King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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2 Samuel 9

David sends for Mephibosheth. (1-8) And provides for him. (9-13)

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David sends for Mephibosheth

1 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 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.

3 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.

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.

5 Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar.

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!

7 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.

8 And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?

And provides for him

9 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.

10 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.

11 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.

12 And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Micha. And all that dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants unto Mephibosheth.

13 So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king’s table; and was lame on both his feet.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Saul. David was solicitous only about the descendants of Jonathan, who was the eldest son. The rest he afterwards gave up to be crucified, while he ordered the patrimony of Saul to be given to Miphiboseth, who was now about twenty years old. Salien, A.C. 1058. — It is rather wonderful that David had not thought of his old friend sooner. But we are not obliged to suppose that he had reigned fifteen years, without being mindful of his repeated promises to Jonathan. 1 K. xx. 42. H. — This event took place towards the beginning of his reign. C.

Ver. 2. Servant, of free man of Saul, and a convert. Josephus. M. — Yet he might very well be a Hebrew, who refused to accept his liberty, and continued as superintendent over the rest of his master’s house, (v. 10,) like Eleazar, Joseph, (Gen. xxiv. and xxxix.) or the servant of whom our Saviour speaks. Luke xii. 42. C.

Ver. 4. Lodabar, probably on the east side of the Jordan. C. — Machir was a powerful man of the tribe of Manasses. M.

Ver. 7. Father, or grandfather. H. — It is thought that all his goods had been confiscated, in consequence of Isboseth’s assuming the regal dignity. C. — David might give the property to whom he pleased. M. — Always. This was a mark of the greatest distinction. Luke xxii. 30. The Romans sometimes made their slaves free, in this manner, per mensam. C.

Ver. 9. Son, Miphiboseth. Some understand less correctly, (C.) “I have given to Micha, the son of Miphiboseth, all that belonged to Saul; and, as for Miphiboseth, I give him my table.” Munster. Vatab. Salien. M. — Saul’s patrimony might be administered by Siba, to support Micha. D.

Ver. 10. Servants under him, though all belonged to Miphiboseth. H.

Ver. 11. My table, if the king was pleased so to order. Sanchez. — It would seem that Siba did not properly understand the king. C. — The Sept. Syr. and Arab. read, perhaps more correctly u, “his,” instead o i, “my table,” in shulchani. “And Memphibosthai ate at David’s table, as one,” &c. H. — He did not merely eat of the king’s table, (v. 13,) but at it, super mensam, as the Heb. Chal. and Sept. express. M.

Ver. 13. Feet, from five years of age. C. iv. 4. If we add the seven years and a half of his uncle’s reign, and suppose that David would take this notice of him, as soon as he had it in his power, after the taking of Jerusalem, we may conclude that he was about thirteen years old when he was presented to the king, and behaved with the most engaging modesty and respect. If he had already a son, (v. 12,) we may allow a few years more. H.