2 Samuel 4:4

2 Samuel 4:4

And Jonathan, Saul's son
His eldest son, who died at the same time with him:

had a son [that was] lame of [his] feet;
of both feet, which were broken or bruised by a fall, as later related: and

he was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out
of Jezreel:
that is, when the tidings of their death came from Jezreel, the place where the battle was fought in which they died, to Gibeah, and the royal palace there; so that he was now twelve years of age:

and his nurse took him up and fled;
fearing the Philistines would come thither and destroy the family of Saul; and this child being the son of Jonathan, the eldest son of Saul, was by birth heir to the crown, his father and grandfather being both dead, and which might make the nurse the more solicitous to save his life by flight:

and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and
became lame;
in her hurry and fright he dropped out of her arms, and had some bone broken or dislocated, which was never rightly replaced, or had some contusion, of which he was never cured,

and his name [was] Mephibosheth,
called Meribbaal, ( 1 Chronicles 8:34 ) ( 9:40 ) ; of the change of such names (See Gill on 2 Samuel 2:8). This story of Mephibosheth, and of his nurse's flight with him, and what happened upon it, is here inserted on occasion of the flight of the Beerothites, ( 2 Samuel 4:3 ) ; but chiefly to observe in what condition Saul's family now was, and what encouraged the murderers of Ishbosheth to be guilty of the crime they were, since when he was taken off, there was none but this lame child of that family; and as the removal of Ishbosheth would be of so much service to David, they doubted not but it would be very acceptable to him, and they should be greatly rewarded and honoured; and which they might do with the greatest safety, since the nearest kinsman and avenger of blood was so young, and lame of both his feet: or rather this is mentioned to show that Ishbosheth had no right to the throne, his eldest brother's son being living; so that those murderers might think they did the right thing, to take away the life of an usurper.