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( Credit to @creativemechanic for Reference: https://www.worthychristianforums.com/topic/284950-2-samuel-131-14-amnons-fellowship-with-jonadab-should-be-a-warning-for-us-christians-about-being-careful-when-it-comes-to-who-is-involved-in-christian-fellowship/#comment-3577445  )

According to the aforementioned posting, there is a possibility that Absalom was in collusion with Jonodab in order to make Absalom King via a coup d'état.

2 Samuel 13:1-33

New American Standard Bible 1995

13 Now it was after this that Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister whose name was Tamar, and Amnon the son of David loved her. 2 Amnon was so frustrated because of his sister Tamar that he made himself ill, for she was a virgin, and it seemed [a]hard to Amnon to do anything to her. 3 But Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab, the son of [b]Shimeah, David’s brother; and Jonadab was a very shrewd man. 4 He said to him, “O son of the king, why are you so depressed morning after morning? Will you not tell me?” Then Amnon said to him, “I am in love with Tamar, the sister of my brother Absalom.” 5 Jonadab then said to him, “Lie down on your bed and pretend to be ill; when your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and give me some food to eat, and let her prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it and eat from her hand.’” ........more scripture....more scripture.....8 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house, and he was lying down. And she took dough, kneaded it, made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes. 9 She took the pan and [c]dished them out before him, but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, “Have everyone go out from me.” So everyone went out from him. 10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the [d]bedroom, that I may eat from your hand.” So Tamar took the cakes which she had made and brought them into the bedroom to her brother Amnon. 11 When she brought them to him to eat, he took hold of her and said to her, “Come, lie with me, my sister.” 12 But she answered him, “No, my brother, do not violate me, for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this disgraceful thing! 13 As for me, where could I [e]get rid of my reproach? And as for you, you will be like one of the [f]fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you.” 14 However, he would not listen to [g]her; since he was stronger than she, he violated her and lay with her......more scripture....more scripture....16 But she said to him, “No, because this wrong in sending me away is greater than the other that you have done to me!” Yet he would not listen to her. 17 Then he called his young man who attended him and said, “Now throw this woman out of my presence, and lock the door behind her.” 18 Now she had on a [h]long-sleeved garment; for in this manner the virgin daughters of the king dressed themselves in robes. Then his attendant took her out and locked the door behind her. 19 Tamar put [i]ashes on her head and tore her [j]long-sleeved garment which was on her; and she put her hand on her head and went away, crying aloud as she went. 20 Then Absalom her brother said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? But now keep silent, my sister, he is your brother; do not take this matter to heart.” So Tamar remained and was desolate in her brother Absalom’s house. 21 Now when King David heard of all these matters, he was very angry. 22 But Absalom did not speak to Amnon either good or bad; for Absalom hated Amnon because he had violated his sister Tamar. ........................more scripture.......more scripture.............. 28 Absalom commanded his servants, saying, “See now, when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon,’ then put him to death. Do not fear; have not I myself commanded you? Be courageous and be [m]valiant.” 29 The servants of Absalom did to Amnon just as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose and each mounted his mule and fled. 30 Now it was while they were on the way that the report came to David, saying, “Absalom has struck down all the king’s sons, and not one of them is left.” .....more scripture...... ......32 Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, [n]responded, “Do not let my lord [o]suppose they have put to death all the young men, the king’s sons, for Amnon alone is dead; because by the [p]intent of Absalom this has been determined since the day that he violated his sister Tamar. 33 Now therefore, do not let my lord the king take the report to [q]heart, namely, ‘all the king’s sons are dead,’ for only Amnon is dead.”

Based on (2 Samuel 13:1-33 bible passage, there is a possibility that Absalom was in collusion with Jonodab in order to make Absalom King via a coup d'état.

Let's analyze some relevant scripture verses:

  1. Strangely, Jonadab's advice Stops short of suggesting or telling Amnon that he should have concensual sex or even rape Tamar.

(2 Samuel 13:5) Jonadab then said to him, “Lie down on your bed and pretend to be ill; when your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and give me some food to eat, and let her prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it and eat from her hand.’”

  1. Later on, Absalom initiates a conversation with Tamar by asking her in suggestive manner if Amnon had some sort of sexual relation with her regardless of whether it was concensual sex or even rape  (how would he have known to just initiate the conversation with such a question? )

(2 Samuel 13:20) Then Absalom her brother said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? But now keep silent, my sister, he is your brother; do not take this matter to heart.” So Tamar remained and was desolate in her brother Absalom’s house.

  1. After Absalom orchestrated the murder to Amnon, ( 2 Samuel 13:30-33) gives an account of how it was initially mistakenly reported that Absalom killed off all his brothers, but then Jonadab responds by telling King David that Only Amnon was killed, and furthermore, specified the reason why Absalom killed his brother Amnon was because Amnon raped Tamar: ( how would Jonadab have known that Absalom Only killed Amnon ( unless Jonadab was present when the killing took place) and how would Jonadab have known the reasons for Absalom's actions? )

( 2 Samuel 13:30-33) Now it was while they were on the way that the report came to David, saying, “Absalom has struck down all the king’s sons, and not one of them is left.” .....more scripture...... ......32 Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, [n]responded, “Do not let my lord [o]suppose they have put to death all the young men, the king’s sons, for Amnon alone is dead; because by the [p]intent of Absalom this has been determined since the day that he violated his sister Tamar. 33 Now therefore, do not let my lord the king take the report to [q]heart, namely, ‘all the king’s sons are dead,’ for only Amnon is dead.”

Does the aforementioned analysis sound plausible?  Please provide your feedback.

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    You have provided a chunk of someone's explanation about 33 verses in the O.T. which gives suggestions about political intrigues. But this site is not for opinions. Nor is it a platform to present a favoured view with the idea of generating debate. The Hermeneutic site requires analysis of one particular text, not 3/4 of a chapter, so this statement (for there's no hermeneutic question here) needs changing into an appropriate question if it is to remain up. Can you do that, please?
    – Anne
    Nov 12, 2022 at 14:46
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    @user1338998 I generally object to closing or removing interesting questions such as this. After all, a single verse is just as likely to generate debate as a chapter that narrates a historical event. But to avoid having it taken down I suggest asking "Did Jonadab collude with Absalom to stage a coup?" (2 sam. 30:32) --- or whichever verse best supports this idea. Then give a brief summary of what the verse/s might imply. Nov 12, 2022 at 15:36

2 Answers 2

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As an old student of history, I agree that Jonadab has become one of Absalom's intimates at the time of Amnon's murder. The evidence is that he knows of the murder in advance, that he does NOT use the foreknoeledge to forewarn Amnon, and he DOES use the foreknwledge to soften the king's anger against Absalom. That is my analysis of the implications of v32.

The only question is whether he was already an Absalom intimate at the beginning of the story, as the OP suggests, or whether (as I have always suspected) he changed sides in the interval. Jonadab is practising classic court politics- get close to the king by getting friendly with those already close. A treacherous changing of sides is very characteristic of this kind of game.

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  • +1 [Jonodab] "changed sides in the interval". Really interesting complex perspective. 1 & 2 Sam, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chron & Judges should be must-read because they provide warnings for Christians who may be interested in being part of leadership (especially political leadership) that there are difficulties & challenges that leaders face like backstabbing, turncoats, confrontation, liars, grandstanders, deceivers, pretenders, volatility of voters & supporters etc. Nov 12, 2022 at 19:30
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The scenario of Jonadab's collusion with Absalom is technically plausible. Jonadab does indicate awareness that Absalom intended revenge on (only) Amnon. But this was not an attempted coup, because it removed only a rival heir, not the king.

Amnon seems to have been the heir-apparent as the first son born to David after he began to rule at Hebron (2 Sam. 3:2). So in that sense, the murder of Amnon could have paved the way for Absalom. In support of the OP's theory, we also have this, perhaps hinting that David may have been the original target:

And Ab′salom came to the king, and said, “Behold, your servant has sheepshearers; pray let the king and his servants go with your servant.” But the king said to Ab′salom, “No, my son, let us not all go, lest we be burdensome to you.” He pressed him, but he would not go but gave him his blessing. Then Ab′salom said, “If not, pray let my brother Amnon go with us.” And the king said to him, “Why should he go with you?” But Ab′salom pressed him until he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him. (2 Sam. 13: 24-27)

Given that Absalom in fact ordered the killing of Amnon at this event, it may also be the case that he originally intended death to the king, and determined to kill only Amnon as a second course. But this is far from certain. Absalom must have been more than a little disappointed with King David for not punishing Amnon after the rape of Tamar, but we cannot know that Absalom, at this stage, intended harm to the king.

We have to conclude that the theory of a coup, or at least the assassination of the heir-apparent, in which Absalom colluded with Jonadab, is plausible. However, a simple revenge killing, of which Jonadab was aware, is more likely, using Occam's razor.

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  • Thx. As a side note, I just wanted to mention the similarities in said biblical narrative to today's UK Monarchy Please see: ( worthychristianforums.com/topic/… ) (i.e, Prince Absalom/Princess Tamar- to-> Diana, Princess of Wales, Prince Amnon-to-> Prince Charles, King David-to->Queen Elizabeth II) Nov 12, 2022 at 16:38

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