Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 16

Ziba’s plans to provide for David

2 Samuel 16:1

Mephibosheth was the son of Jonathan, David’s friend. In chapter 9, David gave him all the property that had belonged to his grandfather, King Saul. At the same time, David made Ziba the manager of all that property.

It seems that Ziba did not respect his master, Mephibosheth. However, he did his work as the manager, and he was very grateful to David.

When Absalom opposed David, Ziba had an opportunity to repay David’s kindness to him. Ziba realised quickly that David would have to escape from Absalom. In fact, Ziba knew this even before David did. So, Ziba began to prepare for David’s escape. David would need food for himself and for the people who left Jerusalem with him. He would also need donkeys (small horses) on which some of the weaker people from his family could ride.

Mephibosheth would have gladly supported these plans. However, Ziba did not tell him about them. Probably he did not dare to do that. Ziba was risking his life for David; Absalom would have ordered Ziba’s death if he had known Ziba’s plans.

So, Ziba secretly used Mephibosheth’s property to provide for David. Ziba did not think that he was stealing. As manager, he had authority over that property. So, he used his authority to provide what David needed. This was an extraordinary way to use that authority, but these were truly extraordinary circumstances.

Next part: The purpose of the gifts that Ziba brought (2 Samuel 16:2)


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