David’s kindness to Mephibosheth. UPDATED.
NOTE. This chapter begins the “Succession Narrative.” It is the record of David succeeding Saul and establishing his own dynasty. it continues through chapter 20.
VERSE 1. David said, “Is there yet any who is left of Saul’s house, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
Is there yet any who is left of Saul’s house. When the time was right, it occurred to David to see if his very close friend Jonathan had any living progeny.
VERSE 2. There was of Saul’s house a servant whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David; and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” He said, “I am your servant.”
VERSE 3. The king said, “Is there not yet any of Saul’s house, that I may show the kindness of God to him?” Ziba said to the king, “Jonathan still has a son, who is lame in his feet.”
VERSE 4. The king said to him, “Where is he?” Ziba said to the king, “Behold, he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, in Lo Debar.”
Lo Debar. That location was just east of the Jordan, five miles south of the Wadi Yarmuk.
VERSE 5. Then king David sent, and brought him out of the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, from Lo Debar.
VERSE 6. Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, and fell on his face, and showed respect. David said, “Mephibosheth.” He answered, “Behold, your servant!”
VERSE 7. David said to him, “Don’t be afraid; for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your father. You will eat bread at my table continually.”
kindness. The Hebrew word is khesed. It means “loyal love.”
VERSE 8. He bowed down, and said, “What is your servant, that you should look at such a dead dog as I am?”
a dead dog. This self-abasing expression was a way of referring to yourself as worthless.
2 Samuel 16:9. Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Please let me go over and take off his head.”
VERSE 9. Then the king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master’s son.
VERSE 10. Till the land for him, you, your sons, and your servants. Bring in the harvest, that your master’s son may have bread to eat; but Mephibosheth your master’s son will always eat bread at my table.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.
Mephibosheth … will always eat bread at my table. This was the great hour for Mephibosheth.
He goes from being a poor crippled orphan living in someone else’s house … to owning vast land and wealth, and dining with the king daily.
VERSE 11. Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king commands his servant, so your servant will do.” So Mephibosheth ate at the king’s table, like one of the king’s sons.
VERSE 12. Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Mica. All that lived in Ziba’s house were servants to Mephibosheth.
VERSE 13. So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem; for he ate continually at the king’s table. He was lame in both his feet.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.