The two stories are very disturbing both Jacob (Dinah: Gen 34) and David (Tamar: 2 Sam 13) daughters were violated. In both cases it does not mention that they responded with anything however their sons took vengeful responses which consequences costed them dearly. Were they both trying to leave “vengeance to God (Rom 12:17-21)” or what?



Jacob didn't take revenge against Shechem for raping his daughter because he was afraid of the reactions of the Canaanites. Jacob clearly says why he didn't want to avenge himself on Shechem after Simeon and Levi kill the Shechemites (Genesis 34:30, NRSV):

Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me odious to the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites and the Perizzites; my numbers are few, and if they gather themselves against me and attack me, I shall be destroyed, both I and my household.”

If he killed Shechem for having raped Dinah, he would have had to fear a counterattack by the Canaanites and Perizzites who then lived in Canaan.


In this case, we are told that David was angry about Amnon raping Tamar (2 Samuel 13:21), so it might be unfair in this case to say that he didn't respond. The text doesn't explicitly say what David's motives were in not taking further action. However, I think it's clear why David didn't take revenge against the rapist: the rapist was his own son.

David is described elsewhere as an indulgent parent, never having rebuked his son Adonijah (1 Kings 1:6). Even when Absalom rebelled against him, he begged that he be treated gently (2 Samuel 18:5) and was distraught when he died. In this case, he may or may not have rebuked Amnon for what he did (the text doesn't say one way or another), but he would certainly never have killed his own son as Absalom later did.

  • Unbelievable findings thank you! Aug 8 '19 at 0:34
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    David seems to be a different person after his sin with Bathsheba, and David probably lost a lot of respect as a leader in the eyes of the people. Amnon may have thought/said "who are you to tell me?" if David indeed rebuked him. Aug 8 '19 at 4:25
  • @bible-explorer Correct, David probably knew that he would have sounded hypocritical if he had rebuked Amnon for raping Tamar because David himself committed adultery with Bathsheba, and then killed off Uriah, Bathsheba's husband. Correct.
    – crazyTech
    Aug 7 '20 at 0:48

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