1. The eldest son of David and Ahinoam, the Jezreelitess (II Sam. iii. 2). As heir presumptive to the throne he was an object of envy and dislike to Absalom. The dishonor done by Amnon to his half-sister Tamar—the full sister of Absalom (II Sam. xiii. 1 et seq.)—intensified these feelings and gave the younger brother a plausible justification for the murder of the offender, which was accomplished in the course of a sheepshearing feast, given by Absalom to all the king's sons (ib. 23-29 et seq.) two years after the commission of Amnon's offense.
The sages of the Mishnah point out that Amnon's love for Tamar, his half-sister, did not arise from true affection, but from passion and lust, on which account, after having attained his desire, he immediately "hated her exceedingly." "All love which depends upon some particular thing ceases when that thing ceases; thus was the love of Amnon for Tamar" (Ab. v. 16). Amnon's love for Tamar was not, however, such a transgression as is usually supposed: for, although she was a daughter of David, her mother was a prisoner of war, who had not yet become a Jewess; consequently, Tamar also had not entered the Jewish community (Sanh. 21a). The incident of Amnon and Tamar was utilized by the sages as affording justification for their rule that a man must on no account remain alone in the company of a woman, not even of an unmarried one (Sanh. l.c. et seq.).
2. A son of Shimon, mentioned in I Chron. iv. 20.