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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
2 Samuel 9

 

 

Verse 1

And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan's sake?

Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul? It is quite clear that David was ignorant that his friend had any member of his family surviving, for his inquiry related to 'any of the house of Saul.'


Verse 2

And there was of the house of Saul a servant whose name was Ziba. And when they had called him unto David, the king said unto him, Art thou Ziba? And he said, Thy servant is he.

A servant, whose name was Ziba. On inquiry, Saul's land steward was found, who gave information that there still survived a son of Jonathan, who was five years old at his father's death, and whom David, then wandering in exile, had never seen. His lameness (2 Samuel 4:4) had prevented him from taking any part in the public contests of the time. Besides, according to Oriental notions, the younger son of a crowned monarch has a preferable claim to the sucession over the son of a mere heir-apparent; and hence, his name was never heard of as the rival of his uncle Ish-bosheth. His insignificance had led to his being lost sight of; and it was only through Ziba that David learned his existence, and the retired life he passed with one of the great families in the pastoral regions of trans-Jordanic Canaan, who remained attached to the fallen dynasty. Mephibosheth (his proper name was Merib-baal, 1 Chronicles 8:34) was invited to court; but whether from the simplicity and bashfulness of a youth who had lived in a nomad country, and awed by the splendour of a court, or apprehending some danger from the supplanter of his family, he betrayed so much nervous alarm that he required all the tender and soothing words David kindly spake to reassure him (2 Samuel 9:7).


Verses 3-6

And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him?

And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 7

And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. I ... will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father - i:e., grandfather; his private estate at Gibeah.

Thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. A place at the royal table on public days was assigned him, as is still the custom with Eastern monarchs. Saul's family estate, which had fallen to David in right of his wife (Numbers 27:8), or been forfeited to the crown by Ish-bosheth's rebellion (2 Samuel 12:8), was provided (2 Samuel 9:11; also 2 Samuel 19:28) for enabling him to maintained an establishment suitable to his rank, and Ziba appointed steward to manage it, on the condition of receiving one-half of the produce in remuneration of his labour and expense, while the other moiety was to be paid as rent to the owner of the land (2 Samuel 19:29), This is a very common arrangement in farming the soil in Eastern countries, especially when the proprietor furnishes the seed.


Verse 8-9

And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 10

Thou therefore, and thy sons, and thy servants, shall till the land for him, and thou shalt bring in the fruits, that thy master's son may have food to eat: but Mephibosheth thy master's son shall eat bread alway at my table. Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.

Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. The mention of his sons, and the slaves in his house, was to show that Mephibosheth would be honoured with an equipage 'as one of the king's sons.'


Verse 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 king's sons.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 12

And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Micha. And all that dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants unto Mephibosheth.

Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Micah. Whether born before or after his residence in Jerusalem cannot be ascertained. But through him the name and memory of the excellent Jonathan was preserved (see the notes at 1 Chronicles 8:34-35; 1 Chronicles 9:40-41).

 


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-samuel-9.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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