Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 9:3

The king said, "Is there not yet anyone of the house of Saul to whom I may show the kindness of God?" And Ziba said to the king, "There is still a son of Jonathan who is crippled in both feet."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Friendship;   Kindness;   Lo-Debar;   Mephibosheth;   Orphan;   Thompson Chain Reference - Bible Stories for Children;   Children;   Home;   Mephibosheth;   Pleasant Sunday Afternoons;   Religion;   Stories for Children;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Fatherless;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Jonathan;   Mephibosheth;   Ziba;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Lo-Debar;   Samuel, Books of;   Ziba;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - David;   Samuel, Books of;   Ziba;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Mephibosheth ;   Ziba ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Jonathan;   Rimmon;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Zi'ba;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Lame;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Kindness;   Lame;   Samuel, Books of;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

That I may show the kindness of God unto him? - That is, the utmost, the highest degrees of kindness; as the hail of God, is very great hail, the mountains of God, exceeding high mountains: besides, this kindness was according to the covenant of God made between him and the family of Jonathan.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-9.html. 1832.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

"And the king said, `Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him?' Ziba said to the king, `There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet.'"

This crippled son, of course, was Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 9:6), whose real name was Meribbaal (or Meribaal) (1 Chronicles 8:34; 9:40). This writer finds it impossible to agree with the position maintained by many scholars that, "Until the times of Jezebel, the name `Baal' retained its innocent meaning."[4] No, we do not believe that Saul's naming this son Meribbaal was a sign that Saul honored that pagan deity as God. We think the explanation lies in the meaning of such names. Gideon was called Jerubbaal, and Keil gave the meaning of that name as "Baal-fighter" (See our commentary on Judges). There are at least a dozen other alleged "meanings" of Jerubbaal, and thus we know that the assignment of "the meaning" of names compounded with Baal is a very uncertain business. Some scholars give the meaning of Meribbaal as "Baal's Fighter"; but it is just as likely that the name means "Fighter of Baal," or "Fighter Against Baal."

Our reluctance to receive the many allegations that the term "Baal," had innocent implications at first is founded upon the experience of the Israelites at Baal Peor (Numbers 25). In that light, we cannot believe that "Baal" was ever an innocent designation, except in instances, such as that of Gideon, who was quite properly called "Baal-Fighter." The fact that the change by later Jewish scholars in which "Baal" was replaced with the word [~bosheth], meaning "shame," might have been due to their uncertainty regarding the actual meanings of names compounded with "Baal."

The problem of explaining why Saul named two sons with names compounded with Baal requires the postulation (1) that Saul honored Baal as a pagan deity; (2) that the name was considered innocent; or (3) that the names thus compounded indicated hatred and antagonism against this popular Canaanite god; and to this writer the third of these postulations is by far the most acceptable.

Canon Cook gave the meaning of Mephibosheth, for example, as "scattering or destroying Baal."[5]

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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 9:3". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/2-samuel-9.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the king said, is there not yet any of the house of Saul; that is, remaining or living:

that I may show the kindness of God unto him? great kindness, some large favour or benefit; for the word God added to things, as to trees, mountains, &c. serves to set forth the excellency of them; and this kindness is in imitation of God, or such as he had sworn in the presence of God to show; and that is expressed in the same language, 1 Samuel 20:14,

and Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son; a son still living:

which is lame on his feet; on both his feet, as the Targum; of which occasion; see Gill on 2 Samuel 4:4.

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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 9:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-9.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And the king said, [Is] there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the b kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, [which is] lame on [his] feet.

(b) Such mercy as shall be acceptable to God.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:3". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-samuel-9.html. 1599-1645.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 9:3 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.

Ver. 3. The kindness of God.] A God-like kindness, - compare 3 John 1:6, - or that which Jonathan bound me in the presence of God to show to him and his. [1 Samuel 20:14-15]

Which is lame on his feet.] But this broke no square; neither thought good David the worse of Mephibosheth, so long as he saw in him the features of his friend Jonathan: no more doth God of those weak but willing servants of his, whom he beholdeth in the face of his Son, whose image they bear.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-9.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Samuel 9:3. That I may shew the kindness of God unto him That is, "That I may treat him with a benignity resembling that of Almighty God;" who continues his kindness even to the descendants of those who love him.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:3". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-samuel-9.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The kindness of God; either, first, That kindness which I owe him for God’s sake, and by virtue of my oath given to him about it, 1 Samuel 20:14,15. But that oath seems only to oblige him to Jonathan’s posterity, and not to any other of Saul’s house. Or, secondly, Great and eminent kindness.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-samuel-9.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3.Lame — See 2 Samuel 4:4.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-9.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

And the king said, “Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him?” And Ziba said to the king, “Jonathan has yet a son, who is lame of his feet.” ’

He must therefore have been greatly relieved when the reason that he had been summoned turned out to be in order for David to show mercy to Saul’s descendants. For David questioned him about them in order to show ‘the kindness of God’ towards them. To David the ‘kindness of God’ was the highest form of unmerited kindness that it was possible to show, for he knew from experience what the kindness of God was like because God had shown His kindness towards him.. It might on the other hand mean a kindness wrought in the heart by God, but either way the thought is similar. Alternately in Hebrew idiom it can be seen as simply indicating ‘great kindness’ (in the same way as ‘the mountains of God’ could mean ‘great mountains’).

Note David’s awareness of the fact that Ziba would have been loth to answer his next question had he not indicated his intention to show mercy. It was not a wise thing to appear to be on terms with, or even familiar with, the household of the previous dynasty. It was no doubt the assurance of David that made him reply, ‘Jonathan has yet a son’ but he immediately hurried on to say ‘he is lame in both his feet’. That at least indicated that he was less likely to pose a threat to David.

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Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:3". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/2-samuel-9.html. 2013.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

any = a man. Hebrew. "ish. App-14.

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4. lame. Compare 2 Samuel 4:4.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:3". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-samuel-9.html. 1909-1922.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
the kindness of God
That is, the highest degree of kindness; as the hail of God is very great hail; the mountains of God exceeding high mountains; besides which, this kindness was according to the covenant of God made between him and Jonathan.
Deuteronomy 4:37; 10:15; 1 Samuel 20:14-17; Matthew 5:44,45; Luke 6:36; Titus 3:3,4
yet a son
4:4; 19:26
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 2:6 - I also;  2 Samuel 9:7 - for I will;  2 Samuel 9:13 - was lame

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-9.html.