2 Samuel 9:10
You therefore, and your sons, and your servants, shall till the land for him, and you shall bring in the fruits, that your master's son may have food to eat: but Mephibosheth your master's son shall eat bread always at my table. Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
2 Samuel 9:10-13. Mephibosheth shall eat bread alway at my table — Now David declares publicly what he had said privately to Mephibosheth. His family was to be maintained by the fruit of the estate that David gave him, though he himself was to eat always with David. And he was lame on both his feet — Or, though he was lame, &c. This defect and blemish did not hinder him from being entertained by the king with the greatest kindness; which procured him, though despicable in his person, honour from the people, as one in great favour with the king. 9:9-13 As David was a type of Christ, his Lord and Son, his Root and Offspring, let his kindness to Mephibosheth remind us of the kindness and love of God our Saviour to fallen man, to whom he was under no obligation, as David was to Jonathan. The Son of God seeks this lost and ruined race, who sought not after him. He comes to seek and to save them!Fifteen sons ... - See 2 Samuel 19:17, marginal reference. 10. Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants—The mention of his sons and the slaves in his house was to show that Mephibosheth would be honored with an equipage "as one of the king's sons." That thy master’s son may have food to eat, i.e. that he may have wherewith to buy food for all his family, and all manner of provisions (which oft come under the title of food and bread) necessary for himself and them.

It is probable he had been the chief steward to manage Saul’s lands; whereby he had great opportunities to enrich himself, which also he was very intent and resolved upon, either directly or indirectly, as the following history of him shows; and therefore it is not strange that he was so rich. Thou therefore, thy sons, and thy servants,.... Which were many, and whose numbers are after given:

shall till the land for him; manure it, plough it, sow it, and reap it:

and thou shall bring in the fruits; the corn, and oil, and wine, the land produces:

that thy master's son may have food to eat; meaning either Micha, the son of Mephibosheth, since Mephibosheth seems to be distinguished from him, and opposed to him in the next clause: and who would stand in no need of food from any other quarter, being a guest at the king's table continually; or else Mephibosheth, who by this means would have a sufficiency for his son and servants, and in which Ziba's family and servants would have a share:

but Mephibosheth thy master's son shall eat always at my table; wherefore the land was to be tilled not for him personally, but for his family, and for what uses he should think fit to put the produce of it to:

now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants: who were enough to cultivate a considerable quantity of land.

Thou therefore, and {e} thy sons, and thy servants, shall till the land for him, and thou shalt bring in the fruits, that thy master's son may have food to eat: but Mephibosheth thy master's son shall eat bread alway at my table. Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.

(e) Be ye provident overseers and governors of his lands, that they may be profitable.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. shall till the land] This arrangement suggests that Ziba was already in occupation of the land, so that the only change to him would be that Mephibosheth would now receive the fruits instead of David.

that thy master’s son, &c.] Though Mephibosheth himself was to be a guest at the royal table, he would require the revenues of this estate for the support of his family and household. It may be inferred from the number of Ziba’s servants that they would be considerable.Verse 10. - That thy master's son may have food to eat. Instead of "son," Hebrew ben, some commentators prefer the reading of a few Greek versions, namely, "house," Hebrew, beth. But the difficulty which they seek to avoid arises only from extreme literalness of interpretation. Though Mephibosheth ate at the king's table, he would have a household to maintain - for he had a wife and son - and other expenses; and his having "food to eat" includes everything necessary, as does our prayer for "daily bread." He would live at Jerusalem as a nobleman and Ziba would cultivate his estates, paying, as is usual in the East, a fixed proportion of the value of the produce to his master. Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants (slaves). He had evidently thriven; for, beginning as a slave in Saul's household, he had now several wives and many slaves of his own, and had become a person of considerable importance. He would still remain so, though somewhat shorn both of wealth and dignity in becoming only Mephibosheth's farmer. When David inquired whether there was any one left of the house of Saul to whom he could show favour for Jonathan's sake (ישׁ־עוד הכי: is it so that there is any one? equals there is certainly some one left), a servant of Saul named Ziba was summoned, who told the king that there was a son of Jonathan living in the house of Machir at Lodebar, and that he was lame in his feet. אישׁ עוד האפס, "is there no one at all besides?" The ל before בּית is a roundabout way of expressing the genitive, as in 1 Samuel 16:18, etc., and is obviously not to be altered into מבּית, as Thenius proposes. "The kindness of God" is love and kindness shown in God, and for God's sake (Luke 6:36). Machir the son of Ammiel was a rich man, judging from 2 Samuel 17:27, who, after the death of Saul and Jonathan, had received the lame son of the latter into his house. Lodebar (לודבר, written לאדבר in 2 Samuel 17:27, but erroneously divided by the Masoretes into two words in both passages) was a town on the east of Mahanaim, towards Rabbath Amman, probably the same place as Lidbir (Joshua 13:26); but it is not further known.
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