Amnon’s plan to get Tamar (2 Sam 13:1-13:6)

“Some time passed. David’s son, Absalom had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar. David’s son Amnon fell in love with her. Amnon was so tormented that he made himself ill because of his sister Tamar. She was a virgin. It seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her. But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother. Jonadab was a very crafty man. He said to him. ‘O son of the king, why are you so haggard morning after morning? Will you not tell me?’ Amnon said to him. ‘I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.’ Jonadab said to him. ‘Lie down on your bed. Pretend to be ill. When your father comes to see you, say to him. ‘Let my sister Tamar come and give me something to eat. Prepare the food in my sight, so that I may see it and eat it from her hand.’ So Amnon lay down, and pretended to be ill. When the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king. ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and make a couple of cakes in my sight, so that I may eat from her hand.’”

Amnon was the oldest son of David, whose mother was Ahinoam of Jezreel. His name appears only 23 times in biblical literature. Absalom was the 3rd son of David with his mother Maacah, also born at Hebron. His name appears over 90 times in the biblical literature. Chileab, the 2nd son with his mother Abigail is only mentioned once in all these disputes and that was in the listing of the children born to David at Hebron in chapter 3 of this book. This Tamar is different from the one who married the two sons of Judah in Genesis, chapter 38. She has the same mother Maacah as Absalom. Jonadab is Amnon’s first cousin, the son of David’s older brother Shimeah. Now you have the cast of characters. Amnon loves his half sister. He was tormented with this love until his cousin Jonadab came up with a plan to have him pretend that he is sick and ask for Tamar to prepare some food for him. King David, unwittingly, said okay, when his son Amnon made this request from his sick bed.