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Monday, April 28 2014

2 Samuel 9: Mephibosheth's Inheritance

"David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan's sake?"

Mephibosheth was the son of Jonathan (see the Fact Finder question below), the son of King Saul (see 1 Samuel 10: King Saul of Israel and 1 Samuel 15: Saul's Impeachment). Mephibosheth was five years old when his father and grandfather died together in battle against the Philistines (see 1 Samuel 31: Saul's Last Stand and 2 Samuel 1: How The Mighty Have Fallen).

When the news of the deaths of Saul and Jonathan arrived at the palace, Mephibosheth's nurse quickly fled with him during which she dropped him. The accident caused an injury to his legs that resulted in a permanent disability. While Mephibosheth was in that exile, the civil war between the house of Saul and the house of David ended when Mephibosheth's uncle Ishbosheth was assassinated by two of his own military commanders (see 2 Samuel 4: The Assassination of Ishbosheth).

"4:1 And when Saul's son heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, his hands were feeble, and all the Israelites were troubled. 4:2 And Saul's son had two men that were captains of bands: the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab, the sons of Rimmon a Beerothite, of the children of Benjamin: (for Beeroth also was reckoned to Benjamin: 4:3 And the Beerothites fled to Gittaim, and were sojourners there until this day.)

4:4 And Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.

4:5 And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ishbosheth, who lay on a bed at noon. 4:6 And they came thither into the midst of the house, as though they would have fetched wheat; and they smote him under the fifth rib: and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped.

4:7 For when they came into the house, he lay on his bed in his bedchamber, and they smote him, and slew him, and beheaded him, and took his head, and gat them away through the plain all night. 4:8 And they brought the head of Ishbosheth unto David to Hebron, and said to the king, Behold the head of Ishbosheth the son of Saul thine enemy, which sought thy life; and the LORD hath avenged my lord the king this day of Saul, and of his seed." (2 Samuel 4:1-8 KJV)

A few years later, after David had firmly established himself as king (see 2 Samuel 8: King David's Empire), he generously offered political amnesty for "any that is left of the house of Saul." The offer was made specifically so that David could "shew him kindness for Jonathan's sake."

David and Mephibosheth

"9:1 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 Samuel 9:1 KJV)

There was a former servant of the house of Saul, Ziba, who provided David with the information that he required: "Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet."

"9:2 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.

9:3 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.

9:4 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." (2 Samuel 9:2-4 KJV)

Mephibosheth was then brought to David where he was given all of the property that Saul had lost from the war: "I have given unto thy master's son all that pertained to Saul and to all his house." The inheritance immediately made Mephibosheth a wealthy young man.

"9:5 Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar.

9:6 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!

9:7 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. 9:8 And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?

9:9 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. 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: but Mephibosheth thy master's son shall eat bread alway at my table. Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.

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. As for Mephibosheth, said the king, he shall eat at my table, as one of the king's sons.

9:12 And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Micha. And all that dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants unto Mephibosheth. 9:13 So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king's table; and was lame on both his feet." (2 Samuel 9:5-13 KJV)

Fact Finder: Did David and Jonathan live as brothers in the palace of King Saul?
See 1 Samuel 20: David and Jonathan


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This Day In History, April 28

357: Emperor Constantius II entered Rome for the first time after his victory over Magnus Magnentius.

1192: Conrad of Montferrat (Conrad I), "King of Jerusalem," was assassinated in Tyre (see also Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

1282: The people of Palermo lead a revolt against French rule in Sicily.

1503: The French were defeated by the Spanish under Gonsalvo de Cordoba at the battle of Cerignola near Naples. It is regarded as the first battle in history won by weapons using gunpowder.

Mutiny On The Bounty 1521: In Germany, Protestant reformer Martin Luther wrote in a letter: "The authority of Scripture is greater than the comprehension of the whole of man's reason" (an ironic statement because, despite his "protest" against an immoral pope, Luther, and all of the "protestant" churches to this day maintain nearly all of the Church of Rome's anti-Bible doctrines e.g. Sun Worship).

1686: The first volume of Isaac Newton's Principia Mathamatic was published.

1760: One of the bloodiest battles in Canadian history. In an attempt to recapture Quebec City, Francois de Levis and his French force of 5,000 men attacked the British on the Plains of Abraham in what became known as the Battle of Ste-Foy. The British resorted to Quebec City, which they still held, and Levis was unable to take control of the city before British reinforcements arrived May 10. Levis was forced to retire to Montreal.

1770: Captain James Cook landed at Botany Bay in Australia.

1789: The crew of the Bounty, led by the traitor Fletcher Christian, mutinied against Captain William Bligh, and set the captain and 18 crew members adrift in an open boat. Some of the mutineers settled on Pitcairn Island, east of Tahiti, where their descendants still live.

1792: France invaded the Austrian Netherlands (present-day Belgium), beginning the French Revolutionary War.

1817: Britain and the U.S. signed the Rush-Bagot Treaty, in which they agreed not to have guns or ships of war on the frontier waters of the Great Lakes.

1920: Azerbaijan joined the Soviet Union.

1944: Exercise "Tiger" ended with 750 U.S. soldiers dead in a D-Day rehearsal after their convoy ships were attacked by German torpedo boats off Slapton Sands, on the southwest coast of England.

1945: At the end of the Second World War, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, 62, and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were captured and shot by Italian partisans while attempting to flee to Switzerland. The next day, their mutilated corpses were hung from lamp posts in Milan for public display.

1947: Thor Heyerdahl and five crew mates set out from Peru on the Kon-Tiki to prove that Peruvian natives could have settled Polynesia.

1969: Charles de Gaulle resigned as president of France.

1974: At the end of the Vietnam War, the last U.S. military and diplomatic (i.e. CIA) personnel were evacuated from Saigon as the city was about to be taken by North Vietnamese forces.

1992: The body of Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich Romanov, heir to the vacant Russian throne, was returned to St. Petersburg to be buried in the city of his czar ancestors.



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