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Bible Commentaries

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 13

Verse 1

Thamar was born of Maacha, as well as Absalom.

Verse 2

Her. He had seen her on some solemn occasions, when virgins were allowed to go out, well attended. At other times they were so strictly guarded, that Amnon thought it almost impossible to gratify his passion, (Calmet) which made him grow pale. He afterwards feigned himself to be more sickly than he really was, ver. 6. (Haydock)

Verse 3

A very wise man. That is, a crafty and subtle man: for the counsel he gave on this occasion shews that his wisdom was but carnal and worldly. (Challoner) --- Jonadab seems to be styled Jonathan, chap. xxi. 21. (Calmet)

Verse 4

King? to whom every indulgence must be allowed. (Menochius)

Verse 5

To me. Hebrew, "and give me meat, and dress the meat in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it, " &c. (Haydock) --- He pretends to be disgusted with food, (Calmet) unless he see his sister make it ready. (Haydock)

Verse 6

Messes. Hebrew, "cakes, or cordials;" what which refresh the heart, and give an appetite. The queen of Perdiccas, of Macedon, baked bread for her servants. (Herodotus viii. 137.) (Genesis xviii. 6.)

Verse 9

Out. This conveys the idea of something liquid. (Calmet) --- It was a thin wafer, (Haydock) or cake, of which there were different sorts.

Verse 10

Chamber. Hebrew Chadera, "bed-place," (Canticle of Canticles i. 4.) where Amnon was lying. (Calmet)

Verse 12

Folly, or impiety, so directly contrary to the law, Leviticus xviii. 6. and 9. and 11. (Haydock)

Verse 13

Thee. Was she ignorant that such marriages could not be allowed? (Calmet) --- Some think she was. (Grotius) (Menochius) --- Others believe that, in her present situation, she said what first came into her head, to get out of the hands of her brother. The Rabbins pretend that she was conceived before David married her mother, and that the latter was a pagan; so that they suppose there was no relationship between Thamar and Amnon. But this is all asserted without proof. (Calmet)

Verse 15

Before. Such changes are not unfrequent in those who give way to disordered passions, as Aristotle (prob. iv.) proves. Semiramis slew her lovers, and among the rest her own son. (Tirinus) --- God caused Amnon to be stung with remorse, and the evil spirit pushed him on to extremities, which filled the palace with scandal and bloodshed. (Menochius)

Verse 16

Greater, as being more public; (Tirinus) and all would think her guilty of some horrible misdemeanor. (Haydock) --- It made the divulging of the crime in some degree necessary. (Menochius) --- Unhappy woman! why did she not cry out, at least, before the perpetration of the act, as the law directed? (Deuteronomy xxii. 24.) (Salien, the year of the world 3000.)

Verse 18

Robe. Hebrew passim; long and variegated, like Joseph's, Genesis xxxvii. 3. The Septuagint call it, Greek: karpotos, to insinuate that it was "adorned with fruits," &c. (Haydock)

Verse 19

Head, as if to hide her face, Ezechiel xxvii. 30., and Jeremias ii. 37. So Mezentius: "Canitiem immundo deformat pulvere et ambas

Ad C'9clum tendit palmas."----- (Virgil, 'c6neid x.) See Homer, Iliad 2. (Calmet)

--- Crying, that no one might think she had consented. (Menochius) --- She probably went directly to her brother's house, and related the affair to him; or he met her in this condition. (Salien)

Verse 20

Brother. His disgrace will fall upon the whole royal family, and the king will not bring him to punishment, like another. (Calmet) --- Away. Hebrew and Chaldean, "desolate." (Menochius) --- Septuagint, "like a widow."

Verse 21

And he, &c. This is not in Hebrew, &c., nor in St. Jerome's version. Josephus and some copies of the Septuagint read it. But the reason here alleged would not suffice to excuse David. (Calmet) --- He might think that, as he had shewn such a bad example himself, he could not with a good grace punish others. (Sanctius) --- This however was requisite, as long as he was king. Whatever faults he might have fallen into, he was not on that account to suffer crimes to remain unpunished; (Haydock) and it is supposed that he testified his resentment to Amnon; (Salien, &c.) though the Scripture be silent thereon. (Haydock) --- Abulensis condemns him for too great remissness. (Menochius)

Verse 23

Two. Hebrew, "full years." He waited so long, that he might put his murderous designs in execution with less suspicion. (Haydock) --- Sheep. It was esteemed the best husbandry, "to have fine flocks;" bene pascere: (Cato) even for the nobility. --- Ephraim, or Ephrem; (John xi. 54.) probably near Bethel. (Josephus, Jewish Wars v. 33.) (Calmet) --- Nabal had made a feast on a similar occasion, 1 Kings xxv. Absalom invites his father to avoid suspicion; (Menochius) though he would be glad at his refusing to come, unless perhaps he would not have hesitated to order his brother to be murdered in his very presence, in order to punish both. (Haydock)

Verse 25

Blessed him, wishing him joy. Absalom kept a separate establishment, and had many children, chap. xiv. 27. (Menochius)

Verse 26

Amnon. He mentions him as the eldest, and that David might suppose that they were perfectly reconciled. (Calmet) --- The unhappy father seems for a long time to have expressed a reluctance and foreboding. (Haydock)

Verse 28

It is I: the blame will fall on me; I will rescue all from danger. These servants were probably infidels, of Gessur, and fled with their master. (Menochius)

Verse 29

Mule. This is the first time we find these animals used to ride on. The judges had fair asses. These mules were not the offspring of horses and asses. They bear young in Syria, (Aristotle, anim. vi. 24.) and are little inferior to horses in size, though they are shaped like our mules. (Aristotle, anim. xxxvi.)

Verse 30

Left. Fame often magnifies. (Menochius) --- Crescit eundo. (Haydock)

Verse 31

CHAPTER XIII.

Verse 32

Mouth. Chaldean [and] Syriac, "heart." Aquila, "because Absalom was in wrath against him." He had resolved upon his destruction. (Calmet) --- Perhaps he had expressed his intention to some of the court; and this Jonadab (by whose means the crime had been committed, ver. 5) had heard of it. (Haydock)

Verse 34

Mountain. Olivet. (Calmet) --- They had not kept the high road through fear of Absalom; (Abulensis) who, on his part, fled out of the country, as no city of refuge was able to protect wilful murderers. (Haydock)

Verse 37

Tholomai, or Tholmai, (Haydock; chap. iii. 3.) his maternal grandfather. (Calmet)

Verse 38

Ceased. We do not read that he had pursued Absalom before. (Calmet) --- Now he laid aside all thoughts of punishing him, as he began even to desire to see him again, when he reflected that Amnon had deserved death. (Haydock) --- Hebrew also, "he burnt with a secret desire to receive Absalom," chap. xiv. 1. (Jonathan; Vatable, &c.) (Calmet) --- Protestants, " the soul of king David longed to go forth unto," &c. (Haydock)

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 13". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hcc/2-samuel-13.html. 1859.