Study about Princess Tamar

What are biblical scholars saying about the story of Princess Tamar?

As David wronged Bathsheba, so too will Amnon wrong Tamar, “like father like son.”

Michael D. Coogan

the rape of Tamar is an act of such horrific defilement that it is marked off as distinct from David’s encounter with Bathsheba.

Mark Gray

a beautiful, good-hearted obedient, righteous daughter who is totally destroyed by her family.

Mary J. Evans

Tamar’s story has a direct message for the church in its response to violence against women. The narrative of Tamar’s rape at the hands of her brother is told with a focus that emphasizes the male roles of the story.

Pamela Cooper-White

The lesson should come from the true victim: the female who was raped, not the men left to deal with the situation.

Pamela Cooper-White

Tamar demonstrates the “power-within”, or en-theos (God-within), by resisting as much as she could Amnon’s attack and subsequent banishment.

Pamela Cooper-White

the lesson learned from Tamar is that women, and women victims, must be empowered within themselves with the full support of the Christian church.

Pamela Cooper-White

“The Royal Rape of Wisdom”.

Phyllis Trible

the power struggle between the characters and the vulnerability of Tamar, the sole female in the narrative.

Phyllis Trible

“the plight of the female” (Phyllis Trible).

Phyllis Trible

Tamar has an apparent wisdom and eye for justice.

Phyllis Trible

Even after Amnon violently rapes her, she continues to plead for justice and proper order, not letting anger cloud her judgment.

Phyllis Trible

Biblical study of the story of Tamar

Gray, Mark (1998). “Amnon: A Chip off the Old Block? Rhetorical Strategy in 2 Samuel 13:7-15: The Rape of Tamar and the Humiliation of the Poor”. JSOT. 77: 40.

Mary J. Evans, “Women,” in Bill T. Arnold and H. G. M. Williamson (eds.), Dictionary of the Old Testament Historical Books (Downers Grove: IVP, 2005), 994.

Coogan, Michael (2010). God and Sex. What the Bible Really Says (1st ed.). New York, Boston: Twelve. Hachette Book Group. pp. 112–113.

P. Kyle McCarter Jr, “Second Samuel Commentary,” Harold W. Attridge (eds.), Harper Collins Study Bible; Including Apocryphal Deuterocanonical Books Student Edition NRSV (New York: Harper One, 2006), 454.

Bledstein, Adrien Janis, “Tamar and the Coat of Many Colors”. In Brenner, Athalya (ed.), A Feminist Companion to Samuel & Kings [Second Series] (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000).

Cooper-White, Pamela. The Cry of Tamar: Violence Against Women and the Church’s Response (Fortress Press: 1995).

Trible, Phyllis. Texts of Terror: Literary-Feminist Readings of Biblical Narratives (Fortress Press: 1984). (pp. 37-64)


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