Epistles of Thomas

June 30, 2009

2 Samuel 13-15

Filed under: Old Testament — Thomas @ 11:14
Tags: , , , , , ,

This section is the most disturbing of David’s reign. In chapter 13 we learn that one of his sons raped his half-sister and then threw her out. Amnon fell in “lust” with Tamar and with the assistance of his advisor Jonadab connived to get alone with her in order to rape her. After he had defiled her “he hated her more than he had loved her” (13:15). When King David heard about this “he was furious” but he did nothing (13:21). Tamar’s full brother Absalom was enraged and bided his time until two years later when he invited all of the king’s sons to a party and had Amnon killed while he was drunk. David was upset but did not pursue Absalom who had fled the country. Joab acted to bring Absalom back to Israel but David refused to see him for two years until Joab again intervened. Four more years went by during which time Absalom bided his time and built up rapport with the people. He offered to hear their cases and provided justice before the city gates. After this time of establishing himself Absalom went to Hebron and had himself declared king there. David must have been feeling abandoned because instead of raising his army and challenging Absalom he immediately made plans to flee the city of Jerusalem. His advisors must have made it very clear that “the hearts of the people are with Absalom” (15:13). He planned to return and left some men loyal to him in the temple and palace to ensure that he knew Absalom’s plans so he could first escape and then later return.

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