I Kings 1:1-31.
This week's haftorah describes an aging King David, echoing this week's
Torah reading, which mentions that "Abraham was was old, advanced in days."
King David was aging, and he was perpetually cold. A young maiden, Abishag of
Shunam, was recruited to serve and provide warmth for the elderly monarch.
Seeing his father advancing in age, Adoniahu, one of King David's sons,
seized the opportunity to prepare the ground for his ascension to his
father's throne upon the latter's passing -- despite King David's express wishes
that his son Solomon succeed him. Adoniahu recruited two influential individuals
-- the High Priest and the commander of David's armies -- both of whom had
fallen out of David's good graces, to champion his cause. He arranged to be
transported in a chariot with fifty people running before him, and invited a
number of his sympathizers to a festive party where he publicizing his royal ambitions.
The prophet Nathan encouraged Bat Sheva, mother of Solomon, to approach King
David and plead with him to reaffirm his choice of Solomon as his successor. This she did, mentioning Adoniahu's recent actions of which the king had been unaware. Nathan
later joined the Bat Sheva and the king to express support for Bat Sheva's
request. King David acceded to their request: "Indeed," he told Bat Sheva, "as I swore to you by the Lord God of Israel saying, 'Surely Solomon, your son, shall reign after me and he shall sit on my throne in my stead,' surely, so will I
swear this day."