Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

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Second Samuel

Second Samuel was taught by Dr. James Modlish


Chapter Thirteen




Absalom literally translated "father of peace," also written Abishalom (1 Ki. 15:2,10), was David's third son by Maacah, daughter of Talmai, King of Geshur, a small territory between Hermon and Bashan. Absalom was born at Hebron (2 Sam. 3:3) and moved at an early age with the transfer of the capital to Jerusalem, where he spent most of his life. He was a great favorite of his father and the people as well. His charming manners and his personal beauty, together with his love of pomp and royal pretensions, captivated the hearts of the people from the very beginning. He lived in great style, drove in a magnificent chariot and had fifty men run before him.

In this chapter, we see David shut his eyes to both the crime of Amnon perpetrated on his half-sister Tamar, and the crime of Absalom in taking revenge on Amnon. Absalom flees the presence of his family traveling to the home of his mother Maacah in Geshur, where he remains for three years. When Absalom does return to Jerusalem, two full years pass before either David or he seek to be reunited. Of course the story of Absalom's rebellion, David flight from Jerusalem and Absalom's subsequent death and burial will follow in lessons to come.






Amnon was one of David's many children by numerous wives. This little harem could not help but bring about family and national problems as the Lord foresaw in (Deut. 17:15-17). According to (2 Sam. 3:2), Amnon is David's eldest son by Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; Absalom is the third son of David's wife Maacah, (2 Sam. 3:3). Tamar is the full sister of Absalom, but only a half sister of Amnon according to our text.

The chapter opens with the statement, "Amnon loved her" (Tamar), at least he thought he did. Amnon is "love sick" over Tamar, but there are some obstacles that are in the way for the young man to have his love (in this case obviously spelled L-U-S-T) satisfied. Tamar is his half sister; (Lev. 18:9,11) forbade such unions; she is also a virgin and probably not so willing to engage in any improper love affairs, especially with her brother!

Amnon has a "friend" by the name of Jonadab. Jonadab was actually Amnon's first cousin (13:3). It just might be that the phrase, "With friends like these who needs enemies?" was coined. Jonadab questions Amnon concerning his "lean", undernourished appearance (vs. 4). Amnon's life is being controlled by the lustful desires for his sister Tamar. Jonadab offers a suggestion to Amnon. It is obvious that Jonadab has been 'around'. It's men like Jonadab with whom you do not want your children to fraternize.

The text is very clear and needs little comment. Note the meat of verse five is defined as cakes in verse six.

Tamar does her best to ward off her attacker. In attempting to reason with her brother, she asks Amnon to go to the king and ask permission to marry her. Apparently, it is not marriage that is on the young man's mind.



The scriptures are very discreet in their presentation. If you are a mature adult human being, or a child who has watched endless hours of television, you are able to fill in the blanks of our story adequately.

It wasn't all that Amnon had dreamed it would be "...Then Amnon hated her exceedingly." How many relationships have been tarnished or totally destroyed by partaking of sexual privileges at the wrong time, place, and outside the jurisdiction of God's word? The hatred was greater than the love he loved her with. Amnon is disgusted with himself and Tamar (Amnon's conscience is showing) and he sends her on her way "...Arise, be gone."

Tamar's reaction is much more noble. "Loving me was wrong, but if you take me to wife it can be made right." Raping her was bad enough, but "loving her and leaving her" becomes totally humiliating. What a great study of human nature! Things haven't changed at all in 3000 years! "This evil in sending me away is greater than the other" (vs. 16). See (Ex. 22:16), the law commanded Amnon to make it right.

The garment of "divers colours" is found in (Gen. 37:3,23,32; Judg. 5:30).

Absalom is a "smart cookie," he reads the situation immediately, "Hath Amnon thy brother been with thee?" Without being explicit the full brother and sister understand one another quite well. 


According to (vs. 21), David is knowledgeable of Amnon's crime. David should have immediately taken some kind of disciplinary action. "For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations ...shall be cut off from among their people." - (Lev. 18:29). Amnon's sin is spoken of in this context as we pointed out in (Lev. 18:9,11). What went on at this time in David's mind is not very clear. Was David being merciful because of God's mercy shown to him? Was David procrastinating, and in missing the proper timing he allows the crime to go unpunished? David's mistake is silence. He fails to deal with the crime. David's lack of decisiveness creates confusion and insecurity in the minds of his children. Note that it is five years before David speaks to Absalom after his execution of Amnon! (13:38; 14:28). "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil" - (Eccl. 8:11). David, as father of these boys, should have initiated the disciplinary and reconciliatory actions towards them. Was it pride on David's part? or fear of losing his children? In any case, at this point David failed his sons, all of them.

Absalom plays it "cool" for two years contemplating the moment when he can "even the score." We see some thing of the character of Absalom at this point. It takes an unusual man to hold a grudge to the end of pre-mediated murder for two full years.

The day comes, the timing and circumstances are right. David knowing his son Absalom well is suspicious of his sons motives and intentions. In (vs. 26), we see David resist, but due to the pressure applied by Absalom, and against his better judgment, he allows Amnon to be placed in the company of Absalom.

Drunkenness, sex and murder go together like "ham and eggs," right from the very beginning ... (Gen. 9:21,22; 19:30-38; 2 Sam. 11:13-15) ... ad infinitum.



"Bad news travels fast." The bad news picks up a few extra details along the way. Instead of a murder, David hears of a massacre hath slain all the king's sons." Jonadab, Amnon's 'friend' of verse three, gets the "inside track and straight scoop" on the happenings. He informs David, "Amnon only is dead, by the way, Absalom has been planning this for two years." Jonadab is a very skillful man, he can stand right next to the fire and go unscathed, while everyone else receives third degree burns!

Absalom flees the presence of his father and returns to his mother's hometown. David is broken hearted for his son, "David mourned for his son every day" (vs. 37), yet David fails to initiate any action to retrieve and reconcile with him. Parents, learn a lesson from David's failure, always keep the lines of communication open with your children, regardless of their sins and failures. Remember the open arms of the father in (Lk. 15:20).

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