In these verses we read that David's first son with Bathsheba dies as a punishment for his sin of murdering Uriah. Then David and Bathsheba have another son and they name him Solomon. But the Lord wants him to be named Jedidiah. Yet his name remained Solomon. Why is this?
2 Samuel 12:24 - 25
NKJV - 24 Then David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in to her and lay with her. So she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. Now the LORD loved him. 25 And He sent word by the hand of Nathan the prophet: So he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD.
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I opine that the name Jedidiah was not really the name God gave to David's son, but it was rather and expression of this love for the kid transformed into a name. Interpreting directly from the original Hebrews translation, the word 'called' in the phrase "he shall be called" means qârâ, and it is interpreted; proclaimed, appointed, chosen, endowed, commissioned. Now, replacing the word 'called' in that phrase with any of the English meanings of qârâ, we'll see that God was not directly giving him the name Jedidiah, but he was rather establishing him as Jedidiah meaning the beloved of the Lord. Moreover, if we read through 1Chronicles 22:9 "behold a son shall be born to thee who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days"... From this verse we realize that the name Solomon was God's proposed name for David's son before he was born. So both names came from God, one to David the son's father, and the other to Nathan the Prophet. But Nathans' came after the child was born to express God's total love, while Davids' came before the child was born as a promise.
My interpretation of the passage in question is that, after the first son of David and Bathsheba died as a punishment from God for David's adultery with Bathsheba, and for his ordering the death of Bathsheba's husband Uriah the Hittite (2 Samuel 11:1-12:23), David and Bathsheba had a second son, whom David named Solomon. After Solomon was born, God instructed the prophet Nathan to convey His congratulations to David on Solomon's birth, indicating God's favor upon Solomon. Because of this, David gave to Solomon the affectionate designation "Jedidiah", meaning "beloved of the LORD". Thus, Jedidiah was not Solomon's proper name, nor was it a name given (or directed to be given) to Solomon by God Himself. It was instead what we would think of as a "nickname", and was given to Solomon by David because of the indication that God had given of His favor upon the child. However, the baby's formal name (and the name under which he would eventually rule) remained Solomon.
My understanding is that God didn't necessarily direct Nathan to "name" the child "Beloved of God," Nathan did it of his own accord. Yes, God sent Nathan there. This is how it reads: (After the boy was born, David had already named him Solomon). "Now the Lord loved him, (the newborn baby) and sent word through Nathan the prophet, and he (Nathan) named him Jedidiah (Beloved of God) for the Lord's sake (2 Sam 12:25). That means that Nathan called him what God had said about the boy, for the purpose that God had for Solomon. The way I read it is that God told Nathan to go and tell the couple that this boy is special to Him, beloved by Him. It isn't said that God told Nathan to rename the baby. The gist of the narrative is that God told Nathan to go there and comfort the couple who'd had a newborn die, to assure them of God's love for the child. This "naming" was Nathan's doing. I think he worded the message his own way, but for the purpose of the Lord. (A preacher's prerogative). David and Bathsheba knew the message of love was from God, and they didn't see a reason to change the baby's name. David's name for Solomon was prophetic; David, said to be a "man of war," named his son "peaceful one" (Solomon). Solomon's reign as king was forty years of peace for the nation of Israel, the only years of prolonged peace recorded pertaining to the kingdom. Solomon lived up to the name given to him by his father. He choreographed the peaceful years of his reign, they didn't just happen because of his name (1 Kings 5:12). He reaped what he sowed, both good and not so good. He used the wisdom that was bestowed upon him by the Lord. (1 Kings 3:9) (Some of the time, for the most part, but not exclusively) God lived up to the name Nathan gave the child (Beloved of God). David's son was "The peaceful one beloved of God." That's quite a handle...
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