This week Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Vayechi covering 1 Kings 2:1-12. King David nears death and gives final instructions to Solomon in this portion that parallels the blessings Jacob gave to his sons. David’s “command” to Solomon to “be a man” and to “keep” the “Torah” yields strand after strand of pearls as Gordon teaches on these key words—their first usage, roots, forms, and the versatile ways in which they are used (and connected) throughout the Tanakh.
Johnson explores the only verse in Scripture where “commandments,” “statutes,” “ordinances,” and “testimonies” occur together and intuits why David chose them. Gordon provides insight into rabbinical and Karaite views on the Torah of Moses, the oral Torah, and also the theory of the “Hexateuch”—a view that Joshua completed the Torah. Regarding David’s instructions for dealing with Joab, Shimei, and the sons Barzillai, we learn additional context for each story—and why David selected these friends and foes for special bequeathals.
The last word of the Portion reveals that Solomon’s kingdom was established “firmly”—in Hebrew “meod” / mem-alef-dalet. Gordon closes with a prayer that the descendant of David will soon sit on the throne to keep and to teach the treasure of Yehovah, and that his kingdom will be established “meod.”
"Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son" 1 Kings 2:1