2 Samuel 9:6
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!
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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.

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.Mephibosheth - Also called Merib-baal (and Meri-baal, probably by a clerical error, 1 Chronicles 9:40). The two names seem to have the same meaning: Bosheth, shame, being the equivalent for Baal, and Mephi (scattering or destroying, being equivalent to Merib (contending with). Compare Ish-bosheth and Esh-baal, Jerub-baal and Jerub-besheth.

He fell on his face - In fear. Such generosity to a fallen rival as David showed in restoring him his paternal property seemed to him scarcely credible.


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).

No text from Poole on this verse.

Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul,.... For that was his name, though sometimes called Meribbaal, 1 Chronicles 8:34; and this was his relation to Jonathan and Saul, the son of the one, and grandson of the other:

was come unto David; to his court and palace in Jerusalem, being thither brought; for he could not go of himself, being lame:

he fell on his face, and did reverence; to him as a king, in a civil way, and in the best manner he could, considering that he was lame on his feet:

and David said, Mephibosheth; is it he? having learnt what his name was, this he expressed with great vehemency and affection, as glad that he had found one of Jonathan's posterity: and

he answered, behold thy servant! he answered to his name, and owned his subjection to David, and was ready to take the oath of allegiance to him, and give him homage, and serve him in what way he could.

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!
6. Mephibosheth] See note on ch. 2 Samuel 4:4.

Verse 6. - He fell on his face. Mephibosheth probably expected the fate which in the East usually befalls the members of a dethroned dynasty. Subsequently in Israel each new line of usurpers put to death every male relative of its predecessor, and it was with difficulty in Judah that one babe was rescued from the hands of its own grandmother, Athaliah, when she usurped the throne. Looked at, then, in the light of Oriental policy, David's conduct was most generous. 2 Samuel 9:6David sent for this son of Jonathan (Mephibosheth: cf. 2 Samuel 4:4), and not only restored his father's possessions in land, but took him to his own royal table for the rest of his life. "Fear not," said David to Mephibosheth, when he came before him with the deepest obeisance, to take away any anxiety lest the king should intend to slay the descendants of the fallen king, according to the custom of eastern usurpers. It is evident from the words, "I will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father," that the landed property belonging to Saul had either fallen to David as crown lands, or had been taken possession of by distant relations after the death of Saul. "Thou shalt eat bread at my table continually," i.e., eat at my table all thy life long, or receive thy food from my table.
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