Rehoboam and His Mom

In the post Rehoboam and Ammonites I drew what should have been logical conclusions about Naamah, Rehoboam’s mother. They were based on what I had read about the Ammonites and their interactions with Israel though out Scripture. There is an addition to that story (I am embarrassed to say I should have read more/deeper.) At least I get to correct this; so I had better start at the beginning.

2 Chronicles 9:30 – Solomon reigned forty years over all of Israel in Jerusalem. In 2 Chronicles 12:13 are time markers about Rehoboam’s reign that says he was forty-one years old when he started to rule. Do the math and it is easy to see that Rehoboam was born before Solomon became king. That means that David had approved/gotten Solomon an Ammonite wife. You always think that Pharaoh’s daughter (1 Kings 3) was his first wife but he married her after he became king.

David’s “Mighty Men” and his officials did have Ammonites and people from the surrounding countries. Was Naamah the daughter of a friend of his (Zelek the Ammonite – 2 Samuel 23:37)? We are not told much about her other than she was an Ammonite and her name means “pleasant.” She may have been Solomon’s very first wife and Rehoboam could have been his first-born son! That may have been why he was made king.

How does all of this mesh with the first post? I have no idea! God has “concealed the matter” and I just get to think about it. Naamah is now a bigger mystery than before.

Lessons learned: 1. Be careful where you step that shoe maybe in your mouth soon. 2. God will have mercy on whom He pleases. 3. He has hide this matter, He allowed this matter, there is a BIG lesson here (just wish I could see it).

Rehoboam and Ammonites

Rehoboam’s, the troubled heir to Solomon’s throne, story must start with a look back at the Ammonites. His mother Naamah was an Ammonite, the son of Lot by his younger daughter (Genesis 19:38), certainly of royal birth, and probably very beautiful. She may have been the “most loved” of Solomon’s wives or Rehoboam showed more potential than any other his brothers. (See Rehoboam and His Mom)  But Solomon should not have married her as that was forbidden by the Law for kings/Israel to do. And it is probable that she was one who led Solomon away from Jehovah (1 Kings 11:1) in his later years and had him build a worship site to Moloch (Molek) the detestable god of the Ammonites. Apparently, Chemosh, the god of the Moabites, and Moloch were the same god just in different nations; it was a bull-man deity that demanded human sacrifice especially babies.

God, in Deuteronomy 2:19, warned Moses/Israel about attacking or harassing them as they went to the Promised Land. God was showing favor to Lot in this degree but the Ammonites and Moabites were the ones who hired Balaam in Numbers 22 and were so cursed in Deuteronomy 23:3 from entering the Temple. [Abraham and Lot were descendants of Terah (Genesis11: 27) who came from Shem (Genesis 9:23).] The Ammonites show themselves as enemies of Israel throughout the Bible and God compares them to Sodom and Gomorrah in Zephaniah 2:9. In Ezekiel 25: 1 -10, Jeremiah 25 + 49, and in other places, He is definitely against them; the lesson here is that God has His limits and they went too far. Other Israelites who had a conflict with them were:

  • Jephthah – Judges 10 + 11
  • Nehemiah – Tobiah
  • Jeremiah – Baalis (40:14) killed Gedaliah (God’s chosen leader for the remnant)
  • King Saul – Nahash 1 Samuel 11
  • David and Joab – 2 Samuel 10. It should be noted that David did have an Ammonite in his “mighty men” 2 Samuel 23:37.

(See Family and Foe)

Rehoboam had already heard that the kingdom was going to be broken up because of Solomon’s sins. So when he takes the advice of the “young men” he should have known what was going to happen. His arrogance and deception are enormous but it was in God’s plan.

Questions to be answered in heaven:

  • What were the names of the daughters of Lot?
  • Did those “young men” stay Rehoboam’s advisors?

Tribes of Israel – Benjamin

Benjamin is the thirteenth child of Jacob or the first child of Israel and the second child of Rachel. He is definitely the only son born in the Promise Land.

Deuteronomy 33: 12 About Benjamin he said: “Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.”

Genesis 49:27 “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; in the morning he devours the prey,
in the evening he divides the plunder.” (NIV)

The prophecy by Moses in Deuteronomy is started with Jonathan (King Saul’s son) and David in 1 Samuel 18. It continues in 1 Kings 12 when a rather arrogant Rehoboam is used to split the Kingdom; ten tribes follow Jeroboam and only Judah and Benjamin stay true to the royal line of David. (Jerusalem was in the land allotted to Benjamin.)

The prediction of Jacob in Genesis 49 paints an interesting picture of his youngest son. A wolf is relentless and calculating when it pursues what it wants and violent in its attacks but it also sets an example of a supportive family. I think it is safe to assume that when Joseph was “no more” that Benjamin became his favored son. This is reflected by his unwillingness to let him go to Egypt even though the whole clan could have died of starvation.

Since Rachel died in childbirth who raised Benjamin? Bilhah should have been the likely choice since she was Rachel’s slave but she slept with Reuben and I cannot image Jacob trusting her much. So the other choice would have been faithful Leah.

The story in Judges 19,20,21 about Benjamin defending some of their own even though they had clearly crossed several lines of moral behavior sets the stage for Saul and his kingship. (See Why Hide a Grandson There)