2 Samuel 19:24-30
And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king, and had neither dressed his feet, nor trimmed his beard…
He hath slandered thy servant unto my lord the king (ver. 27). The lame son of Jonathan comes upon the scene once more before his final disappearance. During the rebellion he seems to have continued at Jerusalem; and a strange spectacle he must have presented there, with his neglected person and mournful countenance. On hearing that the king was returning, he set out from Jerusalem (Hebrew, to; or "Jerusalem came," Keil) to meet him. But he had been preceded by Ziba, who was present, when, in answer to the inquiry, "Wherefore," etc., he said, "My lord, O king, my servant deceived me," etc. (2 Samuel 16:1-4).
1. The unfortunate and helpless are commonly made the victims of a slanderous tongue. Others may not escape its venom; but these become its ready prey. Ziba knew that he could not be pursued and punished; and destroyed the reputation of his master with the king for the sake of his own profit.
2. The voice of slander is put to silence in the presence of honesty and truth. Already, before Mephibosheth spoke, his appearance must have borne witness to his innocence. His explanation of his conduct, the tone of his defence, and the silence of his accuser, would hardly fail to convince the king that, whatever may have been the designs of others concerning the house of Saul (2 Samuel 16:5), the son of his friend Jonathan was not implicated therein. Slander may remain long unchallenged; but it is sure to be ultimately put to shame.
3. No vindication from slander is able to do away with all its mischievous effects. The property of which Mephibosheth had been deprived might be restored in whole or in part; but the feelings and actions induced in others could not be obliterated. "Reluctant to think that he had been too hasty; having a royal aversion to admit that he could err and had been duped; and being, in his present humour of overlooking and pardoning everything, indisposed to the task of calling to account a man of such influence as Ziba, who had been forward in his cause when many tried friends forsook him, the king's answer was something less than generous and much less than kind to the son of Jonathan" (Kitto).
4. Notwithstanding the wrong which he suffers, a man of humble and grateful heart still possesses abundant satisfaction. Seeking no revenge, acknowledging his dependence even for life, thankful for the kindness formerly shown toward him, and foregoing every claim (vers. 27, 28), he is little concerned about worldly possessions in comparison with the honour and welfare of his lord, and finds his chief delight in "the king's favour." "True to his noble saintly nature, all that he desires is to love and to be loved again" (Plumptre). "Let him also take all," etc. (ver. 30).
"Fret not thyself because of the evil doers,
Be not envious against the workers of iniquity,...
The meek shall inherit the land,
And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace," etc.
(Psalm 37:1-11.) D.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king, and had neither dressed his feet, nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came again in peace.
WEB: Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king; and he had neither groomed his feet, nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came home in peace.