2 Samuel 13:12
And she answered him, No, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not you this folly.
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(12) Do not thou this folly.—Tamar, now left alone in the power of her half-brother, endeavours to escape by reasoning. She first speaks of the sinfulness in Israel of that which was allowed among surrounding heathen, quoting the very words of Genesis 34:7, as if by the traditions of their nation to recall the king’s son to a sense of right. She then sets forth the personal consequences to themselves; if he had any love for her he could not wish that shame and contempt should meet her everywhere; and for himself, such an act would make him “as one of the fools in Israel,” as one who had cast off the fear of God and the restraints of decency.

2 Samuel 13:12. Nay, my brother — Whom nature both teaches to abhor such thoughts, and obliges to defend me from such an injury, with thy utmost hazard, if another should attempt it. Do not force me — Thou oughtest to abhor it, if I were willing; but to add violence is abominable. No such thing ought to be done in Israel — Among God’s people, who are taught better things; who also will be infinitely reproached for so base an action. Thus she represents to him that, whatever other nations did, among whom idols were worshipped with filthy lusts, they who worshipped so pure and holy a God; and had such divine laws, ought not to be guilty of any such abomination. Do not this folly — That is, this wickedness, the foolishness of which she prays him to consider, as, for a moment’s gratification of a brutal desire, it would highly provoke the Divine Majesty, and bring lasting disgrace and wretchedness upon them both. Would he expose a sister to infamy? Would he expose himself to indelible reproach?13:1-20 From henceforward David was followed with one trouble after another. Adultery and murder were David's sins, the like sins among his children were the beginnings of his punishment: he was too indulgent to his children. Thus David might trace the sins of his children to his own misconduct, which must have made the anguish of the chastisement worse. Let no one ever expect good treatment from those who are capable of attempting their seduction; but it is better to suffer the greatest wrong than to commit the least sin.Tamar's words are a verbal quotation from Genesis 34:7. The natural inference is that Tamar knew the passage in Genesis, and wished to profit by the warning that it contained. (Compare also 2 Samuel 13:13.) 12-14. do not force me—The remonstrances and arguments of Tamar were so affecting and so strong, that had not Amnon been violently goaded on by the lustful passion of which he had become the slave, they must have prevailed with him to desist from his infamous purpose. In bidding him, however, "speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from thee," it is probable that she urged this as her last resource, saying anything she thought would please him, in order to escape for the present out of his hands. Nay, my brother, whom nature both teacheth to abhor such thoughts, and obligeth to defend me from such a mischief with thy utmost hazard if another should attempt it.

Do not force me: thou shouldst abhor it, if I were willing; but to add violence to thy filthiness is abominable.

In Israel; among God’s people, who are taught better things; who also will be infinitely reproached for such a base action. And she answered him, nay, my brother,.... Which carried in it a reason sufficient for her denial, that he was her brother, and she his sister, and therefore should not offer such an indignity to her:

do not force me; which was another forbidding expression, signifying she would never freely yield to his will; and to force her, to defile her against her will, to commit a rape upon her, would be very criminal indeed:

for no such thing ought to be done in Israel; among God's professing people, who were better taught and instructed; and to give into such impure practices would bring a dishonour upon them, and upon the religion they professed; she urges the honour of religion, and the reputation of Israel, and the glory of the God of Israel:

do not thou this folly: as all sin is, especially such an impure and indecent action as this.

And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly.
12. no such thing ought to be done in Israel] Israel was a holy nation, sanctified by the peculiar presence of Jehovah among them; and therefore all acts of unchastity were an offence against the true character and calling of the nation. Such acts might be common among heathen nations, but to Israel they were forbidden by the Law, which placed them on a loftier level of morality.Verse 12. - Do not force me; literally, do not humble me. It is to be regretted that the word should be changed, as it bears testimony to the nobleness of the Hebrew women, who regarded their chastity as their crown of honour. The word folly is used in the sense of unchastity in Genesis 34:7 and elsewhere, and it is noteworthy that the Jews thus connected crime with stupidity. Vain, that is, empty persons were the criminal part of the population (Judges 9:4), and to call a man "a fool" was to attribute to him every possible kind of wickedness (Matthew 5:22). The thought which lay at the root of this view of sin was that Israel was a peculiar people, sanctified to God's service; and all unholiness, therefore, was not merely criminal in itself, but a proof that the guilty person was incapable of rightly estimating his privileges. Tamar urges this upon her "empty" brother, and then pathetically dwells upon their mutual shame, and, finding all in vain, she even suggests that the king might permit their marriage. Such marriages, between half-brothers and half-sisters were strictly forbidden, as tending to loosen the bends of family purity (Leviticus 18:9; Deuteronomy 27:22); but possibly the Levitical code was occasionally violated, or Tamar may have suggested it in the hope of escaping immediate violence. Amnon acted upon the advice, and begged his father, when he came to ask him how he was, to allow his sister Tamar to come and bake two heart-cakes for him before his eyes, which she very speedily did. לבּב is a denom. from לבבות, to make or bake heart-cakes. לבבות is a heart-strengthening kind of pastry, a kind of pancake, which could be very quickly made. It is evident from these verses that the king's children lived in different houses. Probably each of the king's wives lived with her children in one particular compartment of the palace.
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