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When David was old and Adonijah his son proclaimed himself King, Nathan the Prophet rushed to Bathsheba and gave her wisdom to go in to the King and save her life and the life of her son Solomon – and David sware by the Lord that delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, Our GOD, he would make Solomon KING.

In that day, he commanded Benaiah son of Jehoidah, Nathan the Prophet and Zadok the Priest to cause Solomon to ride on his own mule, take him to Gihon and anoint him KING. And Solomon sat on the Throne of His Father David at the tender age of 12.

Tell me, why did God choose Solomon over all the sons of David, not then but on the DAY He was born – remember right after Solomon was born the Bible says The LORD loved him and sent Nathan to give him the name Jedidiah. What might this mean to us today?

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    In order to establish your query, could you please cite the chapter and verses to which you are referring and possibly actually quote the wording so that we can see what we are to analyse. Thank you. Welcome to BH.
    – Nigel J
    Jun 14, 2020 at 16:31
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    @NigelJ The passage in question is 2 Sam 12:24-25. A retelling passage is in 1 Chron 22:9-10 which 1) removes the Nathan & Jedidiah reference, 2) more explicit about how God will fulfill His covenant to David through Solomon and 3) told in the context of who shall build the temple. Mar 12, 2021 at 14:53

5 Answers 5

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'Hate' is often/usually used in the sense of 'loved less' as in Jacob/Esau, Rachel & Leah, etc. It's also interesting to see how Jehovah reads hearts in the case of Jacob & Esau Romans 9:11-13. One of them was going to be ancestor to the Messiah. Jehovah was careful of that line of descent.

I thought Solomon became king at around 25. As I understand it Shimei, died about 3 years after Solomon took the throne. Solomon was acting very decisively from the get-go, and I'd be highly surprised if he was only 12. How did you arrive at that age?

My available translations don't mention a promise to Solomon on the day he was born, but Solomon was clearly intended for the throne from before his birth, because God told David that Solomon would build the Temple. Jehovah thus made clear that Solomon (meaning peace) would be the next king. Both God and Jesus Christ can read hearts. David had been a man of (Necessary) wars, and it was fitting for a spiritual man of peace to build the Temple. It also showed that Bathsheba's marriage to David was not cursed in any way.

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Why did God choose Solomon over all the more legitimate sons of David even before he was born. What might this mean to us today?

First, let's review the Biblical data on the choice of Solomon:

  • 2 Sam 12:24-25 the passage is right after God killed Solomon's older sibling, the fruit of David's adultery with Bathsheba while her first husband was still living.

    Solomon's Birth

    ²⁴ Then David comforted his wife, Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her, and she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. And the Lord loved him ²⁵ and sent a message by Nathan the prophet. So he called his name Jedidiah, because of the Lord.

  • 1 Chron 22:9-10 which 1) removes the Nathan & Jedidiah reference, 2) more explicit about how God will fulfill His covenant to David through Solomon and 3) told in the context of who shall build the temple:

    ⁹ Behold, a son shall be born to you who shall be a man of rest. I will give him rest from all his surrounding enemies. For his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. ¹⁰ He shall build a house for my name. He shall be my son, and I will be his father, and I will establish his royal throne in Israel forever.’

  • Matt 1:6b in the genealogy of Jesus. Notice the annotation "by the wife of Uriah" (the Bible does not push sin under the carpet!):

    And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah

Answer: The Bible does not give us the explicit reason on why God decided to fulfill His covenant with David through Solomon, other than suggesting that God disregards common legitimacy criteria that human societies use to choose a king. This is clear when He providentially chose a line of ancestors culminating in Jesus (the eternal King of Israel promised to David):

  • God bypassed the first born of many other ancestors of Jesus: Jacob over Esau, Judah over Reuben, David over one of his 6 (or 7) elder brothers.

  • God overlooked (by forgiving?) the immorality of several ancestors of Jesus:

    • how Tamar (mother of Perez) tricked her father in law Judah into sleeping with her (Gen 38)
    • how Rahab the prostitute who saved the spies was granted the honor to be included in the lineage
    • how Solomon's mother became David's wife after her first husband was conveniently eliminated
  • God included a mother of non-Israelite origin as Jesus's ancestor: Ruth, the great grandmother of David, was a Moabite, whose founder was Moab, a son of Lot through incest(!). Furthermore, Lot was Abraham's nephew, so not technically the children of the promise (through Isaac & Jacob).

  • God's faithfulness is shining throughout the history of sinful kings of Judah, attested by a common refrain in the book of Kings such as 1 Kings 15:4:

    Nevertheless, for David's sake the Lord his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, setting up his son after him, and establishing Jerusalem.

What is clear from the above examination of Jesus's ancestors:

  • God asserted fiercely His independence from all human planning
  • God overlooked ancestors's sins even when the Bible is silent on whether they repented

What might this mean to us today?

  1. God is faithful to those in covenant with Him: a great hope for us who is in the new covenant with Jesus, that God will fulfill His promise to us just as He did to David
  2. God's way of fulfilling His promise is beyond human understanding: we can sometimes experience miraculous transformation of being cured of some deeply ingrained vice (like addiction)
  3. He can make something good out of the consequences of our sin: sometimes (not always!, since it's not part of the promise) we can be surprised how out of the mess we are in God can redeem it into a blessing for us or for others
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Why God loved Solomon From birth?

Well, the Bible did not actually give explicit details, but I would say that God has seen his heart even right from birth before he became full grown man.

The same way God told Jeremiah, that before he was born in his mother's womb, he knows who Jeremiah is. So, judging from this, probably among the sons of David, He already knows who Solomon was.

When God loved Jacob from birth more than Esau, we were also told reading forward in the Bible how the same Esau sold his birth right for just a plate of food because he was hungry. Knowing that God is a God of standard in value, why wouldn't God choose Jacob over Esau judging from even the decision of Esau selling his birth right to his younger one for food?

God sees our hearts. Of course, He is God, why wouldn't he know who truly we are all.

When God rejected Saul as king, Samuel told Saul that God has rejected him and God has found a man of qualities after his own heart. God looks at us and sees qualities he desires for particular purposes, then he sends us for that mission.

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    Welcome to the group Victoria. Please take a look at the Tour (there's a link at the bottom left) to get better acquainted, if you haven't already done so. I basically agree with your answer an have upvoted it accordingly. It could be improved with biblical quotations and citations. Oct 27, 2023 at 19:29
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    Oct 28, 2023 at 1:03
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The question is: "why did God choose Solomon over all the sons of David, not then but on the DAY He was born?" But there's a problem with this question, because the Bible says only that God loved him, not that he chose him over all the sons of David.

2 Samuel 12:24-25

Then David consoled Bathsheba his wife. He went and slept with her; and she conceived and bore him a son, who was named Solomon. The Lord loved him and sent the prophet Nathan to name him Jedidiah, on behalf of the Lord.

As far as the narrative goes, Solomon was chosen as heir because David promised this to Bathsheba, not because God had declared it. The text does not say when this happened. The narrative suggests that there was a serious controversy over this very fact, with major leaders such as Joab, the high priest Abiathar, and several of the royal princes supporting Adonijah. It is only in the privacy of Bathsheba's chambers at that time that we learn of David's promise to make Adonijah his heir.

Summary: the kingship indeed passed to Solomon by God's will, but as far as we know there is no statement about God choosing him before his birth. As for the reason God chose him, this is for God to know and us the speculate about. Surely it must have had something to do with David's heartfelt repentance for his sin with Bathsheba, reflected in Nathan's recognition that God loved the infant Solomon. In addition God may have seen something in Solomon's character (wisdom for example) that made him the best candidate. Beyond that, the choice of an heir was the king's to make. Bathsheba was now David's favorite wife, and the text implies that he promised her to make Solomon his heir.

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  • One thing for sure; considering how Solomon turned out in the end, how he angered God by marrying so many foreign women and going after their strange gods, you'd have to say that God's love for Solomon was not based on any foreknowledge that Solomon would never go astray. I'm left wondering, what did God ever see in Solomon in the first place?
    – moron
    Oct 28, 2023 at 0:36
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The scripture does not explicitly tell us why Solomon was chosen by the Lord. However, there are two things that are certain;

  1. In 2 Samuel 12:25, at the birth of Solomon, the Lord sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah, that means 'loved by the Lord'.
  2. In 1 Kings 1:17, Bathsheba reminded David of his oath by the Lord that Solomon would be king after him. David affirmed his oath in 1 Kings 1:29-30.

It is worth noting that in the scripture, only a few characters the Lord had given them a name, and the names are accompanied with a promise;

  1. Abram was named Abraham, for the Lord had made him a father of many nations (Genesis 7:5)
  2. Sarai was named Sarah, for the Lord would bless her and will surely give Abraham a son, that she would be the mother of nations and kings of peoples would come from her (Genesis 7:16)
  3. Jacob was named Israel, the Lord blessed him because he had struggled with the Lord and with humans and had overcome. (Genesis 32:28)
  4. John the Baptist was named before birth. His name means 'God is gracious', for he would be a joy and delight to his parents, and many would rejoice because of his birth (Luke 1:13-14)
  5. Jesus was named before birth. His name means 'God is salvation' for He will be called the Son of the Most High. (Luke 1:31-32)

2 Samuel 7:12-16 is considered to be a messianic passage. The background is that David intended to build a house (The Holy Temple) for the Lord. However, instead of allowing David to build the temple, the Lord replied through Nathan the prophet that He would established David's house (kingdom) that would last forever by raising up his offspring after him. The passage also states that The Lord will be a father to the offspring and that the offspring will be his son. It appears to be a double prophesy, fulfilling on Solomon and eventually Jesus.

12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. 15 But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’”

We may recall as well at the Baptism of Jesus, a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." (Luke 3:22). The name Jedidiah means 'loved by the Lord', that was given to Solomon by Nathan the prophet at the Lord's command. The wisdom that Solomon exhibited evoke parallels with Jesus. His reign was safeguarded by the Lord in peace and prosperity highly resemblance to the Messianic era, often described in the prophetic books when the Lord restored the nation. With the above connections, it is plausible that Solomon is a metaphor for the Messiah.

Regarding the oath of David to Bathsheba, it is believed that the Lord's spirit inspired David to make the oath. A notable passage that support this belief is Psalm 72, which begins with 'Of Solomon' and ends with 'This concludes the prayers of David son of Jesse' (NIV). In this passage, all prophecies did happen during Solomon's reign. It is believed that David couldn't have foretold these events without the Lord's Spirit.

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