Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 9:8

Again he prostrated himself and said, "What is your servant, that you should regard a dead dog like me?"
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Dog (Sodomite?);   Flattery;   Friendship;   Hospitality;   Humility;   Kindness;   King;   Obsequiousness;   Thompson Chain Reference - Bible Stories for Children;   Children;   Home;   Humility;   Humility-Pride;   Pleasant Sunday Afternoons;   Religion;   Stories for Children;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Dog, the;   Kings;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Dogs;   Jonathan;   Mephibosheth;   Ziba;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Dog;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Mephibosheth;   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 - Dog;   Jonathan;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Dog,;   Zi'ba;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Dog;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Dead;   Dog;   Gesture;   Samuel, Books of;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Dog;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Mephibosheth‘s humility of expression, even in the mouth of an Oriental, is painful. It was perhaps in part the result of his helpless lameness, and of the other misfortunes of his life.

A dead dog - The wild dogs of the East, which still abound in every town, are the natural objects of contempt and dislike.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-9.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And he bowed himself,.... In token of gratitude, and as a sign of humility, and of the sense he had of his unworthiness to enjoy such a favour:

and said, what is thy servant, that thou shouldest look on such a dead dog as I am? one so mean, and base, and worthless; which he might say with respect to the infirmities of his body, the rejection of his family by the Lord, their attainder of high treason for rebellion against David, and the low circumstances he was brought into and now under; though one of the royal family, the son of a prince, and grandson of a king; such was his humility, and the sense he had of his being undeserving of any favour from the king, and says this with admiration and astonishment.

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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 9:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-9.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

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

(d) Meaning, a despised person.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:8". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-samuel-9.html. 1599-1645.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

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

This conduct of Mephibosheth bespeaks a very humble soul. David had expressed much the same language when he began to be first noticed by Saul. See 1 Samuel 18:18. But it is still more beautiful and becoming when expressed as the language of grace, from a poor sinner brought into favour with the Lord Jesus.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:8". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/2-samuel-9.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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

Bowed himself — It is good to have the heart humbled under humbling providences. If when divine providence brings our condition down, divine grace brings our spirits down, we shall be easy.

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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 9:8". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-samuel-9.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 9:8 And he bowed himself, and said, What [is] thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I [am]?

Ver. 8. Upon such a dead dog as I am?] So he calleth himself, as being lame, poor, of a rejected stock, and no way to be compared to David and his children, whose companion and fellow commoner he was now to be made. There is no more certain way to honour and advancement, than a lowly dejection of ourselves.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-9.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

So contemptible in my person and condition.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:8". 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

8.A dead dog — Compare 1 Samuel 24:14. “The strongest devisable hyperbole of unworthiness and degradation; for in a dead dog the vileness of a corpse is added to the vileness of a dog.” — Kitto.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:8". "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 he did obeisance, and said, “What is your servant, that you should look on such a dead dog as I am?” ’

Mephibosheth again did obeisance to David in acceptance of his generous gifts, and his words indicate his true gratitude, but they may also well have included an element of his own bitterness at being a lame duck. He had to be carried everywhere. And there were few diversions for such as he. Thus his reference to himself as a ‘dead dog’ reflects both his sense of humility in the presence of the great king, and something of his bitterness. Compare for the description 16:9; 1 Samuel 24:14. A dead dog was the greatest nuisance possible. Alive it had been a continual flea-bitten scavenger to be avoided if at all possible, but dead it had become one mass of maggots and wholly to be rejected. No one wanted to take responsibility for a dead dog.

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Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:8". "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

What . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis. App-6.

a dead dog. Self-abasement is ever the result of grace shown.

I am. So the sinner is concerned about what he is, rather than what he has done. Compare Isaiah 6:5. Luke 5:8.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:8". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-samuel-9.html. 1909-1922.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?
a dead dog
3:8; 16:9; 1 Samuel 24:14,15; 26:20; Matthew 15:26,27
Reciprocal: Ruth 2:10 - Why have;  1 Samuel 17:43 - Am;  2 Samuel 19:28 - didst thou;  2 Samuel 24:20 - bowed;  2 Kings 8:13 - a dog

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 9:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-9.html.