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  • Writer's pictureGene Benjamin II

Victimization – Part 1 – Perversion in the Palace


Part 1

Perversion in the Palace

David’s Culpability

The Torah teaches in Leviticus 20:17, “And if a man takes his sister [incest], the daughter of his father or daughter of his mother, and he has seen her nakedness, and she sees his nakedness, it is a shame. And they shall be cut off before the eyes of the sons of their people; he has uncovered his sister’s nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity [perversity, moral evil].” Notice the punishment for incest is bearing your perverse iniquity, being cut off from your people, not death, like for adultery or for being a spiritual medium. You are to be ostracized from your clan, tribe, or family. There is no time limit delineated in the Scriptures, so it must be for life.

Leviticus 18:6, 9, “None of you shall draw near to any relative of his flesh to uncover [disgracefully denude] their nakedness [blemish their pudenda]; I am Yahovah. . .9You shall not uncover the nakedness of your sister [incest], the daughter of your father, or the daughter of your mother, born at home, or born away; you shall not uncover their nakedness.”

Deuteronomy 27:22, “Cursed is he who lies with his sister [incest], his father’s daughter, or his mother’s daughter! And all the people shall say, Amen!” Was David’s son Amnon cursed for being the perverted perp?

Ezekiel 22:11, “And a man has done abomination with his neighbor’s wife, and a man has defiled his daughter-in-law in unchaste acts. And in you a man has humbled [incestuously raped, or had sex with] his sister, his father’s daughter.”

Amnon’s deed is designated as חסד, ḥeṣedh, indicating the degradation of the tenderness natural between brothers and sisters into a tenderness of an immoral character (2 Samuel 13). The crime of sexual relation of persons within the degrees of relationship forbidden by the Levitical law,” ISBE.

Culpability means a state of guilt. Culpable means deserving blame or censure as being wrong or evil or injurious. Was David culpable in the incestuous rape of his daughter Tamar by his son Amnon? Could David have protected his daughter from this crime? Let’s read the story and find out.

2 Samuel 13:1-39, “And afterward it happened that Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister, and her name was Tamar. And Amnon the son of David loved her. 2And Amnon was distressed, even to becoming sick, because of his [half]sister Tamar. For she was a virgin, and it was hard [literally means to speak to authority, Amnon was fantasizing about whether or not he had authority as the King’s son to do anything to her!] in the eyes of Amnon to do anything to her. 3And Amnon had a friend [cousin, acting as a shepherd watching over Amnon], and his name was Jonadab the son of Shimeah, David’s brother. And Jonadab was a very shrewd man. 4And he said to him, Why are you, the king’s son, so lean morning by morning? Will you not tell me? And Amnon said to him, I love Tamar, my [half]brother Absalom’s sister. 5And Jonadab said to him, Lie down on your bed and pretend to be ill. And your father will come in to see you, and you shall say to him, Please let my sister Tamar come in and give me food to eat. And she shall make the food before my eyes, so that I may see and may eat from her hand. 6And Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill. And the king came to see him. And Amnon said to the king, Please let my sister Tamar come, and she shall make two cakes before my eyes, and I shall eat from her hand. 7And David sent home to Tamar, saying, Please go to the house of your [half]brother Amnon and make food for him. [Notice, David believed his devious son Amnon and virtually ordered his daughter to her downfall, this is his culpability.] 8And Tamar went to her [half]brother Amnon’s house. And he was lying down. And she took the dough, and kneaded it, and made cakes before his eyes, and baked the cakes. 9And she took the baking pan and poured out before him. But he refused to eat, and Amnon said, Cause every man to go out from me. And every one of them went out from him. 10And Amnon said to Tamar, Bring the food into the inner room, and I shall eat from your hand. And Tamar took the cakes that she had made and brought them in to her brother Amnon, into the inner room. 11And she brought near to him to eat. And he lay hold on her, and said to her, Come lie with me, my [half]sister. 12And she said to him, No, my brother, do not humble [rape, the Hebrew indicates that instead of raping Tamar, Amnon should have been watching over her as though she was a sheep in his flock, looking out for her welfare.] me, for it is not done so in Israel. Do not do this foolishness. 13And I, where should I cause my disgrace to go? And you, you shall be as one of the fools in Israel. But now, please speak to the king; for he shall not withhold me from you. 14But he was not willing to listen to her voice. And he was stronger than she, and humbled her, and lay [raped, copulated] with her. 15And Amnon hated her with a very great hatred, so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, Get up and go! 16And she said to him, No, for this evil is greater than the other that you have done to me, to send me away. But he was not willing to listen to her. 17And he called his young man who attended him, and said, Now put this one out from me, and bolt the door after her. 18And a long tunic was on her, for so the virgin daughters of the king usually dressed. And his attendant brought her robes outside, and bolted the door after her. 19And Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore the long tunic on her, and put her hand on her head, and left; going on and crying out. 20And her brother Absalom said to her, Has your [half]brother Amnon been with you? But now, my sister, keep silent. He is your [half]brother. Do not set your heart on this thing. And Tamar lived in the house of her brother Absalom, but she was desolate [lost her dignity and identity as a virgin in Israel!]. 21And King David heard all these things, and it angered him very much. [King David’s culpability, again. No record of David correcting or punishing Amnon for his wicked act.] 22But Absalom did not speak either good or evil with Amnon, for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had humbled [raped] his sister Tamar.

23And after two years it happened that Absalom had shearers in Baal-Hazor, which is beside Ephraim. And Absalom called to all the sons of the king. 24And Absalom came to the king and said, Behold, your servant now has shearers. Please let the king and his servants go with your servant. 25And the king said to Absalom, No, my son, let us not all go now, and we shall not be too burdensome on you. But he urged him, and he was not willing to go, but he blessed him. 26And Absalom said, If not, please let my brother Amnon go with us. And the king said to him, Why should he go with you? 27And Absalom urged him, and he [David] sent Amnon with him, and all the king’s sons. [King David’s culpability, again. David should have had a feeling something was up, but he apparently did not.] 28And Absalom commanded his young men, saying, Now watch when Amnon’s heart is glad with wine, and when I say to you, Strike Amnon, you shall kill him. Do not fear. Did not I command you? Be strong, and be valiant. 29And the young men of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom commanded. [Absalom harshly defended his sister’s honor, but he went beyond the Torah’s instructions. David apparently did nothing to defend his daughter’s honor, David’s culpability.] And all the king’s sons rose up, and they each rode on his mule, and fled. 30And it happened while they were in the highway, even the report had come to David, saying, Absalom has stricken all the sons of the king, and not one of them is left. 31And the king rose up and tore his garments, and lay on the earth [The King did not correct or punish Absalom for his wicked act, maybe because Absalom did what King David should have done, executed justice for the innocent victim, Tamar, even though Absalom went beyond the Torah!]; and all his servants were standing by with torn garments. 32And Jonadab [Amnon’s cousin buddy who conspired this entire rape plot!] the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, answered and said, Do not let my master say, They have killed all of the young men, the king’s sons; for only Amnon is dead. For it has been settled by Absalom’s command from the day of his humbling [raping] of his sister Tamar. 33And now, do not let my master the king lay the word to heart, saying, All the king’s sons have died; for only Amnon has died. 34And Absalom fled. And the young man who was watching lifted up his eyes and looked. And, behold! Many people were coming by the highway behind him, by the side of the hill. 35And Jonadab said to the king, See, the sons of the king have come; as the word of your servant [Now that Amnon is dead, Jonadab is sucking up to his Uncle King himself!! What a jerk!], so it has been. 36And it happened as he finished speaking, behold, the king’s sons came. And they lifted up their voice and wept. And also the king and all his servants wept with a very great weeping. [David mourned and grieved over his lost son Amnon and over Absalom’s rebellion.] 37And Absalom fled, and went to Talmai the son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son all the time. 38And Absalom had fled, and had gone to Geshur, and was there three years. 39And King David determined to go out to Absalom, for he had been comforted for Amnon, for he had died.”

Absalom was King David’s prodigal son and David wanted him back in his home, in his life, even though Absalom had murdered one of David’s sons!!

Did King David have family problems or what? When did his family troubles begin? When he committed adultery with Bathsheba and then murdered her husband, Uriah. From that day forward, David’s family fragmented and began to fall apart.

Did David know his son Amnon was going to rape his young virgin daughter Tamar? No. Should King David have known this? Probably. Did King David know Absalom was going to murder his son Amnon? No. Should he have know this? Probably. This is David’s guilt, this is David’s culpability. He was a negligent father and could not protect his own virgin daughter within his own family setting! Was this a sin of commission or omission? I believe it was a sin of omission, for he failed to see the evil intentions of his sons and then take appropriate action. Notice, the King did not consult Yahovah through the prophets before making simple family decisions that ultimately destroyed members of his own family. Sad, true, heartrending. Real life.

There is no Scriptural record that Yahovah ever rebuked David for sending Tamar to Amnon’s house into a compromising situation where she would be brutally raped, or for sending Amnon to his death at Absalom’s house. David was blinded by his love for his children. He never dreamed that one of his beloved children would harm another of his children, though you would think he should have had a clue when he sent Amnon to his death. Love seems to be blind. David could not see into the evil heart of either of his sons. The great billionaire King of Israel could not protect his children from his other children. He could not even protect himself from his children, i.e. Absalom.

The Scriptures do not say why a prophet of Yahovah did not burst in just in time to save Tamar’s virginity or Amnon’s life. We know David had the discernment of the Holy Spirit, just read on in chapter 14 and you can see that David knew that Joab had sent that woman of Tekoah to him. Even when Absalom was allowed to return to Jerusalem, the only punishment from David was that Absalom must stay home and not see the King’s face. Sounds very lenient in our day, a murderer under house arrest. There were many witnesses to Amnon’s murder, why was Absalom not stoned to death? I don’t know. Why did not David punish or even correct Amnon during the two years from the rape to his murder? I don’t know, the Scriptures do not say. But here is what the Scriptures say later, when David’s army went in pursuit of his rebellious son Absalom, “For my sake deal gently with the young man, with Absalom.” 2 Samuel 18:5b. That is a father’s heart. David did not make excuses for his sons, but he did seem very lenient when it came to discipline and punishment of his own royal children. That is David’s culpability.

Why did David not seek or execute justice on Amnon for his daughter Tamar’s sake? According to Torah, he had every right and duty to punish Amnon. Amnon should have been cut off from the King’s family. Why could David not do it? Was his love for his children so great that he was willing to violate Torah, not once (Amnon the rapist), but twice (Absalom the murderer)? Apparently.

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