2 Samuel 16:1
And when David was a little past the top of the hill, behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of asses saddled, and on them two hundred loaves of bread, and an hundred bunches of raisins, and an hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
XVI.

(1) Ziba . . . met him.—It is evident from the sequel of the story (2Samuel 19:24-30) that Ziba grossly slandered his master, doubtless for the purpose (as appears from 2Samuel 16:4) of personal gain. This story was, indeed, almost too improbable to be believed; for, quite independently of his obligations to David, Mephibosheth, a helpless cripple of the house of Saul, could hardly have hoped that Absalom’s rebellion would bring the throne to him; yet David, apt to be hasty in his judgments, was in a state to believe in any story of ingratitude, and to be deeply affected by Ziba’s large contribution to his necessities. Ziba shows entire want of principle, and could, therefore, have adhered to David’s cause only because he had the shrewdness to foresee its ultimate success.

2 Samuel 16:1. Behold Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, met him — This crafty man, being persuaded that God would in due time appear for the righteous cause of so good a king, and scatter the cloud which was now upon him, takes this occasion to make way for his own future advancement, by making David a handsome present of provisions, which was the more welcome, because it came seasonably. A hundred of summer fruits — These, the Seventy suppose, were dates, but the more common opinion is that they were figs, as the Chaldee paraphrast supposes them to have been; from whence Dr. Delaney infers that this flight of David was about the beginning of summer, when the early figs were wont to be gathered, and when a present of them must have been very seasonable and refreshing. A bottle of wine — Containing, no doubt, a quantity that was proportionable to the rest of the present. Their bottles, being made of skins, or leather, were some of them very large.16:1-4 Ziba belied Mephibosheth. Great men ought always to be jealous of flatterers, and to be careful that they hear both sides.A couple of donkeys saddled - Those that Mephibosheth and his servant should have ridden. See 2 Samuel 19:26 note. CHAPTER 16

2Sa 16:1-4. Ziba, by False Suggestions, Claims His Master's Inheritance.

1. Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him—This crafty man, anticipating the certain failure of Absalom's conspiracy, took steps to prepare for his future advancement on the restoration of the king.

a bottle of wine—a large goatskin vessel. Its size made the supply of wine proportioned to the rest of his present.Ziba, by presents and false suggestions, obtaineth of David his master’s inheritance, 2 Samuel 16:1-4. Shimei revileth and curseth David, who restraineth Abishai from revenging it, 2 Samuel 16:5-14. Absalom cometh with Ahithophel to Jerusalem; lieth with his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel, according to the counsel of Ahithophel, who was esteemed as an oracle, 15—23.

Ziba; a crafty man, who, being persuaded that God would in due time appear for the righteous cause of so good a king, and scatter the cloud which was now upon him, takes this occasion to make way for his future advancement. A bottle; a large bottle or vessel proportionable to the other provisions.

And when David was a little past the top of the hill,.... Of the mount of Olives, the ascent of which he is said to go up by, and to come to the top of it, 2 Samuel 15:30,

behold, Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, met him; of whom see 2 Samuel 9:2;

with a couple of asses saddled: and so fit to ride on, but for the present he used them to another purpose:

and upon them two hundred loaves of bread; an hundred on each ass very probably:

and an hundred bunches of raisins; or dried grapes, as the Targum:

and an hundred of summer fruits: not in number, but in weight, as apples, pears, plums, apricots, &c. so the Targum, an hundred pounds of figs:

and a bottle of wine: a cask or flagon of wine; for a bottle, such as is in use with us, would have signified nothing in such a company.

And when David was a little past the {a} top of the hill, behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred loaves of bread, and an hundred bunches of raisins, and an hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine.

(a) Which was the hill of olives, 2Sa 15:30.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Ch. 2 Samuel 16:1-4. David met by Ziba with a present

1. the top of the hill] See note on ch. 2 Samuel 15:32.

two hundred loaves of bread, &c.] Compare Abigail’s present (1 Samuel 25:18). Ziba was shrewd enough to foresee the result of the rebellion, and wished to secure the king’s favour.

an hundred of summer fruits] Probably cakes of dried figs (so the Vulg.) or dates (so the Sept.). Cp. Amos 8:1.

a bottle of wine] A skin, holding a considerable quantity.Verse 1. - Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth. It is the misfortune of troubled times like those in which David found himself, that unscrupulous men use them for selfish purposes. For those in danger have no time for careful examination, nor are their minds sufficiently calm for impartial judgment, but they act on first impressions, and catch at every straw. Ziba's present would naturally raise everybody's spirits, and be taken as a good omen; for it showed that David had adherents in unlikely quarters, when thus a servant of the house of Saul of his own accord brought so timely an offering. The asses saddled for riding contradict the idea that Ziba met David by chance as he was bringing the produce of the farm for the use of Mephibosheth's household. More probably the asses had been saddled for Mephibosheth's own use (comp. 2 Samuel 19:26), and the provisions had been prepared as a contribution to the king's needs: but at the last moment the cunning Ziba managed to hurry away with his men, leaving his master in the lurch, and unable to get anything to ride upon in the short interval between David's escape and Absalom's entry. Moreover, possibly from being a cripple, and from the distressing circumStances of his early life, Mephibosheth always seems deficient in energy, and perhaps David's conduct in mulcting him of half his property may not really have been so unjust as it looks, supposing that it was his dilatoriness which gave Ziba the chance of going away with the whole convoy while he was wasting time. It was this apparent desertion of him by one whom he had so befriended which may have made David say, "All men are liars" (Psalm 116:11), though subsequently he learned that the lie was Ziba's. The food consisted of two hundred leaves, or rather fiat cakes of bread, a hundred bunches of dried grapes, a hundred cakes of pressed dates, and a skin of wine. Instead of "date cakes," some of the versions render "fig cakes;" but for this there is a special Hebrew word (see 1 Samuel 30:12). On David's arrival at the height where people were accustomed to worship, i.e., upon the top of the Mount of Olives, the Archite Hushai came to meet him with his clothes rent and earth upon his head, that is to say, in the deepest mourning (see 1 Samuel 4:12). It is evident from the words וגו אשׁר־ישׁתּחוה that there was a place of worship upon the top of the Mount of Olives, probably a bamah, such as continued to exist in different places throughout the land, even after the building of the temple. According to 2 Samuel 15:37; 2 Samuel 16:16, and 1 Chronicles 27:33, Hushai was רעה, a friend of David, i.e., one of his privy councillors. הארכּי (the Archite), if we may judge from Jos 16:2, was the name of a family whose possessions were upon the southern boundary of the tribe of Ephraim, between Bethel and Ataroth. Hushai was probably a very old man, as David said to him (2 Samuel 15:33, 2 Samuel 15:34), "If thou goest with me, thou wilt be a burden to me. But if thou returnest to the city and offerest Absalom thy services, thou canst bring for me the counsel of Ahithophel to nought. If thou sayest to Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king; servant of thy father (i.e., as regards this) I was that of old, but now I am thy servant." The ו before אני introduces the apodosis both times (vid., Ewald, 348, a.).
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