Thursday, June 24, 2010
Character Studies in 2 Samuel: Tamar
Tamar is the prototype for the righteous victim. She was attacked and robbed of her virginity by her wicked half-brother Amnon. After the assault, she put ashes on her head, tore her many colored robe worn by the king’s virgin daughters, “and laid her hand on her head and went away crying bitterly” (2 Sam 13:19). She fled for refuge to her brother Absalom and remained “desolate” in his home (v. 20). Her father David was very angry at the injustice (v. 21), but it was her brother Absalom who took matters into his own hands and sought revenge. After Absalom arranged the murder of Amnon, the crafty Jonadab explained, “For by command of Absalom this has been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar” (v. 32). The violation of Tamar brings about a series of events that will result in the deaths of both Amnon and Absalom and will nearly cost her father his throne. We hear no more about Tamar in the Scriptures. We do know that Absalom named his only daughter after his beloved sister, and this child, like her namesake, “was a woman of fair countenance” (14:27).