Jeremiah 41:16
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 Gibeon:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) Mighty men of war . . .—These were apparently such as had escaped the massacre of Jeremiah 41:2. In the women, the children, and the eunuchs we find the survivors of the king’s harem. Ebed-melech may well have been among the latter.

Jeremiah 41:16-18. Then took Johanan and the captains, all the remnant of the people, &c. — It would have been a happy thing, if Johanan, when he had rescued the captives, would have sat quietly down with them, in the land of Judah, and governed them peaceably as Gedaliah did; but, instead of that, he is for leading them into the land of Egypt, as Ishmael would have led them into the land of the Ammonites; so that, though he got the command of them in a better way than Ishmael did, yet he did not use it much better. Gedaliah, who was of a meek and quiet spirit, was a great blessing to them; but Johanan, who was of a fierce and restless disposition, seems to have been permitted to get the command of them for their hurt, and to complete their ruin, even after they were, as they thought, redeemed. Thus did God still walk contrary to them, and thus did evil still pursue this sinful people. And they departed and dwelt in the habitation of Chimham — The same parcel of ground, probably, that David gave to Chimham, the son of Barzillai: see 2 Samuel 19:38-40. Here Johanan made his headquarters, steering his course toward Egypt, either from a personal affection to that country, or an ancient national confidence in the Egyptians for help in distress. Because of the Chaldeans — As the person, whom Nebuchadnezzar had made governor in the land, was slain, it was not unreasonable for them to think that Nebuchadnezzar would consider the murder of him as an affront done to himself; and though Johanan had no hand in that villanous act, yet he did not know but the king of Babylon, being unacquainted with all the parties among the Jews, might look upon all that remained in the country as guilty, and might revenge the murder of his deputy governor upon them all. He therefore chooses for them a habitation, from whence they might, in a short time, go down into Egypt, which was Johanan’s design, as we shall read in the next chapter. 41:11-18 The success of villany must be short, and none can prosper who harden their hearts against God. And those justly lose comfort in real fears, who excuse themselves in sin by pretended fears. The removal of a prudent and peaceable ruler, and the succession of another who is rash and ambitious, affects the welfare of many. Only those are happy and steady who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.An open pool still exists at Gibeon, and a large subterranean reservoir fed by a copious natural spring. Gibeon is about two miles north of Mizpah. 16. men of war—"The men of war," stated in Jer 41:3 to have been slain by Ishmael, must refer to the military about Gedaliah's person; "the men of war" here to those not so.

eunuchs—The kings of Judah had adopted the bad practice of having harems and eunuchs from the surrounding heathen kingdoms.

No text from Poole on this verse. Then took Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him,.... After Ishmael had made his escape, whom they did not think fit to pursue, and the people had committed themselves to their care and protection; and having brought them to Mizpah again, they took them from thence, as follows:

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: those whom he had rescued from Ishmael, and had returned to Mizpah, be persuaded to go with him from thence; who are more particularly described, as follows:

even mighty men of war, and the women, and the children, and the eunuchs, whom he had brought again from Gibeon; or "men, even men of war" (q); warlike men, soldiers; by which it appears that Ishmael must have more than ten men with him when he came to Mizpah, as well to do what he did there, as likewise to carry away such a number of captives, among which were mighty men, men of war, some of whom he had slain, besides women and children, to which are added eunuchs, not mentioned before, such as the king of Judah had in his court; see Jeremiah 38:7; but these were of no account with the Chaldeans; and therefore they left them behind with the poor of the land; perhaps Ebedmelech might be among them, whose safety and protection is promised, because of his kindness to Jeremiah, Jeremiah 39:15. The Targum calls them princes: these were brought back by Johanan from Gibeon, where he met with Ishmael, to Mizpah; from whence they had been carried, and whom he took from thence again.

(q) "mares, viros belli", Schmidt; "nempe vires bellatores", Piscator.

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 Gibeon:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. from Mizpah] But it was not from Mizpah, but from the neighbourhood of Gibeon that they had been recovered. Therefore with Hitzig (followed by later commentators) read all the remnant of the people whom Ishmael … had carried away captive from Mizpah. A similarity between the two Hebrew verbs has evidently been the cause of the confusion.

even the men of war] probably a gloss.After executing these murderous deeds, Ishmael led away into captivity all the people that still remained in Mizpah, the king's daughters and all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had committed to the care of Gedaliah, intending to go over with them to the Ammonites. As the object of ויּשׁבּ is very far removed through the intervention of a relative clause, the connection is resumed by ויּשׁבּם. "The king's daughters" are not only the daughters of Zedekiah, but female members generally of the royal house, princesses, analogous to בּן־מלך, king's son equals prince, Jeremiah 36:26; Jeremiah 38:6.
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