And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan's sake?2 Samuel 9:1. And David said, Is there any left of the house of Saul — Having ended the wars in which he had been engaged, and settled his kingdom and court, and enjoyed a short interval of peace and tranquillity, like a gleam of sunshine in the intermittings of a storm, he now begins to consider what private obligations he was under, especially to the house of Saul, and above all to Jonathan. His prosperity had, hitherto, in no degree overset him; on the contrary, the blessings God had bestowed upon him appear to have been followed by an increase of gratitude and love to his divine benefactor, and zeal for his glory. These pious dispositions had lately given birth to a resolution of building a most magnificent temple to God’s honour. And he had already made a noble provision for the work. Religion was his first care, and friendship now became his second. He recollected the strong and solemn ties thereof between him and Jonathan, confirmed by the most sacred oaths and engagements; and his present retirement from the hurry and din of war left him at leisure to reflect upon, and take proper measures to fulfil them. That I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake — He does not say, Is there any left of the house of Jonathan? for he seems to have had no idea that he had left any son or descendant; but thought his kindness and obligation were to pass to the next of his kindred. As for Mephibosheth, he was very young and obscure, and probably concealed by his friends, lest David should cut him off, according to what had been the usual practice of princes in like cases.
And there was of the house of Saul a servant whose name was Ziba. And when they had called him unto David, the king said unto him, Art thou Ziba? And he said, Thy servant is he.
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.
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.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.
Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar.
Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant!2 Samuel 9:6-8. He fell on his face and did reverence — As the manner was when men came into the presence of the king or king’s son; for thus David himself prostrated himself before Jonathan, 1 Samuel 20:41. I will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father — That is, according to our mode of speaking, thy grand-father. This land was, perhaps, the family estate of Saul, to which he had annexed other lands for his private use. But because they had been taken by virtue of Saul’s royal prerogative, therefore they were now considered, and perhaps had been seized, as appertaining to his successor on the throne, David. And he bowed himself — It is good to have the heart humbled under humbling providences. If, when divine providence brings our condition down, divine grace bring our spirits down, we shall be easy. That thou shouldest look on such a dead dog — This is a high expression of humility; for a dog was accounted a vile and unclean creature, and a dead dog as of no use at all. And it is likely that Mephibosheth spoke this, both in regard of his bodily infirmity of lameness, and because he was not instructed in, or had no natural genius for affairs of state.
And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually.
And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?
Then the king called to Ziba, Saul's servant, and said unto him, I have given unto thy master's son all that pertained to Saul and to all his house.
Thou therefore, and 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.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.
Then said Ziba unto the king, According to all that my lord the king hath commanded his servant, so shall thy servant do. As for Mephibosheth, said the king, he shall eat at my table, as one of the king's sons.
And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Micha. And all that dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants unto Mephibosheth.
So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king's table; and was lame on both his feet.