Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, Go now to your brother Amnon's house, and dress him meat.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)2 Samuel 13:8, called a לביבה lābı̂ybâh; according to some, it was, from its etymology, shaped like a heart.
6-8. Amnon lay down, and made himself sick—The Orientals are great adepts in feigning sickness, whenever they have any object to accomplish.
let Tamar my sister come and make me a couple of cakes—To the king Amnon spoke of Tamar as "his sister," a term artfully designed to hoodwink his father; and the request appeared so natural, the delicate appetite of a sick man requiring to be humored, that the king promised to send her. The cakes seem to have been a kind of fancy bread, in the preparation of which Oriental ladies take great delight. Tamar, flattered by the invitation, lost no time in rendering the required service in the house of her sick brother.2 Samuel 13:20,
saying, go now to thy brother Amnon's house; who also had a separate house and equipage, being the king's son, and his eldest son:Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, Go now to thy brother Amnon's house, and dress him meat.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. home] Into the house: the inner part of the palace, where the women’s apartments were.
to thy brother Amnon’s house] Cp. 2 Samuel 13:20. Each of the royal princes evidently had a separate house.2 Samuel 13:1-14. The following occurrences are assigned in a general manner to the times succeeding the Ammonitish war, by the words "And it came to pass after this;" and as David did not marry Maacah the mother of Absalom and Tamar till after he had been made king at Hebron (see 2 Samuel 3:3), they cannot well have taken place before the twentieth year of his reign. Amnon, the eldest son of David by Ahinoam the Jezreelite (2 Samuel 3:2), loved Tamar, the beautiful sister of his step-brother Absalom, so passionately that he became ill in consequence, because he could not get near to her as she was a virgin. 2 Samuel 13:1 and 2 Samuel 13:2 form one period. ויּצר is a continuation of אהרי־כן ויהי; and the words from וּאבשׁלום to בּן־דּוד are a circumstantial clause. ויּצר: literally "it became narrow (anxious) to Amnon, even to making himself ill," i.e., he quite pined away, not "he pretended to be ill" (Luther), for it was not till afterwards that he did this according to Jonadab's advice (2 Samuel 13:5). התהלּות: to make one's self ill, here to become ill, in 2 Samuel 13:5 to pretend to be ill. The clause היא בתוּלה כּי is to be joined to the one which follows: "because she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible to him to do anything to her." The maidenly modesty of Tamar evidently raised an insuperable barrier to the gratification of his lusts.
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