II Samuel – Chapter 9

David Keeps His Word

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

After the fall of Ishboshes, David inquired as to whether Shaul had any living descendants. Most kings would want to know that in order to remove any potential pretenders, but David’s motivation was to treat them kindly, as he promised Jonathan he would. It turned out that Jonathan’s son, Mephiboshes, was alive. (You may recall from chapter 4 that Mephiboshes was injured as a child and his legs didn’t work.)

David had Mephiboshes brought to him. Mephiboshes was understandably apprehensive, but David assured him that he just wanted to treat him well for the sake of his father, who had been David’s best friend. Mephiboshes was to eat regularly at the king’s table, just like a member of his own family.

Mephiboshes had a servant named Tzivah, who had previously served Shaul. David told Tzivah, “I have given Shaul’s estate to Mephiboshes. You, Tzivah, work the land with your fifteen sons and your twenty servants. Use it to provide for Mephiboshes’ son Micha, but Mephiboshes will be eating at my table.”

Since he couldn’t walk, Mephiboshes relocated to Jerusalem to be closer to David, at whose table he always ate.

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