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But she said to him, “No. Because this wrong…is more than the other that you did to me…sending me away!”

But he would not listen to her. Bible

“Because this wrong.” Most versions smooth out the Hebrew text which is very choppy and reads more literally like Fox’s translation: “About this great evil—more than the other thing you did to me—sending me away…!” Kyle McCarter writes that the Masoretic Hebrew text “as it stands is unintelligible” (P. Kyle McCarter, Jr., The Anchor Bible: II Samuel). However, Everett Fox, in The Schocken Bible: Vol. II, The Early Prophets, points out that the halting syntax of the Hebrew text may not be due to a defective text but rather to Tamar’s broken emotional state: she had just been raped. The NET text note seems to agree, saying, “Perhaps the broken syntax reflects her hysteria and outrage.” Tamar was likely speaking through sobs, and Absalom would have understood perfectly what she was saying in spite of her broken sentences. The beauty of the Hebrew text lies in its preservation of the emotional scene that was occurring between Absalom and Tamar, and Absalom’s coldness to Tamar’s situation continues a coldness and calculating determination that would continue throughout his life.


Commentary for: 2 Samuel 13:16