Chapter 3

  1. And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake? And there was of the house of Saul a servant, whose name was Ziba. And when they had called him unto David, the king said unto him, Are you Ziba? And he said, Your servant is he. And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan has yet a son, who is lame on his feet. And the king said unto him, Where is he? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, in Lodebar. Then king David sent and fetched him out of the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar.
  2. Now when Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, had come unto David, he fell on his face and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold your servant. And David said unto him, Fear not, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat bread at my table continually. And he bowed himself and said, What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I am?
  3. Then the king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said unto him, I have given unto your master’s son all that pertained to Saul and to all his house. You, therefore, and your sons, and your servants shall till the land for him; and you shall bring in the fruits, that your master’s son may have food to eat. But Mephibosheth your master’s son shall eat bread always at my table.
  4. Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. Then said Ziba unto the king, According to all that my lord the king has commanded his servant, so shall your servant do. As for Mephibosheth, said the king, he shall eat at my table as one of the king’s sons. And Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Mica. And all that dwelled in the house of Ziba were servants unto Mephibosheth. So Mephibosheth dwelled in Jerusalem, for he did eat continually at the king’s table and was lame on both his feet.
  5. And it came to pass after this that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead. Then said David, I will show kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father showed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father. And David’s servants came into the land of the children of Ammon.
  6. And the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord, Do you think that David does honor your father, that he has sent comforters unto you? Has not David rather sent his servants unto you to search the city? And to spy it out and to overthrow it? Wherefore, Hanun took David’s servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away. When they told it unto David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, Remain at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return.
  7. And when the children of Ammon saw that they stank before David, the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Bethrehob and the Syrians of Zobah, twenty thousand foot soldiers, and of king Maacah a thousand men, and of Ishtob twelve thousand men. And when David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the host of the mighty men. And the children of Ammon came out and put the battle in array at the entering in of the gate. And the Syrians of Zobah, and of Rehob, and Ishtob, and Maacah were by themselves in the field.
  8. When Joab saw that the front of the battle was against him before and behind, he chose of all the choice men of Israel and put them in array against the Syrians. And the rest of the people he delivered into the hand of Abishai his brother, that he might put them in array against the children of Ammon. And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then you shall help me. But if the children of Ammon be too strong for you, then I will come and help you. Be of good courage, and let us behave like men for our people, and for the cities of our God, and the Lord do that which seems him good.
  9. And Joab drew near, and the people that were with him, unto the battle against the Syrians, and they fled before him. And when the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians were fled, then fled they also before Abishai and entered into the city. So Joab returned from the children of Ammon and came to Jerusalem.
  10. And when the Syrians saw that they were smitten before Israel, they gathered themselves together. And Hadadezer sent and brought out the Syrians that were beyond the river, and they came to Helam, and Shobach the captain of the host of Hadadezer went before them. And when it was told to David, he gathered all Israel together and passed over Jordan, and came to Helam.
  11. And the Syrians set themselves in array against David and fought with him. And the Syrians fled before Israel, and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen, and smote Shobach the captain of their host, who died there. And when all the kings that were servants to Hadadezer saw that they were smitten before Israel, they made peace with Israel and served them. So the Syrians feared to help the children of Ammon anymore.