Amnon raped Tamer.

2 Samuel 13:14 But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her.

Immediately afterward, he hated her.

15Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. Amnon said to her, “Get up and get out!”

How can Amnon change his feeling so quickly after he raped her sister?

  • What sort of change of feelings do you think the passage indicates? Most rapes are not done out of love and affection, but out of lust or the desire to dominate. Many are done out of hate.
    – curiousdannii
    Apr 9 at 0:50
  • To me, it was Amnon's self-hatred for what he had done, which he projected onto Tamar.
    – tblue
    Apr 9 at 2:58

This story is a significant on several levels but the one we look at here is the matter of so-called, "love" and rape.

In asking the question there is a tacit assumption that Amnon's feeling toward Tamar changed - in fact Amnon's feelings probably did not change.

If a person truly loves another person, then the following automatically follows:

  • the lover will not rape the beloved
  • the lover would not force the beloved to do anything
  • the lover's feelings would not quickly change toward the beloved.
  • principled love would be other-centered, considerate, kind, compassionate and gentle. See 1 Cor 13.

It is immediately obvious that Amon's "love" for Tamar was nothing of the kind but pure animal lust which is very fickle as this ghastly story perfectly illustrates. The so-called "love" here was more than pure lust but also would have included a component of megalomania and the need to control and belittle the rapee - this being the most common cause of rape.

This can be seen in Amnon's rude "order" to Tamar, "Get up and get out!" without even a hint of shame, remorse, guilt or even regret!

The essence of true love is other-centeredness - a concern for the needs and well-being of the beloved. Such is conspicuously absent in this incident.


The Hebrew verb אָהַב (to love) and its cognate relatives such as the nouns אַהַב, אַֹהַב, אַהֲבָה (love) used in 2 Sam 13:15 are all much broader than our English word "love" as it can include everything from noble, principled love, through erotic love to unbridled passion and lust. Thus, Amon's feelings for Tamar were anything but noble and nothing like the NT Greek ἀγαπάω (agapao) which is higher, principled, ennobled love.

It is significant that the Bible writer does not use the word, חֵסֵד (chesed), often translated "loving kindness" (Gen 19:19, 24:12, etc) as the Hebrew word closely related (in meaning) to ἀγαπάω (agapao) in the NT.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.