2 Samuel 13:1-16, 21-22

2 Samuel 13:1-16, 21-22
A Women’s Lectionary – Proper 22


Some time passed.I David’sII sonIII AbsalomIV

Notes on verse 1a

I “some time passed” = hayah + achar + ken. Literally, “and it was after this.” Hayah is to be or become, to happen. Achar is from achar (to remain behind, linger, continue, be behind, or delay; can also imply procrastination). This is after or the last part, following. Ken is perhaps from kun (properly, in a perpendicular position; literally, to establish, fix, fasten, prepare; figuratively, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous). This is to set upright. Generally used figuratively to mean thus, so, afterwards, rightly so.
II “David’s” = David. From the same as dod (beloved, love, uncle); the root may mean to boil, which is used figuratively to describe love. So, this implies someone you love such as a friend, a lover, or a close family member like an uncle. David’s name likely means something like “beloved one.”
III “son” = ben. From banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
IV “Absalom” = Abishalom. From ab (father, chief, ancestor; father in a literal or figurative sense) + shalom (completeness, soundness, welfare, favor, friend, good health; to be safe and figuratively well, happy, at peace, friendly; abstractly, includes the ideas of welfare and prosperity – not in excessive wealth, but in having enough); {from shalam (to be complete or sound; to have safety mentally, physically, or extending to one’s estate; so, if these things are safe and complete, the implication is that one would be friendly; and, if being friendly, one would make amends and that friendship would be reciprocated)}. This is Absalom or Abishalom, which means “my father is peace” or “father of peace” or “friendly.”

had a beautifulV sisterVI whose nameVII

Notes on verse 1b

V “beautiful” = yapheh. From yaphah (to be beautiful, decorate; root means being bright, which implies being beautiful). This is beautiful in a literal or figurative sense – appropriate, handsome, godly, pleasant.
VI “sister” = achot. From the same as ach (brother, kindred, another, other, like). This is sister in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean another or together.
VII “name” = shem. May be from sum (to put, place, set). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.

was Tamar,VIII and David’s son AmnonIX fell in loveX with her. 

Notes on verse 1c

VIII “Tamar” = Tamar. From the same as tomer (palm tree, the trunk of that tree, a post); from the same as tamar (palm tree). This is Tamar, a name and a place. It means “palm tree” or “free market.” See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Tamar.html
IX “Amnon” = Amnon. From aman (to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful, put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid). This is Amnon, meaning “faithful.”
X “fell in love” = aheb. This is to love, beloved, friend. It is to have affection for sexually or otherwise.

Amnon was so tormentedXI that he made himself illXII because ofXIII his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin,XIV

Notes on verse 2a

XI “was so tormented” = yatsar. 10x in OT. From the same as tsarar (to bind, restrict, narrow, be cramped, an adversary). This is to be narrow, pressed on. In a figurative sense, it can refer to being vexed or in distress.
XII “made…ill” = chalah. Properly, this is to be worn; hence, being weak, sick, or afflicted. It can also mean to grieve or, positively, to flatter or entreat.
XIII “because of” = abur. From abar (to pass over, pass through, or pass by; cross over or to alienate; used for transitions). This is for, so that, on account of. Properly, it means crossed.
XIV “virgin” = betulah. This is virgin, maiden, or bride. Can also be used figuratively for a place.

and it seemed impossibleXV to Amnon to doXVI anythingXVII to her. 

Notes on verse 2b

XV “seemed impossible” = pala + ayin. Pala is from pele (wonder, miracle, wonderful, marvelous thing). This is to be extraordinary, to arise, to be great or accomplish. Ayin is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).
XVI “do” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
XVII “anything” = meumah. From the same as mum (defect – an ethical one or a literal bodily one). Its root may mean to stain. This can mean a speck or fault. More broadly, it can also refer to anything or nothing.

But Amnon had a friendXVIII whose name was Jonadab,XIX the son of David’s brotherXX Shimeah,XXI

Notes on verse 3a

XVIII “friend” = rea. From raah (to associate with). This is the same as neighbor in Leviticus 19:18 “love your neighbor as yourself.” This is friend, companion, fellow, neighbor. It is someone with whom you associate, whether more or less close.
XIX “Jonadab” = Yonadab. Related to “some time passed” in v1. 7x in OT. From the same as Yehonadab (Jonadab, meaning “the Lord is noble” or “the Lord largessed”); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (see note I above)} + nadab (to offer voluntarily, incite, impel; to volunteer to be a soldier or offer freely)}. This is Jonadab, meaning “the Lord is bounteous” or “the Lord gave spontaneously” or “the Lord is noble” or “the Lord is liberal” or “the Lord has impelled.” See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Jonadab.html
XX “brother” = ach. Related to “sister” in v1. See note VI above.
XXI “Shimeah” = Shimah. 2x in OT. From shema (something that is heart like a report, speech, fame, rumor, or fame); from shama (hear, call, consent, or consider; implies listening intelligently, giving attention; obedience and action are often implied). This is Shimeah, meaning “annunciation” or “he has heard” or “hearing” or “rumor.” See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Shimea.html

and Jonadab was a veryXXII craftyXXIII man.XXIV 

He said to him, “O son of the king,XXV why are you so haggardXXVI morningXXVII after morning? Will you not tellXXVIII me?”

Amnon said to him, “I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.” 

Notes on verses 3b-4

XXII “very” = meod. Perhaps from the same as uwd (firebrand, a poker). This is very, greatly, exceedingly. It can also mean vehemence, force, abundance.
XXIII “crafty” = chakam. From chakam (to be wise or teach wisdom; this is wisdom in thought, word, or action). This is wise, skillful, cunning, or artful.
XXIV “man” = ish. Perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
XXV “king” = melek. From malak (to be or become king or queen, to rise to the throne, to be crowned; by implication, to take counsel). This is king or royal.
XXVI “haggard” = dal. From dalal (to be low, hang, fade, be emptied, become poor, be oppressed). This is lean, weak, needy, poor. Properly, it is one who is dangling.
XXVII “morning” = boqer. From baqar (to seek, plow, break forth, admire, care for). This refers to the break of day. So it is dawn, early, morning, or morrow.
XXVIII “tell” = nagad. This is to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain.

JonadabXXIX said to him, “Lie downXXX on your bedXXXI and pretend to be ill,XXXII and when your fatherXXXIII comesXXXIV to seeXXXV you,

Notes on verse 5a

XXIX “Jonadab” = Yehonadab. Related to “some time passed” in v1 & “Jonadab” in v3. 8x in OT. See note XIX above.
XXX “lie down” = shakab. This is to lie down, lodge. It is lying for sleep, sex, or other reasons.
XXXI “bed” = mishkab. Related to “lie down” in v5. From shakab (see note XXX above). This is a place where one lies down i.e. a bed, couch, or bedchamber. It can also be used in an abstract sense to refer to sleep or euphemistically for sex.
XXXII “pretend to be ill” = chalah. Same as “made…ill” in v2. See note XII above.
XXXIII “father” = ab. Related to “Absalom” in v1. See note IV above.
XXXIV “comes” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
XXXV “see” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.

say to him, ‘Let my sister Tamar comeXXXVI and giveXXXVII me something to eatXXXVIII and prepareXXXIX

Notes on verse 5b

XXXVI {untranslated} = na. This particle is used for requests or for urging. It can be we pray, now, I ask you, oh. This is the same “na” in “hosanna.”
XXXVII “give” = barah. 6x in OT. This is to eat, choose, make clear.
XXXVIII “something to eat” = lechem. From lacham (to eat, feed on). This is bread, food, loaf. It can refer to food more generally for people or for animals.
XXXIX “prepare” = asah. Same as “do” in v2. See note XVI above.

the foodXL in my sight,XLI so that I may see it and eatXLII it from her hand.’”XLIII 

Notes on verse 5c

XL “food” = biryah. Related to “give” in v5. 3x in OT. From barah (see note XXXVII above). This is food or meat.
XLI “sight” = ayin. Same as “seemed impossible” in v2. See note XV above.
XLII “eat” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.
XLIII “hand” = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.

So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill, and when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, “PleaseXLIV let my sister Tamar come and makeXLV a coupleXLVI of cakesXLVII in my sight, so that I may eatXLVIII from her hand.”

Notes on verse 6

XLIV “please” = na. Same as {untranslated} in v5. See note XXXVI above.
XLV “make” = labab. 5x in OT. This is to encourage. Properly, it is to be encased as with fat. Used in a good sense, this means to transport someone with love. Used in a bad sense, it can mean to dull one’s senses. It can also mean to make cakes.
XLVI “couple” = shenayim. From sheni (double, again, another, second); from shanah (to fold, repeat, double, alter, or disguise). This is two, both, second, couple.
XLVII “cakes” = labibah. Related to “make” in v6. 3x in OT. From the same as lebab (the heart, courage, one’s inner self, the mind, or the will); from labab (see note XLV above). This is a cake in its relationship to fat or maybe folding. A cook would be cooked by being fried or perhaps flipped.
XLVIII “eat” = barah. Same as “give” in v5. See note XXXVII above.

Then David sentXLIX homeL to Tamar, saying, “GoLI to your brother Amnon’s houseLII and prepare food for him.” 

Notes on verse 7

XLIX “sent” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.
L “home” = bayit. Related to “son” in v1. Probably from banah (see note III above). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
LI “go” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
LII “house” = bayit. Same as “home” in v7. See note L above.

So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house, where he was lying down. She tookLIII dough,LIV kneaded it, made cakesLV in his sight, and bakedLVI the cakes. 

Notes on verse 8

LIII “took” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
LIV “dough” = batseq. 5x in OT. Perhaps from batseq (to swell, blister). This is dough or flour.
LV “made cakes” = labab. Same as “make” in v6. See note XLV above.
LVI “baked” = bashal. This is to boil up, roast, or bake. It can also mean ripen, produce, or seethe.

Then she took the panLVII and setLVIII them beforeLIX him, but he refused to eat.LX

Notes on verse 9a

LVII “pan” = marseth. 1x in OT. May come from a word that means to pierce or hollow. So, it is likely a pan or a dish.
LVIII “set” = yatsaq. This is to pour out, flow, wash away, or overflow. It can imply melting as one does to cast metal. By extension, it can refer to something being steadfast, stiffened, firmly in place.
LIX “before” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
LX “eat” = akal. Same as “eat” in v5. See note XLII above.

Amnon said, “Send outLXI everyoneLXII from me.” So everyone went outLXIII from him. 

10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “BringLXIV the food into the chamberLXV so that I may eatLXVI from your hand.” So Tamar took the cakes she had madeLXVII and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother. 

Notes on verses 9b-10

LXI “send out” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
LXII “everyone” = kol + ish. Kol is from kalal (to complete). This is all or every. Ish is the same as “man” in v3. See note XXIV above.
LXIII “went out” = yatsa. Same as “send out” in v9. See note LXI above.
LXIV “bring” = bo. Same as “comes” in v5. See note XXXIV above.
LXV “chamber” = cheder. From chadar (to surround or enclose; a room as enclosed; also, by analogy, besieging). This is a chamber or room that is private. Can mean the innermost chamber of a house.
LXVI “eat” = barah. Same as “give” in v5. See note XXXVII above.
LXVII “made” = asah. Same as “do” in v2. See note XVI above.

11 But when she broughtLXVIII them near him to eat,LXIX he took holdLXX of her and said to her, “Come, lieLXXI with me, my sister.” 

Notes on verse 11

LXVIII “brought” = nagash. This is to draw, bring, or come near. It is approaching for any reason – as an attack on an enemy, in order to worship, to make an argument. It can also be used as a euphemism for sex.
LXIX “eat” = akal. Same as “eat” in v5. See note XLII above.
LXX “took hold” = chazaq. This is to strengthen, seize, be courageous, repair, bind, heal, conquer, harden.
LXXI “lie” = shakab. Same as “lie down” in v5. See note XXX above.

12 She answered him, “No, my brother, do not forceLXXII me, for such a thingLXXIII is not done in Israel;LXXIV do not do anything so vile!LXXV 

Notes on verse 12

LXXII “force” = anah. This is to be bowed down. It can refer to a sense of humility or to a sense of being browbeaten, oppressed, afflicted, or depressed. This can be literal or figurative – depressed in mood or circumstance.
LXXIII “such a thing” = ken. Same as “some time passed” in v1. See note I above.
LXXIV “Israel” = Yisrael. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.
LXXV “vile” = nebalah. 13x in OT. From nabal (to be foolish, senseless, fall away, faint, wither, to be wicked, disgrace). This is foolishness, disgrace, folly, outrage, villainy, a crime or punishment. Used frequently of sexual sin, but not always.

13 As for me, where could I carryLXXVI my shame?LXXVII And as for you, you would beLXXVIII as oneLXXIX of the scoundrelsLXXX in Israel.

Notes on verse 13a

LXXVI “carry” = halak. Same as “go” in v7. See note LI above.
LXXVII “shame” = cherpah. From charaph (to expose and so figuratively to reproach, defame, carp at, defy). This is reproach, rebuke, shame, or disgrace. It can also refer to genitals.
LXXVIII “be” = hayah. Same as “some time passed” in v1. See note I above.
LXXIX “one” = echad. Perhaps from achad (to unify, continue on a path; figuratively, to gather one’s thoughts). This is the number one, first, united. It can also be alone, altogether, a certain, a few.
LXXX “scoundrels” = nabal. Related to “vile” in v12. 18x in OT. From nabal (see note LXXV above). This is foolish or a fool. It can also mean impious. Nabal, taken from this root, was the name of Abigail’s first husband in 1 Samuel 25.

Now therefore, I begLXXXI you, speakLXXXII to the king, for he will not withholdLXXXIII me from you.” 

14 But he wouldLXXXIV not listenLXXXV to her,LXXXVI

Notes on verses 13b-14a

LXXXI “beg” = na. Same as {untranslated} in v5. See note XXXVI above.
LXXXII “speak” = dabar. This is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words.
LXXXIII “withhold” = mana. This is to hold back, refuse, restrain, deny. It could be in a positive or in a negative sense.
LXXXIV “would” = abah. This is to breathe after, be willing, obey, accept, be content with, satisfy.
LXXXV “listen” = shama. Related to “Shimeah” in v3. See note XXI above.
LXXXVI {untranslated} = qol. This is a sound, used often for human voices. Also used when God speaks or angels, animals or instruments. It can be a cry or a noise, thunder or earthquakes and so on.

and being strongerLXXXVII than she, he forced her and lay with her. 15 Then Amnon was seized with a veryLXXXVIII greatLXXXIX loathingXC for her;XCI

Notes on verses 14b-15a

LXXXVII “being stronger” = chazaq. Same as “took hold” in v11. See note LXX above.
LXXXVIII “very” = sinahmeod. Sinah is related to “seized with a…loathing” in v15. 16x in OT. From sane (see note XC below). This is hate or hatred. Meod is the same as “very” in v3. See note XXII above.
LXXXIX “great” = gadol. From gadal (to grow up, become great, become wealthy – to advance. The root meaning may be to twist in the sense of the process of growing). This is great, high, bigger, noble, old, marvelous. It can also refer to someone who is powerful or distinguished.
XC “seized with a…loathing” = sane. This is to hate, an enemy. It is a personal hatred and not an abstract one.
XCI {untranslated} = sane. Same as “seized with a…loathing” in v15. See note XC above.

indeed, his loathingXCII was even greaterXCIII than the lustXCIV he had feltXCV for her. Amnon said to her, “Get out!”XCVI 

Notes on verse 15b

XCII “loathing” = sinah. Same as “very” in v15. See note LXXXVIII above.
XCIII “greater” = gadol. Same as “great” in v15. See note LXXXIX above.
XCIV “lust” = ahabah. Related to “fell in love” in v1. From ahab (love or affection); from aheb (see note X above). This is love as a noun.
XCV “felt” = aheb. Same as “fell in love” in v1. See note X above.
XCVI “get out” = qum + halak. Qum is to arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide. This is rising as in rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action. It can also be standing in a figurative sense. Halak is the same as “go” in v7. See note LI above.

16 But she said to him, “No, my brother, forXCVII this wrongXCVIII in sending me away is greater than the otherXCIX that you did to me.” But he would not listen to her.

Notes on verse 16

XCVII “for” = odoth. Related to “very” in v3. 11x in OT. From the same as uwd (see note XXII above). This is turning, occasion, cause, concerning.
XCVIII “wrong” = ra’. From ra’a’ (to be evil, bad, afflict; properly, to spoil – to destroy by breaking into pieces; figuratively, to cause something to be worthless; this is bad in a physical, social, or moral sense; that which displeases, to do harm or mischief, to punish or vex). This is bad, disagreeable, that which causes pain, misery, something having little or no value, something that is ethically bad, wicked, injury, calamity. This refers to anything that is not what it ought to be – a natural disaster, a disfigurement, an injury, a sin.
XCIX “other” = acher. Related to “some time passed” in v1. From achar (see note I above). This is following, next, strange, other.

21 When King David heard of all these things,C he became very angry,CI but he would not punish his son Amnon because he loved him, for he was his firstborn. 22 But Absalom spoke to Amnon neither goodCII nor bad,CIII for Absalom hatedCIV Amnon because he had rapedCV his sister Tamar.

Notes on verses 21-22

C “things” = dabar. Related to “speak” in v13. From dabar (see note LXXXII above). This is speech, a word, a matter, an affair, charge, command, message, promise, purpose, report, request. It is a word, which implies things that are spoken of in a wide sense.
CI “became…angry” = charah. Perhaps related to charar (to be hot, burn, glow, melt, be scorched; figuratively, to incite passion, be angry). This is to be displeased, burn with anger, glow, become warn. Figuratively it is a blaze of anger, zeal, or jealousy.
CII “good” = tob. From tob (to be pleasing, to be good). This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good.
CIII “bad” = ra’. Same as “wrong” in v16. See note XCVIII above.
CIV “hated” = sane. Same as “seized with a…loathing” in v15. See note XC above.
CV “raped” = dabar + anah. Dabar is the same as “things” in v21. See note C above. Anah is the same as “force” in v12. See note LXXII above.

Image credit: “Blossom of Pain” by Edvard Munch.

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