Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 9:6

Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and prostrated himself. And David said, "Mephibosheth." And he said, "Here is your servant!"
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - David;   Friendship;   Kindness;   King;   Mephibosheth;   Thompson Chain Reference - Bible Stories for Children;   Children;   Home;   Mephibosheth;   Pleasant Sunday Afternoons;   Religion;   Stories for Children;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Jonathan;   Mephibosheth;   Ziba;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Obeisance, Do;   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;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Zi'ba;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Mephibosheth;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Reverence;   Samuel, Books of;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Mephibosheth - Also called Merib-baal (and Meri-baal, probably by a clerical error, 1 Chronicles 9:40). The two names seem to have the same meaning: Bosheth, shame, being the equivalent for Baal, and Mephi (scattering or destroying, being equivalent to Merib (contending with). Compare Ish-bosheth and Esh-baal, Jerub-baal and Jerub-besheth.

He fell on his face - In fear. Such generosity to a fallen rival as David showed in restoring him his paternal property seemed to him scarcely credible.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:6". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-9.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

MEPHIBOSHETH AND KING DAVID FACE-TO-FACE

"And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David, and fell on his face and did obeisance. And David said, "Mephibosheth"! and he answered. "Behold, your servant." And David said to him, "Do not fear; for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father; and you shall eat at my table always." And he did obeisance, and said, "What is your servant, that you should look upon a dead dog such as I"?"

"Mephibosheth fell on his face ... did obeisance" (2 Samuel 9:6). This, of course, was the customary way of showing respect and submission to ancient kings. David no doubt recognized the fear in Mephibosheth's heart and moved at once to reassure him.

"I will restore to you all the land of your father Saul" (2 Samuel 9:7). Of course, Saul was Mephibosheth's grandfather, not his father. "Here, as in other O.T. texts, the term `father' means `grandfather.'"[7] The Biblical usage of the terminology signifying family relationships is quite elastic. In the genealogy of Jesus (Luke 3), for example, the word 'son' is used for literal son, Levirate son, adopted son, grandson, descendant of, son-in-law, or son by creation. (Adam is called the son of God). The first verse of the N.T. (Matthew 1:1) states that Jesus Christ was the son of David, the son of Abraham! (See our commentary on Luke (Vol. 3 of the N.T. Series), pp. 78-81.)

"What is your servant that you should look upon a dead dog such as I" (2 Samuel 9:8). This type of hyperbole and self-derogation was characteristic of Orientals during that era. David used similar language referring to himself when he said to Saul, "After whom has the king of Israel come out? After whom do you pursue? After a dead dog! After a flea! (1 Samuel 24:14)."

This extravagant type of language was prevalent in Biblical times, especially in the Orient.

In the East, when your host assures you that everything he has to his last dime is yours, he nevertheless expects you to pay twice the value of everything you procure from him! For example, Ephron offered the Cave of Machpelah to Abraham as a free gift; but he took care to obtain for it an exorbitant price (Genesis 23:11,15).[8]

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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 9:6". "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

Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul,.... For that was his name, though sometimes called Meribbaal, 1 Chronicles 8:34; and this was his relation to Jonathan and Saul, the son of the one, and grandson of the other:

was come unto David; to his court and palace in Jerusalem, being thither brought; for he could not go of himself, being lame:

he fell on his face, and did reverence; to him as a king, in a civil way, and in the best manner he could, considering that he was lame on his feet:

and David said, Mephibosheth; is it he? having learnt what his name was, this he expressed with great vehemency and affection, as glad that he had found one of Jonathan's posterity: and

he answered, behold thy servant! he answered to his name, and owned his subjection to David, and was ready to take the oath of allegiance to him, and give him homage, and serve him in what way he could.

Copyright Statement
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 9:6". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-9.html. 1999.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 9:6 Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant!

Ver. 6. And David said, Mephibosheth.] He is also called Meribbaal, [1 Chronicles 8:34] but his name was, haply, turned to Mephibosheth, saith Martyr, for some deformity that happened to his face in his fall. [2 Samuel 4:4]

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:6". 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 9:6. And David said, Mephibosheth, &c.— David said, Art thou Mephibosheth? He answered, I am thy servant. Houbigant. Note; (1.) We must be not only ready to do good when applied to, but seek for occasions, and enquire out the most proper objects. (2.) It is not enough to forgive those who hate us, but we must shew kindness to them or their families in their distresses; this is God-like. (3.) No advancement, or change of circumstances, should make us forget our old friends; they and theirs have a title to our notice, and, according to our power, to our assistance. (4.) That is the acceptable charity, and no other, which is done with an eye to God's glory, and flows from a sense of God's love to us.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:6". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-samuel-9.html. 1801-1803.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

6.Fell on his face — Probably fearing that he had been suspected as an aspirant to the throne of his grandfather Saul, (comp. 2 Samuel 16:3,) and had been summoned into the king’s presence to receive sentence of death.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:6". "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 Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, and fell on his face, and did obeisance. And David said, “Mephibosheth.” And he answered, “Behold, your servant!”

If Ziba and Machir had been filled with trepidation Mephibosheth must have been literally terrified. In a king’s language ‘the kindness of God’ could have a number of meanings, not least of which was ominous in that it could be a euphemism for coming death. Whatever he had been told he probably could not bring himself to believe any other than that this summons was bad news. Note the emphasis on the fact that he was the son of Jonathan, who was the son of Saul. That in itself could be sufficient to guarantee his demise. Note also the slow, deliberate build up of the narrative. The tension would also be building up for the hearer when the story was read out. He would know what usually happened to the children of former dynasties. It is not surprising that Mephibosheth flung himself on his face before David.

On the other hand the writer also wants us to know that this was the one that David was seeking, a true Saulide of Jonathan’s house, to whom David was about to show great kindness ‘for Jonathan’s sake’.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:6". "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

Mephibosheth. Born in 965 (2 Samuel 4:4). Now seventeen, and father of a young son (2 Samuel 9:12).

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:6". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-samuel-9.html. 1909-1922.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant!
Mephibosheth
1 Chronicles 8:34; 9:40
called Meribbaal
he fell.
Genesis 18:2; 33:3; 1 Samuel 20:41; 25:23
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 22:12 - Here I am;  2 Samuel 1:7 - Here am I:2 Samuel 19:24 - Mephibosheth;  1 Kings 1:31 - did reverence

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:6". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-9.html.