So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned: for Rehoboam was one and forty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen ° years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess.
 

12:13 one and forty years old. Since Solomon reigned just forty years, Rehoboam was born a year before he became king, while Solomon was still quite young. Presumably he had married Naamah (whose name means “sweetness”) a year before that. Since Rehoboam is the only son of Solomon whose name is recorded (though he had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines—I Kings 11:3), Rehoboam must have been Solomon’s firstborn son and the one to whom he wanted to give his throne. All of this would imply that Naamah was the wife he truly loved, and therefore the beautiful “fairest among women” so praised by the youthful Solomon in his “Song of Solomon.” Naamah was not a native Israelite, being an Ammonitess, which perhaps correlates with her description of herself as “black, but comely” because “the sun hath looked upon me” (Song of Solomon 1:5-6), and also with her references to “the daughters of Jerusalem” Song of Solomon 2:7) as though she were not Jewish herself.


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