The Agora
Bible Commentary
2 Samuel

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2 Samuel 9

2Sa 9:4

LO DEBAR: Sig "place of no pasture" (ct v 7), or "no word".

2Sa 9:6

MEPHIBOSHETH: The treatment of the name "Baal" is probably an example of deliberate change, for theological reasons, by the scribes who copied out the scriptures. With personal names that included the word "Baal" (which could simply mean "master" or "lord"), the scribes deliberately replaced "Baal" with "Bosheth" (which means "shame"). To them the idol "Baal", in all his many forms, was a "shameful thing", and any passing allusion to him was to be avoided if possible. Hence, it is likely that Jonathan's son was actually named "Meribbaal", but later scribes made sure that the (by then) hated name of "Baal" was replaced -- yielding "Mephibosheth" (cp 1Ch 8:34; 9:40 and 2Sa 9:6; 19:24; 21:7).

2Sa 9:7

What a blessing! To be invited to eat at the king's table. Although we may have a limp as we walk there, it is nevertheless good to go!

2Sa 9:8

WHAT IS YOUR SERVANT, THAT YOU SHOULD NOTICE A DEAD DOG LIKE ME?: "If Mephibosheth was thus humbled by David's kindness, what shall we be in the presence of our gracious Lord? The more grace we have, the less we shall think of ourselves, for grace, like light, reveals our impurity... The meanest objects in nature appear to the humbled mind to have a preference above itself, because they have never contracted sin: a dog may be greedy, fierce, or filthy, but it has no conscience to violate, no Holy Spirit to resist. A dog may be a worthless animal, and yet by a little kindness it is soon won to love its master, and is faithful unto death; but we forget the goodness of the Lord, and follow not at His call. The term 'dead dog' is the most expressive of all terms of contempt, but it is none too strong to express the self-abhorrence of instructed believers. They do not affect mock modesty, they mean what they say, they have weighed themselves in the balances of the sanctuary, and found out the vanity of their nature. At best, we are but clay, animated dust... but viewed as sinners, we are monsters indeed. Let it be published in heaven as a wonder, that the Lord Jesus should set his heart's love upon such as we are" (CHS).

2Sa 9:13

"Mephibosheth was no great ornament to a royal table, yet he had a continual place at David's board, because the king could see in his face the features of the beloved Jonathan [2Sa 9:7]. Like Mephibosheth, we may cry unto the King of Glory, 'What is Thy servant, that Thou shouldst look upon such a dead dog as I am?' [2Sa 9:8] but still the Lord indulges us with most familiar intercourse with Himself, because He sees in our countenances the remembrance of His dearly-beloved Jesus. The Lord's people are dear for another's sake. Such is the love which the Father bears to His only begotten, that for his sake He raises his lowly brethren from poverty and banishment, to courtly companionship, noble rank, and royal provision. Their deformity shall not rob them of their privileges. Lameness is no bar to sonship; the cripple is as much the heir as if he could run like Asahel [2Sa 2:18]. Our right does not limp, though our might may. A king's table is a noble hiding-place for lame legs, and at the gospel feast we learn to glory in infirmities, because the power of Christ resteth upon us. Yet grievous disability may mar the persons of the best-loved saints. Here is one feasted by David, and yet so lame in both his feet that he could not go up with the king when he fled from the city, and was therefore maligned and injured by his servant Ziba [2Sa 19:26,27]. Saints whose faith is weak, and whose knowledge is slender, are great losers; they are exposed to many enemies, and cannot follow the king whithersoever he goeth. This disease frequently arises from falls [2Sa 4:4]. Bad nursing in their spiritual infancy often causes converts to fall into a despondency from which they never recover, and sin in other cases brings broken bones. Lord, help the lame to leap like an hart, and satisfy all Thy people with the bread of Thy table!" (CHS).

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