Jeremiah 40:8
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 son of a Maachathite, they and their men.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) Then they came to Gedaliah.—Of the captains thus named, Ishmael, “of the seed royal” (we have no date for determining his precise position in the line of successors) (Jeremiah 41:1), is prominent in the history of the next chapter, Johanan (the Hebrew form of Joannes or John) in that of Jeremiah 42, Seraiah and Jaazaniah are named in the parallel passage of 2Kings 25:23, but nothing more is known of them. Netophah, to which the sons of Ephai belonged, was a town of Benjamin not far from Bethlehem (1Chronicles 2:54; 1Chronicles 9:16; Ezra 2:22; Nehemiah 7:26). The Maachathite, whose father is not named, was probably a naturalised alien from the small kingdom of Maachah, on the east side of the Jordan, near Argob (Deuteronomy 3:14; 2Samuel 10:6; 2Samuel 10:8) and Bashan (Joshua 12:5), not far from the modern Lejah.

40:7-16 Jeremiah had never in his prophecies spoken of any good days for the Jews, to come immediately after the captivity; yet Providence seemed to encourage such an expectation. But how soon is this hopeful prospect blighted! When God begins a judgment, he will complete it. While pride, ambition, or revenge, bears rule in the heart, men will form new projects, and be restless in mischief, which commonly ends in their own ruin. Who would have thought, that after the destruction of Jerusalem, rebellion would so soon have sprung up? There can be no thorough change but what grace makes. And if the miserable, who are kept in everlasting chains for the judgment of the great day, were again permitted to come on earth, the sin and evil of their nature would be unchanged. Lord, give us new hearts, and that new mind in which the new birth consists, since thou hast said we cannot without it see thy heavenly kingdom.The men would be the old and infirm: the women those whose husbands and protectors had perished in the wars (e. g. Jeremiah 41:10). The word children includes all the inferior members of a household. 8. Netophathite—from Netophah, a town in Judah (2Sa 23:28).

Maachathite—from Maachathi, at the foot of Mount Hermon (De 3:14).

It is most likely that these captains with their forces were no newly raised and formed companies; for to what purpose should that be when their city and whole country was lost? but some commanders of parties, which either were within the city till it was taken, and then escaped out, or were about before some where in the country, and were not so much regarded by the Chaldeans, who were more intent upon the conquest of the city than pursuing these little parties, who they knew could do them no hurt. These hearing that the business was over, and a deputy governor set up, who was of their own country, and a man of a good, ingenuous temper, out of the love they had to their native country come unto him. Of these captains we read little save Ishmael, (of whom we shalt afterwards read more,) nor are we at all concerned to seek their genealogy. Then they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah,.... Having heard that the Chaldean army was gone, and so were in no fear of that; and also that Gedaliah was made deputy governor, one of their own nation, a pious, prudent, good man, a man of ingenuity, mildness, and integrity; under whose government they might expect to live comfortably; and which was much preferable to captivity in a foreign country, though tributary to Babylon:

even Ishmael the son of Nethaniah; who was of the seed royal, Jeremiah 41:1;

and Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah; two brothers, but who they were, or their father, is not known, no mention being made of them but in this story:

and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth; who he was is also uncertain:

and the sons of Ephai the Netophathite; so called from Netophah, a city of the tribe of Judah near Bethlehem, and are mentioned together, Ezra 2:22; the Netophathites inhabited several villages, 1 Chronicles 9:16; mention is made in the Misnic (t) writings of artichokes and olives this place was famous for:

and Jezaniah the son of a Maachathite; a family so called from Maacah, Caleb's concubine, 1 Chronicles 2:48;

they and their men; these generals, and the forces under their command.

(t) Shebiit, c. 9. sect. 5. & Pea, c. 7. sect. 1.

Then they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, even {e} 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 son of a Maachathite, they and their men.

(e) Who was of the king's blood and later slew him, Jer 41:2.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. the Netophathite] Netophah was apparently identical with Beit Nettif, a village W. of Bethlehem at the entrance to the Vale of Elah. See Buhl’s Geographie des alten Palästina, p. 194. It was not far from Jerusalem (Nehemiah 12:28).

Jezaniah] not the “Jezaniah” of ch. Jeremiah 42:1, where see note.

Maacathite] Maacah was S.E. of Hermon.Verse 8. - Jonathan. This name is omitted in the parallel passage (2 Kings 25:23), and by the Septuagint here. It may, of course, be a corruption of Johanan, as Ewald supposes. If so, we must read "son" for "sons," with Septuagint. The Netophathite. Netophah was in the neighbourhood of Benjamin. The son of a Maachathite; rather, the Maachathite. Maachah was a Syrian district in the neighbourhood of Hermon (Deuteronomy 3:14; Joshua 12:5). Jezaniah was, therefore, a naturalized foreigner, like Doeg the Edomite (Hitzig). When Jeremiah had been brought, the commander of the guards said to him, "The Lord thy God hath declared this evil against this place, and the Lord hath brought it on (brought it to pass), and hath done as He spake; for ye have sinned against the Lord, and have not hearkened to His voice: thus hath this thing happened to you." The mode of expression is that of Jeremiah; but Nebuzaradan may have expressed the thought, that now there had been fulfilled what Jeremiah had predicted in the name of God, because the people, by their rebellion, had broken the oath they had sworn before their God (cf. Ezekiel 17:13.), and had thereby sinned against Him. The article before דּבר, required by the Qeri, is unnecessary; cf. Ewald, 293, a; Gesenius, 112, 2, a.
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