WHEN THE WOLF HOWLS
by Ross Cochrane
Absalom immediately went to his father, the king, expecting justice. He was almost shouting with rage as he said, “He raped her! Tamar told me she struggled to get away, but there was nothing that she could do! This is outrageous!”
“Calm down Absalom,” said David.
Calm down? He ordered her out of his house! He shouted at her and told her to ‘Get up, go away!’ as if she was one of his slaves to do his bidding. She felt so bereft and violated she refused. She no longer had any place to go. She could not bring herself to return to the palace as if nothing had happened.
He had an opportunity to show integrity and compassion! All he showed her was contempt. He just called his servant and ordered him to throw her out and to lock the door behind her! To abuse her and throw her out like that is pure wickedness! He wouldn’t listen to her.
She made it known publically that she had been violated by putting ashes on her head, and she tore the long-sleeved garment that she wore. You should have seen her. She was so distressed and she was crying out loudly for help. Everyone around her saw how distressed and shocked she was. That’s the state in which I found her.”
David said, “Where is she now?”
“I took her to my house so she’ll be safe.”
He did not mention to David that when Tamar had explained all that happened, he had said, “I want you to keep silent about this, Tamar.”
But that doesn’t mean that I will not seek retribution.
“If I know Amnon, he’ll try to blame her and she will be the one who’ll end up being punished. But the facts are clear.” I intend to get justice.
David was very angry, and Absalom expected that Amnon would be taken before the elders of the city for judgement.
The elders will probably force him to take her into his household as his wife to avoid royal disgrace. That’s not enough. Charges must be laid. Rape carries a death sentence. Absalom was not sure that they would allow a prince to be charged with rape? Surely he will not escape the consequences of breaking the law simply because he is a prince.
But David did nothing. He was unwilling to act in terms of justice and discipline. Perhaps as David thought about his own sin with Bathsheba and how he had escaped with his life, he thought that Amnon deserved to live also. But nothing at all was done.
Absalom resented David for not acting and hated Amnon all the more for raping his sister and getting away with it. He wouldn’t speak to Amnon or anyone else about the matter in any way.
You will pay! Absalom would find a way to give vent to the hate that festered within him both for his father and for Amnon. After two years it became white hot, hammered and tempered with iron teeth into the shape of revenge.
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