The haftarah1 for Chayei Sarah is the beginning of first chapter of the book of Kings. It tells us how “King David became old, he came with his days.”2 In our parshah, we read that “Abraham became old, he came with his days.”3 This is the first connection between the haftarah and the parshah. To “come with days” means that all a person’s days were full and accounted for.

How does the rest of the haftarah connect with the parshah?

The haftarah tells us that when David was at advanced age, his eldest living—and extremely handsome and spoiled—son Adoniyahu sought to claim David’s throne, knowing that his younger brother, Solomon, was meant to be king after David.

With the guidance of the prophet Nathan, Solomon’s mother, Bathsheba, came to David and let him know what was happening. David reassured her, reiterating the promise he made earlier, that her son Solomon would reign after him. She bowed and prostrated before the king and said, “May my master King David live forever!”4

Here, we find another similarity between the haftarah and the parshah. In the parshah, Abraham makes his younger son, Isaac, his sole heir, just as King David made Solomon, his younger son, the heir to his throne.

Our parshah continues to tell us of how Abraham gave Isaac everything, making him his heir in his lifetime. It also tells us what happened after Abraham died, that G‑d blessed Isaac, just as He blessed Abraham.

On the other hand, the prevailing custom is to end the haftorah after King David’s promise to Bathsheba, not continuing on to the verses that tell us how he had Solomon anointed as king during his lifetime and how Solomon sat on the throne after his father’s passing.

It would make sense to continue reading on, being that that the events parallel the events of the parshah so closely. Why don’t we continue?

The law is that the royal Davidic dynasty (carried through Solomon and his children) is everlasting. Moshiach will be heir to the throne of King David, tracing his lineage through Solomon.5 Until Solomon became king, the Davidic dynasty was not solidified.

The heirs to Solomon’s throne were intrinsically royal and did not need to be anointed.6 (Sometimes, they would be anointed just to clarify who was king in case of dispute.)

The Jewish dynasty started with Abraham, but must go through Isaac and his son, Jacob. Everyone who comes from Abraham through Isaac and Jacob is intrinsically Jewish.

Since the Jewish dynasty would not be solidified until Jacob comes into the picture, which happens in the next parshah, the haftarah stops before the Davidic dynasty is solidified.

Now we have another reason we read this haftarah. The establishment of the Davidic dynasty is the final solidification of the Jewish nation. Before the Jewish people had a king, they were not unified. It was the appointment of David that unified the Jewish people under one everlasting rulership. So our haftarah is the completion of the events of the parshah.7

May the events that began in our parshah and continued in the haftarah come to the ultimate completion, when our Davidic king, Moshiach, will ascend the throne.

May it happen soon!