And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her.
A. M. 2972. B.C. 1032. A. Ex. Is. 459. Absalom
a fair sister
And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do any thing to her.
Heb. it was marvellous, or hidden, in the eyes of Amnon.
But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man.
And he said unto him, Why art thou, being the king's son, lean from day to day? wilt thou not tell me? And Amnon said unto him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister.
Heb. thin. from day to day. Heb. morning by morning. I love.
And Jonadab said unto him, Lay thee down on thy bed, and make thyself sick: and when thy father cometh to see thee, say unto him, I pray thee, let my sister Tamar come, and give me meat, and dress the meat in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it at her hand.
So Amnon lay down, and made himself sick: and when the king was come to see him, Amnon said unto the king, I pray thee, let Tamar my sister come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat at her hand.
So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house; and he was laid down. And she took flour, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and did bake the cakes.
Dr. Russell says, "The Eastern ladies often wash their own hands, prepare cakes, pastry, etc. in their apartments; and some few particular dishes are cooked by themselves, but not in their apartments: on such occasions, they go to some room near the kitchen."
or, paste. and made cakes. Rather, as Mr. Parkhurst renders, "and tossed it (wattelabbaiv) in his sight, and dressed the tossed cakes (halleveevoth)." This will receive illustration from the account which Mr. Jackson gives of the Arabian manner of kneading and baking. "They have a small place built with clay, between two and three feet high, having a hole at the bottom for the convenience of drawing out the ashes, something similar to that of a brick-kiln. The oven is usually about fifteen inches wide at top, and gradually grows wider to the bottom. It is heated with wood; and when sufficiently hot, and perfectly clear from smoke, having nothing but clear embers at bottom, which continue to reflect great heat, they prepare the dough in a large bowl, and mould the cakes to the desired size on a board or stone placed near the oven. After they have kneaded the cake to a proper consistency, they pat it a little, then toss it about with great dexterity in one hand till it is as thin as they choose to make it. They then wet one side of it with water, at the same time wetting the hand and arm with which they put it into the oven."
And she took a pan, and poured them out before him; but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, Have out all men from me. And they went out every man from him.
And when she had brought them unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, Come lie with me, my sister.
And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly.
Heb. humble me.
no such thing ought
Heb. it ought not so.
And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king; for he will not withhold me from thee.
Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her.
Then Amnon hated her exceedingly; so that the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her. And Amnon said unto her, Arise, be gone.
Heb. with great hatred greatly.
And she had a garment of divers colours upon her: for with such robes were the king's daughters that were virgins apparelled. Then his servant brought her out, and bolted the door after her.
And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent her garment of divers colours that was on her, and laid her hand on her head, and went on crying.
And Absalom her brother said unto her, Hath Amnon thy brother been with thee? but hold now thy peace, my sister: he is thy brother; regard not this thing. So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom's house.
Heb. Aminon. but hold.
Heb. set not thine heart on. desolate. Heb. and desolate.
But when king David heard of all these things, he was very wroth.
he was very wroth
The Septuagint and Vulgate add, [Kai ouk elupese to pneuma Amnon tou huiou autou, hoti egapa auton, hoti prototokos autou en;] et noluit contristare spiritum Amnon filii sui, quoniam diligebat eum, quia primogenitus erat ei: "But he would not grieve the soul of Amnon his son, for he loved him because he was his first-born." The same addition is found in Josephus; and it is probable that it once formed a part of the Hebrew text.
And Absalom spake unto his brother Amnon neither good nor bad: for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar.
And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baalhazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king's sons.
A. M. 2974. B.C. 1030. An. Ex. Is 461. sheep-shearers
And Absalom came to the king, and said, Behold now, thy servant hath sheepshearers; let the king, I beseech thee, and his servants go with thy servant.
let the king
And the king said to Absalom, Nay, my son, let us not all now go, lest we be chargeable unto thee. And he pressed him: howbeit he would not go, but blessed him.
Then said Absalom, If not, I pray thee, let my brother Amnon go with us. And the king said unto him, Why should he go with thee?
let my brother
He urged this with the more plausibility because Amnon was the first-born, and presumptive heir to the crown; and he had dissembled his resentment so long and so well that he was not suspected.
But Absalom pressed him, that he let Amnon and all the king's sons go with him.
Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon's heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have not I commanded you? be courageous, and be valiant.
heart is merry
have not I
or, Will you not, since I have, etc.
Heb. sons of valour.
And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king's sons arose, and every man gat him up upon his mule, and fled.
gat him up
Heb. rode. mule.
Then the king arose, and tare his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes rent.
all his servants
And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother, answered and said, Let not my lord suppose that they have slain all the young men the king's sons; for Amnon only is dead: for by the appointment of Absalom this hath been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar.
David's brother. This was a very bad man: he had given his cousin Amnon the most detestable advice; and here speaks coolly of a most bloody tragedy of which he had been the cause.
Heb. mouth. determined. or, settled.
Now therefore let not my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king's sons are dead: for Amnon only is dead.
let not my lord
But Absalom fled. And the young man that kept the watch lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came much people by the way of the hill side behind him.
And Jonadab said unto the king, Behold, the king's sons come: as thy servant said, so it is.
as they servant said
Heb. according to the word of thy servant.
And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of speaking, that, behold, the king's sons came, and lifted up their voice and wept: and the king also and all his servants wept very sore.
Heb. with a great weeping greatly.
But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai, the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day.
As Absalom had committed wilful murder, he could not avail himself of a city of refuge; but went to Talmai, king of Geshur, his maternal grandfather.
So Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years.
A. M. 2974-2977. B.C. 1030-1027. An. Ex. Is. 461-464. Geshur. This was not the Geshur lying between Philistia and Egypt, (Jos 13:13. 1 Sa 27:8,) but another in Syria; probably the same as that beyond Jordan, whose inhabitants are joined with those of Maachathi, De 3:14. Jos 12:5
And the soul of king David longed to go forth unto Absalom: for he was comforted concerning Amnon, seeing he was dead.
the soul of
or, was consumed.