Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 9

Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan

2 Samuel 9:3-4

Most of ancient Israel was on the west side of the river Jordan. However, Israel also had some good land on the east side of the Jordan. The river was a natural defence, so this land became a place of escape during political troubles. Here, Ish-Bosheth established his rule as king (2:8); here, David later went to escape from Absalom (17:24-27).

One of the men who helped David on that later occasion was Makir, the son of Ammiel (17:27). We have an earlier reference to Makir here (9:4). In this earlier passage, Makir was looking after Mephibosheth, the son of David's friend Jonathan. Mephibosheth's nurse had brought him there after they escaped at the time of Jonathan's death (4:4). Makir was a rich man, and he provided for Mephibosheth to live with him.

During the escape, the nurse dropped Mephibosheth, who was then 5 years old. Mephibosheth, was unable to walk again because of his injury. In the ancient world, life was very difficult for someone with a problem like that. There were few kinds of work that such people could do. Often, they could only sit by the road and ask people for money.

David wanted to show kindness to a member of Jonathan's family. The information that David had received gave him the opportunity to carry out that act of kindness. David was eager that it should be a truly great act of kindness. The way that he described it emphasised that: David wanted to do something that would show the great and wonderful kindness of God.

Next part: Mephibosheth meets David (2 Samuel 9:5-6)


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