2 Kings ix.
Notes & 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, the year before Christ 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 Kings xx. 42. (Haydock) — This event took place towards the beginning of his reign. (Calmet)
Ver. 2. Servant, of free man of Saul, and a convert. (Josephus) (Menochius) — 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, (ver. 10,) like Eleazar, Joseph, (Genesis xxiv., and xxxix.) or the servant of whom our Saviour speaks, Luke xii. 42. (Calmet)
Ver. 4. Lodabar, probably on the east side of the Jordan. (Calmet) — Machir was a powerful man of the tribe of Manasses. (Menochius)
Ver. 7. Father, or grandfather. (Haydock) — It is thought that all his goods had been confiscated, in consequence of Isboseth’s assuming the regal dignity. (Calmet) — David might give the property to whom he pleased. (Menochius) — Always. This was a mark of the greatest distinction, Luke xxii. 30. The Romans sometimes made their slaves free, in this manner, per mensam. (Calmet)
Ver. 9. Son, Miphiboseth. Some understand less correctly, (Calmet) “I have given to Micha, the son of Miphiboseth, all that belonged to Saul; and, as for Miphiboseth, I give him my table.” (Munster; Vatable; Salien) (Menochius) — Saul’s patrimony might be administered by Siba, to support Micha. (Du Hamel)
Ver. 10. Servants under him, though all belonged to Miphiboseth. (Haydock)
Ver. 11. My table, if the king shall please so to order. (Sanchez) — It would seem that Siba did not properly understand the king. (Calmet) — The Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic, read, perhaps more correctly u, “his,” instead of i, “my table,” in shulchani. “And Memphibosthai ate at David’s table, as one,” &c. (Haydock) — He did not merely eat of the king’s table, (ver. 13,) but at it, super mensam, as the Hebrew, Chaldean, and Septuagint express. (Menochius)
Ver. 13. Feet, from five years of age, chap. 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, (ver. 12,) we may allow a few years more. (Haydock)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
David’s kindness to Miphiboseth for the sake of his father Jonathan.
1 And David said: Is there any one, think you, left of the house of Saul, that I may shew kindness to him for Jonathan’s sake?
2 Now there was of the house of Saul, a servant named Siba: and when the king had called him to him, he said to him: Art thou Siba? And he answered: I am Siba, thy servant.
3 And the king said: Is there any one left of the house of Saul, that I may shew the mercy of God unto him? And Siba said to the king: There is a son of Jonathan left, who is lame of his feet.
4 Where is he? said he. And Siba said to the king: Behold he is in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, in Lodabar.
5 Then king David sent, and brought him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, of Lodabar.
6 And when Miphiboseth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come to David, he fell on his face and worshipped. And David said: Miphiboseth? And he answered: Behold thy servant.
7 And David said to him: Fear not, for I will surely shew thee mercy for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and I will restore the lands of Saul, thy father, and thou shalt eat bread at my table always.
8 He bowed down to him, and said: Who am I, thy servant, that thou shouldst look upon such a dead dog as I am?
9 Then the king called Siba, the servant of Saul, and said to him: All that belonged to Saul, and all his house, I have given to thy master’s son.
10 Thou therefore, and thy sons, and thy servants, shall till the land for him: and thou shalt bring in food for thy master’s son, that he may be maintained: and Miphiboseth, the son of thy master, shall always eat bread at my table. And Siba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.
11 And Siba said to the king: As thou, my lord the king, hast commanded thy servant, so will thy servant do: and Miphiboseth shall eat at my table, as one of the sons of the king.
12 And Miphiboseth had a young son, whose name was Micha: and all the kindred of the house of Siba served Miphiboseth.
13 But Miphiboseth dwelt in Jerusalem: because he ate always of the king’s table: and he was lame of both feet.