But Jonadab the son of David’s brother Shimeah, answered and said, “Do not let my lord suppose that they have killed all the young men, the king’s sons, for only Amnon is dead; for from the mouth of Absalom this has been planned from the day that he humiliated his sister Tamar. Bible see other translations

“Jonadab.” We are introduced to Jonadab the son of Shimeah in 2 Samuel 13:3 when we learn he was Amnon’s “friend” and also a very shrewd, worldly-wise, person (Shimeah was one of David’s brothers and therefore Jonadab was Amnon’s and Absalom’s cousin). Jonadab was the person who hatched the plot for Amnon to be with Tamar, which ended up with her being raped (2 Sam. 13:5). Now, while Absalom is having a huge banquet, Amnon’s “friend” Jonadab is not only conspicuously missing from the banquet, but he is at the palace with David and also has inside information about what happened at the banquet even before accurate news about it reached David and his officials (2 Sam. 13:30-32). The Bible does not tell us how Jonadab knew what had happened at Absalom’s banquet, but it could well be that he noticed how angry Absalom was when Tamar was raped and ingratiated himself with Absalom in order to get more inside information about what was happening between the brothers. If he knew, and we can see from the text that he knew something, he was not really Amnon’s friend if he suspected harm would come to Amnon at the banquet but did nothing to help. It seems that because Jonadab had such accurate information about what happened at Absalom’s banquet that David would have started some kind of investigation into what happened and who knew about it. But David was too emotionally involved with his sons to deal with them in a righteous manner, and neither could he deal righteously with people who might have been involved with Amnon’s murder. The murder went unavenged, just as Tamar’s rape had been unavenged, and Absalom left the country.

Commentary for: 2 Samuel 13:32