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?
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.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.
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!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.
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?Mephibosheth's humility of expression, even in the mouth of an Oriental, is painful. It was perhaps in part the result of his helpless lameness, and of the other misfortunes of his life.
A dead dog - The wild dogs of the East, which still abound in every town, are the natural objects of contempt and dislike.
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.Saul's servant - Josephus calls him one of Saul's freedmen. The difference this would make in Ziba's position would only be that instead of paying in the fruits of the confiscated land to David, he would have to pay them to Mephiboseth.
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.Fifteen sons ... - See 2 Samuel 19:17, marginal reference.
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.Said the king - There is nothing in the Hebrew to warrant the insertion of these words. The words are: "So Mephibosheth ate at my table as one of the king's sons." Only it follows that the narrator is David himself.
And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Micha. And all that dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants unto Mephibosheth.Mephibosheth was five years old at Saul's death. He may have been thirteen at David's accession to the throne of Israel. In the eighth year of David's reign over all Israel he would have been twenty-one. His having a son at this time indicates that we are about the 10th year of David's reign.
Micha - Or Micah; who, as far as we know, was Mephibosheth's only son, and had a numerous posterity (marginal references).
So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king's table; and was lame on both his feet.