2 Samuel 13:12-14 NASB

12 But she said to him, “No, my brother, do not violate me, for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this disgraceful sin! 13 As for me, where could I [f]get rid of my shame? And as for you, you will be like one of the [g]fools in Israel. Now then, please speak to the king, for he will not [h]withhold me from you.” 14 However, he would not listen to [i]her; since he was stronger than she, he violated her and slept with her.

When Tamar is forcibly held by his brother it seems she does nothing other than negotiate with him.Tamar could have cried out for help but instead she chooses to negotiate with his brother.The narrative clearly shows that there were people around who could have rendered help had she cried out for help.

Was she complicit in this?


Tamar was an inexperienced virgin. She was under incredible, immediate, and existential duress caused directly by a person right in front of her, Amnon. She was not negotiating with him. She was not thinking calmly or clearly. She was just trying to say anything to delay Amnon.

2 Samuel 13:13

What about me? Where could I get rid of my disgrace? And what about you? You would be like one of the wicked fools in Israel. Please speak to the king; he will not keep me from being married to you."

What about me? What about you? Can you not hear the distress in her questions.

Her "negotiation" tactic directly contradicts Leviticus 18:9

"'Do not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father's daughter or your mother's daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere.

Was Tamar complicit in her rape case in 2 Samuel 13?

Absolutely not by their standards or ours.


At this time in the world the view of people vastly differed from our current world view and understanding. Which can be seen in various OT scriptures.

Deuteronomy 22:23-29

Deuteronomy 21:10-14

In Jewish faith one of the 613 commandments states that if a woman is raped she must marry her attacker. (If she so chooses)

Another thing to make note of is that Amnon was the son of David the King. So with this a certain level of power and influence likely would have come from his position. Again influencing the woman’s reaction.

The definition of complacent matters here.

pleased, especially with oneself or one's merits, advantages, situation, etc., often without awareness of some potential danger or defect

agreeable and eager to please

It can be witnessed here now that she was not complacent. This said she also didn’t say yes. Clearly she didn’t want to do it. There is likely much more to her story that only Jesus knows.

  • "In Jewish faith one of the 613 commandments states that if a woman is raped she must marry her attacker. (If she so chooses)" There's no element of choice in that law in the Law of Moses, aside from the choice of the rapist to commit that crime. If a virginal woman gets raped, she gets forced to marry her rapist, neither her nor her father is allowed to object, and they're not allowed to ever divorce. However, the rapist is obligated to pay her father her bride price, and is required to properly treat her as his wife afterwards.
    – nick012000
    Apr 12 '21 at 10:12
  • @nick012000 almost every word of that is simply misinformation. In Tractate Ketubot 39b it is stated explicitly that (1) she can choose to refuse the marriage, (2) her father can choose to refuse the marriage, (3) she is allowed to divorce him whenever she wants, and (4) not only does she get the bride's price, but she also gets compensation for embarrassment and compensation for the loss of her status as a virgin.
    – Sam
    Apr 12 '21 at 18:10
  • The law was made to protect the woman, being that (1) most men want virgins, and (2) this women had her status outright stolen from her in the most embarrassing way possible: finding a husband to take her in and support her after that would be an immensely difficult task. God therefore commanded that the man take her in and pay for his sin - literally and figuratively - to the extent that the Sages refer to it as "drinking from his plant pot", because he must keep her even if she is blind, deformed, etc., and not allow her to suffer from this man's tragic wrongdoing and sinful choices.
    – Sam
    Apr 12 '21 at 18:10
  • There are also very heavy fines placed on him in the event that she wants to divorce (enough to fully support her for an entire year), to ensure that he doesn't terrorize her until she says that she wants to get divorced of her own volition.
    – Sam
    Apr 12 '21 at 18:10
  • "In Tractate Ketubot 39b" That's not the Law of Moses, that was handed down to Moses by God. That's the Law of Man, that the Pharisees and their predecessors and successors added onto it.
    – nick012000
    Apr 12 '21 at 22:27

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