Attention!
Partner with StudyLight.org as God uses us to make a difference for those displaced by Russia's war on Ukraine.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

2 Samuel 13

Verses 1-39

  1. INTRO:
    1. David now begins to reap the harvest of sowing to the flesh.
      1. Here are the painful consequences of forgiven sin!
      2. And of all the trials of life, the most difficult to bear are those that come from our own family...because of our failures. (Warren Wiersbe, With The Word, pg.188.)
      3. In God’s grace though, He often takes the forest fires we start & turns them into fires of purification for our souls.
      4. Here the Royal Family starts unraveling.
    2. Last chapter, death of an innocent baby; this chapter, Rape & Revenge.
      1. I don’t like teaching on these topics; but we need a mirror held up to our hearts so we might learn from these terrible examples than by drifting into them ourselves!
        1. What life does to us depends on what life finds in us.
        2. Mahatma Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye would make the whole world blind!”
  2. RAPE! (1-22)
    1. AMNON DESIRES TAMAR! (1-10)
    2. (1) Absalom is mentioned 1st because ch.13-19 focus on the Absalom story [Tamar is his full sister]
      1. Absalom is the chief actor in this part of the drama.
    3. (2) Amnon became so obsessed, possessed, infatuated w/his lust that he made arrangements to sin
      1. Infatuated - “an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for”.
      2. He knew it was breaking God’s law by violating a virgin he could not marry.
      3. It was evil for him to nurture an abnormal love for his half sister.
        1. And he should have stopped feeding that appetite the moment it started.
        2. Read Mt.5:27-30
      4. He was so infatuated w/Tamar that he really thought he loved her & became ill thinking about it.
        1. But it wasn’t love but lust, a passion that so controlled him that he became like an animal.
        2. The virgin princesses were kept secluded in their own quarters, apart even from their male relatives, & Amnon’s imagination worked overtime as he thought about her.
    4. (3) Friend?...I don’t think so. (cousin, Jonadab)
      1. He did not deserve this title. Such friends have ruined many young men.
      2. 1 Cor.15:33(nlt) bad company corrupts good character.
      3. Anybody in our lives who makes it easy for us to sin is certainly not much of a friend; in fact, by following Jonadab’s advice, Amnon ended up becoming a rapist, committing incest, & getting killed.
    5. (3-5) Jonadab used his craftiness & devised a scheme that would permit him to steal Tamar’s virginity.
    6. AMNON DEFILES TAMAR! (11-20)
    7. (14) Being stronger than she, he forced her - That what the definition of Injustice is.
      1. Read Is.1:16,17 (seek justice, rescue the oppressed {nrsv})
      2. The sin of injustice is defined as “the abuse of power by taking from others the good things that God intended for them, namely, their life, liberty, dignity, or the fruit of their love or their labors.”
      3. It’s when a stronger person abuses his/her power by taking from a weaker person what God alone has given the weaker person. This God judges this as sin.
        1. When a more powerful person abuses their power by stealing those good things, they commit the sin of injustice.
    8. Biblical stories of Injustice:
      1. Cain stole Abel’s life through murder.
      2. The Egyptians stole the Hebrew’s liberty, dignity & well-being through forced slavery.
      3. King David stole Uriah’s wife & then Uriah’s life.
      4. Amnon stole Tamar’s dignity/virginity, well-being & personal wholeness by raping her.
      5. King Herod stole the lives of all the boys of Bethlehem 2 years & younger.
      6. The religious leaders in Jerusalem stole the lives of Stephen & other believers through the abuse of their civil-religious power.
        1. Each of these stories, 1 is weaker being abused by 1 stronger; being deprived of the good gifts that God has given.
        2. This is why the bible says, those who oppresses the poor insult their Maker. Prov.14:31
      7. KEY: In each of these stories the weaker person isn’t suffering because of random unfairness, an uncontrollable act of nature, or a patch of bad luck. Rather, the weaker person is suffering because of the very intentional abuse & oppression of a stronger person. This is injustice!
        1. The biblical response to this injustice is to, “seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.” Is.1:17
    9. The poorest people in our world suffer from hunger, homelessness, illiteracy & sickness.
      1. Response: we need to bring food, shelter, education, & medicine.
      2. Some suffer from bad earthquakes, bad storms, bad harvest, bad bacteria, bad famine, etc.
        1. These are all massive needs worthy of our urgent attention!
      3. But here’s what’s different! When the Root of the problem is cause by Aggressive Violence! Bullies!
        1. Violence is different. It’s intentional. It’s scary. It causes deep scars (of betrayal, humiliation, shame). Violence fights back!
      4. This again is why we at CM seek to support, or partner with: Free Burma Rangers (Burma); Partners Relief & Development(Thailand): Generate Hope(S.D.); ICA (Tem), & other groups foreign & domestic who help fight against Injustice, who fight against the bullies!
        1. Ps: For every dollar the Christian community spends on addressing injustice, it spends 100 dollars on traditional programs of poverty alleviation, compassion ministry, evangelism & discipleship.
        2. Not saying spending too much on these others, just not enough on these!
    10. (15) Lust became hatred, for both are born of violence.
      1. Hatred’s result? Tamar was ostracized in Israel.
    11. She was expelled from Amnon’s house, as though she had been the aggressor.
      1. Unholy love often turns to violent hate.
      2. Before he sinned, he wanted her all to himself; but after he sinned, he couldn’t get rid of her fast enough.
    12. Shame, remorse, gluttony, fear, all combined to make Amnon treat her with this sudden revulsion of feeling.
      1. This is the invariable experience of the sinner.
        1. When he has his desire, he loathes himself for it.
        2. Note women is in italics(not in orig) so he was saying, “Throw this thing out!”
    13. True love would never violate another person’s body just to satisfy selfish appetites, nor would True love try to persuade someone to disobey the law of God.
      1. 1 Thes.4:3-7 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.
    14. Tamar - the Palm, tall & Slender. Was clothed in embroidered garments, only worn by those of highest rank.
      1. Later Absalom would name one of his own daughters after his sister Tamar.
        1. Maybe as a gesture of consolation since his sister would never be able to have children.
    15. Loss of virginity in that day meant:
      1. She was disqualified from ever being given in marriage to another man.
      2. Never be able to bear children.
      3. Have to live the rest of her days in shame.
    16. DAVID’S PASSIVITY! (21,22)
    17. (21) Anger...ok, but what did you do with that anger?...nothing to punish Amnon!
    18. What restrained David’s anger? His conscience!
      1. How do you discipline when your struggling with your own crime, your own conscience, your own guilt? Didn’t he basically do the same thing against Bathsheba?
  3. REVENGE! (23-39)
    1. ​​​​​​​“Revenge is a luscious fruit which you must leave(on tree) to ripen!” Emile Gaboriau
      1. Are you struggling with revenge? Pick that fruit!!!
    2. ABSALOM’S VENGEANCE! (23-33)
    3. Absalom plotted, waited, & brooded over his revenge for 2 years; then struck the fatal blow & avenged his sister by killing Amnon.
    4. By ordering Tamar to obey her half brother’s wishes, he sent her into pain & humiliation; By ordering Amnon to attend Absalom’s feast, hew sent his 1st born to his death.
      1. David the deceiver was himself deceived! :(
    5. (28) God had warned David that the sword would never depart from his house. (12:10)
      1. Absalom, which means peaceful, was the 1st to take up the sword.
      2. David was reigning over Israel, but sin & death was reigning w/in his household.
    6. (33) How did both David & Absalom treat Amnon wrong?
      1. David didn’t love Amnon enough to discipline him.
        1. I thought a loving father disciplines the children he loves?
      2. Absalom didn’t love Amnon, he out right hated him.
    7. ABSALOM’S FLEES! (34-39)
    8. (34) Absalom branded as a murderer & banished.
    9. It is an awful thing for a saint of God to fall into sin.
      1. Now David has lost 2 sons to death; 1 to exile; & his daughter (in that society) ruined.
        1. The next time sin looks attractive to you...remember David’s trials.
    10. (36) Wept very bitterly - remember Amnon was David’s 1st born son & heir apparent.
    11. The problem with revenge is that it doesn’t really solve any problems & eventually turns & hurts the perpetrator.
      1. “In taking revenge,” wrote Francis Bacon, “a man is but even with his enemy, but in passing it over, he is superior.”
      2. No one was more unjustly & inhumanely than Jesus Christ at His trial & crucifixion, yet He refused to retaliate; & He is our example.
        1. The old slogan, “Don’t get mad, get even” may satisfy some people, but it can never be pleasing to the Lord.
        2. The Christian was is the way of forgiveness & faith, trusting the Lord to work everything out for our good & His glory.
        3. There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness! Josh Billings
    12. (39) How does David’s predicament illustrate the situation confronting God w/the human race?
      1. King David longed to go to Absalom! - Your God longs for you!
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 13". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/2-samuel-13.html. 2017.