Smith's Bible Dictionary 
Ta'mar. (Palm Tree).
1. The wife, successively, of the two sons of Judah, Er and Onan. Genesis 38:8-30. (B.C. about 1718). Her importance in the sacred narrative depends on the great anxiety to keep up the lineage of Judah. It seemed as if the family were on the point of extinction. Er and Onan had successively perished suddenly.
Judah's wife, Bathshuah, died; and there only remained a child, Shelah, whom Judah was unwilling to trust to the dangerous union as it appeared, with Tamar, lest he should meet with the same fate as his brothers. Accordingly, she resorted to the desperate expedient of entrapping the father himself into the union, which he feared for his son. The fruits of this intercourse were twins, Pharez and Zarah, and, through Pharez, the sacred line was continued.
2. Daughter of David and Maachah, the Geshurite princess, and thus, sister of Absalom. 2 Samuel 13:1-32; 1 Chronicles 3:9. (B.C. 1033). She and her brother were alike remarkable for their extraordinary beauty. This fatal beauty inspired a frantic passion in her half-brother Amnon, the oldest son of David by Ahinoam. In her touching remonstrance, two points are remarkable: first, the expression of the infamy of such a crime "in Israel" implying the loftier standard of morals that prevailed, as compared with other countries at that time; and second, the belief that even this standard might be overborne lawfully , by royal authority -
"Speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from thee." The intense hatred of Amnon succeeding to his brutal passion, and the indignation of Tamar at his barbarous insult, even surpassing her indignation at his shameful outrage, are pathetically and graphically told.
3. Daughter of Absalom, 2 Samuel 14:7, became, by her marriage with Uriah, of Gibeah, the mother of Maachah, the future queen of Judah, or wife of Abijah. 1 Kings 15:2. (B.C. 1023).
4. A spot on the southeastern frontier of Judah, named in Ezekiel 47:19; Ezekiel 48:28 only, evidently called from a palm tree. If not Hazazon-tamar, the old name of Engedi, it may be a place called Thamar in the Onamasticon , See Hazazon-tamar , a day's journey south of Hebron.
Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary 
A character remarkable in Scripture. We have her history in Genesis 38:1-30 throughout. Her name signifies palm-tree. There are some circumstances in the history of this woman which strike the mind with astonishment. We read them, we ponder them, and when this is done we commonly say, the "Lord's thoughts are not our thoughts, neither our ways his ways." ( Isaiah 55:8) It is a very remarkable circumstance also, that in the genealogy given by the Evangelist Matthew, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the first chapter of his gospel, no mention is made of any women but of this Thamar, Matthew 1:3; of Rachab or Rahab the harlot, Matthew 1:5; Ruth the poor Moabitess, Matthew 1:5; and Bathsheba the wife of Uriah, Matthew 1:6. Was this intentional to set forth the grace of Jehovah and the unparralleled condescension of the Lord Jesus? Who shall answer the question? Who shall explain the subject? One thing is certain; as every thing in redemption is mysterious, so in our exercises on mysteries the lowest humbleness of opinion becomes the highly-favoured objects of such unheard of mercy Lord! I would say for myself and reader, "thy way is in the sea: and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known." ( Psalms 77:19)
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible 
TAMAR . 1. A Canaanite woman, married to Er and then to his brother Onan (see Marriage, 4). Tamar became by her father-in-law himself the mother of twin sons, Perez and Zerah ( Genesis 38:1-30 , Ruth 4:12 , 1 Chronicles 2:4 , Matthew 1:3 ). 2. The beautiful sister of Absalom, who was violated and brutally insulted by her half-brother, Amnon ( 2 Samuel 13:1 ff.). 3. A daughter of Absalom ( 2 Samuel 14:27 ). 4. See next article.
TAMAR . In Ezekiel 47:19; Ezekiel 48:28 the S.E. boundary-mark of the restored kingdom of Israel. No proposed identification has been successful, since no place of this name has been found in the region required, that is, near the S. end of the Dead Sea. It is possibly the same place that is mentioned in 1 Kings 9:18 as one of the S. fortresses built up by Solomon. Here a variant Heb. reading has Tadmor (wh. see) a manifest error, which is perhaps borrowed from the parallel passage 2 Chronicles 8:4 .
J. F. McCurdy.
Holman Bible Dictionary 
Genesis 38:6 Genesis 38:18
2. A daughter of David raped by her half brother, Amnon ( 2 Samuel 13:14 ). The act was avenged by her full brother, Absalom, when he had Amnon murdered ( 2 Samuel 13:28-29 ). These acts were part of Nathan's property that the sword would never depart from David's house ( 2 Samuel 12:10 ).
3. Absalom named his only daughter Tamar. She is called “a beautiful woman” ( 2 Samuel 14:27 ).
4. City built by Solomon “in the wilderness” ( 1 Kings 9:18 ). The text should perhaps read Tadmor ( 2 Chronicles 8:4 ), since the Hebrew lacks the qualifying phrase “of Judah” and the Masoretic vowel points correspond Tadmor. See Tadmor .
5. Fortified city at the southern end of the Dead Sea, marking the ideal limit of Israel ( Ezekiel 47:19; Ezekiel 48:28 ). If identical with 4, this Tamar likely served as a supply depot for Solomon's mines in the Arabah and as a frontier post to guard the border with Edom.
Morrish Bible Dictionary 
1. Wife of Er and Onan, and by Judah, mother of Pharez and Zarah. Genesis 38:6-30; Ruth 4:12; 1 Chronicles 2:4 . Called THAMAR in Matthew 1:3 .
2. Daughter of David and Maachah, violated by Amnon, and avenged by Absalom in the death of Amnon. 2 Samuel 13:1-32; 1 Chronicles 3:9 .
3. Daughter of Absalom. 2 Samuel 14:27 .
4. City on the south-east of Judah. Ezekiel 47:19; Ezekiel 48:28 . Not identified. See TADMOR.
Easton's Bible Dictionary 
Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.
Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Tamar'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ebd/t/tamar.html. 1897.
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary 
1. A Canaanitish woman, mother of Pharez and Zarah, Genesis 38:1-30 .
2. A daughter of David. See Talmai .
3. A daughter of Absalom, 2 Samuel 14:27 .
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament 
TAMAR. —An ancestress of Jesus ( Matthew 1:5). Cf. art. Rahab.
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 
(Heb. תָּמָר , Tamar', A Palm-Tree, as often; Sept. Θαμάρ [v.r. Θημάρ ], but Θαιμάν in Ezekiel; Josephus, Θαμάρα , Ant. 7: 3, 3; 8, 1; 10, 3; Vulg. Thamar), the name of one place and of three remarkable women in Old- Test. history. (See Palm).
1. A spot on the southeastern frontier of Judah, named in Ezekiel 47:19; Ezekiel 48:28 only, evidently called from a palm-tree. We naturally think of Hazezon-tamar, the old name of Engedi; but this is not quite appropriate for location. Eusebius and Jerome mention a Thamara, a place lying between Hebron and Ailah (Onomast. s.v. "Hazezon-tamar"); and Ptolemy (5, 16, 8) mentions a Θαμαρώ , as do also the Peutinger Tables (Reland, Palaest. p. 462). Robinson identifies it with Kurnub, a place containing the ruins of an old fortress about an ordinary day's journey from el-Milh towards the pass es-Sufah ( Bibl. Res. 2, 198, 201). This, however, depends' on a conjectural emendation of the Onomasticon, where, in the clause Κώμη Διεστῶσα Μάψις , (v.r. Μόλις , Μάλις ), Ἡμέρας Ὁδόν , Robinson would read Μαλάθης for Μάψις , whereby he makes Thamara a day's journey from Malatha, which he identifies with el-Milh. Besides, as Van de Velde observes, the distance of Kurnub from el-Milh is not a day's journey, but only four hours; nor is Kurnub to the south-west of the Dead Sea, where the Peutinger Tables place Thamaro; nor are the ruins ancient (Van de Velde, Syria, 2, 130). F Ü rst (Heb. Lex . s.v.) regards it as identical with the Tamar of the Kethib, or text, in 1 Kings 9:8; but that is generally thought to mean Tadmor (q. 6). Schwarz (Palest. p. 21, note) thinks that Zoar is meant, on the strength of certain Talmudical notices. De Saulcy (Narr. 1, 7) endeavors to establish a. connection between Tamar and the Kalaat Um-Baghik, at the mouth of the ravine of that name on the south-west side of the Dead Sea, on the ground (among others) that the names are similar. But this, to say the least, is more than doubtful. It is rather to be sought at the extreme south end of the Dead Sea, where the line as run by Ezekiel evidently begins (see Keil, ad loc.); perhaps at some clump of palms anciently existing at Ain el-'Arus, near the mouth of Wady Fikreh.
2. The wife successively of Er and Onan, the two sons of Judah ( Genesis 38:6-30). Her importance in the sacred narrative depends on the great anxiety to keep up the lineage of Judah. It seemed as if the family were on the point of extinction. Er and Onan (q.v. respectively) had each in turn perished suddenly. Judah's wife, Bathshuah, died; and there only remained a child, Shelah, whom Judah was unwilling to trust to the dangerous union, as it appeared, with Tamar, lest he should meet with the same fate as his brothers. That he should, however, marry her seems to have been regarded as part of the fixed law of the tribe, whence its incorporation into the Mosaic law in after-times ( Deuteronomy 25:5; Matthew 22:24); and, as such, Tamar was determined not to let the opportunity escape through Judah's parental anxiety. Accordingly, she resorted to the desperate expedient of entrapping the father himself into the union which he feared for his son. He, on the first emergence from his mourning for his wife, went to one of the festivals often mentioned in Jewish history as attendant on sheep-shearing. He wore on his finger the ring of his chieftainship; he carried his staff in his hand; he wore a collar or necklace round his neck. He was encountered by a veiled woman on the road leading to Timnath, the future birthplace of Samson, among the hills of Daniel He took her for one of the unfortunate women who were consecrated to the impure rites of the Canaanitish worship. (See Hapelot).
He promised her, as the price of his intercourse, a kid from the flocks to which he was going, and left as his pledge his ornaments and his staff. The kid he sent back by his shepherd (Sept.), Hirah of Adullam. The woman could nowhere be found. Months afterwards it was discovered to be his own daughter-in-law, Tamar, who had thus concealed herself under the veil or mantle, which she cast off on her return home, where she resumed the seclusion and dress of a widow. She was sentenced to be burned alive, and was only saved by the discovery, through the pledges which Judah had left, that her seducer was no less than the chieftain of the tribe. He had the magnanimity to recognize that she had been driven into this crime by his own neglect of his promise to give her in marriage to his youngest son. "She hath been more righteous than I... and he knew her again no more" ( Genesis 38:26). The fruit of this intercourse was twins, Pharez and Zarah, and through Pharez the sacred line was continued. B.C. 1885. Hence the prominence given to Tamar in the nuptial benediction of the tribe of Judah ( Ruth 4:12) and in the genealogy of our Lord ( Matthew 1:3). (See Judah).
3. Daughter of David and Maachah the Geshurite princess, and thus sister of Absalom ( 2 Samuel 13:1-32; 1 Chronicles 3, 9; Josephus, Ant. 7:8, 1). She and her brother were alike remarkable for their extraordinary beauty. Her name ("palm-tree") may have been given her on this account (comp. Song of Solomon 7:7). This fatal beauty inspired a frantic passion in her half-brother Amnon, the eldest son of David by Ahinoam. He wasted away, from the feeling that it was impossible to gratify his desire, "for she was a virgin"-the narrative leaves it uncertain whether from a scruple on his part, or from the seclusion in which, in her unmarried state, she was kept. Morning by morning, as he received the visits of his friend Jonadab, he is paler and thinner (Josephus, Ant. 7:8, 1).
Jonadab discovers the cause, and suggests to him the means of accomplishing his wicked purpose. He was to feign sickness. The king, who appears to have entertained a considerable affection, almost awe, for him as the eldest son ( 2 Samuel 13:5; 2 Samuel 13:21; Sept.), came to visit him; and Amnon entreated the presence of Tamar on the pretext that she alone could give him the food that he would eat. What follows is curious, as showing the simplicity of the royal life. It would almost seem that Tamar was supposed to have a peculiar art of baking palatable cakes. She came to his house (for each prince appears to have had a separate establishment), took the dough and kneaded it, and then in his presence (for this was to be a part of his fancy, as if there were something exquisite in the manner of her performing the work) kneaded it a second time into the form of cakes. The name given to these cakes (Lebibih), "heart-cakes," has been variously explained: "hollow cakes," "cakes with some stimulating spices" (like our word Cordial ), cakes in the shape of a heart (like the Moravian ger Ü hrte Herzen, Thenius, ad loc.), cakes "the delight of the heart." Whatever it be, it implies something special and peculiar. She then took the pan in which they had been baked and poured them all out in a heap before the prince. This operation seems to have gone on in an outer room, on which Amnon's bedchamber opened. He caused his attendants to retire, called her to the inner room, and there accomplished his design. In her touching remonstrance two points are remarkable. First, the expression of the infamy of such a crime "in Israel," implying the loftier standard of morals that prevailed as compared with other countries at that time; and, secondly, the belief that even this standard might be overborne lawfully by royal authority, "Speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from thee." This expression has led to much needless explanation from its contradiction to Leviticus 18:9; Leviticus 20:17; Deuteronomy 27:22; as, e.g., that her mother, Maachah, not being a Jewess, there was no proper legal relationship, between her and Amnon; or that she was ignorant of the law; or that the Mosaic laws were not then in existence (Thenius, Ad Loc.).
It is enough to suppose, what evidently her whole speech implies, that the king had a dispensing power which was conceived to cover even extreme cases. The brutal hatred of Amnon succeeding to his brutal passion, and the indignation of Tamar at his barbarous insult, even surpassing her indignation at his shameful outrage, are pathetically and graphically told, and in the narrative another glimpse is given us of the manners of the royal household. The unmarried princesses, it seems, were distinguished by robes or gowns with sleeves (so the Sept. Josephus, etc., take the word translated in the A. V. "diverse colors"). Such was the dress worn by Tamar on the present occasion, and when the guard at Amnon's door had thrust her out and closed the door after her to prevent her return, she, in her agony, snatched handfuls of ashes from the ground and threw them on her hair, then tore off her royal sleeves, and clasped her bare hands upon her head, and rushed to and fro through the streets screaming aloud. In this state she encountered her brother Absalom, who took her to his house, where she remained as if in a state of widowhood. The king was afraid or unwilling to interfere with the heir to the throne, but she was avenged by Absalom; as Dinah had been by Simeon and Levi, and out of that vengeance grew the series of calamities which darkened the close of David's reign (see Stanley, Jewish Church, 2, 128). B.C. 1033. (See David).
4. Daughter of Absalom, called, probably, after her beautiful aunt, and inheriting the beauty of both aunt and father ( 2 Samuel 14:7). She was the sole survivor of the house of Absalom; and ultimately, by her marriage with Uriah of Gibeah, became the mother of Maachah, the future queen of Judah, or wife of Abijah ( 1 Kings 15:2), Maachah being called after her great grandmother, as Tamar after her aunt. B.C. 1023. (See Absalom).
Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature 
Ta´mar (palm-tree), a Canaanitish woman, espoused successively to the two sons of Judah, Er and Onan; but as they both died childless, Judah hesitated to give her his third son Shelah, as patriarchal usage required. This set her upon the contrivance described in Genesis 38; and two sons, Pharez and Zarah, thus became the fruit of her criminal intercourse with Judah himself [JUDAH].
Tamar, daughter of David by Maacah, who was also the mother of Absalom. The unhappy consequences of the criminal passion entertained for this beautiful damsel by her half-brother Amnon, brutally gratified by him, and terribly avenged by Absalom, formed the groundwork of the family distractions which embittered the latter years of David's reign (2 Samuel 13) [[[Absalom; Amnon; David]]]
- ↑ Tamar from Smith's Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Tamar from Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary
- ↑ Tamar from Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
- ↑ Tamar from Holman Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Tamar from Morrish Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Tamar from Easton's Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Tamar from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Tamar from Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament
- ↑ Tamar from Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
- ↑ Tamar from Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature