Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 13

Amnon asks David to send Tamar to him

2 Samuel 13:6

King David cared deeply about all the people over whom he ruled (24:17). So of course he cared especially about the members of his own family. Only recently, his youngest son had died (12:13-19). Now, his oldest son seemed to be ill; perhaps his life was in danger, too.

Amnon was the son whom David expected to become king after him. However, during the last few weeks, Amnon had become thin and weak. Amnon’s friend had seen it (13:4); perhaps David saw that, too. Now Amnon seemed unable to get up from his bed. He asked his father to visit him.

Nothing was physically wrong with Amnon. However, it seemed clear from his appearance that he was ill. Amnon seemed to say that his illness was not physical, but in his heart or inner person. We see that in the name of the special food that he requested. It is called ‘heart-cakes’ in the Hebrew language. People understood then that illness in the heart or inner person is real (Nehemiah 2:2; Proverbs 13:12). David in particular understood such troubles (1 Samuel 16:23).

Physical food alone cannot cure an illness of the heart (inner person), Amnon explained. It would not benefit him if one of the palace maids served him that food. A maid could not give him the food with the love that he needed at this time. Rather, Amnon needed the love of a sister to cure him. In particular, he needed Tamar to be his nurse; Amnon considered her the most gentle and beautiful of his sisters. He insisted to David that her love alone could cure this illness of his heart.

Next part: David sends Tamar to Amnon (2 Samuel 13:7)


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