Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 13

Absalom orders his men to kill Amnon

2 Samuel 13:28

Two years before, Amnon had forced Tamar to have sex with him. Absalom was Tamar’s closest relative and, since that time, he had been plotting to kill Amnon.

Absalom’s opportunity came when he organised a great party for the king’s sons. His excuse for the party was that his men had cut the wool from his sheep. With that reason for the party, it would not seem strange if his men carried long knives.

Absalom organised plenty of wine for the party. When Amnon had drunk plenty of alcohol, he would be less aware of danger. At the right moment, Absalom would give the order, and then his men must act quickly. Amnon must not escape: Absalom knew that he would never have another opportunity.

Only the boldest men would have the courage to do such a thing. Although Amnon deserved punishment for his crime, no judge had ordered that punishment. In addition, Amnon was extremely powerful. As the oldest son of King David, everyone expected him to be the next king.

So Absalom had to urge his men to act boldly. He told them that they were not responsible for this act. He had given them the order; he accepted the responsibility. That was what he insisted to them. However, it was not actually true. Someone who kills a person without proper legal authority is guilty of murder. Nor did Absalom really take responsibility. After Amnon’s death, he did not stay in Israel to suffer his punishment or to defend his men. He escaped abroad, to Geshur.

Next part: A wrong report reaches David (2 Samuel 13:29-30)


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