Reuben Ebrahimoff




The Haftorah for Parshat Vayechi

King David's Last Will & Testament

The Haftorah is read from book of Melachim Aleph (Kings 1), 2: 1-12.

King David’s 3000th anniversary celebrated on Israeli Stamps

The connection of the Haftorah to the Parsha: In the beginning of Parshat Vayechi, Yaakov Avinu (Jacob our forefather), now known as Israel, called his sons to his deathbed to give them his last instructions. Similarly, the Haftorah talks about the advice King David gave to his son Shlomo (Solomon) before he died.

King David by Aert de Gelder

The storyline of this week's Haftorah: King David at 70 years old was on his deathbed and commanded his son Shlomo (Solomon) to keep the Torah. He also ordered Shlomo to kill Yoav, David's commander in chief of the army and confidant, because of his treachery. Yoav had betrayed King David by backing David's eldest son Adoniyahu, who was trying to steal the throne from Shlomo. King David further instructed Shlomo to support the sons of Barzilai, who were always staunch supporters of King David and to execute Shimi ben Gaira, who cursed David in a time of crisis. King David passed away and Shlomo took his rightful place as King of Israel, fulfilling his father's last wishes. David was buried in Ir David (The city of David).

This antiquity was found in Ir David – The City of David, Jerusalem
Depicts a harp from the time of King David

Background Information: Shlomo reigned over Israel when some would say it was at its zenith. The Nation of Israel lived in the land of Israel, with Jerusalem as its capital. On top of Mount Zion, stood the Beit HaMikdash (Holy Temple). Bnei Yisroel was said to have over 600,000 people who had the ability to experience prophecies. All 613 mitzvot could have been observed at that time; today we only observe about 200. The Kohen Gadol presided over the services in the Kadosh HaK’doshim (Holy of Holies) on the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur. Jews from all over the Land of Israel would observe the Shalosh Regalim; Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkoth, by migrating to Jerusalem 3 times a year.

Migdal David ~ The Tower of David ~ Jerusalem

King David's Biography:

  • The meaning of his name is "beloved."
  • Was a descendant of Ruth the Moabite. David's father's name was Ishai; his mother's name Nitzevet bat Adel. David was a "Gingie" (a redhead). As a youth, David was a shepherd, tending to flocks of sheep.
  • A warrior, David killed lions with his bare hands and is famous for killing Goliath with a single slingshot.
  • Was a musician who played music to calm Shaul (former King of Israel, and David's father in law). David was the faithful friend of Jonathan, King Saul’s son.
  • Cleared the way to build the first Beit HaMikdash (Holy Temple).
  • His son was King Shlomo (Solomon) known as the wisest man that ever lived and ruled.
  • Composed most of the book of Tehillim (Psalms), the most popular words worldwide used to pray.
  • The "fourth" meal of (after) Shabbat is called the meal of David. David was told by G-d that he was going to pass away on Shabbat. With the knowledge that the angel of death can’t attack while you are learning torah, David would learn Torah all Shabbat long, from beginning to end. Once Shabbat would end, he would have a meal celebrating his extension of life for another week. This meal is called Melaveh Malkah. King David died when he was 70 years old.
  • The Mashiach (Messiah) will be a descendant of King David.

Famous phrases: Mishlay, Proverbs 19:21, “Rabot machshavot belev ish, v'atzat Hashem he takum", "Many designs are in a man's heart, but the council of Hashem only will prevail.

The Tel-Dan Tablet that Mentions “The House of David”. The only extra biblical mention of King David.

Haftorahman’s lesson of the week: Our spiritual goals have been laid out for us by Hashem. Now, we need to focus our actions towards these goals. In life, we can achieve success through trial and error or we can seek the counsel of others who have already experienced life. There are many men and women rich in life experiences, who are eager to share the lessons they’ve learned. This week, go out of your way to connect to someone who is older and wiser than you are. Listen to their story and you may be surprised at what you hear and what you learn.

Timeline: Shlomo became king over all of Israel in the Jewish year 2924, about 2830 years ago.


Timeline by: Ephraim Waxman, Dor L’dor, Feldheim Publishing 2007


Map: Both King David and his son King Solomon lived in Jerusalem.

The Holy City of Jerusalem – And the Temple Mount Where the 1st & 2nd Holy Temples stood for 420 & 410 respectively. Both were destroyed on Tishah Be’Av.

Written by: Reuben Gavriel Ben Nissim Ebrahimoff 5773-2012