The haftarah for Chayei Sarah tells the beginning of the story of the end of King David's days and the rise of Solomon. His son Adonijah is the heir presumptive, and when it becomes known to the nation that his father's body is beginning to shut down he decides to throw a celebratory party, declaring "I will be king!" (1 Kings 1:5).
Noticing this, Nathan the prophet orchestrates a coup - he instructs Solomon's mother Bathsheba to plant a recollection into David's mind, that David had promised Bathsheba that Solomon would be his heir. The exercise in psychological manipulation is successful, and Solomon is crowned king in Jerusalem.
In the Bible, the story continues: As Adonijah is crowing that he will be king, he is informed that Solomon is king and flees to take hold of the corners of the altar in the Temple, seeking sanctuary.
It was reported to Solomon: "Adonijah is in fear of King Solomon and has grasped the horns of the altar, saying, 'Let King Solomon first swear to me that he will not put his servant to the sword.' " Solomon said, "If he behaves worthily, not a hair of his head shall fall to the ground; but if he is caught in any offense, he shall die." So King Solomon sent and had him taken down from the altar. He came and bowed before King Solomon, and Solomon said to him, "Go home" (1 Kings 1:51-53).
There seem to be three lessons to draw from the story of Adonijah and Solomon:
- Do not declare victory before the deal is done as it might goad others to take action to thwart your expectations.
- Once the decision has been finalized the best course of action may be to accept defeat.
For the third lesson, I invite you to read the second chapter of 1 Kings.