2 Samuel 9:1 David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”

2 Now there was a servant of Saul’s household named Ziba. They summoned him to appear before David, and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?”

“At your service,” he replied.

3 The king asked, “Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?”

Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is lame in both feet.”

4 “Where is he?” the king asked.

Ziba answered, “He is at the house of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar.”

5 So King David had him brought from Lo Debar, from the house of Makir son of Ammiel.

6 When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor.

David said, “Mephibosheth!”

“At your service,” he replied.

7 “Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”

8 Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”

9 Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s steward, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. 10 You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.” (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)

11 Then Ziba said to the king, “Your servant will do whatever my lord the king commands his servant to do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s[a] table like one of the king’s sons.

12 Mephibosheth had a young son named Mika, and all the members of Ziba’s household were servants of Mephibosheth. 13 And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table; he was lame in both feet.


a. 2 Samuel 9:11 Septuagint; Hebrew my

The commentaries are really preachy this morning. Mephibosheth was a living heir to the throne. In all the movies I've ever seen, the heir to the throne was generally hunted and killed. Even though he was crippled, he could still be king. He was in hiding. If he knew what David had in store for him... he would have come forward a lot sooner. David didn't want to hurt him. David needed to do something good for his good friend Jonathan. David had promised to take care of Jonathan and his family. Now Jonathan was dead and David must have missed him.

Since David was a musician.... maybe he say around all day singing the blues about loosing his best friend, Jonathan. Maybe the song was called "Can't I do anything for my buddy?" Maybe he sang it over and over and over again until someone finally couldn't take it anymore and let the word out that "for crying out loud... stop singing the blues and go see Ziba". The Bible doesn't say it happened that way.... but I figure it's close enough to what would happen today.

This is from Bible.org.

Twice we are told that Mephibosheth was lame in both feet. When Mephibosheth’s father, Jonathan, and grandfather, Saul, were killed in battle, his nurse realized that five-year-old Mephibosheth was the heir to the throne and his life was in danger. The common custom of eastern monarchs in that day was to eliminate all rivals to the throne. So she grabbed the boy in her arms and ran in panic. He fell and, I would surmise, broke both of his ankles. Without modern medicine to set the bones properly, he was left a cripple for life.

David asks, “Where is he?” . Ziba says, “He is in Lo-debar.” We could paraphrase, “He is out in the tules.” Lo-debar was an obscure village quite a ways north of Jerusalem and on the other side of the Jordan River. Mephibosheth knew that by virtue of his lineage, he could be put to death by King David, and so he was living in quiet obscurity out in Lo-debar.

Can you imagine what Mephibosheth must have thought when the king’s messengers knocked on his door and said, “Come with us. King David wants to see you at the palace!” Verses 6 & 7 show us what he thought: he was afraid! He thought he would be executed.

Mephibosheth’s affliction was a blessing in disguise. If he had not been crippled, he might have tried to challenge David for the throne or to escape from the king’s messengers. But being crippled, there wasn’t much he could do except go along with them.

Mephibosheth ate regularly at the king’s table. In case you missed it, it’s stated four times: 9:7, 10, 11, 13. Can you imagine what that must have been like for Mephibosheth? He was a cripple living in obscurity at Lo-debar, where the most exciting thing to do was to sit around watching tumbleweeds blow. He is brought to the capital city of Jerusalem where he ate all of his meals at the same table as the most powerful monarch in the world, sharing life with the royal family.

Well, if David was singing the blues over Jonathan.... he's got Mephibosheth to celebrate.