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Jer 41:1-18. ISHMAEL MURDERS GEDALIAH AND OTHERS, THEN FLEES TO THE AMMONITES. JOHANAN PURSUES HIM, RECOVERS THE CAPTIVES, AND PURPOSES TO FLEE TO EGYPT FOR FEAR OF THE CHALDEANS.
1. seventh month--the second month after the burning of the city
(Jer 52:12, 13).
2. slew him whom the king of Babylon had made governor--This assigns a reason for their slaying him, as well as showing the magnitude of their crime (Da 2:21; Ro 13:1).
3. slew all the Jews--namely, the attendants and ministers of Gedaliah; or, the military alone, about his person; translate, "even (not 'and,' as English Version) the men of war." The main portion of the people with Gedaliah, including Jeremiah, Ishmael carried away captive (Jer 41:10, 16).
4. no man knew it--that is, outside Mizpah. Before tidings of the murder had gone abroad.
5. beards shaven, &c.--indicating their deep sorrow at the
destruction of the temple and city.
6. weeping--pretending to weep, as they did, for the ruin of the
7. and cast them into . . . pit--He had not
killed them in the pit (compare
these words are therefore rightly supplied in English Version.
8. treasures--It was customary to hide grain in cavities underground
in troubled times. "We have treasures," which we will give, if our lives
9. because of Gedaliah--rather, "near Gedaliah," namely, those intercepted by Ishmael on their way from Samaria to Jerusalem and killed at Mizpah, where Gedaliah had lived. So 2Ch 17:15, "next"; Ne 3:2, Margin, literally, as here, "at his hand." "In the reign of Gedaliah" [CALVIN]. However, English Version gives a good sense: Ishmael's reason for killing them was because of his supposing them to be connected with Gedaliah.
10. the king's daughters-- (Jer 43:6). Zedekiah's. Ishmael must have got additional followers (whom the hope of gain attracted), besides those who originally set out with him (Jer 41:1), so as to have been able to carry off all the residue of the people. He probably meant to sell them as slaves to the Ammonites (see on Jer 40:14).
13. glad--at the prospect of having a deliverer from their captivity.
14. cast about--came round.
16. men of war--"The men of war," stated in
to have been slain by Ishmael, must refer to the military about
Gedaliah's person; "the men of war" here to those not so.
17. dwelt--for a time, until they were ready for their journey to
18. afraid--lest the Chaldeans should suspect all the Jews of being implicated in Ishmael's treason, as though the Jews sought to have a prince of the house of David (Jer 41:1). Their better way towards gaining God's favor would have been to have laid the blame on the real culprit, and to have cleared themselves. A tortuous policy is the parent of fear. Righteousness inspires with boldness (Ps 53:5; Pr 28:1).