Jacob blessing his sons on his deathbed

Jacob blessing his sons on his deathbed

This Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Vayechi, Genesis 47:28 – 50:26, discusses Jacob’s final years. Shortly before his passing, Jacob blesses Joseph’s children as well as his own. A massive funeral procession escorts Jacob’s body to Canaan. The reading, and the Book of Genesis, concludes with Joseph’s death.

In the Haftara Prophets reading, I Kings 2:1 – 2:12, King David delivers his deathbed message to his son and successor, Solomon, echoing this week’s Torah reading that discusses at length Jacob’s parting words and instructions to his sons.

King David encourages Solomon to be strong and to remain steadfast in his belief in G‑d. This will ensure his success in all his endeavors as well as the continuation of the Davidic Dynasty. David then goes on to give his son some tactical instructions pertaining to various people who deserved punishment or reward for their actions during his reign.

The haftarah concludes with David’s death and his burial in the City of David. King Solomon takes his father’s place and his sovereignty is firmly established.

Happy studying!