Rape, murder, and betrayal… must be another day reading the Good Book.
So we focus on David’s kids now. Amnon really wants to screw his half-sister Tamar, but she’s a virgin and not into boning her relatives, so poor Amnon is really frustrated. But he has a cousin who gives him some advice on how to get alone time with Tamar and rape her.
Jonadab: If you pretend to be sick, your dad will come to check on you and then you ask him to send over Tamar to make food for you.
Amnon: And then I rape her?
Jonadab: Yes. Then you rape her. Because we’re horrible people.
So he pretends to be sick. David comes to check on him. He asks David to send Tamar over to cook for him, and he grabs her and pulls her onto the bed.
“Let’s get it on,” he says.
“Don’t rape me,” she says. “Why don’t you ask dad to give me to you as your wife?”
But he’s stronger than her and he rapes her.
Then once he’s raped her, he’s disgusted with her and kicks her out. She tells him that getting rid of her is worse than raping her. Maybe it’s the social shame, I guess. Or maybe he’s supposed to pay their dad 50 shekels of silver and marry her. Have I mentioned lately that that is what rapists are supposed to do to their rape victims according to God?
So she puts ashes on her head and tears her clothing and goes home sobbing. Her brother Absalom guesses that Amnon has raped her and tells her to stay quiet and let him deal with it. So Tamar stays with Absalom and is devastated.
David hears of all this and gets angry, but does nothing. It’s guess it’s kind of awkward to tell your kids not to rape and punish them when they do, when they know you’re a rapist and a murderer and got away with it.
Amnon: I LEARNED IT BY WATCHING YOU!
Absalom waits two years to get his revenge.
Absalom: Hey, dad, I’m having a party. Can you and the court and all the king’s sons come to the party?
David: No, no, that would be too much for you.
Absalom: Okay, how about just Amnon then?
David: Why do you want Amnon there?
Absalom: There are a few points I’d like to go over with him.
David: You’re going to stab him, aren’t you?
Absalom: Yes, yes, I am.
And he does. And then he goes into exile. David has a sad. Absalom lives with another king for three years. And David forgives him for murdering Amnon.
Joab sees the king has a sad, so he plots a ruse to get David to recall Absalom. He gets a woman to act out a scene in front of the king.
Woman: Help me, O King!
David: What’s up?
Woman: I had two sons. They fought and one of them killed the other. Now the rest of the family is demanding I hand over the surviving son to be executed for the murder, but then my husband’s name will cease.
David: Okay, I’ll pardon your son.
David: Yes, really.
Woman: Then why haven’t you forgiven and pardoned Absalom?
David: Joab put you up to this, didn’t he?
David: Okay, Joab, go and bring back Absalom. Tell him that I’ve pardoned him. But I don’t want to see him. He can go back to his lands.
So Joab brought Absalom back, but he didn’t reconcile with his father. Absalom was apparently a male supermodel with long, luxurious hair that he cut every year. So Absalom stayed in his house for two years without seeing his father. Then he called Joab, but Joab ignored him. So he called Joab again, and Joab continued to ignore him. Then he set fire to Joab’s fields and Joab came to see him.
Absalom: Let me see my father and he can either forgive me, or kill me.
So Joab carried the message to David, David sends for Absalom and the two seemingly reconcile.
Or do they?
They don’t. They totally don’t.
So after this, Absalom gets himself a sweet ride and an entourage. Kids, man.
And he sits in the city gate and when he saw someone was going to the king of judgment, he would accost them, talk to them, flatter them, bad mouth his father, and say, “If only I were king, there would be justice in the land.”
Yeah, politics hasn’t changed much either.
Absalom plots a coup and brings David’s councilor Ahithophel into it. David is informed of the pending coup and realizes he needs to strategically retreat and gather forces still loyal to him. So the king leaves his palace and leaves 10 of his sex slaves behind to keep the place running. David has a few encounters on the way out:
David: Ittai the Gittite, you just got here and were already an exile. Go back to the city.
Ittai: No, my men and I are going to follow you, Sir.
Zadok the priest brings the ark with him.
David: Take it back to the city. If God wants me to return, I’ll return, otherwise if He hates me, I’ll die out there.
Someone: Hey, your friend and counselor Atithophel is with Absalom.
David: Well, that sucks. I hope God thwarts his counsel.
Hushai: I’ll go with you.
David: You’re going to be a burden to us… for some reason… maybe you’re old or sick or something… go to the palace and act as my spy there. When you learn something, go tell the priest’s sons and they’ll bring it to me.
And that’s where we’ll leave it for today, I guess. Turns out that if some asshole just flatters the people and lies to them, they’ll pick him to be their leader. Ah, it’s a good thing we’re much more sophisticated than that… hahahahaha… oh… right…