2 Samuel 13:5 “Go to bed and pretend to be ill,” Jonadab said. “When your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘I would like my sister Tamar to come and give me something to eat. Let her prepare the food in my sight so I may watch her and then eat it from her hand.’”

6 So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill. When the king came to see him, Amnon said to him, “I would like my sister Tamar to come and make some special bread in my sight, so I may eat from her hand.”

7 David sent word to Tamar at the palace: “Go to the house of your brother Amnon and prepare some food for him.” 8 So Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon, who was lying down. She took some dough, kneaded it, made the bread in his sight and baked it. 9 Then she took the pan and served him the bread, but he refused to eat.

“Send everyone out of here,” Amnon said. So everyone left him. 10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food here into my bedroom so I may eat from your hand.” And Tamar took the bread she had prepared and brought it to her brother Amnon in his bedroom. 11 But when she took it to him to eat, he grabbed her and said, “Come to bed with me, my sister.”

12 “No, my brother!” she said to him. “Don’t force me! Such a thing should not be done in Israel! Don’t do this wicked thing. 13 What about me? Where could I get rid of my disgrace? And what about you? You would be like one of the wicked fools in Israel. Please speak to the king; he will not keep me from being married to you.” 14 But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her.

This is from Bible.org.

Tamar is truly the innocent victim here. She does not encourage Amnon; in fact, she frustrates him by her resolve to remain a virgin until marriage. And when she goes to Amnon's house, she does so at David's command. Amnon orders all to leave so that she has no one to come to her aid. It is hard to believe those who left did not know -- or at least suspect -- what Amnon had in mind. When Amnon coarsely propositions Tamar, she answers just as the Law of Moses instructed. When she answered, “No, my brother,” (emphasis mine), she states the reason Amnon's request is wrong. She speaks of the sexual intimacy he requests as a violation of her, and so it will be. He will do to her that which can never be undone. Her reproach can never be removed, for he has taken her virginity. She does not just plead for herself; she pleads with Amnon to act in his own interest. Raping her will make him as one of the fools in Israel. He, the king's first-born son, will become as one of the lowest men in the nation.

I suspect that because she sees that Amnon will not be kept from having her, she makes one final plea. Let Amnon go to his father, David, and request to marry her. Surely he will not deny him. There is a certain precedent for what she says. After all, Sarah is to Abraham what Tamar will be to Amnon. Sarah and Abraham have the same father but different mothers (see Genesis 20:12). I do not think she wants to marry Amnon, but marriage is better than rape and dishonor. Perhaps she hopes Amnon will ask his father and be rebuked and warned never to think about such a thing again or to come near Tamar.

It is surely not the scene Amnon must have played and replayed in his mind, as he waited for this occasion. She is not willing, and this act of violence has nothing to do with love. From intense and unbearable attraction, Amnon's feelings toward Tamar turn to revulsion. He cannot stand the sight of this woman he has violated. Amnon now orders her out. Once again, Tamar resists. She protesta that however evil Amnon has been in raping her, he is even more wicked in casting her off, for in so doing he makes it clear that he will not have her as his wife. She no longer has any options, so far as marriage and children are concerned. Once again, Amnon will not listen to reason or righteousness.

If it was Amnon who first clung to Tamar, refusing to let her go, it now seems to be Tamar who clings to Amnon, refusing to go. If he has violated her, at least he can do the honorable thing and marry her. Amnon is further repulsed by this, ordering his servant to throw her out and to lock the door behind her. The servant obeys, and Tamar leaves the house, having torn her long-sleeved garment and putting ashes on her head. As she goes her way, she has her hand over her head and is weeping. Surely there are many who looked on, if not knowing exactly what had happened, at least knowing something very terrible has happened to her.

I know the kids from my Bible Study class will be surprised to see the word I used to title this morning's reading. It describes what happened to Tamar in the verses today. Not only was she raped... she was discarded like trash. She was a good girl.... probably a child no more than in her teens. Hollywood might use someone in their twenties to play the part because of current sensibilities... but in reality... she was probably in her early teens.... like those girls just going into high school.

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