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the day cometh that shall burn like an oven, and the proud chalí be destroyed; but God's servants shall be his in the day when fie maketh •ufi his jewels.
4. God remembers and will reward the favour and kindness shown to any of his servants, especially his ministers. Ebedmekch delivered Jeremiah; who was therefore sent to him with a comfortable assurance of protection in the day of evil. Because he had acted kindly to the prophet, and did it upon good principles; not from mere humanity, but from regard to God, knowing that he was doing right, and trusting in God to prosper and defend him; therefore God would deal kindly by him, and put it into the hearts of the Chaldeans to protect him. God will still be pleased with the favour shown to his ministers and people; and they who show it, and trust in him, mercy shall ctim/iass them ebou!. God is not ttnrighieout tf forget any work and labour'of love that is done to his saints.
CHAP. XL, XLI.
Jeremiah being eet free by JVcbuzaradan, goes to Gcdaliah; the dispersed Jews come to him; and Juhanan informs him of la/imael't conspiracy.
1 HT* H E word which*came to Jeremiah from the Lord, after
JL that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramath, when he had taken him, being bound in chains among all that were carried away captive of Jerusalem and Ju
2 dah, [which were] carried away captive to Babylon.» And the captain of the guard took Jeremiah, and said unto him, The
3 Lord thy God hath pronounced this evil upon this place. Now the LoÍ.d hath brought [it,] and done according as he hath said: because ye have sinned against the Lord, and have not obeyed
4 his voice, therefore this thing is come upon you. And now, behold, I loose thee this day from the chains which [were] upon thine hand: if it seem good unto thee to come with me into Babylon, come ; and I will look well unto thee; I will set mine eye v/ion thee for good; firomising to- be his friend, and to treat him in a respectful manner : but if it seem ill unto thee lo come •with me into Babylon, forbear: behold, all the land [is] before thee: whither it seemeth good and convenient for thee to go,
5 thither go. Now while he was not yet gone back, while Jeremiah vían hesitating, [he said,] go back also to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, a worthy, honourable character, a fierson of rank, whose grandfather and father mere ministers of state lo Josiah, and ivfiose father saved thcc, and whom the king
• This rrf rrs to the forty ве eond cbipre r, where he warns the prople left in the hnd ; rutij the story bcfove us ¡« to illustrate th;»t prophi'cv. Jeremiah hid been set free, but was take i» • г tivc by some of the Chaldeans who did not know Ыш, and was carried to Ranub; but tbe tapuin of the guard set Ыш ten agua.
of Baby-Jon hath made governor over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people : or go wheresoever it seemeth convenient unto thee to go. So the captain of the guard gave
* him victuals and a reward, and let him go. Then went Jeremiah unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah; »nd dwelt with him among the people that were left in the land.
7 Now when all the captains of the forces which [were] in the fields, [even] they and their men who had ßed, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam governor in the land, and had committed unto him men, and women, and children, and of the poor of the land, of them that were not car
* ried away captive to Babylon; Then they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, even Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, and the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah the
9 son of a Maachathite, they and their men. And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan sware unto them and to their men, assured them of his protection, saying, Fear not to serve the Chaldeans: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon,
10 and it shall be well with you. As for me, behold, I will dwell at Mizpah to serve the Chaldeans, which will come unto us; that in, to send the tribute and to receive orders: but ye, gather ye wine, and summer fruits, and oil, and put [them] in your vessels, and dwell in your cities that ye have taken: ivhile you remain tributary to the king of Babylon you may enjoy the fruits of
\ \ the land. Likewise when all the Jews that [were] in Moab, and among the Ammonites, and in Eclom, and that [were] in all the countries, heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant of Judah, and that he had set over them Gedaliah the son of Abi
!2 kam the son of Shaphan ; Even all the Jews returned out of all places whither they were driven, and came to the land of Judah, to Gúluliah unto Mizpah, and gathered wine and summer fruits v ry much.
13 Moreover Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that [were] in the fields, came to Gedaliah to IViizpah,
H And said unto him, Dost thou certainly know that Baalis ihe king of the Ammonites hath sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to slay thee? out of a fiemnnal fii<¡iic to thee, or hatred to ti.e Jevu*; hofung to bring more to hin dominion», or make ihuxe that remained his vassal's. But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam believed
15 them not. Then Johanan the son of Kareah spake to Gedaliah in Mizpah secretly, saying, Let me go, I pray thee, and I will slay Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no man shall know [it :] wherefore should he slay thee, that all the Jews which are gat!1ercd unto thee should be scattered, and the remnant of Judiili
16 perish? But Gcdaliuh the son of Ahikam said unto Johanan the son of Kareah, Thou shall not do this thing: for thou speakcM falsely of Ishmael ; he ¡» an honett man, and I cannot oelieve tin rt/iort.
I Chap. XLl. Now it came to pass in the seventh month, [that] Ishmael the son of Nethaniah the son of Elishama, of the seed royal, and the princes of the king, even ten men with him, came unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah, where he made a sftlendid entertainment for them ¡ and there they did eat
3 bread together in Mizpah. Then, valuing himself eat hie royal extraction, and envying Gedaliah, 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 slew him, whom the king of Babylon had made governor over
Л the land. Ishmael also slew all the Jews that were with him, [even] with Gedaliah, at Mizpah, that is, Gedaliah'» guards, and the Chaldeans that were found there, [and] the men of war, alt
4 that o/iftosed him. And it came to pass the second day after he
5 had slain Gedaliah, and no man knew [it,] That there came certain from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, [even] fourscore men, having their beards shaven, and their clothes rent, and having cut themselves, with offerings and incense in their hand, to bring [them] to the house of the Lord; tint is, »ami fliona men of the ten tribes came in mourning habits to weeft over the ruine of Jerusalem, and to offer incense, if they tmdd find an
t altar and a finest. And Ishmael the son of Nethaniah went forth from Mizpah to meet them, weeping all along as he went, as if he sympathised with them: and it came to pass, as he met them, he said unto them, Come to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam;
7 wanting to see how they stood affected to him. And it was [so] when they came into the midst of the city, that Ishmael the Sod of Nethaniah slew them, [and cast them] into the midst of the
S pit, he, and the men that [were] with him. But 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, which tue will give thee; thinking to influence hi» covetoumcsS) if not his comfiassinn. So he forbare, and slew them
9 not among their brethren. Now the pit wherein Ishmael had cast all the dead bodies of the men, whom he had slain because of Gedaliah, [was] it which Asa the king had made for fear of Baasha king of Israel: [and] Ishmael the son of Nethaniah
10 filled it with [them that were] slain. Then Ishmael carried away captive all the residue of the people that [were] in Mizpah, [even] the king's daughters, and all the people that remained in Mizpah, whom Nebuzaradan 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 Ammonites; as had been concerted between him and the king of the Ammonites.
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 Ish
12 mael the son of Nethaniah had done, Then they took all the men, and went to fight with bhmacl the son of Nethaniah, and
13 found him by the great waters that [are] in Gibeon. Now it came to pass, [that] when all the people which [were] with Ish« niai-1 hit w Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that [were] with him, then they were glad; hoping to be
14 recovered and taken back. So all the people that Ishmael had carried away captive from Mizpah cast about and returned, and
15 went unto Johanan the son of Kareah. But Ishmael the son of Nethaniah escaped from Johanan with eight men, only two of the ачаяятв being flro6aoly slain, and went to the Ammonites.
16 Then 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, from Mizpah, after [that] he had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, [even] mighty men of war, and the women, and the children) and the eunuchs whom he had brought again from Gibe
17 on: And they departed, and dwelt in the habitation of Chimham, which is by Bethlehem, an estáte -which David had given to Cfiimham thf son of Barziilai, and which was called by his name, to go
18 to enter into Egypt, Because of the Chaldeans; that it, in order to proceed to Hgypt out of the reach 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; they viere fearful it would be imputed to them all as a revolt ¡ a groundless fear; for though the king of Babylon might have resented the murder of his -viceroy, he would rather have applauded and rewarded Johanan,for slaying the murderer» and recovering the captives.
1. rT"^HOSE who are most honest and friendly,and mean the JL best, have need of prudence and discretion. It was wise in Gedaliah not to entertain jealousy of his subjects; but very unwise not to be more upon his guard, after he had been warned of Ishmael's design. A proper medium is to be observed between hastily crediting and hastily rejecting or despising reports of injuries intended us. We should be cautious whom we trust; and while we show the courage of an honest heart, we should be upon our guard that we be not deceived by pretended friendship.
2. Observe here the dismal consequences of pride and ambition, and what dreadful evils they occasion in society. Ishmael treacherously slew Gedaliah, because he thought, that being of the seed royal, he had a better claim to the government; and when once he was engaged in this bloody work, he slew those honest Israelites, because they were the friends nf Gedaliah, though he had nothing to fear from them: and this cruelty he exercised upon his brethren and countrymen, who were all companions in the general afflictioa of the nation. Such monsters, such demons, do ambition and rrtalice turn men into: and we have need to pray earnest!/, that God
Vol. V, Ее«
would restrain this ambitious spirit in oui1 land, which seems otherwise likely to blast our hopeful prospects, and hurry us into ruin.
3. Sec the uncertainty of human affairs, and how little the continuance of earthly blessings is to be depended upon. The poor Jews th¡'t were left in the land, began to think themselves happy in such a governor as Gedaliah, and probably would have been so: but he was treacherously slam; and then all their expectations were disappointed, and there was nothing bnt confusion again. Thus may God soon disappoint our most pleasing expectations; and bring upon us fresh troubles, while we are rejoicing in tlic restoration of peace. Let us therefore maintain a constant sense of the uncertainty of earthly comforts; and be solicitous to secare a kingdom thai cannot be moved ¡ an inheritance, incorruptible; widr/Ued, and that fuuelh not away.
CHAP. XL1I, XL1II.
Jo'iaTirm and the remnant of the fee/file df&ire Jeremiah to e*A- counsel df God rjhal they should do; the Jiro/ihet assures them of safety in Judea, but of destruction in £gyjit: Mcvcrtlielce» the leading men carry the firo/ile there; and the Jiro/iket foretells the conquest rf Jigyftt ¿y .\i¿uc/iadrez:ar.
1 T I ч H E \ all the captains of the forces, and Jbhanan the son
JL of Karcah, and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the
2 people from the least even unto the greatest, came near, And sakl unto Jeremiah the prophet, Let, we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto the Lord thy God, [even] for all this reniñan»; (for we ave left [but] a
"> few oí many, as thine eyes do behold us :) That the Lord thjr God may show us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that We may do: nothing could be more finj/irr, humble, and re
4 aftectfut, than thin or/Vrrs*, had it been hrrtimt. Then Jeremiah the prophet s;ml rmto them, I have heard [you ;] behold, I will pray unto the Lord your God uceordini',1 tu your лгоЫз; and it shall comu to pass, [that] whatsoever thing the Loan shall answer you, I will declare [it] unto you; I will keep nothing
5 back from you. Then they said to Jeremiah; The Lord be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not even according to all things for the which the Lohd thy God shall send
6 thee to us. Whether [it be] good, or whether [it be] evil, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the Lorb our God'.
7 And it ome to pass after ten clays, that the word of the Lord слте unto Jercmklh ; they ivcre kcjit ao long in «<*/(f.>»£', iogh't