The meaning of the Bible story of Amnon and Tamar

In the second book of Samuel chapter 13 is recorded the story of Amnon and Tamar. Amnon is a son of King David. Tamar is King David’s daughter, and Amnon’s half sister, having different mothers. Amnon lusts after Tamar and desires to have her, and sleep with her. He devises a deceptive plan to be alone with her, and rapes her. Amnon in English means faithful, Tamar’s name means date palm. The date palm tree in ancient times was a source of food, shade and shelter. Amnon makes know his feelings to his friend Jonadab who conceives the plot to get Tamar to be alone with Amnon. Amnon pretends to be sick, King David comes to visit him, Amnon asks the King to send Tamar to comfort him and bake cakes for him. King David honors his request, and thus the plot is hatched.

When Amnon is alone with Tamar he lets his true intentions be know, and tells her to lay with him. She refuses and says to him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly. 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. 2 Sam 13:12-13. Amnon does not listen and forces himself upon her. When he is finished the Bible tells us that Amnon hated her exceedingly, so that the hatred he hated her with, was greater then the love he had felt for her. Tamar essentially told Amnon to be patient and God, or King David, would give all of her to him if he would but ask. In the end Tamar’s full brother Absalom is so outraged when he hears the story, that he has Amnon killed for what he has done.

In the story we can think of ourselves as being Amnon, we faithfully ask God or King David, to give us our needs. God is more then happy to fulfill our request. Shimeah who name means, to give freely, represents the voice in our head, scheming ways and means to achieve a goal by force and deceptively. To get the thing we desire for free, stealing what is not rightfully ours. Tamar represents the physical world we live in, the needs and desires we have. When we ask God and believe, humbly relying on him, and not our own ways, we will receive. God is happy to give us both our needs and desires. Psalm 37:4 written by King David states, Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. The Bible tells us, Psalm 46:10 again written by King David, Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. Amnon is the man who asks God for a thing he desires, then forces it to take place, through his own power and manipulation. He gets the goal of his desire, and in the end his hate for it is greater then the love he thought he felt for it in the beginning. The ultimate outcome in the story resulted in unpleasantness, and in the end death. Let our requests be made known to God, be patient, and faithful, and imagine we have possession of the thing we desire, and God, not our own force and manipulation will bring it to pass.

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