. Furthermore, Absalom has a ranch, so it would make little sense for him to have this ranch, and yet live in close association with his father in Jerusalem. Therefore, Amnon and Absalom both apparently live separate from their father and probably have some sort of official state business which they oversee (which is part of their training), as well as pursuing whatever career or vocation that strikes them.


2Samuel 13:7c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʿâsâh (עָשָֹה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare, to manufacture

2nd person feminine singular, Qal imperative

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bireyâh (בִּרְיָה) [pronounced beer-YAW]

food

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #1279 BDB #135


Translation: ...and prepare a meal [lit., food] for him.” The fact that we have the words the food here (actually, one word in the Hebrew with a definite article prefix) suggests to us that this is an edited portion of the message. Probably in the note, David indicated what kind of food Amnon had requested, and the imperative mood tells her that he wants this food prepared right there before Amnon. Amon’s request to his father was fairly specific; we can reasonably assume that David listened and offered the same specificity in his instructions to Tamar. However, there is not a lot of reason for us to read through a complete repetition of Amnon’s exact directions, so God the Holy Spirit did not include the entire text of David’s message.


You will note that David has been completely duped here by his own, not-so-mentally-nimble son, Amnon. As king, David is supposed to be a little smarter and a little more on the ball than those around him. He certainly has advisors, but no one catches on to this scheme. David is made to believe that there is another plot afoot, a plot to kill Amnon by poisoning, so he does not realize that this other plot is part of the manipulation.


This certainly indicates that Jonadab and Amnon make up quite the devious team. Jonadab is smart enough to devise a scheme that will fool even David; and Amnon is a good enough actor to pull it off. We see this all of the time in movies. There are so many actors that could not write a few lines of decent dialogue for themselves, but when given the dialogue from a good writer and given good direction, they can sell it. This is Amnon; he is more than able to sell his predicament to his father David and David falls for it. Jonadab knew what needed to be said and how Amnon needed to say it. When a director of a movie is good, you never think about him. You do not realize that he is there. He has his fingerprints on every scene in the movie, in every nuance of his actors’ voices, but, if he is good, you take the movie at face value and never consider that there was one man behind all of this directing the action, setting up the camera angles, and tweaking for the dialogue and the characters played by the actors.


One thing that a director often wants to happen is, for us to become emotionally involved in some of his characters. When you are emotionally involved, you want the best for that character. David is emotionally involved with Amnon here. He is concerned that his child might be poisoned. Therefore, this emotional involvement causes David to be blind to how he is being set up. His concern for Amnon and his over-thinking about Amnon possibly being poisoned, blinds David to the fact that he is being manipulated.


Application: People are often deceived in two ways. They are honest themselves and they simply expect honesty from those with whom they deal. Or, they have trapped themselves in their own arrogance, and it never occurs to them that someone can put something over on them.


One more thing needs to be said about David being deceived: he does not know his own child. He does not know who Amnon is. He does not know what Amnon is capable of. Because David does not know his own child, Amnon is able to deceive David. This happens all over the world. Children—particularly in their teens—try their hand at manipulating their parents. All parents need to be aware of this and ready for it when it happens.


Application: As a parent, you need to know your child, both his good and bad points. You need to recognize that your child will attempt to manipulate you.


Application: Being smart does not mean that you are people-smart; and, even if you are people-smart, some people are simply able to deceive you. Do not go through life, even with Bible doctrine, thinking that you will be able to figure out every person who is deceptive. You will be deceived in life.


Vv.6–7: So Amnon laid down and feigned illness, so the king came to see him. Amnon then said to the king, “Please let Tamar, my sister, come [to me] and she will make cakes in my sight—a pair of cakes—that I will eat from her hand.” Therefore, David sent [a message] to Tamar at the palace [lit., house, residence], saying, “Go now to the house of your brother Amnon and prepare a meal [lit., food] for him.”

A Summary of 2Samuel 13:6–7

1.      David is a smart man; he is people-smart and he has doctrine in his soul.

2.      Even so, his son Amnon has deceived him. There is no indication that David had any suspicion of Amnon about anything.

3.      As an overindulgent father, David was first put off guard with his son being extremely sick—possibly deathly ill, although no such verbiage is ever used.

4.      Part of the brilliance of Jonadab’s plan is, much of it is not stated. At no time does Amnon utter the words “I think I am being poisoned” or “I think that I may die.”

5.      Rather than overplay his hand, Amnon uses subtlety and allows his father to fill in what is unsaid.

6.      David can certainly be faulted here—he does not know the character of his own son and he did not participate in raising this boy. Therefore, Amnon’s soul kinks can be partially laid upon David.

7.      Had David known his son, he would have been suspicious with almost anything that he proposed; however, David was blind to this boy’s evil ways.

8.      Amnon is nearly to old to be corrected at this point. David had a chance when this boy was young; however, this boy’s soul is completely distorted.

9.      David’s daughter, Tamar, is usually well protected. She appears to live in the palace complex guarded by the palace guard.

10.    Jonadab’s plan will get her out of the palace, away from David and from the palace guard. She will become very vulnerable.

11.    Amnon will appear to be quite helpless when she comes to him. He will appear to be in need.

12.    Tamar’s desire to take care of him, to be the good sister, will blind her to what is going on.

13.    Although Tamar is protected physically, it is clear that her father never sat her down and said, “Listen, dear, I want to tell you what boys are like.” So her soul will be completely unprepared for what Amnon will do.

14.    She will come to Amnon’s home alone, without a guard. Amnon’s illness will be seen as an emergency. She is old enough to leave the palace on her own. She will be dressed in recognizable garb, so that anyone who sees her will know who she is.

15.    Since her father David does not know what is really going on, he believes that his daughter will leave the protection of the palace to enter into the protection of Amnon’s guards.

16.    David is too overwrought to take any additional precautions. He is worried about Amnon; it never occurs to David to be worried about Tamar.

Young women need to take a lesson here: some men will do anything to have sex with you. They will lie, deceive or say and do things to make you think that they are one kind of person, when they are not.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


If a person digs enough, it will be clear that there are many applicable lessons from the Bible to us today. The fact that this takes place 3000 years ago and that David and his family are royalty does not lesson the Bible’s ability to be relevant to us today. Men and women have not changed. Some men will do anything and say anything in order to take a woman sexually. The drive is that strong for a man. If a man has a flawed character, then his treatment of women will be doubly flawed. Amnon is so flawed here that he has no interest in taking this opportunity to develop a friendship with Tamar, to explore a possible relationship with her, despite her being a half-sister. He will exploit this situation to rape her.


David is no different than any divorced father today. David is not there with his children day and night, so he is unable to properly raise them. David’s thoughts have been all about chasing skirt when he is not concentrating on the problems of his kingdom; just as a divorced dad’s thoughts might be all about chasing skirt when he is not burdened with the pressures of life.


One of the reasons that God makes divorce so difficult to legitimately attain is, the children involved are hurt in this process. Not only is the security of having both parents removed from them, but the training a child needs from both parents is lost. Even a father who is divorced who is a decent guy cannot be with his children enough to give them the training that they need for life. The end result is, little monsters are raised, like Amnon and Jonadab (Jonadab appears to have soul kinks because his father does).


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Let’s stop for a moment and take a look at our principle characters and who they are, based upon the narrative in this chapter.

A Psychological Profile of These People So Far

The Person

Commentary

David

David is a weak and indulgent father. He has not been around to raise his son Amnon and he does not know Amnon’s true character.

Amnon

Amnon is a shiftless, lazy layabout who thinks of no one but himself. He has a sense of entitlement—he expects to be made king, and character development is never seen as part of the picture. He is obsessive and he lacks any sense of empathy.

Jonadab

Jonadab is also lazy and shiftless and he has found out that he can (1) manipulate people and (2) think circles around most people. He recognizes that his father, in comparison to King David, is the failure, and that he will go nowhere in life sticking with his father. In coming to know Amnon, he sees him as a kindred soul, someone he can advise and eventually score a job as the King’s advisor (that king being Amnon). He is content to be the one behind the scenes pulling the strings. He puts up with Amnon’s whining about Tamar because he is using Amnon as well. When Amnon becomes a liability, Jonadab will attempt to use him in his death.

Tamar

Tamar is an innocent, thoughtful woman who has been taught nothing about the evil in some men’s hearts. She is obedient, capable; but unprepared for being out in the real world.

Ahinoam

Ahinoam is Amnon’s mother and the person who actually raised Amnon. It is clear that she indulged him and made him to think that he was entitled to whatever he desired. No doubt, she was angry that David suddenly began to bring home more wives, and that she sought her emotional fulfillment in raising her son. In fact, as is the case with some single mothers, she possibly attempted to gain emotional fulfillment in being friends with her son.

Amon and Jonadab are probably both psychopaths, which characteristics will be further examined in v. 15.

You should take note of how all of this goes back to David’s sexual arrogance or sexual addiction. He is unable to function as a good father because he has several wives. He is unable to develop a good relationship with any of his wives or any of his children because he has spent much of his time tom-catting around.


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Amnon Rapes Tamar: the Execution of the Plan


And so goes Tamar a house of Amnon, her brother and he is lying down. And so she takes the dough and so she kneads [it], and so she makes [cakes] to his eyes. And so she bakes the cakes.

2Samuel

13:8

So Tamar went to the house of Amnon her brother, and he was lying down. She took the dough and kneaded [it], and makes the cakes before his eyes. Then she baked the cakes.

So Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon, and he was lying down. She took the dough and kneaded it, making the cakes in his sight. Then she baked the cakes.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And Thamar came to the house of Ammon her brother: but he was laid down: and she took meal and tempered it: and dissolving it in his sight she made little messe.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so goes Tamar a house of Amnon, her brother and he is lying down. And so she takes the dough and so she kneads [it], and so she makes [cakes] to his eyes. And so she bakes the cakes.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house; and he was lying down. And she took dough and kneaded it and baked cakes.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon, and he was lying down: and she took the dough and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes.

 

Significant differences:           The Latin, Greek and Syriac all have a pronoun following to knead; in the Hebrew, this is taken for granted. The Syriac lacks one of the verbs (the verb for making cakes); and the Syriac also leaves out that this is done in Amnon’s sight. I have no clue as to what the Latin is saying at the very end.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house where he was lying down. She took dough, kneaded it, made heart-shaped cakes in front of him, and then cooked them.

Contemporary English V.       When she got there, he was lying in bed. She mixed the dough, made the loaves, and baked them while he watched.

Easy English (Pocock)           So Tamar went to Amnon's house. Amnon was lying down. Tamar mixed together some flour and water. Amnon watched her as she made the bread. Then she cooked i.

Easy-to-Read Version            So Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon. Amnon was in bed. Tamar took some dough, pressed it together with her hands, and cooked the cakes. She did this while Amnon watched.

Good News Bible (TEV)         She went there and found him in bed. She took some dough, prepared it, and made some cakes there where he could see her. Then she baked the cakes...

The Message                         So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house. She took dough, kneaded it, formed it into dumplings, and cooked them while he watched from his bed.

New Century Version             So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house, and he was in bed. Tamar took some dough and pressed it together with her hands. She made some special cakes while Amnon watched. Then she baked them.

New Life Bible                        So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house. He was lying down. And she took dough and made loaves so he could watch. Then she baked them ready to ea.

New Living Translation           When Tamar arrived at Amnon's house, she went to the place where he was lying down so he could watch her mix some dough. Then she baked his favorite dish for him.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          So, Tamar went to the house of her brother AmNon and found him in bed. Then she took some dough and mixed it, made biscuits there in front of him, and fried them,...

Ancient Roots Translinear      Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house as he laid. She took dough, and kneaded and cooked his favorite pancakes in his eyes.

Beck’s American Translation So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s home. He was lying down. She took the dough, kneaded it, made flat loaves while he was watching her, and baked the loaves.

God’s Word                         So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's home. He was lying down. She took dough, kneaded it, made flat bread in front of him, and cooked it.

New American Bible              Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon, who was in bed. Taking dough and kneading it, she twisted it into cakes before his eyes and fried the cakes.

NIRV                                      So Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon. He was lying in bed. She got some dough and mixed it. She shaped the bread right there in front of him. And she baked it.

New Jerusalem Bible             Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon who was lying there in bed. She took dough and kneaded it, and she made some cakes while he watched, and baked the cakes.

New Simplified Bible              She went there and found him in bed. She prepared dough and made some cakes there where he could see her. Then she baked the cakes.

Today’s NIV                          So Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon, who was lying down. She took some dough, kneaded it, made the bread in his sight and baked it.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house; and he was in bed. And she took paste and made cakes before his eyes, cooking them over the fire.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Thamar, therefore, went to the house of Amnon, her cousin, and he was lying down. Then she took the dough and kneaded it, and made pancakes, and baked the cakes,...

Judaica Press Complete T.    And Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house, and he was lying down. And she took the dough, and kneaded it, and she prepared the dumplings before his eyes, and she cooked the dumplings.

New Advent Bible                  And Thamar came to the house of Ammon her brother: but he was laid down: and she took meal and tempered it: and dissolving it in his sight she made little messes.

NET Bible®                             So Tamar went to the house of Amnon her brother, who was lying down. She took the dough, kneaded it, made some cakes while he watched [Heb "in his sight."], and baked them [Heb "the cakes."].


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

exeGeses companion Bible   So Tamar goes to the house of her brother Amnon;

and he lies down:

and she takes dough

and kneads and bakes in his eyes

and ripens the cakes:

Modern KJV                           And Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house. And he had lain down. And she took flour and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes.

Syndein                                  Consequently, Tamar went to her brother Amnon's palace and he was 'laying down {pretending to be ill}'. And she took dough, and kneaded it and folded, and made crapes in his presence, and did bake the crapes. {Note: This action was the culmination of the lust of Amnon, the plotting of Jonadab, and the authority of David. David is an innocent dupe. But part of this phase of his discipline, is the part he will take in the rape of Tamar.}

Young’s Updated LT             And Tamar goes to the house of Amnon her brother, and he is lying down, and she takes the dough, and kneads [it], and makes cakes before his eyes, and cooks the cakes.

 

The gist of this verse:          Tamar goes to Amnon’s home, and he is lying down when she arrives.


2Samuel 13:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâlake (הָלַךְ) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

Tâmâr (תָּמָר) [pronounced taw-MAWR]

palm-tree, date-palm and is transliterated Tamar

feminine singular proper noun

Strong’s #8559 BDB #1071

bayith (בַּיִת) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular construct

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

ʾAmenôwn (אַמְנוֹן) [pronounced ahme-NOHN]

faithful; transliterated Amnon

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #550 BDB #54

ʾâch (אָח) [pronounced awhk]

brother, kinsman or close relative

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong's #251 BDB #26


Translation: So Tamar went to the house of Amnon her brother,... Tamar does as she is told. She is obedient and innocent. There is no indication whether she understands what is going on (that Amnon appears to believe he is being poisoned) or whether she is just going there to make a favorite food for Amnon because he is sick. My guess is, the latter. However, she follows the directions originally laid out by Amnon’s friend, although I doubt that she had any suspicions as to why she was doing this.


We have no idea how she viewed Amnon. She may or may not have viewed him as a creepy half-brother or she may have viewed him with some slight sisterly affection. I suspect that she really gave him very little thought. We tend to think about people that we see regularly; and the implication is, these half-sisters and brothers knew about one another, but they did not seem to spend a lot of time together. In many ways, the boys are competitors. So Amnon has met Tamar and is enraptured by her; but there are not enough regular family gatherings where he believes that he has a chance to pursue her. Furthermore, we would not expect there to be family gatherings, as these sons become old, as all of them potential kings and would, therefore, see themselves in competition with one another.


It is possible that, based upon the directions in the note (which would have been very specific), that she may have had a suspicion that Amnon was being poisoned (which, is just a ruse to get her there in the first place).


My own guess—and this is simply conjecture—is that she has a normal, sisterly fondness for Amnon and may even look up to him. She might even be in boy-crazy mode, something that many young women go through. Further, I don’t think that she fully realizes that David’s suspects that Amnon is being poisoned. She goes to Amnon dutifully and cheerfully and innocently. I don’t believe that she has any idea as to the evil which is about to befall her.


2Samuel 13:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hûwʾ (הוּא) [pronounced hoo]

he, it; himself as a demonstrative pronoun: that, this

3rd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

shâkab (שָכַב) [pronounced shaw-KAHBV]

to lie down, to lie down [to sleep, to have sexual relations, to die; because of sickness or humiliation]; to relax

Qal active participle

Strong’s #7901 BDB #1011


Translation: ...and he was lying down. Here, Amnon does not have to make any clever conversation; he can simply watch her and fantasize about her. As we will see, Amnon’s professed love for her is not very deep at all. He is simply taken in by Tamar’s great beauty.


The verb used here also foreshadows what is going to happen. This word is used to simply lay down, but it is also used for sexual relations as well. Movies do this with music. In the movie Jaws, before a shark would strike, we would often here that low, repetitive music indicating to us that there is a shark about to strike. In literature, this foreshadowing is done with a simple word or phrase.


2Samuel 13:8c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

lâqach (לָקַח) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

bâtsêq (בָּצֵק) [pronounced baw-TSAYK]

dough [leavened, before being leavened], flour

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #1217 BDB #130

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

lûwsh (לוּש) [pronounced loosh]

to knead [dough]

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3888 BDB #534


Translation: She took the dough and kneaded [it],... Although one source suggested that the dough here was leavened and another claims it is not; this is what one does when making a bread that is leavened. It is kneaded and allowed to rise.


2Samuel 13:8d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

lâbab (לָבַב) [pronounced lawb-VAHBV]

to make [bake] cakes, to cook bread

3rd person feminine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #3823 BDB #525

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ʿêynayim (עֵינַיִם) [pronounced ģay-nah-YIM]

eyes, two eyes, literal eye(s), spiritual eyes; face, appearance, form; surface

feminine dual noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5869 (and #5871) BDB #744

The lâmed preposition + ʿayin mean, literally to [for] [one’s] eyes; before [one’s] eyes. The sense is before any one.


Translation: ...and makes the cakes before his eyes. She has prepared the flour into a doughy substance and is shaping the cakes Footnote