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The Rise of Mephebosheth in David’s House

II Samuel 9:1-13

Victor M. Eskew


1.     Outline:


i.                    DAVID LONGS TO BLESS SAUL’S HOUSE (II Sam. 9:1)

ii.                  DAVID LEARNS ABOUT MEPHIBOSHETH (II Sam. 9:2-4)

iii.                DAVID LIONIZES MEPHIBOSHETH (II Sam. 9:5-8)

iv.                DAVID LEAVES ZIBA WITH INSTRUCTIONS (II Sam. 9:9-11)

v.                  MEPHIBOSHETH LOCATES IN JERUSALEM (II Sam. 9:12-13)


2.    Of which house did David inquire? (II Sam. 9:1)


And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul…


A.    The house of Saul


3.    What did he want to do to those of this house? (II Sam. 9:1)


…that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?


A.    He wanted to show this relative of Saul kindness for Jonathan’s sake.

1.        Kindness

a.       Strong (2617):  kindness    :- favor, good deed, merciful kindness, mercy

b.      BDB:  goodness, kindness

2.       This is a king, a man of great authority and abundance who desires to show a blessing to another.


B.      There came a time David reflected on his friendship and his covenants made with Jonathan (I Sam. 20:14-15).


And thou shalt not only while yet I live show me the kindness of the Lord, that I die not:  but also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house forever:  no, not when the Lord hath cut off the enemies of David every one from the face of the earth..


C.     We learn about another attribute of David.  He was faithful to keep his promises.  It would have been easy for David not to fulfill this promise.  Jonathan was dead.  Someone from the household of Saul might present a danger.  David was not deterred.  He would make good on this promise.


4.    What was the name of Saul’s servant who was called unto David? (II Sam. 9:2)


And there was of the house of Saul a servant whose name was Ziba.


A.    Ziba


5.    How did Ziba answer David when asked his name? (II Sam. 9:2)


…And when they had called him unto David, the king said unto him, Art thou Ziba?  And he said, Thy servant is he.


A.    “Thy servant is he.”


B.      He acknowledged that he was under the authority of David as king.

1.        It was an answer of humility.

2.       It was an answer of submission.


6.    What question did David pose to Ziba? (II Sam. 9:3)


And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God unto him?


A.    Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God unto him?


B.      Clarke notes that “the kindness of God” involves the highest degree of kindness that one can express.


7.    T – F  There was no one left of Saul’s house. (II Sam. 9:3)


…And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son…


A.    False


B.      Can you imagine the joy in the heart of David to learn that Jonathan had a son who was still alive?


8.    What was wrong with Mephibosheth? (II Sam. 9:3)


...which is lame on his feet.


A.    This son, however, was lame on his feet.

1.        This had occurred when the news of Saul’s and Jonathan’s death was revealed to their houses.  A nurse took Jonathan’s son and as they fled, the child fell and caused his feet to become lame (II Sam. 4:4).

2.       NOTE:  He was of the house of Saul and he was lame.  He did not bring much by way of commendation to David. 


9.    In whose house was Mephibosheth living? (II Sam. 9:4)


And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he is in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel…


A.    He was living with Machir, the son of Ammiel


B.      There is a possibility that Machir was the brother of Bath-sheba (See I Chron. 3:5).  The possibility seems remote.  Wouldn’t David have known something about him if this were the case?


10.  In what town was Mephibosheth living? (II Sam. 9:4)


…from Lo-debar.


A.    Lo-debar


B.      “Lo-debar was located on the east side of the Jordan at the foot of the Trans-jordanian mountains northeast of Bethshan” (Waldron, p. 762). 


Where is he?' the king asked. Ziba explained that Mephibosheth was ...


C.     NOTE:  This son has been living in somewhat obscurity far from the presence of the new king.


11.   T – F  David sent and fetched Mephibosheth out of Machir’s house.  (II Sam. 9:5)


Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar.


A.    True


B.      What would Mephibosheth have been feeling at this time? 

1.        He had probably been told that David desired to show him kindness.

2.       However, there may have been some fear since he was of the house of Saul.


12.  “Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence.” (II Sam. 9:6)


A.    Mephibosheth came with respect for David as the new king.

1.        This is the first time we read of his name in the text.

2.       He is also called Merib-baal (I Chron. 9:40).


B.      Reverence

1.        Strong (7812):  to depress, to show homage to royalty

2.       BDB:  to bow down to a superior in homage


13.  When David addressed Mephibosheth, how did he respond? (II Sam. 9:6)


And David said, Mephibosheth.  And he answered, Behold thy servant!


A.    “Behold, thy servant.”


B.      He acknowledges his rightful position before David. 

1.        He is David’s servant.

2.       The word means “slave” or “bondman.”


14.  David told Mephibosheth that he ( should       should not ) fear. (II Sam. 9:7)


And David said unto him, Fear not…


A.    David told Mephibosheth that he should not fear.


B.      It is a fearful thing to appear before someone with more authority than you.


It is a fearful thing to appear before someone who could be your enemy.

It is a fearful thing to appear before someone who could take your life.


C.     The compassionate David first seeks to calm any of the fears that this man might have as he enters into his presence.  Harm is not something David intended to bring upon Mephibosheth.


15.  What was David going to “show” to Mephibosheth? (II Sam. 9:7)


…for I will surely show thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake…


A.    Kindness


16.  What two things did David say he would give to Jonathan’s son? (II Sam. 9:7)


…and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father, and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually.


A.    All the land of Saul his father

1.        The land of Canaan was divided among the tribes and then among families within the tribes.

2.       This land was to be passed on from generation to generation.

3.       When Saul and Jonathan died, we are not told who took their inheritance.  Some believe is might have been absorbed into David’s kingdom.

4.       David was now restoring this land to the rightful heir.


B.      He would eat bread at David’s table continually

1.        This was one of the highest honors that could be bestowed upon an individual.  Daily he would be in the king’s presence as he ate at his table.

a.       Relationships would be understood.

b.      Feelings would be shared.

c.       Personal information would be heard.

d.      Information about the kingdom might be overheard.

2.       See Luke 22:28-30a


Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.  And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom…


17.  When Mephibosheth heard David’s words, what question did he ask? (II Sam. 9:8)


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


A.    What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?


B.      Dogs were not “part of the family” during the days of David.

1.        They roamed the streets.

2.       They scavenged for their food.

3.       They often lay dead in the streets.

4.       They were of no count to the people of the cities.

5.       They were looked upon with disdain and contempt.


C.     Mephibosheth realized his unworthiness as he stood before the king as a blessed man.

1.        His grandfather was David’s opponent.

2.       Physically, Mephibosheth was frail, weak, and unprofitable.

3.       He had not been a major asset to David’s kingdom.




18.  To whom did David speak these words:  “I have given unto thy master’s son all that pertain to Saul and to all his house”? (II Sam. 9:9)


Then the king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said unto him, I have given unto they master’s son all that pertained to Saul and to all his house.


A.    Ziba


B.      The words that Ziba spoke to David that are recorded in verse 2 will now be of extreme importance.  Ziba had proclaimed that he was David’s servant.  As such, he would have to do David’s will if called upon. 


19.  What was Ziba and his sons and his servants to do for Mephibosheth? (II Sam. 9:10)


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…


A.    Ziba, his sons, and his servants were now put in charge of caring for the estate of Mephibosheth. 

1.        He had fifteen sons and twenty servants (I Sam. 9:10).

2.       Clarke believes that as the caretaker, Ziba would have received half the income the estate produced.  The other half would have gone to the benefit of Mephibosheth and his family.


20.  Where would Mephibosheth always eat bread? (II Sam. 9:10)


…but Mephibosheth thy master’s son shall eat bread always at my table.


A.    At David’s table


21.  “Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.” (II Sam. 9:10)


22.  T – F  Ziba refused to do as the king ordered.  (II Sam. 9:11)


Then said Ziba unto the king, According to all that my lord the king hath commanded his servant, so shall thy servant do.


A.    False


23.  Mephibosheth would eat bread “as one of the king’s sons.” (II Sam. 9:11)


A.    Here, we see the elevation of Mephibosheth in the household of David.


B.      He was not a physical son, but he was elevated to a place of sonship in David’s house.


24.  What was the name of Mephibosheth’s son? (II Sam. 9:12)


And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Micha.


A.    Micha (I Chron. 8:34; 9:40)


B.      Mephibosheth was 5 when he fled following his father’s death.

David had reigned in Judah for 7-1/2 years.  This would make Mephibosheth 12-1/2 years old.

He now has a son.  We are not told his age.  Most likely Mephibosheth was over the age of 21 when he had this son.  This would put us into the 14th or 15th year of David’s reign.




25.  “And all that dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants unto Mephibosheth” (II Sam. 9:12)


A.    This is the same word used by both Ziba and Mephobosheth when they referred to themselves as David’s servants.


26.  In what city did Mephibosheth dwell from then on? (II Sam. 9:13)


So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem…


A.    Jerusalem


27.  “…for he did eat continually and the king’s table; and was lame on both his feet” (II Sam. 9:13).


A.    This statement is found four times in this chapter (vs. 7, 10, 11, 13).


B.      It was part of David’s kindness which is referred to three times in the chapter (v. 1, 3, 7).


C.     In this chapter, we have a picture of God’s grace manifested toward us.

1.        God is like unto David.

a.       He desired to show us kindness.

b.      God has a close relationship to Jesus Christ.

c.       He searched us out to bless us.

d.      He elevated us to positions of sons in His house.

2.       We are like unto Mephibosheth.

a.       We had been in opposition to God.

b.      We, too, are lame in our sins.

c.       Who are we that God should look upon such dead dogs as we are?  There is nothing within us to be desired.

d.      God blesses us on behalf of Jesus’ sake.

e.       We are able to feast at the Lord’s table continually.

f.        We have been elevated to positions of sonship in the house of God.




























The Routing of the Ammonites and the Syrians

II Samuel 10:1-19


Victor M. Eskew


  1. Outline:


i.                    II SAMUEL 10:1-2

ii.                  II SAMUEL 10:3-5

iii.                II SAMUEL 10:6-8

iv.                II SAMUEL 10:9-14

v.                  II SAMUEL 10:15-19


  1. Who reigned after the king of the children of Ammon died? (II Sam. 10:1)


  1. What did David want to show Hanun? (II Sam. 10:2)


  1. Who did David send to comfort Hanun? (II Sam. 10:2)


  1. What did the princes of the children of Hanun believe about the servants that David had sent to Hanun? (II Sam. 10:3)


  1. What did Hanun do to David’s servants? (II Sam. 10:4)


  1. T – F    David went out to meet his servants (II Sam. 10:5)


  1. Where did David tell them to tarry till their beards were grown? (II Sam. 10:5)


  1. The children of Ammon “saw that they ________________ before David…” (II Sam. 10:6)


  1. For whom did the Ammonites send and hire to assist them? (II Sam. 10:6)


  1. Who did David send when he heard what the Ammonites had done? (II Sam. 10:7)


  1. Where did the children of Ammon put the battle in array? (II Sam. 10:8)


  1. Where were the Syrian forces located? (II Sam. 10:8)


  1. T – F    Joab saw that he was in the middle of the two groups. (II Sam. 10:9)


  1. Who did Joab choose for himself to fight the Syrians? (II Sam. 10:9)


  1. Who did he put in array against the children of Ammon? (II Sam. 10:10)


  1. T – F    This division of the forces enabled Joab and Abishai to assist one another. (II Sam.



  1. “Be of good _______________ and let us play the _____________ for our people, and for the cities of our God…” (II Sam. 10:12).


  1. T – F    Joab committed their keeping into the will of God. (II Sam. 10:12)


  1.  T – F   Joab could not prevail against the Syrians. (II Sam. 10:13)


  1. When the Ammonites saw the Syrians flee, what did they do? (II Sam. 10:14)


  1. After his victory over the Ammonites, where did Joab go? (II Sam. 10:14)


  1. T – F    The Syrians gathered together for battle again (II Sam. 10:15)


  1. Where did Hadarezer gather his troops? (II Sam. 10:16)


  1. Who was the captain of Hadarezer’s army? (II Sam. 10:16)


  1. What did David do what he heard the Syrians were at Helam? (II Sam. 10:17)


  1. How many chariots and how many horsemen were defeated by David? (II Sam. 10:18)


  1. Who died on the field of battle? (II Sam. 10:18)


  1. When the kings that were servants to Hadarezer saw they were smitten by Israel, what did they do? (II Sam. 10:19)


  1. “So the Syrians ________________ to help the children of Ammon any more.” (II Sam. 10:19)