CONTEXT: David’s words here reflect his covenant with his friend Yonatan, 1 Samuel 20:14-16. M’fiboshet was dropped and injured by his nurse who was fleeing at the news of his father’s death. (2 Samuel  4:4)  LoD’var appears to have been east of the Jordan river, in the Gilead region, an area defended by King Sha’ul.
            GLOSSARY: The expression (v.3) “divine favor,” chesed elohim, אלהים חסד, suggests religious aspect of the covenantal oath. It could also be translated “God’s favor.”

            1And David asked: “Is any left of the house of Sha’ul for whom I can show favor for the sake of Y’honatan?”
            2There happened to be, of the house of Sha’ul, a servant named Tsiva. They summoned him to David.
            “Are you Tsiva?” asked the king.
            “Your servant,” the reply.
            3“Is there none more, not a man left of the house of Sha’ul to whom I might work divine favor?”
            “There is yet a son of Y’honatan,” said Tsiva to the king, “lame footed.”
            4“Where is he?” asked the king.
            “You’ll find him at the home of Machir benAmiel in LoD’var, in the mountains of Gil’ad,” said Tsiva.
            5So King David sent and brought him from LoD’var, from the home of Machir benAmiel. 6Thus M’fiboshet {M’riBa’al 1 Ch. 9:40} benY’honatan benSha’ul arrived before David.  He fell on his face and bowed low.
            “M’fiboshet?” said David.
            “Here, your slave,” he replied.
            7“Fear not,” said David, “for I will do you acts of kindness for the sake of your father Y’honatan. I shall return to you every field of Sha’ul your father. And you will eat bread regularly at my table.”
            8He bowed low and said: “What is your slave?  That you turn towards a dead dog such as I?”
            9So David called Tsiva, Sha’ul’s boy: “All that belonged to Sha’ul and to all his house, I have given to your master’s descendant. 10You shall work the land for him, you and your sons and slaves. You shall bring bread for them to eat.  M’fiboshet, your master’s descendent, shall eat bread regularly at my table.”  (Tsiva had fifteen sons and twenty slaves.”
            11“Whatever my lord, the king, commands his slave, so will your slave do,” said Tsiva.  M’fiboshet ate at the king’s table like one of the king’s sons.
            12(M’fiboshet had a young son named Micha.  All who dwelled in the house of Tsiva were slaves to M’fiboshet. 13M’fiboshet lived in Y’rushalayim for he ate regularly at the king’s table. He limped on both feet.)
©Rabbi David L. Kline http://good-to-be-a-jew.blogspot.com/

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