2 SAMUEL CHAPTER 9.
Davidís Kindness to Mephibosheth.
DAVID RECEIVES MEPHIBOSHETH GRACIOUSLY. ó V.1. And David said, at the time when his victories had given him comparative peace for the time being, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, any descendant of his, any member of his family, that I may show him kindness for Jonathanís sake? The word here used applies to such kindness as the Lord shows, which is an outflow of the kindness and love of God living in the hearts of the believers. His question implies the answer: There certainly must be some relative living, in whose case I may fulfill my promise to Jonathan, 1 Sam. 20, 14. 15. V.2. And there was of the house of Saul a servant whose name was Ziba, probably known to some of Davidís men and hunted up by them for the purpose of obtaining the information required by the king. And when they had called him unto David, the king said unto him, Art thou Ziba? And he said, thy servant is he. V.3. And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul that I may show the kindness of God unto him? David felt under obligations that, as he had received the mercy of the Lord, so he would pass on its kindness even to the descendants of the man who had pursued him for years. And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet, chap. 4, 4. V.4. And the king said unto him, Where is he? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he is in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, in Lodebar. Machir evidently was a well-to-do and influential man, living on the east side of Jordan, near Mahanaim and Rabboth-Ammon, who had offered his house as a place of refuge to the poor cripple. V.5. Then King David sent and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar. He lost no time in fulfilling his promise and in showing mercy, for postponing a good work is often equivalent to abandoning it altogether. V.6. Now, when Mephibosheth (or, Meribbaal, 1 Chron. 8, 34), the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face and did reverence, acknowledging him as king with tokens of fear. And David said, Mephibosheth! And he answered, Behold thy servant! V.7. And David said unto him, fear not, he was to have no apprehension of losing his life, according to the custom of Oriental monarchs of putting all the members of the former dynasty to death; for I will surely show thee kindness for Jonathan, thy fatherís sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul, thy father, which had either passed into the possession of the crown or into that of remote kinsmen of Saul; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually, receive his sustenance from the kingís bounty. This threefold promise was intended fully to reassure Mephibosheth, whose great misfortunes, the loss of his parents, his lameness, and his poverty, cast a shadow upon his whole life. V.8. And he, Mephibosheth, bowed himself, in grateful appreciation of the kingís kindness, and said, with words wherein he confessed himself unworthy of such great goodness, what is thy servant that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am? The comparison, as in 1 Sam. 24, 14, is intended to convey the feeling of utter worthlessness, of despicable lowliness. Davidís forbearance and love, the eager zeal with which he entered upon the performance of good works, are an example to all believers.
DAVID GIVES ORDERS FOB MEPHIBOSHETHíS CARE. ó V.9. Then the king called to Ziba, Saulís servant, who may have resided upon the property of the family of Saul at Gibeah as steward, and said unto him, I have given unto thy masterís son all that pertained to Saul and to all his house, thereby giving him all the rights of the sole heir. V.10. Thou, therefore, and thy sons and thy servants shall till the land for him, and thou shalt bring in the fruits, have entire charge of the farm-lands and be responsible for the crop, that thy masterís son may have food to eat, that his house or family might be taken care of; but Mephibosheth, thy masterís son, shall eat bread alway at my table, he personally was to have this honor of dining daily at the kingís table. Now, Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants, he was therefore in a position to manage so large an estate as that hereby transferred to Mephibosheth. V.11. Then said Ziba unto the king, According to all that my lord the king hath commanded his servant, so shall thy servant do. As for Mephibosheth, said the king, he shall eat at my table as one of the kingís sons. Ziba repeated the exact words of the king, to show his full agreement and ready obedience. He thought it expedient to show himself as tractable as possible, in order to get into Davidís good graces. V.12. And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Micha, 1 Chron. 8, 34. And all that dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants unto Mephibosheth, they took care of the estate at Gibeah, according to Davidís orders. V.13. So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem; for he did eat continually at the kingís table, as David had arranged, a companion of the royal family in the house and at the table; and was lame on both his feet. Davidís manner of acting was noble, truly royal in showing such kindness to Mephibosheth, a type of the loving-kindness and tender mercies of his great descendant, Jesus Christ, in His care for all those who are poor, miserable, and heavy laden.