Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 16
In chapter 9, David showed great kindness to Mephibosheth, the son of his friend Jonathan. David gave Mephibosheth all the property of King Saul his grandfather, and David made Ziba the manager of that property.
Ziba used some of that property to provide for David and the people with him, when they escaped from Jerusalem. However, David felt a great sense of disappointment because Mephibosheth had not left Jerusalem with him. David had been very kind to Mephibosheth; it seemed to David that Mephibosheth did not even care about him. David considered that, in this difficult situation, a true friend would choose to be with him.
Later, Mephibosheth would give his own account of what happened (19:24-30). Mephibosheth was unable to walk because of an accident when he was a child (4:4). However, he wanted to leave Jerusalem with David. So, Mephibosheth told Ziba to prepare a donkey (animal like a small horse) for him to ride on. However, Ziba did not do it, so Mephibosheth could not go.
Ziba told David that Mephibosheth was plotting against him. He meant that in all the confusion, Mephibosheth hoped to become king. Ziba’s account was clearly untrue. However, David believed it. There were people in Israel who wanted one of Saul’s family to become king (16:5-8).
There were both good and bad reasons why Ziba would not obey Mephibosheth’s command. Ziba had to leave urgently in order to carry out his plan to help David. Perhaps Ziba even wanted to take Mephibosheth’s donkey with him. In addition, it would have slowed down David to have Mephibosheth with him (compare 2 Samuel 15:33). However, clearly Ziba did not respect Mephibosheth.
Next part: David rewards Ziba (2 Samuel 16:4)
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© 2023, Keith Simons.