Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 4:4

Now Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the report of Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel, and his nurse took him up and fled. And it happened that in her hurry to flee, he fell and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Children;   Jezreel;   Jonathan;   Mephibosheth;   Nurse;   Thompson Chain Reference - Bible Stories for Children;   Children;   Health-Disease;   Home;   Lame, the;   Mephibosheth;   Nurses;   Pleasant Sunday Afternoons;   Religion;   Stories for Children;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Diseases;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Baanah and Rechab;   Jezreel;   Mephibosheth;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Jonathan;   Mephibosheth;   Merib-Baal;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Bannah;   Jonathan;   Mephibosheth;   Rimmon;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Court Systems;   Disabilities and Deformities;   Ish-Bosheth;   Lo-Debar;   Mephibosheth;   Nurse;   Rechab;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Medicine;   Mephibosheth;   Nurse;   Rechab, Rechabites;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Baanah ;   Beeroth ;   Jezreel ;   Mephibosheth ;   Rechab ;   Rimmon ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Mephibosheth;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Armageddon;   Mephibosheth;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Mephib'osheth;   Nurse,;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - David;   Faithful;   Jezreel;   Lame;   Mephibosheth;   Nurse;   Relationships, Family;   Samuel, Books of;   Text of the Old Testament;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Mephibosheth;   Names of God;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

He fell, and became lame - Dislocated his ankle, knee, or thigh; which was never after reduced; and thus he became lame. Lovely Jonathan! unfortunate in thy life, and in thy progeny.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-4.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

This mention of Mephibosheth seems to be inserted here partly to show that with the death of Ish-bosheth the cause of the house of Saul became hopeless, and partly to prepare the way for the subsequent mention of him 2 Samuel 9:1-13; 2 Samuel 16:1-4; 2 Samuel 19:25.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-4.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

A PARENTHESIS REGARDING MEPHIBOSHETH

"Jonathan, the son of Saul, had a son who was crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel; and the nurse took him up and fled; and as she fled in her haste, he fell and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth."

Some have spoken of this verse as "being out of place"; and H. P. Smith called it "an interpolation,"[5] at the same time admitting that the purpose of its inclusion here might have been to show how "The house of Saul had been reduced; the heir to the throne was a cripple."[6] What he did not write, however, is the reason why it would have been any more logical that some interpolator would have so used this verse rather than the author of Second Samuel. We reject such arbitrary and unproved assertions that this or that verse is "an interpolation."

This verse is not an interpolation, "Although it interrupts the narrative, it is not irrelevant, since it brings into the picture the nearest of kin to Saul, apart from Ishbosheth, and lays a foundation for 2 Samuel 9."[7]

"His name was Mephibosheth." Keil rejected the work of some later Jewish scholar in changing Biblical names, replacing "Baal" with [~bosheth]. This son of Jonathan was named Meribbaal, which according to Keil, "means Baal-fighter,"[8] there being no legitimate reason whatever for changing his name. Eshbaal and Jerubbaal (Gideon) are other examples of the same thing.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:4". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/2-samuel-4.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And Jonathan, Saul's son,.... His eldest son, who died at the same time with him:

had a son that was lame of his feet; of both feet, which were broken or bruised by a fall, as later related: and

he was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel: that is, when the tidings of their death came from Jezreel, the place where the battle was fought in which they died, to Gibeah, and the royal palace there; so that he was now twelve years of age:

and his nurse took him up and fled; fearing the Philistines would come thither and destroy the family of Saul; and this child being the son of Jonathan, the eldest son of Saul, was by birth heir to the crown, his father and grandfather being both dead, and which might make the nurse the more solicitous to save his life by flight:

and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame; in her hurry and fright he dropped out of her arms, and had some bone broken or dislocated, which was never rightly replaced, or had some contusion, of which he was never cured:

and his name was Mephibosheth, called Meribbaal, 1 Chronicles 8:34; of the change of such names See Gill on 2 Samuel 2:8. This story of Mephibosheth, and of his nurse's flight with him, and what happened upon it, is here inserted on occasion of the flight of the Beerothites, 2 Samuel 4:3; but chiefly to observe in what condition Saul's family now was, and what encouraged the murderers of Ishbosheth to be guilty of the crime they were, since when he was taken off, there was none but this lame child of that family; and as the removal of Ishbosheth would be of so much service to David, they doubted not but it would be very acceptable to him, and they should be greatly rewarded and honoured; and which they might do with the greatest safety, since the nearest kinsman and avenger of blood was so young, and lame of both his feet: or rather this is mentioned to show that Ishbosheth had no right to the throne, his eldest brother's son being living; so that those murderers might think they did the right thing, to take away the life of an usurper.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-4.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Jonathan, Saul‘s son, had a son that was lame of his feet — This is mentioned as a reason why, according to Oriental notions, he was considered unfit for exercising the duties of sovereignty.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-samuel-4.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.

Jonathan had a son — This history is inserted as that which encouraged these men to this wicked murder, because Saul's family was now reduced to a low ebb; and if Isbosheth was dispatched, there would be none left, but a lame child, who was altogether unfit to manage the kingdom, and therefore the crown must necessarily come to David by their act and deed; for which they promised themselves no small recompense.

Jezreel — The place of that last and fatal fight.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-samuel-4.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 4:4 And Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son [that was] lame of [his] feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name [was] Mephibosheth.

Ver. 4. That was lame of his feet. He was five years old, &c.] And therefore neither fit to reign, nor likely to revenge Ishbosheth’s death. This encouraged the traitors; and is therefore here brought in.

And his name was Mephibosheth.] Called also Meribbaal. [1 Chronicles 8:34] So Jerubbaal is called Jerubbesheth, [2 Samuel 11:21] and Ishbaal, Ishbosheth, [1 Chronicles 8:33] in detestation of that shame, Baalpeor, [Hosea 9:10] whose very name was odious to right worshippers.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-4.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Samuel 4:4. Jonathan—had a son that was lame This account of Mephibosheth is properly inserted here; for, as the murderers of Ish-bosheth wished to destroy the whole house of Saul, in order to ingratiate themselves with David, the flight of Mephibotheth is designedly mentioned to inform the reader, that he was not put to death with Ish-bosheth, because, after the slaughter of Saul and Jonathan, he was carried away, and did not dwell in the house with Ish-bosheth.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:4". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-samuel-4.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

This history is inserted as that which encouraged these men to this wicked murder, because Saul’s family was now reduced to a low ebb; and if Ish-bosheth was dispatched, there would be none left but a lame child, who was altogether unfit to manage the kingdom, especially in so troublesome a time as this was; and therefore the crown must necessarily come to David by their act and deed, for which they promised themselves no small recompence.

Jezreel; the place of that last and fatal fight, 1 Samuel 29:1.

Mephibosheth; called also Merib-baal, 1 Chronicles 8:34. See Poole "2 Samuel 2:8".

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-samuel-4.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

4.Mephibosheth — Called also Merib-baal. 1 Chronicles 8:34. We shall see in a future period how David cared for him. The object of the historian in introducing here this notice of Mephibosheth was to show that at the death of Ishbosheth there was no other member of Saul’s family that was capable of taking charge of the kingdom of Israel. This son of Jonathan was the heir apparent, and he was physically disabled.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-4.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Samuel 4:4. Jonathan had a son — This history is inserted as that which encouraged these men to this wicked murder, because Saul’s family was now reduced to a low ebb; and if Ish-bosheth were despatched, there would be none left but a lame child, who was altogether unfit to manage the kingdom, and therefore the crown must necessarily come to David by their act and deed; for which they promised themselves no small recompense. When the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan — That is, the tidings of their death, mentioned 1 Samuel 31.; out of Jezreel — The place of that last and fatal fight.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:4". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-4.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Miphiboseth. All from Beroth, (ver. 2,) may be included within a parenthesis, being only mentioned here to let us know the state of affairs, (Haydock) and how the son of Jonathan could have no pretensions of the crown. (Grotius) (Calmet) --- He would be almost 12 years old at the death of his uncle. (Haydock)

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-4.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

lame of his feet. Compare state of sinner by nature. of Saul: i.e. of the death of Saul, &c.: 2 Samuel 4:4 is introduced here to explain the ease with which David"s accession was accomplished, Mephibosheth being unable to succeed his father or avenge the death of Ish-bosheth.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-samuel-4.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.

Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet. This is mentioned as a reason for his being considered, according to Oriental notions, unfit for exercising the duties of sovereignty.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-samuel-4.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(4) A son that was lame.—The reason for the introduction here of this account of Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son, is to show that, he being physically in capacitated for the throne, the house of Saul became practically extinct with the death of Ish-bosheth. There were other descendants, but either illegitimate or of the female line (2 Samuel 21:8-9), and hence there was none other of his house to claim the throne.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-4.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.
Jonathan
9:3
when the tidings
1 Samuel 29:1,11; 31:1-10
Mephibosheth
1 Chronicles 8:34; 9:40
Meribbaal
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 19:26 - thy servant;  2 Samuel 21:7 - Mephibosheth;  1 Kings 11:17 - Hadad;  Matthew 24:19 - General

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-4.html.