2 Samuel 9:4
And the king said to him, Where is he? And Ziba said to the king, Behold, he is in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, in Lodebar.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
2 Samuel 9:4. He is in the house of Machir — This Machir appears to have been a generous man, who entertained Mephibosheth out of mere compassion, not of disaffection to David: for afterward we find him kind to David himself, when he fled from Absalom. David now little thought that the time would come when he himself should need his assistance. Let us be forward to give, because we know not what we ourselves may some time want. 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.David reaped the fruit of his kindness to Mephibosheth, for, when he fled from Absalom, Machir, the son of Ammiel, was one of those who were most liberal in providing him and his army with necessaries (marginal reference). According to 1 Chronicles 3:5, Ammiel (called inversely Eliam, 2 Samuel 11:3) was the father of Bath-sheba. If this be the same Ammiel, Machir would be Bath-sheba's brother. However, the name is not a very uncommon one (Numbers 13:12; 1 Chronicles 26:5, etc.).

Lo-debar - Evidently on the east of Jordan River, and in the neighborhood of Ish-bosheth's capital, Mahanaim 2 Samuel 17:27, but not identified by any modern traveler. Thought by some, not improbably, to be the same as Debir Joshua 13:26.

CHAPTER 9

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).

In a place beyond Jordan, 2 Samuel 17:27, where his friends thought he might be kept out of David’s sight. And the king said unto him, where is he?.... In what part of the land, city, or town, does he dwell?

and Ziba said unto the king, behold, he is in the house of Machir,

the son of Ammiel; a descendant of Machir, the son of Manasseh, to whom the land of Gilead was given, which lay on the other side Jordan:

in Lodebar; a place in that country, perhaps the same with Debir in Joshua 13:26. Here it may be his mother's relations lived, and here he might dwell in obscurity, and lie hid from the knowledge of David; who, it might be feared by his friends, would have dispatched him, had he known where he was. Some take it to be an appellative, and render it, as Abarbinel observes, "without anything"; as if he was so poor that he had not anything to support himself with. No mention as yet is made of his name, perhaps because the historian had given it before, 2 Samuel 4:4.

And the king said unto him, Where is he? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he is in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, in Lodebar.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 4. - Machir, the son of Ammiel, in Lo-debar. Of Lo-debar nothing is known, but it must have been east of the Jordan, near Mahanaim. Of Ammiel we read again in 2 Samuel 17:27, where we find that he was a man of wealth, who helped to supply the wants of David and his men during the rebellion of Absalom. Possibly this kindness of David towards one for whom he had feelings of loyalty, as representing a royal house to which he had remained faithful, won his heart. There was a magnanimity about it which would commend it to a man who was himself generous and true. The chief ministers were the following: - Joab (see at 2 Samuel 2:18) was "over the army," i.e., commander-in-chief. Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, of whom nothing further is known, was mazcir, chancellor; not merely the national annalist, according to the Septuagint and Vulgate (ἐπὶ τῶν ὑπομνημάτην, ὑπομνηματόγραφος; a commentariis), i.e., the recorder of the most important incidents and affairs of the nation, but an officer resembling the magister memoriae of the later Romans, or the waka nuvis of the Persian court, who keeps a record of everything that takes place around the king, furnishes him with an account of all that occurs in the kingdom, places his vis upon all the king's commands, and keeps a special protocol of all these things (vid., Chardin, Voyages v. p. 258, and Paulsen, Regierung der Morgenlnder, pp. 279-80).
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