2 Samuel 9:3
And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet.
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9:1-8 Amidst numerous affairs we are apt to forget the gratitude we owe, and the engagements we are under, not only to our friends, but to God himself. Yet persons of real godliness will have no rest till they have discharged them. And the most proper objects of kindness and charity, frequently will not be found without inquiry. Jonathan was David's sworn friend, therefore he shows kindness to his son Mephibosheth. God is faithful to us; let us not be unfaithful to one another. If Providence has raised us, and our friends and their families are brought low, we must look upon that as giving us the fairer opportunity of being kind to them.The Cherethites and the Pelethites - See the marginal reference note.

Chief rulers - The word כהן kôhên, here rendered a "chief ruler," is the regular word for a priest. In the early days of the monarchy the word כהן kôhên had not quite lost its etymological sense, from the root meaning to minister, or manage affairs, though in later times its technical sense alone survived.


2Sa 9:1-12. David Sends for Mephibosheth.

1-7. David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul—On inquiry, Saul's land steward was found, who gave information that there still survived Mephibosheth, a son of Jonathan who was five years old at his father's death, and whom David, then wandering in exile, had never seen. His lameness (2Sa 4:4) had prevented him from taking any part in the public contests of the time. Besides, according to Oriental notions, the younger son of a crowned monarch has a preferable claim to the succession over the son of a mere heir-apparent; and hence his name was never heard of as the rival of his uncle Ish-bosheth. His insignificance had led to his being lost sight of, and it was only through Ziba that David learned of his existence, and the retired life he passed with one of the great families in trans-jordanic Canaan who remained attached to the fallen dynasty. Mephibosheth was invited to court, and a place at the royal table on public days was assigned him, as is still the custom with Eastern monarchs. Saul's family estate, which had fallen to David in right of his wife (Nu 27:8), or been forfeited to the crown by Ish-bosheth's rebellion (2Sa 12:8), was provided (2Sa 9:11; also 2Sa 19:28), for enabling Mephibosheth to maintain an establishment suitable to his rank, and Ziba appointed steward to manage it, on the condition of receiving one-half of the produce in remuneration for his labor and expense, while the other moiety was to be paid as rent to the owner of the land (2Sa 19:29).

The kindness of God; either, first, That kindness which I owe him for God’s sake, and by virtue of my oath given to him about it, 1 Samuel 20:14,15. But that oath seems only to oblige him to Jonathan’s posterity, and not to any other of Saul’s house. Or, secondly, Great and eminent kindness.

And the king said, is there not yet any of the house of Saul; that is, remaining or living:

that I may show the kindness of God unto him? great kindness, some large favour or benefit; for the word God added to things, as to trees, mountains, &c. serves to set forth the excellency of them; and this kindness is in imitation of God, or such as he had sworn in the presence of God to show; and that is expressed in the same language, 1 Samuel 20:14,

and Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son; a son still living:

which is lame on his feet; on both his feet, as the Targum; of which occasion; see Gill on 2 Samuel 4:4.

And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the {b} kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet.

(b) Such mercy as shall be acceptable to God.

3. the kindness of God] A reference to Jonathan’s words in 1 Samuel 20:14. “The kindness of God” means kindness or mercy such as God shews to men, unfailing, unsought, unlimited. Cp. Luke 6:36.

lame on his feet] See ch. 2 Samuel 4:4.

Machir the son of Ammiel] A man of wealth and position, to judge from the welcome which he gave David in his flight from Absalom (ch. 2 Samuel 17:27-29). He may have taken charge of Mephibosheth at Jonathan’s death. It may be inferred from his name that he belonged to the tribe of Manasseh (Numbers 32:39-40).

Lo-debar] A town on the E. of the Jordan in the neighbourhood of Mahanaim, possibly the same as the Debir of Joshua 13:26. Its site is not determined.

Verse 3. - The kindness of God. That is, extraordinary kindness. The devout mind of the Orientals saw in everything that was more than common a manifestation of God, and thus the epithet "of God" came to be applied to anything that was very great (comp. Genesis 30:8, margin; Genesis 35:5; Psalm 65:9; Jonah 3:3, margin). David would show Saul's seed kindness as wonderful as are God's dealings with man. 2 Samuel 9:3When 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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