Sweet Naamah

“Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant: also our bed is green.” (Song of Solomon 1:16)

These words begin King Solomon’s tender expressions of love to his beautiful young wife. Solomon wrote a thousand and five songs (1 Kings 4:32), but apparently this was his favorite, for he called it his “song of songs” (Song 1:1), and it clearly centered on his beloved, whom he called “my sister, my spouse” no less than four times (Song 4:9-12; 5:1), thereby intimating both their spiritual and marital relationship.

Rehoboam was Solomon’s only son, as far as recorded, and his mother’s name was Naamah (2 Chronicles 12:13), meaning “pleasant.” Since he was 41 years old when he inherited Solomon’s throne and since Solomon had only reigned 40 years (2 Chronicles 9:30), the marriage of Solomon and Naamah must have been formalized when Solomon was quite young, long before he was married to Pharoah’s daughter or any of his other 700 wives. Naamah was then and always his one real love, in spite of his spiritual defections in old age. His counsel to young men near the end of his life was: “Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days . . . of thy vanity” (Ecclesiastes 9:9).

Note that Solomon called her “fair” and “beloved” in our text, and then “pleasant.” The Hebrew word for “pleasant” is very similar to “Naamah,” as though Solomon were calling her by a shortened form of her name as a term of endearment. The same word is occasionally translated “sweet.” Naamah was surely a sweet, pleasant maiden, but also a capable woman in mind and heart, fit to become a queen.

Solomon’s song for and about her is an inspired ode to true marital love and thus can even be a figurative testimony to the love of Christ, the “greater than Solomon,” for His church. HMM

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