2 Samuel 13:20
And Absalom her brother said unto her, Hath Amnon thy brother been with thee? but hold now thy peace, my sister: he is thy brother; regard not this thing. So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom's house.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(20) Hath Amnon.—The Hebrew, by a clerical error, has here Aminon. Absalom at once sees how the case stands, comforts his sister, but counsels silence as necessary to the purpose of revenge he had at once formed, and takes his desolate sister to his own house.

2 Samuel 13:20. And Absalom her brother said to her — To whose house she had passed on, in the condition just mentioned, with ashes on her head, &c., oppressed with sorrow, and overwhelmed with shame. Hath Amnon thy brother been with thee? — A modest expression for the foul rape he had committed. Thus Absalom covers the gross injury which he suspected she had received, under the veil of the most decent and distant phrase that could hint his suspicion to her. And to save her blushes, and let her see that he understood her distress, he stopped her short from attempting any answer, by begging her to say nothing of the matter, but endeavour to forget the injury, since it was a brother that had done it. Hold now thy peace, my sister: he is thy brother — Therefore thou must forgive and forget the injury; for thy disgracing of him will be a blot to us all; and thou wilt not get right from thy father against him, because he is as near and dear to him as thou; therefore, also, thy dishonour is the less, because thou wast not abused by any mean person, but by a king’s son; and, as this evil cannot be revenged, it must be borne. Thus he covers his design of taking vengeance upon Amnon at the first opportunity. Regard not — So as to torment thyself. So Tamar remained desolate — Through shame and dejection of mind, giving herself up to solitude and retirement. “And, in all probability, she continued so her whole life long; unmarried and undone. And Amnon had the horror of reflecting, that for one moment’s base and brutal indulgence, he had made his nearest kinswoman, an amiable and innocent sister, miserable to the last moment of her life.” Such are generally the sad products of sin!

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.Laid her hand on her head - To hold on the ashes (see the marginal references).

Went on crying - i. e. "went away, crying out as she went."

20. So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom's house—He was her natural protector, and the children of polygamists lived by themselves, as if they constituted different families. Been with thee, i.e. lain with thee. Behold, and imitate the modesty of Scripture expressions.

He is thy brother; therefore thou must forgive and forget the injury; therefore thy disgracing of him will be a blot to us all; therefore thou wilt not get right from David against him, because he is as near and dear to him as thou; therefore thy dishonour is the less, because thou wast not abused by any mean person, but by a king’s son; therefore this evil must be borne, because it cannot be revenged. And thus he covers his design of taking vengeance upon him at the first opportunity.

Regard not this thing, so as to torment thyself.

Desolate; neglected and forsaken by others, none now seeking her in marriage; and through shame and dejection of mind, giving herself up to solitude and retirement.

And Absalom her brother said unto her,.... Either meeting her in the street, or rather when come to his house:

hath Amnon thy brother been with thee? been rude with thee, and lain with thee, which is the meaning of this modest expression; which he guessed at, having heard of her being sent to his house, and knowing his lustful disposition, and seeing her in such a forlorn condition: he calls him Aminon, for so it is in the Hebrew text, and not Amnon, by way of contempt, as Kimchi observes:

but hold now thy peace, my sister; be silent, take no notice of this matter, say nothing of it to the king, nor any other, keep it in thine own breast, and make thyself easy:

he is thy brother, regard not this thing; it is thy brother that has done it, and not so disgraceful as a meaner person, done in the heat of lust, and a youthful one, and should be forgiven; besides, to divulge it would bring disgrace upon the whole family, and no recompence would be obtained by telling the king of it, since he was his son, his firstborn, and heir to the crown; this he said not out of love of Amnon, but as desirous of gratifying private revenge upon him for it when opportunity should serve.

So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom's house; not seeing any company, being filled with grief and shame, and none applying to her as a suitor, knowing she was vitiated; how long she continued here, or lived after this, is not certain; no mention is made of her afterwards.

And Absalom her brother said unto her, Hath Amnon thy brother been with thee? but {i} hold now thy peace, my sister: he is thy brother; regard not this thing. So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom's house.

(i) For though he conceived sudden vengeance in his heart, yet he concealed it till an opportunity arose, and comforted his sister.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
20. Amnon] The Heb. form here, and here only, is Aminon, which has been explained as a diminutive intended to express contempt, but may possibly be only an accidental variation.

hold now thy peace] Absalom urged her to bear the outrage patiently, and avoid a public scandal; feeling sure that David would not be persuaded to inflict an adequate punishment on Amnon, and intending to watch his own opportunity for revenge. To him, according to Oriental custom, belonged the duty of avenging his sister’s wrongs. Cp. Genesis 34:27.

desolate] Ruined and deserted. Cp. Isaiah 54:1, where “the desolate” is contrasted with the married wife.

Verse 20. - Hath Amnon? The Hebrew has Aminon, a diminutive, which some authorities regard as expressive of contempt. More probably it is an accidental variety of spelling. Hold now thy peace. We must not suppose that Absalom did not comfort his sister, and make her conscious of his love. He was, in fact, so indignant at her treatment as to have purposed the sternest vengeance. But this he concealed from her, and counselled patience, net merely because she would have dissuaded him from a course so full of danger to himself, but because it was the duty of both to wait and see what course David would take. Where polygamy is permitted, it is the duty especially of the brothers to defend their sisters' honour (Genesis 34:31). But David was both her father and the chief magistrate; and, moreover, he had been made an instrument in his daughter's wrong. They must be patient, and only if David failed in his duty would Absalom's turn come. Meanwhile, Tamar dwelt in his house desolate, as one whose honour and happiness had been laid waste. 2 Samuel 13:20Then Absalom said to her, namely when she came home mourning in this manner, "Has Amnon thy brother been with thee?" This was a euphemism for what had taken place (cf. Genesis 39:10), as Absalom immediately conjectures. "And now, my sister, be silent; it is thy brother, do not take this thing to heart." Absalom quieted the sister, because he was determined to take revenge, but wished to conceal his plan of vengeance for the time. So Tamar remained in her brother's house, "and indeed desolate," i.e., as one laid waste, with the joy of her life hopelessly destroyed. It cannot be proved that שׁמם ever means single or solitary.
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