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Passage: 2 Samuel 13:1-14:33

2 Samuel 13:1-14:33 – Like Father, Like Son

Summary

Three stories form a sordid tale of rape, murder, deception, and reconciliation. Just as David's sexual misappropriation of Bathsheba had ended in the murder of Uriah, David's sons mirror his behavior in Amnon's rape of Tamar and Absalom's murder of Amnon.

Analysis

In announcing God's judgment against David for his affair with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah her husband, Nathan the prophet had said, "I [the LORD] will raise up trouble against you from within your own house" (2 Samuel 12:11a). These chapters report the beginning of the fulfillment of those words. All four of the main characters are named in the opening verse (Amnon, David, Tamar, and Absalom). In effect, David sees his own transgressions replayed before his very eyes in the lives of his children:
  • His virgin daughter, Tamar, is sexually violated by her half-brother, Amnon, David's firstborn son, as he had violated Bathsheba (13:1-22).
  • Absalom, Tamar's brother, will murder Amnon, as David had had Uriah murdered (13:23-39).
  • Even the reconciliation between David and Absalom will turn sour as Absalom's return will morph into rebellion that nearly destroys David and the nation as surely as it did destroy Absalom himself (14:1-33).