II Samuel 13: Iron Age Family Drama

David’s harem produced many children. One of this sons, Amnon developed a massive crush on his half-sister Tamar, Absalom’s whole sister. One day, while Amnon was going on and on about how hot she was a how bad her to their first-cousin Jonadab, when Jonadab was all, Dude, stop moaning about her! I bet if you play sick and tell the king that the only thing that will make you feel better is to have Tamar nurse you, David will totally order her to do it. Then you’ll have your sister at your house, alone, and totally at your mercy.

So Amnon played sick and asked for his sister. Tamar came and started cooking him lunch. While she was busy, he sent all his servants away. When she brought him the food, he grabbed her wrist and was all, Why don’t you crawl in bed with me? She started trying to pull her wrist away, begging, Brother no!  Let me go! Please don’t rape me! But Amnon dragged her into bed. She continued to struggle and was all, Please! Not like this! I’m sure that if you asked our father for me, he would give me to you. Then at least it would be honorable! But Amnon ignored her pleas and raped her. 

When he was done, he was filled with loathing and disgust for his victim and told her to get out of his house. Tamar was all, Kicking me out is adding insult to injury. By law I am yours now. But Amnon was all, You disgust me. Servants! Remove this filthy whore from my presence! So the servants dragged Tamar into the street and locked the door behind her.

Sobbing, Tamar trudged to Absalom’s house and told him what happened. Absalom consoled her and told her she would always have a home in his house. Then he went and told David what had happened. David was angry, but did nothing. Absalom swallowed his own anger and began plotting revenge against Amnon.

Two years later, Absalom invited all his brothers to his country house for a sheep-shearing festival. Before their arrival, he commanded his servants to wait until Amnon was drunk and then to kill him. The murder, of course, freaked the other brothers out, and they fled on their asses back toward Jerusalem.

Somehow word of the murder made it back to David before his sons, but by the time it got there the rumor was that Absalom had murdered all his brothers. David nearly went mad with grief. But Jonadab assured him that Absalom had only probably killed Amnon, for raping his sister, Tamar. David felt a bit better, especially since word came shortly after that the other brothers were riding into Jerusalem.

David and the family went into mourning. As for Absalom, he fled to his friend’s Prince Talmai, a cousin and son of the king of Geshur, where he stayed for three years. In the meantime, David came to forgive Absalom and longed to see his son.

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