Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 13

Tamar urges Amnon not to send her away

2 Samuel 13:16

Tamar’s father was King David, and her mother was the daughter of a foreign king (3:3). She was a particularly beautiful young woman (13:1). Everyone expected her to marry a man who was rich and famous - perhaps a prince, or a great military leader.

However, a man would want to marry a virgin - a woman who had never had sex (Deuteronomy 22:13-21). A man might, of course, marry a widow or a woman whose husband had divorced her (Deuteronomy 24:1-4). It was hard for a woman who had sex before marriage to find a husband. It would be even harder for Tamar, after her brother Amnon had sex with her. Everyone would talk about it, and many people would laugh at her. Any man would be ashamed to express any care for her.

So, Tamar urged Amnon not to send her away. Perhaps she believed that she had a right to marry him, because of Deuteronomy 22:28-29. However, God’s law does not permit a man to marry his sister (Leviticus 20:17).

If Tamar could not marry Amnon, then perhaps she could remain in his home, under his protection. That was what Absalom later did for Tamar (13:20). Under Amnon’s protection, Tamar would be safe from people who laughed at her. It might even be possible to keep the matter secret, so that other people would not know.

However, Amnon was not willing to listen to Tamar’s request. She was very desperate - but now, he hated her.

Next part: Amnon uses his power to pretend that Tamar is guilty (2 Samuel 13:17-18)


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