ויקרבו ימי־דוד למות ויצו את־שׁלמה בנו לאמר׃
אנכי הלך בדרך כל־הארץ וחזקת והיית לאישׁ׃
The time came near for David to die; so he commissioned Shlomo his son as follows: "I am going the way of all the earth. Therefore, be strong; show yourself a man.
(1Ki 2:1-2 CJB)
The haftarah again this week takes us to the early, intermediate, and final fulfillment of the cosmic time-transcendent reality of the advent of Messiah. It starts with King David growing old and being ready to die, thus giving instructions to his son Solomon. Similarly in the connected parasha, Jacob/Israel is getting ready to die and thus gives instructions to his son Joseph:
The time came near for David to die; so he commissioned Shlomo his son as follows: (1Ki 2:1 CJB)
The time came when Isra'el was approaching death; so he called for his son Yosef and said to him, .... (Gen 47:29 CJB)
Though slightly different in the CJB version, the Hebrew wording in the beginning of both verses is the same:
Gen 47:29 ויקרבו ימי־ישׂראל למות
1Ki 2:1 ויקרבו ימי־דוד למות
Similarly, in the haftarah, King David leaves the responsibility of the kingdom with his son Solomon tied with the command:
Therefore, be strong; show yourself a man. Observe the charge of Adonai your God to go in his ways and keep his regulations, mitzvot, rulings and instructions in accordance with what is written in the Torah of Moshe; so that you will succeed in all you do and wherever you go. If you do, Adonai will fulfill what he promised me when he said, 'If your children pay attention to how they live, conducting themselves before me honestly with all their heart and being, you will never lack a man on the throne of Isra'el.'
(1Ki 2:2-4 CJB)
THE COSMIC JOSEPH, SOLOMON, AND MESSIAH CONNECTION
These two sections are tied in several ways. The basic story of Joseph is that Jacob his father appointed him as heir to the custody of the covenant. His brothers, with Reuben at the head as the oldest and natural recipient for that title, were jealous and planned a coup, thereby getting rid of Joseph.
In the same manner, as we read in 1 Kings 1, while Solomon, who was not the oldest son, was the David-appointed inheritor of the crown, Adonijah planned a coup to try to put the crown upon himself (1 Kings 1).
At the end of time, Yeshua, who has been appointed by HaShem to be the ruler of His people, will be faced with an antichrist supplanter planning a coup to take the Kingdom.
COMMANDS TO THE HEIR
A long time before, Jacob had shown his choice of successor by giving a special coat to Joseph (Gen 37:3). Also, King David had promised Bat Sheba that her son Solomon would be king (1 Kings 1:17). Similarly, from before the foundations of the earth, HaShem had established Yeshua to be the King for His people, Israel (Rev 13:8; Ps 2).
- Before starting in the fulfillment of his divinely appointed responsibilities, Jacob had to deal with his brother Esau.
- Before starting in the fulfillment of his divinely appointed responsibilities, Joseph had to deal with Reuben and his brothers who federated with him.
- Before starting in the fulfillment of his divinely appointed responsibilities, Solomon had to deal with Adonijah his brother as well as with the people who federated with him.
David gives Solomon instructions that help establish his kingdom. Get rid of the disloyals, but keep the promises I made to some people:
Moreover, you are aware of what Yo'av the son of Tz'ruyah did to me, that is, what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Isra'el, Avner the son of Ner and `Amasa the son of Yeter -- he killed them, shedding the blood of war in peacetime, putting the blood of war on the belt around his waist and the shoes on his feet. Therefore, act according to your wisdom; don't let his gray head go down to the grave in peace. "But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gil`adi. Include them with those who eat at your table, because they came and stood with me when I was fleeing from Avshalom your brother. "Finally, you have with you Shim`i the son of Gera the Binyamini, from Bachurim. He laid a terrible curse on me when I was on my way to Machanayim; but he came down to meet me at the Yarden; so I swore to him by Adonai that I would not have him put to death with the sword. Now, however, you should not let him go unpunished. You are a wise man, and you will know what you should do to him -- you will bring his gray head down to the grave with blood."
(1Ki 2:5-9 CJB)
In the same manner, when Messiah comes, as John the Immerser says:
If you have really turned from your sins to God, produce fruit that will prove it! ... Already the axe is at the root of the trees, ready to strike; every tree that doesn't produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown in the fire! It's true that I am immersing you in water so that you might turn from sin to God; but the one coming after me is more powerful than I -- I'm not worthy even to carry his sandals -- and he will immerse you in the Ruach HaKodesh and in fire. He has with him his winnowing fork; and he will clear out his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn but burning up the straw with unquenchable fire!"
(Mat 3:8-12 CJB)
Also the other John, John the disciple, prophecies that at the end of times, the Messiah will come and rid himself of the pretender who tried to steal His crown.
Next I saw heaven opened, and there before me was a white horse. Sitting on it was the one called Faithful and True, and it is in righteousness that he passes judgment and goes to battle. His eyes were like a fiery flame, and on his head were many royal crowns. And he had a name written which no one knew but himself. He was wearing a robe that had been soaked in blood, and the name by which he is called is, "THE WORD OF GOD." The armies of heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. And out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down nations -- "He will rule them with a staff of iron." It is he who treads the winepress from which flows the wine of the furious rage of Adonai, God of heaven's armies. And on his robe and on his thigh he has a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out in a loud voice to all the birds that fly about in mid-heaven, "Come, gather together for the great feast God is giving, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of generals, the flesh of important men, the flesh of horses and their riders and the flesh of all kinds of people, free and slave, small and great!" I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to do battle with the rider of the horse and his army. But the beast was taken captive, and with it the false prophet who, in its presence, had done the miracles which he had used to deceive those who had received the mark of the beast and those who had worshipped his image. The beast and the false prophet were both thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. The rest were killed with the sword that goes out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.
(Rev 19:11-21 CJB)
The aftara ends with:
Then David slept with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. David had ruled Isra'el for forty years -- seven years in Hevron and thirty-three years in Yerushalayim. Shlomo sat on the throne of David his father; and his rule had become firmly established,
(1Ki 2:10-12 CJB)
WHAT DO WE LEARN FROM THIS
We must remember that it is Messiah who establishes His Kingdom, not us. And like Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, He does it by answering His Father's call and taking care of the opposition.
Our sole mandate is to share the Good News of the advent of the Kingdom by sharing the same message Yeshua and John the Immerser both proclaimed, "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand." HaShem doesn't need us to protect His reputation by us trying to fulfill His promises. He does that Himself. We just need to be the messengers with the herald of the coming Kingdom of God.
OH, JUST ONE MORE THING ...
The connection between the parasha and the haftarah this week is the passing on of the leadership baton alongside instructions.
The instructions from Jacob to his son Joseph were to not bury Jacob in Egypt but to bring him back to his family in the Cave of Machpela. By the time Jacob was ready to die, the famine was already over for many years, so this was probably Jacob's attempt at reminding his descendants who settled in Egypt that they were not to stay there but return to Canaan. But they didn't.
The instructions King David left to his son King Solomon were to properly deal with the opposition and to live according to HaShem's commandments.
HaShem's instructions to His Son Yeshua might be the same.
As Jacob gave an instruction to Joseph that reminded the children of Israel to leave Egypt behind, Yeshua came with a commandment to take us out of the world:
If you belonged to the world, the world would have loved its own. But because you do not belong to the world -- on the contrary, I have picked you out of the world -- therefore the world hates you.
(Joh 15:19 CJB)
It is easy to condemn the children of Israel for their compromise with the Egyptian culture that caused them to settle in Egypt, but we need to ask ourselves if we are guilty of the same. Do we feel comfortable in this world? Do we pine for the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, the garlic of Egypt, while we complain of the simple manna he provides us daily from Heaven? (Numbers 11:5)
The commands King David left to His son were to deal with the opposition and to live a pure life worthy of his calling as king. We must notice here that the opposition his father was speaking of was not people from foreign nations. They were part of Israel, some of them even of government. In the same manner, when he comes, Yeshua has the command to take care of the opposition. It is important to realize that the opposition is not part of other religions or political parties. The opposition he takes care of is part of His people and, who knows, maybe even part of the leadership of His people. One of the most challenging statements Yeshua made is:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord!' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, only those who do what my Father in heaven wants. On that Day, many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord! Didn't we prophesy in your name? Didn't we expel demons in your name? Didn't we perform many miracles in your name?' Then I will tell them to their faces, 'I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!'
"So, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on bedrock. The rain fell, the rivers flooded, the winds blew and beat against that house, but it didn't collapse, because its foundation was on rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the rivers flooded, the wind blew and beat against that house, and it collapsed -- and its collapse was horrendous!"
(Mat 7:21-27 CJB)
James taught the congregations in Israel in the following words:
Anyone who thinks he is religiously observant but does not control his tongue is deceiving himself, and his observance counts for nothing. The religious observance that God the Father considers pure and faultless is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being contaminated by the world.
(Jas 1:26-27 CJB)
to which we have been called.
R' GABRIEL LUMBROSO