2 Samuel 13:18
And she had a garment of divers colors on her: for with such robes were the king's daughters that were virgins appareled. Then his servant brought her out, and bolted the door after her.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) A garment of divers colours.—The word is used only here and in connection with Joseph (Genesis 37:3; Genesis 37:23; Genesis 37:32), and is supposed to mean a tunic with long sleeves, in distinction from those with short sleeves commonly worn. The fact is mentioned to show that Tamar must have been recognised as a royal virgin by Amnon’s servant, as well as by everyone else.

2 Samuel 13:18. She had a garment of divers colours — Of embroidered work. His servant brought her out, &c. — A high contempt of a king’s daughter. But the servant’s dependance on his master overruled all respect due to her. “Tamar thus treated,” says Delaney, “not parted with as an innocent woman, cruelly injured, but thrust out as a prostitute that had seduced to sin, is the strongest image of innocence, barbarously abused, and insufferably insulted, that history affords us; the greatest injury loaded with the greatest indignities! contumely added to cruelty!”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.A garment of divers colors - See Genesis 37:3. Some prefer here (and there) "a tunic with sleeves," a tunic reaching to the extremities, i. e. the hands and feet, and worn over the common tunic, in room of a robe. 18. garment of divers colours—As embroidery in ancient times was the occupation or pastime of ladies of the highest rank, the possession of these parti-colored garments was a mark of distinction; they were worn exclusively by young women of royal condition. Since the art of manufacturing cloth stuffs has made so great progress, dresses of this variegated description are now more common in the East. Of divers colours; of embroidered work. Compare Genesis 37:3. And she had a garment of divers colours upon her,.... Of embroidered work, which made her the more observable, and her shame the more manifest. Whether this was interwoven with threads of various colours, or embroidered with figures of flowers, animals, &c. and wrought with the needle, or was painted with different colours, or made up of pieces of various colours, is not certain. See Gill on Genesis 37:3; but according to Braunius (c) it was neither, and so the coat of Joseph, but was a garment with sleeves, reaching down to the ankles, and pieced at the borders with fringe; and, indeed, garments of flowers and various colours were such as in other nations, as in Athens, harlots wore (d) and not virgins, as follows:

for with such robes were the king's daughters that were virgins apparelled; which they wore to distinguish them both from common people, and from married persons of the same quality:

then the servants brought her out, and bolted the door after her; laid hold on her, and brought her out by main force; thrust her out of doors, and turned the key upon her.

(c) De Vest. Sacerdot. Heb. l. 1. c. 17. sect. 21. (d) Suidas in voce

And she had a garment of {h} divers colours upon her: for with such robes were the king's daughters that were virgins apparelled. Then his servant brought her out, and bolted the door after her.

(h) For that which was of various colours or pieces, in those days was greatly esteemed, Ge 37:3, Jud 5:30.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. a garment of divers colours] The expression is used elsewhere only of Joseph’s “coat of many colours” (Genesis 37:3; Genesis 37:23), and probably means a long tunic with sleeves, worn, it would seem, as an outer garment in place of the usual mantle. The fact of her wearing this distinctive dress is mentioned, to shew that the servant and the people who met her in the street would at once recognise who she was.Verse 18. - A garment of divers colours. This was probably a long tunic with sleeves, so woven as for the colours to form patterns like those of the Scottish tartans (see on Genesis 37:3). The next sentence is probably a note, which has crept from the margin into the text, and which literally is, "For so king's daughters, while unmarried, wore over mantles" (me'ils; see note on 1 Samuel 2:19). Both the Authorized Version and the Revised Version so render as if the coloured chetoneth and the me'il were the same; but the meaning of the note rather is to guard against the supposition that the princess, while wearing the close-fitting long tunic with sleeves, had dispensed with the comely mantle. It is, indeed, possible that, while busy in cooking, she had laid the me'il by, and now rushed away without it. But it was the tunic with its bright colours which made both Amnon's servitor and also the people aware that she was one of the king's daughters. Tamar attempted to escape by pointing to the wickedness of such a desire: "Pray, do not, my brother, do not humble me; for they do not such things in Israel: do not this folly." The words recall Genesis 34:7, where the expression "folly" (nebalah) is first used to denote a want of chastity. Such a sin was altogether out of keeping with the calling and holiness of Israel (vid., Leviticus 20:8.). "And I, whither should I carry my shame?" i.e., shame and contempt would meet me everywhere. "And thou wouldst be as one of the fools in Israel." We should both of us reap nothing but shame from it. What Tamar still further said, "Now therefore, I pray thee, speak to the king, for he will not refuse me to thee," is no doubt at variance with the law which prohibits marriage between step-brothers and sisters (Leviticus 18:9, Leviticus 18:11; Leviticus 20:17); but it by no means proves that the laws of Leviticus were not in existence at the time, nor does it even presuppose that Tamar was ignorant of any such law. She simply said this, as Clericus observes, "that she might escape from his hands by any means in her power, and to avoid inflaming him still more and driving him to sin by precluding all hope of marriage."

(Note: Josephus adopts this explanation: "This she said, as desirous to avoid her brother's violent passion at present" (Ant. viii. 8, 1).)

We cannot therefore even infer from these words of hers, that she really thought the king could grant a dispensation from the existing hindrances to their marriage.

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