In 2 Sam 12, the Lord will send Nathan the Prophet to David in 2 Sam 12.1-15 and David’s sin is revealed through an “aggadah” or “parable.” He tells David about two men, one rich (David) and the other poor (Uriah). The rich man had many flocks (David had many wives) but the poor man had nothing but a pet lamb (Bathsheba). A traveler came to the rich man (Satan and the carnal nature) but the rich man took the pet lamb (Bathsheba) from the poor man (Uriah) to cook for the traveler (satisfy his appetite). Nathan leaves out the the death of the poor man so David does not figure out the meaning just yet. David is furious and says the man that did this “deserves to die.” And he should make a four-fold restitution of the lamb (Exo 22.1). Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man.”
This will be a classic case of the concept “Middah Kneged Middah” meaning “measure for measure” and Nathan begins to tell David what is going to happen to him. Just as David used the sword (war) against Uriah, the sword will not depart from the house of David because David has the Lord by rejecting his commandments and showing no pity. David’s sin was based on ingratitude. God anointed him as king as a young man, delivered him, gave him both houses of Israel, yet David sought out sin, despising the Torah. Evil people will do evil things against David now. His wives will be given to another and he shall lie with them in broad daylight (2 Sam 16.22 with Absalom).
The Lord took away David’s sin (v 13) and David would not die physically or spiritually, but there will be a visible testimony of God’s displeasure in what is going to happen to him. David demanded a four-fold restitution for the person in Nathan’s parable (v 6), so the Lord demanded a four-fold restitution for Uriah from David’s four sons: the newborn (v 15), Amnon, Absalom and Adonijah.
In 2 Sam 12.16-31 we know that the son that was conceived between Bathsheba and David was struck by the Lord and dies. The Scriptures in v 15 says that Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah, which she was when the child was conceived. David pleaded with God for the child and he fasted while the child was alive. When he heard that the child had died, he got up from the ground, washed himself, put on clean clothes and went to worship the Lord. He goes to the ohel (tent) where the Ark was to give thanks that the Lord brought him to repentance. He received forgiveness from the Lord and the satisfaction and assurance that the child is eternally with the Lord (v 23). He then returned to his own house and began to eat again.
When asked by his servants why he he did what he did, David said that while the child was still alive he prayed that God would have mercy on the child and himself. But now that he was dead, why should he fast? Could he bring him back from the dead by doing that? Then David said that someday he will go to him, but he will not be coming back from the dead. David believed that he would see his son again someday. This seems to indicate that infants and young children go to be with the Lord in the case of a premature death. It is important to understand something here. If they go to be with the Lord, it is not because they are innocent and deserve to be there, but because of the mercy of God.
David comforts Bathsheba, who is for the first time called David’s wife in v 24, and she conceives and she gives birth to Solomon. He is called this before he was ever born (1 Chr 22.9). He is also named “Yedidyah” which means “beloved of Yehovah.” He also had a third name “Kohelet” which is the Hebrew name for the book of Ecclesiastes. We have another picture of the first and second Adam here. David and Bathsheba had a first born son, but he died and was not the heir. The heir would be Solomon, the second born son and he is a picture of Yeshua (1 Kings 1.17).
Now the story of the siege at Rabbah picks up again in v 26 and Joab sent messengers to tell David that he had captured the royal city. Josephus says they cut off their water source (v 27). He wants the soldiers to come to him. So David comes and captures the city. They put the people under saws, sharp axes and sharp instruments like a gauntlet (1 Chr 20.3). The people of Rabbah would burn their children in ovens so they made them pass through ovens, and they did this to all the cities of the children of Ammon.
Because of the evil that will befall David’s house as predicted by Nathan, 2 Sam 13 begins a seven year drams that is a picture of man’s rebellion during the seven thousand year plan of God. This drama will play out from 2 Sam 13.1 to 2 Sam 18.15 with the death of Absalom, who will be a picture of Satan and the False Messiah. Absalom means “father of peace” but he wasn’t, so we will pick up now with 2 Sam 13.1-39.
Absalom had a sister named Tamar meaning “date palm” which is a tree signifying the righteous. She will be a picture of Chava (Eve) before she sinned in the garden. He also had a brother who was the first born named Amnon meaning “faithful” and the name is similar to the word “emunah” meaning “faith or confidence.” He will be a picture of Adam who is the first born and crown prince of God the king in the garden (Gen 3.6-24). We are going to look at this seven year drama to see a picture of the seven thousand year plan of God.
Amnon loved his sister Tamar, which is forbidden in the Torah. This is a picture of desiring “forbidden fruit.” Amnon was sick over her and she was a virgin, like Chava before the fall. It will be hard to have access to her (v 2). Amnon had a cousin named Jonadab (“Yehovah is willing”), the son of Shimea (“fame”) David’s brother (also called Shammah” in 1 Sam 16.9). Jonadab was a very shrewd man, like Nachash in Gen 3.4. He is a tempter of Amnon here.
He tells Amnon in v 4, “O son of the king, why are you depressed?” Remember, Adam was the son of the king also. Amnon says, “I am in love with Tamar, the sister of my brother Absalom.” Notice he does not say “my sister.” This is to lessen his desire as being sin, like Adam did in Gen 3.12. So Jonadab devises a scheme to help Amnon obtain the forbidden fruit he desires (v 5-6). He tells Amnon to go to his bed and pretend to be sick. When David comes to check on him, he is to tell David to let Tamar come and give him some food.
So David comes to check on him and Amnon says, “Please let my sister Tamar come and give me some food to eat and let her prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it and eat from her hand.” Notice he says “my sister” to his father to cover his evil designs. David does indeed send Tamar to Amnon’s house and she prepares food for him. Amnon took hold of Tamar and asked her to lie with him. She refuses, saying he was her brother and “such a thing is not done in Israel.” Besides, she says that this kind of thing would ruin her reputation and bring reproach upon her. But he would not listen, and he was stronger than she was, and he violated her.
Then Amnon hated her with a great hatred, and their relationship has been diminished. As in the case of Adam and Chava, there has been a change due to sin. Amnon had Tamar removed from him and Tamar mourned the loss of her virginity (v 19). Now Absalom enters the picture.
He says, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? But now, keep silent my sister, he is your brother; do not take this matter to heart.” SO she listened to him and remained desolate in Absalom’s house. In Hebrew, the word Amnon in v 20 is spelled “Aminon” which is a variant of Amnon to show contempt. Absalom is telling Tamar to not tell David, and this isn’t as disgraceful because he is her brother , not a stranger. It was done in lust, and a youthful lust, and this should be forgiven. If she tells anyone it would disgrace the whole family. But, he didn’t say all this to spare Amnon, the heir, he said this to take revenge on Amnon when the time came. In doing this, he thinks he will elevate himself.
When David heard of this he was angry, but nothing was done to him. Some believe that a court could do nothing because there were no witnesses. So, the punishment was in the hands of Yehovah. Absalom did not speak to Amnon about this, but talked freely with him to lower his guard. It came about that after two years that Absalom had sheep shearers in Baal-hazor (“Lord of the village”), and Absalom invited his father David and all the king’s sons to come. But David refused because it would have been too burdensome for all of them to come because it would have raised the expense for all those who would have attended them. So Absalom requests to have Amnon come, the heir. David was somewhat suspicious and asks, “Why should he go with you?” He was going to be expensive, too.
As we have said before, this story sets in motion a seven year drama which is a picture of the seven thousand year plan of God. We have seen that Amnon has eaten of the forbidden fruit, and Absalom has been plotting against him for two years. We will pick up here in Part 12.