Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 13

Tamar’s desperate words

2 Samuel 13:11-13

Amnon only made his true intention clear when Tamar was unable to escape. Tamar could not call for help; all the servants had left the house. She could only try to persuade Amnon not to do what he desired.

So, she first appealed to the laws of Israel, which are God’s laws in the Bible. What Amnon wanted to do is against God’s law in Leviticus 20:17. In other nations, where people did not serve the true God, the law of the country may have permitted such behaviour. However, Israel is God’s special nation, with a special relationship with God (Romans 9:4-5). Therefore its people must not do this wicked thing.

She then reminded Amnon of the effect that this evil deed would have upon her own life. He had said that he loved her (13:4). If he did, then he should care about her. What he wanted to do, would upset her greatly. It would cause her to feel such deep shame that she might never be able to free herself from it. It would ruin her opportunities to marry as she wished. Perhaps no man would accept her; perhaps she herself would be too ashamed to marry.

Finally, she appealed to Amnon’s sense of honour. Everyone expected him to become king. Instead, they would all consider him a wicked and foolish man.

When Amnon still would not listen to Tamar, Tamar offered one last, desperate solution. She offered to marry Amnon, although he was her brother. If their father, King David, permitted it, then perhaps their shame would not be so great. She did not know whether Amnon could still become king; she did not even know whether they could remain in Israel. She only hoped that, somehow, she could save him from this foolish and evil behaviour.

Next part: Amnon forces Tamar to have sex (2 Samuel 13:14)


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