2 Samuel 19:25
And it came to pass, when he was come to Jerusalem to meet the king, that the king said unto him, Wherefore wentest not thou with me, Mephibosheth?
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(25) Wentest not thou with me?—David had heard and believed the story of Mephibosheth’s ingratitude and treachery (2Samuel 16:3-4), and his present remonstrance is so gentle and kindly as to show that Mephibosheth’s appearance at once produced an impression, and suggested in David’s mind a doubt of the truth of what Ziba had told him.

2 Samuel 19:25-27. When he was come to Jerusalem to meet the king — He had probably continued near Jerusalem during the king’s absence, and it seems could not go to a distance from it to meet him, as others did, for want of conveniences for his journey: for Ziba had gotten possession of all his lands and goods, and it is not likely that he, who would not provide him an ass to ride on, to accompany the king at his departure, would now be forward to furnish him with one to meet the king, to whom he knew he would complain of him. My servant deceived me — He had ordered an ass to be made ready for him, to carry him to David; instead of which Ziba saddled it for himself, and went with that false story mentioned 2 Samuel 16:3. My lord the king is as an angel of God — To discern between truth and falsehood, between facts and calumnies. Do, therefore, what is good in thine eyes — I submit myself entirely to thy judgment.

19:24-30 David recalls the forfeiture of Mephibosheth's estate; and he expressed joy for the king's return. A good man contentedly bears his own losses, while he sees Israel in peace, and the Son of David exalted.Beard - The "moustache," the beard of the upper lip. The fact related in this verse tends to clear Mephibosheth from the suspicion of unfaithfulness to David. 24-30. Mephibosheth … came down to meet the king—The reception given to Mephibosheth was less creditable to David. The sincerity of that prince's grief for the misfortunes of the king cannot be doubted.

He had neither dressed his feet—not taken the bath,

nor trimmed his beard—The Hebrews cut off the hair on the upper lip (see on [277]Le 13:45), and cheeks, but carefully cherished it on the chin from ear to ear. Besides dyeing it black or red colors, which, however, is the exception, and not the rule in the East, there are various modes of trimming it: they train it into a massy, bushy form, swelling and round; or they terminate it like a pyramid, in a sharp point. Whatever the mode, it is always trimmed with the greatest care; and they usually carry a small comb for the purpose. The neglect of this attention to his beard was an undoubted proof of the depth of Mephibosheth's grief. The king seems to have received him upbraidingly, and not to have been altogether sure either of his guilt or innocence. It is impossible to commend the cavalier treatment, any more than to approve the partial award, of David in this case. If he were too hurried and distracted by the pressure of circumstances to inquire fully into the matter, he should have postponed his decision; for if by "dividing the land" (2Sa 19:29) he meant that the former arrangement should be continued by which Mephibosheth was acknowledged the proprietor, and Ziba the farmer, it was a hardship inflicted on the owner to fix him with a tenant who had so grossly slandered him. But if by "dividing the land," they were now to share alike, the injustice of the decision was greatly increased. In any view, the generous, disinterested spirit displayed by Mephibosheth was worthy a son of the noble-hearted Jonathan.

When he was come to Jerusalem; so it is supposed, that Mephibosheth, though he went to meet the king, wanted either courage or fit opportunity to speak to the king till he came to Jerusalem, because of the great multitudes that addressed themselves to the king by the way. Though it might more reasonably be thought that he could not go from Jerusalem to meet the king, as others did, because he wanted conveniences for his journey; for Ziba had gotten all his lands and goods, 2 Samuel 16:4, and it is not likely that he, who would not provide him an ass to ride on, or to accompany the king at his departure, would now be hasty to furnish him with one to meet the king, to whom he knew he would complain of him. But the words may seem to be better rendered thus, when he went (for so the Hebrew verb signifies, Ruth 3:7 Jonah 1:3) from (which preposition is oft understood) Jerusalem; for there he was, 2 Samuel 16:3; and having continued there, as probably he did, (because he wanted an ass to convey him elsewhere, and knew not where to be with more safety,) he could not properly nor truly be said to have come thither to meet the king.

Wherefore wentest not thou with me, as justice and gratitude obliged thee to do?

And it came to pass, when he came to Jerusalem to meet the king,.... Perhaps from the place where his estate was; or, as the Arabic version, when he came from Jerusalem, from whence he went a little way to meet the king, as he was coming thither; for it was said he abode at Jerusalem, 2 Samuel 16:3,

that the king said unto him, wherefore wentest not thou with me,

Mephibosheth? when he departed from Jerusalem, being obliged to flee from thence because of Absalom; it is very probable David would never have asked him this question, knowing his lameness, had it not been for the suggestion of Ziba his servant, that he stayed at Jerusalem, hoping that the kingdom of his father would be restored to him, 2 Samuel 16:3.

And it came to pass, when {l} he was come to Jerusalem to meet the king, that the king said unto him, Wherefore wentest not thou with me, Mephibosheth?

(l) When Mephibosheth being at Jerusalem had met the King.

25. when he was come to Jerusalem] If the reading is right, the meeting between David and Mephibosheth must have taken place in Jerusalem, and is introduced here out of the strictly chronological order, because of the mention of Ziba in 2 Samuel 19:17. “Came down” in 2 Samuel 19:24 must then be explained ‘came down from his house in the highlands of Benjamin near Gibeah to Jerusalem,’ not ‘came down from Jerusalem to the Jordan.’ The conclusion of 2 Samuel 19:30 agrees with the supposition that Mephibosheth met David in Jerusalem. This is better than rendering when Jerusalem (i.e. the inhabitants of Jerusalem) came, which is forced, or emending from Jerusalem, which is a conjecture supported by no external authority of value.

Verse 25. - When he was come to Jerusalem to meet the king. This certainly looks as if the meeting took place at Jerusalem, and apparently when David had reached the royal palace (see ver. 30). But what, then, is meant in ver. 24 by his "going down" to meet the king? If, too, he had been at Jerusalem all the while, how could he come there? Some, therefore, translate, "Then Jerusalem came to meet the king" - a possible, but not a natural, rendering, nor one that agrees with ver. 30. Others consider that he had withdrawn to his house in the highlands of Benjamin at Gibeah of Saul; but David had given these lands to Ziba, and the crippled Mephibesheth would have met with rough treatment had he endeavoured to contest the ownership. The Arabic Version reads. "when he came from Jerusalem;" but it is not confirmed by any trustworthy authorities. The view of Kimchi is probably right, that Mephibosheth did go down to the Jordan fords to meet David, and certainly his duty required of him no less. He had been slandered and ill used, but the king believed him to be guilty, and regarded him with displeasure. To have remained, therefore, at home when all Judah and half Israel had gone to welcome David back, would have been culpable remissness. And though he was lame, yet the ride was not so long as to be very fatiguing. But he did not rush through the river, as Shimei and his thousand men had done; and when David had crossed, there was too much going on for him to get an audience. He followed, therefore, in David's suite; but in Jerusalem the meeting actually took place. Thus the verses briefly record different facts: ver. 24 that Mephibosheth went with the vast crowd to welcome the king back; ver. 25 that in due time, in Jerusalem, the explanation was given, and Mephibosheth restored to favour. 2 Samuel 19:25"Now when Jerusalem (i.e., the inhabitants of the capital) came to meet the king,"

(Note: Dathe and Thenius propose to alter ירוּשׁלים into מירוּשׁלים (from Jerusalem), from a simple misunderstanding of the true meaning of the words; for, as Bttcher has observed, the latter (from Jerusalem) would be quite superfluous, as it is already contained in the previous ירד. But Bttcher's emendation of בּא into בּאה, because Jerusalem or the population of Jerusalem is a feminine notion, is equally unnecessary, since towns and lands are frequently construed as masculines when the inhabitants are intended (vid., Ewald, 318, a.). On the other hand, the rendering adopted by the lxx, and by Luther, Michaelis, and Maurer, in which ירוּשׁלים is taken as an accusative in the sense of "when Mephibosheth came to Jerusalem to meet the king," is altogether wrong, and has been very properly given up by modern expositors, inasmuch as it is at variance not only with the word ירד, but also with 2 Samuel 16:3 and 2 Samuel 9:13, where Mephibosheth is said to have lived in Jerusalem.)

David said to him (i.e., to Mephibosheth, who was with the deputation from the capital which welcomed David at the Jordan), "Why wentest thou not with me, Mephibosheth?" David was justified in putting this question after what Ziba had told him concerning Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 16:3).

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