Matthew Poole's Commentary
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?David, for Jonathan’s sake, sendeth for his son Mephibosheth, 2 Samuel 9:1-6; entertaineth him at his table; and restoreth him all that was Saul’s; appointing Ziba to be his servant, 2 Samuel 9:7-13.
David’s wars being ended, he set himself to the administration of justice to all his people, 2 Samuel 8:15; and, amongst others, he minds his just debt and obligation to Jonathan and his family.
Of the house of Saul; he saith not of the house of Jonathan, for he knew not of any son which he had left, and therefore thought his kindness and obligation was to pass to the next of his kindred. As for Mephibosheth, he was very young and obscure, and possibly concealed by his friends, lest David should cut him off from jealousy of state, as hath been usual among princes in like cases, and therefore was unknown to David, as well he might be, especially when David’s head and hands were full of war with divers and potent enemies, as they had hitherto been.
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.A servant; one who had been a servant, and, as it may seem, a steward to Saul. See Poole "2 Samuel 9:10".
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.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 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.In a place beyond Jordan, 2 Samuel 17:27, where his friends thought he might be kept out of David’s sight.
Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar.No text from Poole on this verse.
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!No text from Poole on this verse.
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.All the land of Saul is now seized and possessed by David, as due to him, either in right of his wife, to whom the inheritance was devolved, Saul’s sons by his wives being all dead; see Numbers 27:8; or by Divine donation, as belonging to the crown which God had now given him; or by forfeiture, because of Ish-bosheth’s rebellion against his lord and king.
And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?So contemptible in my person and condition.
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.No text from Poole on this verse.
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.That thy master’s son may have food to eat, i.e. that he may have wherewith to buy food for all his family, and all manner of provisions (which oft come under the title of food and bread) necessary for himself and them.
It is probable he had been the chief steward to manage Saul’s lands; whereby he had great opportunities to enrich himself, which also he was very intent and resolved upon, either directly or indirectly, as the following history of him shows; and therefore it is not strange that he was so rich.
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.These are the words, either, first, Of David; the words said he, or said the king, being supplied out of the former and following verses. Or, secondly, Of Ziba, being thus rendered and understood. Also Mephibosheth, if the king so please,
shall eat at my table, and shall be treated there according to his quality, as one of thy sons, as thou desirest; for the estate will suffice for that also.
And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Micha. And all that dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants unto Mephibosheth.Mephibosheth had a young son; either, first, Before he was discovered and brought to the king; and then David seems guilty of a great error in forgetting his dear Jonathan so long; although his long and continued wars, both civil and foreign, might afford him some excuse, as filling his mind and time with business of another nature. Or, secondly, After that time; for there is nothing here which determines when this son was born. Whose name was
Micha; who also had other children and grandchildren, to keep up the name and memory of worthy and famous Jonathan. See 1 Chronicles 8:34,35 9:40,41.
So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king's table; and was lame on both his feet.No text from Poole on this verse.