Ishmael having treacherously slain Gedaliah and others, purposeth to flee with the rest unto the Ammonites. Johanan goeth against him, and having recovered all the captives is minded to flee into Egypt.
1NOW it came to pass in the 1seventha month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah the son of Elishama, of the seed 2royal, and the 3princes of the king, even ten 4men with him, came unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah; and there they 5did eat bread together in Mizpah.
1 After the negotiation (as some comprehend) of Gedaliah with the princes, whereof is spoken in the previous chapter; or, after that Gedaliah was warned to beware of Ishmael, or, after that he was appointed over the land.
a 2 Kings 25:25.
2 Hebr. of the seed of the kingdom; as 2 Kings 11:1; Ezek. 17:13; Dan. 1:3. From this may be gathered that this Ishmael was vexed that any other but himself should have the managing or government of affairs in Judah. See 2 Kings 25:25.
3 Who had been among the great ones with king Zedekiah. Some understand ten princes of the king of the Ammonites. See Jer. 40:14.
4 Each having his men with him, as may be gathered from what follows.
5 That is, feasted together, did eat and drink together (see Gen. 31 on verse 54) on purpose to murder Gedaliah under a show and color of friendship, as Absalom did his brother Ammon, 2 Sam. 13:28, 29.
2Then arose Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and the ten men that were with him, and smote Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan with the sword, and 6slew him, whom the king of Babylon had made governor over the land.
6 Ishmael with his men.
3Ishmael also slew all the Jews that were with him, even with Gedaliah, at Mizpah, and the Chaldeans that were found there, and the men of war.
4And it came to pass the second day after he had slain Gedaliah, and no man 7knew it,
7 Understand that it was not yet noised abroad.
5That there came certain from 8Shechem, from 9Shiloh, and from 10Samaria, even fourscore men, having their beards shaven, and their clothes rent, and having 11cut themselves, with offerings and incense in their 12hand, to bring them to the house of the LORD.
8 See Judges 8 on verse 31.
9 See Joshua 18:1.
10 See 1 Kings 16 on verse 24.
11 Or, having made cuttings on themselves, namely, in the flesh, with knives or bodkins; having accepted this forbidden custom (of shaving their beards, and making cuttings in their flesh) from the heathen, or, desiring in simplicity to show extraordinary grief for the sad state and condition of God’s people. Compare Jer. 16 on verse 6.
12 That is, they had taken along with them; they had with them; see 2 Sam. 8 on verse 10; to show their affection, at the place, which was now burnt, they were wont to offer sacrifice, 2 Kings 25:9.
6And Ishmael the son of Nethaniah went forth from Mizpah to meet them, 13weeping all along as he went: and it came to pass, as he met them, he said unto them, Come to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam.
13 Hebr. going with going and weeping, feigning as if he grieved with them for the common calamities; as on the contrary he had before feasted and made merry with Gedaliah, when he intended to murder him.
7And it was so, when they came into the midst of the city, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah slew them, 14and cast them into the midst of the 15pit, he, and the men that were with him.
14 This is here inserted from verse 9. Other, slew them by or about the midst, etc.
15 Or, pond, pool, ditch, cistern.
8But ten men were found among them that said unto Ishmael, Slay us not: for we have treasures in the field, of wheat, and of barley, and of oil, and of honey. So he forbare, and slew them not 16among their brethren.
16 That is, with and amongst the rest of their countrymen and kinsmen.
9Now the pit wherein Ishmael had cast all the dead bodies of the men, whom he had slain 17because of Gedaliah, was it which Asa the king had made 18for fear of Baasha king of Israel: and Ishmael the son of Nethaniah filled it with them that were slain.
17 Hebr. at the hand, that is, beside him or next to him; hand for side. See 2 Sam. 18 on verse 4; Prov. 8 on verse 3. Other, for Gedaliah’s sake, or that were under the hand (that is, discretion) of Gedaliah.
18 Or, because of Baasha; that is, for fear of Baasha. Hebr. from or before the face. This perhaps Asa has done when he repaired and fortified this city of Mizpah with the stones of Ramah, wherewith Baasha had sought to fortify Ramah. See 1 Kings 15:22. For what end this pit properly served, is uncertain, whether for fortification or for watering for men and beasts in time of need.
10Then Ishmael carried away captive all the residue of the people that were in Mizpah, even the king’s 19daughters, and all the people that remained in Mizpah, whom Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard had committed to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam: and Ishmael the son of Nethaniah carried them away captive, and departed to go over to the 20Ammonites.
19 As Jer. 43:6. Some understand hereby some young maidens of royal blood or ladies of honor, whom Nebuchadnezzar may have permitted to remain, or, who, being hidden at first, afterwards came forth again, and were likewise committed to the charge of Gedaliah. Compare Jer. 38:22 with the annotations.
20 Compare verse 15; Jer. 40:14.
11¶But when Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, heard of all the evil that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had done,
12Then they took all the 21men, and went to fight with Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and found him by the great waters that are in 22Gibeon.
21 The soldiers whom they had with them.
22 Compare 2 Sam. 2:13 with the annotation.
13Now it came to pass, that when all the people which were with Ishmael saw Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, then they were glad.
14So all the people that Ishmael had carried away captive from Mizpah castb about and returned, and went unto Johanan the son of Kareah.
b turn round, turn back
15But Ishmael the son of Nethaniah escaped from Johanan with eight men, and went to the Ammonites.
16Then took Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, all the remnant of the people whom he had recovered from Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, 23from Mizpah, after that he had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, even mighty 24men of war, and the women, and the children, and the 25eunuchs, whom he had brought again from 26Gibeon:
23 This may be understood of the people whom Ishmael had carried away from Mizpah.
24 Hebr. men soldiers. Compare Judges 4 on verse 4. Other, valiant or stout soldiers.
25 Or, courtiers. See Gen. 37 on verse 36.
26 See verse 12.
17And they departed, and 27dwelt in the 28habitation of Chimham, which is by Beth-lehem, to go to enter into Egypt,
27 Hebr. sat, or abode.
28 Or, Geruth-Chimham, that is, dwelling, lodging or region of pilgrimage, where Chimham had sojourned or dwelt as a stranger; this place (which was by Bethlehem), being, as some conceive, given him by David out of his own estate for a recompense of the favors which he received from Barzillai, his father, at the time when he fled from Absalom. See 2 Sam. 19:38, etc.
1829Because of the Chaldeans: for they were afraid of them, because Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon made governor in the land.
29 That is, for fear, as verse 9, being afraid that the king would revenge this murder upon them all.