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Judah a remnant, and had appointed Gedaliah, son of Ahikara, the son of Shaphan, over them. 12. Then all the Jews returned from all places whither they were scattered, and came into the land of Judah to Gedaliah to Mizpah, and they gathered wine and fruit in great abundance. 13. And Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of troops who were in the field, came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, 14. and said to him: "Knowest thou then, that Baalis, the king of the Ammonites, has sent Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, to take thy life?" But Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, believed them not. 15. And Johanan, son of Kareah, spoke to Gedaliah secretly at Mizpah, saying: "I will go now and slay Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, without any one knowing it . Why should he take thy life, and all the Jews who have assembled to thee be scattered, and the remnant of Judah perish?" 16. Then said Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Johanan the son of Kareah: Carry not out this saying; for thou speakest wrongly against Ishmael.
XLI. 1. And it came to pass in the seventh month that Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishamah, of the royal race and of the king's nobles, came, and with him ten men, to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah; and they ate
give warning against him, ver. 13 f. Ver. 14. Ishmael, see on ver. 8. As a scion of the royal house (xli . 1), and adherent of the anti-Chaldaean party, he was full of jealousy and hatred of Gedaliah. Ishmael then devoted himself to carrying out the plot of the Ammonite king, who was bent on destroying the "remnant of Judah" (ver. 15). If Gedaliah fell, the cruel vengeance of the Chalda.jans would certainly fall on Judah.— "To smite thee in the soul" = to kill thee. Ver. 16. eOT (Kethib), not to be changed into nbyn (Keri); cf. xxxix. 12.
Ver. 1. In the seventh month, therefore only three months after the capture of the city (xxxix. 2), two months after its destruction and the institution of Gedaliah as governor (lii. 12). Ishmael, see on xl. 8,14. Elishamah may possibly be mentioned as father of Nethaniah, and would then perhaps be identical with the secretary named in xxxvi. 12, 20 f.; more probably he is the royal ancestor to whom the family traced back, called together there in Mizpah. 2. Then Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, arose with the ten men who were with him, and they slew Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, with the sword; and he killed him whom the king of Babylon had appointed over the land; 3. and all the Jews who were with him, with Gedaliah at Mizpah, and the Chaldaeans who were there, the men of war, Ishmael slew. 4. And it came to pass on the second day after the murder of Gedaliah, while no one yet knew about it, 5. people came from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, eighty men, with shaven beard, and rent clothes, and scars of grief, bearing meat-offerings and
son of David in 2 Sam. v. 16; 1 Chron. iii. 6, xiv. 7. itan 'm depends on JD; for there is no trace of nobles of any other clan, who would here be scarcely intelligible after the massacre, lii. 10, and the carrying away of all the great people; his following consisted rather only of ten men. Ver. 2. They slew (plur.), and he killed. Among the accomplices who took part in the combat, the real murderer, who had the courage to slay the governor appointed by the Babylonian monarch, is made conspicuous by the singular. Ver. 3. The Jewish and Babylonian soldiers, doubtless not numerous, who formed Gedaliah's body-guard, were cut down by the daring band, but not the unarmed people (ver. 10); this does not preclude■ the supposition that Ishmael spared such soldiers as surrendered to him in order to strengthen his following. Ver. 4. Properly, on the second day in regard to the massacre, i.e. reckoned from it. Ishmael with his troops took care that nothing was known outside the town. Ver. 5. The tabernacle-feast falling in this month gave occasion for bringing such gifts to the temple; this was still done by those belonging to Ephraim (cf. 2 Chron. xxxiv. 9 and xxx. 11), but took place now, after the fall of the temple, in sorrowful garb instead of joyous procession. Grotius reminds of Papinian, Insiit. § de Eerum Divisione sacrar.: Locus in quo aedes sacra? sunt aedificatae etiam diruto aedificio sacer adhuc manet. Eespecting the shaving of the hair and cuttings in the skin, see on xvi. 6; here also the rending of the garments is added as a common mourning custom (cf. xxxvi. 24). Instead of Shiloh, LXX have Salem, which would mean the one mentioned Gen. xxxiii. 18, near Shechem. Hitzig, Graf prefer the latter, because it would seem strange for the Shiloh lying considerably to the south between Shechem and Samaria to be named. But, considering the slight critical worth of the LXX, this is not decisive, since no geographical incense, to bring them to the house of Yahveh. 6. Then Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, went forth from Mizpah to meet them, weeping as he went; and it came to pass when he met them, he said to them: Come in to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam. 7. And it came to pass when they were come within the city, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah slew them (and cast them) into the well, he and the men who were with him. 8. But there were ten men among them who said to Ishmael: Kill us not; for we Lave buried treasures in the field, wheat and barley, and oil and honey; then he left off and killed them not among their brethren. 9. But the well into which Ishmael cast all the corpses of the men whom he
sequence is necessary, in which case, moreover, one would expect to see Samaria first; but possibly the degree in which these towns shared in the caravan decided the point; that people dwelling near took part in the caravan, see on ver. 8.— Meat-offerings and incense, see on xvii. 26. Sacrifices fell aside of themselves by the destruction of the temple and altars. On the other hand, incense was still burnt at the holy place. Ver. 6. The words weeping always as he went = wept as he went, the LXX, as well as Hitzig and Graf, refer wrongly to the pilgrims. It is rather meant to illustrate Ishmael's base treachery. Instead of the joyous cries with which the first pilgrims were usually greeted, he approached them with mourning, in harmony with their dress and the state of the land and temple, in order to gain their confidence, as if he were a pious, sympathetic friend of the temple. He invited them to eat with Gedaliah, to greet the new governor, and be entertained by him. Ver. 7. Inside the city, where escape was impossible, Ishmael's associates having occupied the exits of the nairow streets, they fell on the unarmed crowd and slew them, after which they threw their corpses into the well; the phraseology is pregnant: they slew them into the well. Ver. 8. D'3DBo, properly, hiding-places, and here underground pits or chambers in the field, where stores of corn, etc, were hidden in times of uncertainty; hence treasure-chambers, treasures generally. These stores could not have been far from Mizpah, since Ishmael hoped to get hold of them. Thus the caravan did not consist merely of people from the neighbourhood of Shechem. Ver. 9. Ishmael's throwing the corpses into a cistern filled up the measure of his infamy; for the cistern was thus defiled and rendered useless; his intention was to abandon Mizpah. It was the famous cistern which King Asa had built as a defence slew is the (great well*) which king Asa had made because of Baasha, king of Israel; Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, filled it with the slain. 10. Then Ishmael took the entire remnant of the people which was at Mizpah, the king's daughters and the whole people who were left at Mizpah, whom Nebuzaradan, the chief of the guards, had bade remain with Gedaliah the son of Ahikam,—these Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, took captive and prepared to go over to the Ammonites. 11. Then Johanan, son of Kareah, and all the princes of the troops who were with him, heard all the evil which Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, had done. 12. And they took all the men and went to fight with Ishmael, son of Nethaniah. Then they overtook him by the great waters which are at Gibeon.
13. And it came to pass as soon as all the people which were with Ishmael saw Johanan, son of Kareah, and all the captains of troops who were with him, they were glad.
14. And all the people whom Ishmael had led captive from Mizpah turned about, and returned and ran to Johanan, son of Kareah. 15. But Ishmael the son of Nethaniah escaped with eight men from Johanan and went to the Ammonites.
against the Israelitish King Baasha. 1 Kings xv. 22 relates that he built Geba of Benjamin and Mizpah, i.e. completed them as fortresses against the hostile kindred kingdom. Among these defensive works, according to this passage, was the great cistern here referred to. In case of siege, Mizpah especially needed such provision because of its high position.—'l T3 yields no satisfactory meaning; for alongside or along with Geilaliah does not answer to the meaning of T3; and "by means of Gedaliah," i.e. enticing them under his name, is too artificial. It is better to read with LXX (ton) 'All lia (Hitzig, Graf). Ver. 10. Ishmael carried the people, described xl . 7, away from Mizpah with violence like captives; among these also were the princesses, i.e. daughters of the royal house, who had not like its male members been devoted to death or carried away. Ver. 12. At Gibeon, now El-Jib, where there is still a great rectangular reservoir, formerly fed by a neighbouring spring, and called, 2 Sam. ii. 13, "pool," and here "great waters," the hosts encountered each other. As the place lies but a little north or north-east of Mizpah, Ishmael had only just begun his march. He was going north-east towards Betin, then down by the Jordan. Ver. 14. The people who were being led away 16. Then Johanan, son of Kareah, and all the leaders of troops who were with him, took the entire remnant of the people, whom Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, had led captive from Mizpah,* after he had slain Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, men, skilful men of war, and women and children, and court officials, whom he had brought back from Gibeon. 17. And they went and dwelt in the lodging-place of Chimham, which is beside Bethlehem, to go to Egypt, 18. because of the Chaldaeans; for they were afraid of them, because Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had slain Gedaliah son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had appointed over the land.
XLII. 1. And all the captains of troops, and Johanan son of Kareah, and Jezaniah * son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest, came near, 2. and said to Jeremiah the prophet: Let, we pray thee, our supplication fall before thy face and make intercession for us to Yahveh thy God, for this whole remnant,—for we are few of us left
captive fell off to the approaching commander, the comparatively few armed associates of Ishmael being insufficient to restrain them. Ver. 16 is halting and obscure. Instead of the first n8D yvn, read simply rnr, as in ver. 14, after Hitzig, Graf, Nagelsbach. In this case Ishmael is here subject, as the following nan also requires. Men and soldiers were no doubt few among those carried off from Mizpah, but there were all the more among the hosts which Johanan and the others commanded. Eunuchs were among them, because the remnant of the harem was there. Ver. 17. The lodging-place of Chimham, an unknown place, according to this passage near Bethlehem. The name occurs again only in 2 Sam. xix. 38 f. of the son of the faithful Barzillai, whom David took to Jerusalem in reward for the hospitality of his rich father. Kethib (DniD3 or DHiD3 ?) is obscure. niu also, which must mean lodging-place, does not occur elsewhere. Josephus, Ant. x. 9. 5, read rtfriJa (cf. Zeph. ii. 6) = in the folds, which is better recommended.
Ver. 1. Jezaniah is called in xl. 8 son of the Maachathite, which does not preclude his father's proper name being Hoshaiah. Since, however, he is called Azaria in xliil 2, we should with LXX read the same here. Ver. 2. bBn, see on