Was Absalom justified in killing Anmon?


To clarify, Absalom and Anmon were half-brothers and were two of David’s children. Anmon raped Absalom’s sister Tamar, so Absalom took revenge by killing Anmon.

Was Absalom justified in this? If not, what should he have done to get justice for his sister?


Frustration and anger as a result of denied justice CANNOT be a justifiable cause for a premeditated heinous crime. If anyone is denied justice, then he/she should put up his/her case to God and patiently wait for His intervention.


True justice would involve Anmon making reparation for the evil that he did to his sister. When Amnon was killed, his sister wasn’t unraped, and nothing was truly repaired. Therefore the killing of Amnon did not truly get justice for Absalom’s sister.

When there are permanent damages, perfect restoration can be impossible for humans to make. The only kind of authentic reparation that can be made is through prayer and perhaps some concrete way of Amnon doing something for his sister that honors her dignity. He could be required to offer sacrifices for her or make a daily prayer devotion for her healing, for example.


Was Person A justified in killing Person B?

No. I don’t care about the motives, or the crime of person B; murder is a crime no matter what. Absalom should have waited for Anmon to be executed.

Why would anyone try to justify Absalom’s crime?


It did see as though Amnon was going to get away with it - King David decided to forgive him for whatever reason. So no doubt that fuelled Absalom’s frustration.


No, but if I were on the jury hearing this case, I would go for nullification and let God sort things out.


Let’s imagine for an instant that, instead of doing nothing, David ordered Anmon be put to death. How would that be any different than what Absalom did?

Deuteronomy 22:25-27 clearly states that Anmon should have been stoned to death. People saying “just let God deal with it” seem to be forgetting that God already put down how this should have been dealt with (the laws in Deuteronomy were put into place long before the time of David).


The death penalty has to be decreed upon someone by a just authority in order to be justly applied. If king David has decreed the death penalty upon Amnon, that would have made a big difference.


Exactly. The death penalty in the Torah was not something that people could just take into their own hands. It had to be imposed by the local authorities, and the witnesses were the ones who had to cast the first stones.


In executiong Anmon Absalom was assuming royal power, as he does again later when he leads a rebellion against David.


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