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David flees Jerusalem

Ziba from the Morgan Bible.

Ziba (Hebrew:ציבא, meaning: Alliance) was a servant of King Saul and later in the downfall of the corresponding king and the rise of David, a servant of Saul's grandson Mephibosheth.

David's Extended Mercy[]

The summoning of Ziba[]

David, remembered his covenant with Jonathan about their everlasting friendship and peace between their descendants[1]. After the death of Jonathan and Saul, David took Jonathan's son Mephibosheth and extended mercy to him, fulfilling the covenant[2]. Before the latter, he summoned a servant of Saul named Ziba, whom he asked the exact whereabouts of Mephibosheth[3].

After the latter, the king summoned Ziba, Saul's steward, and said to him, "I have given your master's grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table." (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants[4].) All of the members of Ziba's household were servants of Mephibosheth.

Ziba's Service[]

After the migration of David and his servants, when David had gone a short distance beyond the summit, there was Ziba, the steward of Mephibosheth, waiting to meet him. He had a string of donkeys saddled and loaded with two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred cakes of raisins, a hundred cakes of figs and a skin of wine.

Then the kings asked Ziba, concerning the compassionate offer, Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride on, the bread and fruit are for the men to eat, and the wine is to refresh those who become exhausted in the wilderness.” The king then asked, “Where is your master’s grandson?” Ziba said to him, “He is staying in Jerusalem, because he thinks, ‘Today the Israelites will restore to me my grandfather’s kingdom.’” Then the king said to Ziba, “All that belonged to Mephibosheth is now yours.” “I humbly bow,” Ziba said. “May I find favor in your eyes, my lord the king.”


  1. 1 Samuel 20:14–17, 42 (Link)
  2. 2 Samuel 9 (Link)
  3. 2 Samuel 9:2-4 (Link)
  4. 2 Samuel 9:9-10 (Link)