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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

2 Samuel 13



Verses 1-39

2 Samuel 13. Amnon, Tamar, and Absalom (J).

2 Samuel 13:1-22. Amnon, David's eldest son, forces his half-sister, Tamar, the full sister of Absalom. He might have married her (2 Samuel 3:5*) but did not choose to do so. She rent her royal tunic, probably a garment reaching to the hands and feet (cf. Genesis 37:3*); Joseph's "coat of many colours" represents the same Heb. word. David was angry, but he did not vex him by punishing him, for he loved him because he was his first-born (so LXX).

2 Samuel 13:23-29. Two years later, Absalom induced Amnon to be his guest at the sheepshearing (p. 101) at Baalhazor near Beth-el; the other sons of David were also present. Absalom made them a royal feast (so LXX addition at the end of 2 Samuel 13:27). Absalom had Amnon murdered at the feast.

2 Samuel 13:30-39. The rumour reached the court that all the princes were slain, but Jonadab, Amnon's friend, reassured the king only Amnon was dead; for Absalom had been waiting for an opportunity to kill him ever since the outrage upon Tamar. Meanwhile the watchman, on some neighbouring tower, lifted up his eyes and saw, and behold much people were coming on the Beth-horon road (p. 31), on the descent; and the watchman came and told the king, saying: I see men coming on the Beth-horon road on the side of the hill (so ICC, with LXX). Soon after, the princes arrived. Absalom fled to the king of Geshur, his grandfather (2 Samuel 3:3), and remained there three years, and all the time David pined for his return.

2 Samuel 13:37-39. The text is corrupt, but the sense is clearly as above.


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 13:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.

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