Beit David by Mr. Ezra Frazer


In this week’s Haftorah, we read how David prepares Shlomo to become the next king (I Melachim 2).  In David’s charge, he includes both general advice regarding the importance of observing Mitzvot (2:2-4) and specific instructions about settling accounts between David and several private individuals (2:5-9).  The Haftorah concludes by informing us that, indeed, Shlomo ascended his father’s throne, and his rule was “well-established” (2:12).  The Metzudat David interprets “well-established” as a reference to the sharp contrast between David’s and Shlomo’s experiences.  David faced repeated rebellions during his years as king, one from his son Avshalom and one from Shaul’s relative Sheva ben Bichri, whereas Shlomo, after an initial confrontation with Adoniyahu, experience peace and stability.

The Navi apparently sees tremendous value in the stability that characterized Shlomo’s rule.  It repeats that his rule was “well-established” (“Nachonah”) after he actually settles his father’s outstanding accounts (2:46).  The Navi also emphasizes that he ruled over all of Israel following his successful resolution of the two prostitutes’ conflict (4:1), and later adds that his rule was characterized by peace and prosperity (5:4-5).

While the political benefits of peace and stability are obvious, there is also a religious dimension.  When David requests to build God a home, God’s response, as recorded in Shmuel II (7:5-16), appears quite vague.  He does not inform David of any specific reason why he will not build this house himself; instead He emphasizes that He has functioned just fine without a permanent dwelling, and He adds that David’s son will build the Beit Hamikdash.  God further emphasizes that He will solidify Shlomo’s rules, “I will establish his kingship.  He will build a home for My name, and I will establish his throne forever” (7:12-13).  Apparently, the very fact the Shlomo ruled as part of a dynasty, unlike his father (who was not the previous king’s son), meant that he was more qualified than his father to build God a home.

Rav Yosef Kara (7:11) notes that David’s dynasty could only be called a “Bayit” (“home” or “dynasty”) once his son would rule after him.  Rav Kara further comments that the verse from the end of our Haftorah is telling us that God fulfilled His promise that Shlomo’s rule would be “well-established.”  Thus, only through a political Bayit, a royal dynasty, could the spiritual Bayit, God’s dwelling place, be built.

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