2 Samuel 13:13
And I, where shall I cause my shame to go? and as for you, you shall be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray you, speak to the king; for he will not withhold me from you.
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(13) Speak unto the king.—The marriage of half-brothers and sisters was strictly forbidden in the Law (Leviticus 18:9; Leviticus 18:11; Leviticus 20:17), and it is not to be supposed that Tamar really thought David would violate its provisions for Amnon; but she made any and every suggestion to gain time and escape the pressing danger. Amnon, however, knew the Law too well to have any hope of a legitimate marriage with Tamar, and, therefore, persisted in his violence.

2 Samuel 13:13-14. And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? — How shall I drive it from me; and where shall I hide it? This plea for herself is inexpressibly beautiful and forcible. Thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel — Shalt utterly lose thy reputation, and be contemptible to all the people, as a man void of all religion, honour, virtue, and even humanity; wilt be treated as a brute and a fool, and, instead of the honour of being heir apparent to the throne, wilt sink into the lowest degree of derision and reproach. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king — Having urged in vain the heinousness of the action, the dishonour it would be to her, and the no less reproach it would bring on himself, and he still blindly persisting in his wicked resolution, she adds these words to give him hope and flatter him into forbearance. He would not hearken to her — Tamar said all this to a deaf man, who was wholly under the power of his furious lusts; which would not suffer him to regard God or men, his sister or himself.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.My shame - Better, "my reproach." Compare Genesis 30:23; Genesis 34:14; 1 Samuel 11:2.

Speak unto the king ... - It cannot be inferred with certainty from this that marriages were usual among half brothers and sisters in the time of David. The Levitical law forbade them (marginal reference), and Tamar may have merely wished to temporize. On the other hand, the debasing and unhumanizing institution of the harem, itself contrary to the law of Moses Deuteronomy 17:17, may well have led to other deviations from its precepts, and the precedent of Abraham Genesis 20:12 may have seemed to give some sanction to this particular breach of it.

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. Whither shall I cause my shame to go? how can I either endure or avoid the shame and reproach of it?

As one of the fools in Israel, i.e. loathsome and contemptible to all the people, whereas now thou art in great reputation, and heir apparent of the crown.

He will not withhold me from thee: this she spake, either because she did not understand or not remember that the law of God prohibited such marriages between a brother and his half-sister; or because she thought her royal father could or would dispense with it, upon this extraordinary occasion, to save his first-born son’s life; or that by this pretence she might free herself from her present and most urgent danger, knowing she should have opportunity enough to prevent other mischiefs. And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go?.... She desires him to consider hey reputation, which would be lost; was she to go into a corner, into a place the most private and retired, yet she would blush at the thought of the crime committed; and still less able would she be to lift up her face in any public company; nor could she ever expect to be admitted into the matrimonial state; in short, her character would be entirely ruined:

and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel; as the vilest and basest and most abandoned in the nation; who ought of all men to be most careful of his reputation, being a prince in Israel, and heir apparent to the throne:

now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king: to give me to thee in marriage:

for he will not withhold me from thee; this she said, either as ignorant of the law, which forbids such marriages, or as supposing the king had a power to dispense with it, and, rather than he should die for love, would; though she seems to say this, and anything that occurred to her mind, to put him off of his wicked design for the present, holding then she should be delivered from him; besides, she was not his sister by the mother's side, and, as the Jews say, was born of a captive woman before she was proselyted and married to David, and so was free for Amnon (z); and others say (a) she was the daughter of Maacah by a former husband, and not by David.

(z) Maimon. Hilchot Melacim, c. 8. sect. 8. Kimchi in 2 Samuel 13.1.((a) R. Moses Kotzensis, pr. affirm. 122.

And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of {g} the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king; for he will not withhold me from thee.

(g) As a lewd and wicked person.

13. as one of the fools in Israel] “Fool” denotes not merely one who is stupid and ignorant, but one who has abandoned the fear of God, and cast off the restraints of decency and morality. Cp. ch. 2 Samuel 3:33; Psalm 14:1. “Folly” is a term specially applied to unchastity.

he will not withhold me from thee] The marriage of half-brothers and sisters was permitted in patriarchal times, as is shewn by the example of Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 20:12), but was expressly forbidden by the Mosaic law. Either the law was not strictly observed at this time, or Tamar, hoping to escape immediate violence, suggested that the king had a dispensing power, and might permit a regular marriage.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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