Zi'ba (Heb. Tsiba', צַיבָא [briefly צַבָא., 2Sa 16:4], plantation [Fürst], or statue. [Gesen.]; Sept. Σιβά v.r. Σιββά; Josephus, Σιβάς; Vulg. Siba), a person who plays a prominent part, though with doubtful credit to himself, in one of the episodes of David's history (2Sa 9:2-12; 2Sa 16:1-4; 2Sa 19:17,29). He had been a slave (עֶבֶד) of the house of Saul before the overthrow of his kingdom, and (probably at the time of the great Philistine incursion which proved so fatal to his master's family) had been set free (Josephus, Ant. 7:5, 5). It was of him that David inquired if there was any one left of the house of Saul to whom the monarch might show favor. B.C. 1044. Mephibosheth was in consequence found, and having been certified of David's friendship, Ziba was appointed to till the land for the prince, and generally to constitute his household and do him service (2Sa 9:2-10). The opportunities thus afforded him he had so far improved that when first encountered in the history he is head of an establishment of fifteen sons and twenty slaves. David's reception of Mephibosheth had the effect of throwing Ziba with his whole establishment back into the state of bondage from which he had so long been free. It reduced him from being an independent landholder to the position of a mere dependent. When David had to fly from Jerusalem in consequence of the rebellion of Absalom, Ziba met the king with a large and acceptable present: "But where is Mephibosheth?" asked the fugitive monarch. "In Jerusalem," was the answer; "for he said, Today shall the house of Israel restore me the kingdom of my father." Enraged at this, which looked like ingratitude as well as treachery, David thereupon gave to Ziba all the property of Mephibosheth (2Sa 16:1 sq.). On David's return to his metropolis an explanation took place, when Mephibosheth accused Ziba of having slandered him; and David, apparently not being perfectly satisfied with the defense, gave his final award, that the land should be divided between the master and his servant (2Sa 19:24 sq.). B.C. 1023. SEE MEPHIBOSHETH.

Bible concordance for ZIBA.

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