Jeremiah 41:2
Then 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 the land.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(2) Then arose Ishmael.—The narrative suggests the thought that, as in the massacre of Glencoe, the guests murdered their host at the very time when he was receiving them with open arms.

41:1-10 Those who hate the worshippers of God, often put on the appearance of piety, that they may the easier hurt them. As death often meets men where they least expect it, we should continually search whether we are in such a state and frame of mind, as we would wish to be found in when called to appear before our Judge. Sometimes the ransom of a man's life is his riches. But those who think to bribe death, saying, Slay us not, for we have treasures in the field, will find themselves wretchedly deceived. This melancholy history warns us, never to be secure in this world. We never can be sure of peace on this side heaven.The seventh month - Gedaliah's government lasted less than two months.

Even - Rather, and. Ishmael was descended probably from Elishama the son of David 2 Samuel 5:16. Ten grandees each with his retinue would have aroused suspicion, but the smallness of Ishmael's following put Gedaliah completely off his guard.

2. slew him whom the king of Babylon had made governor—This assigns a reason for their slaying him, as well as showing the magnitude of their crime (Da 2:21; Ro 13:1). These ten men with their retinue fall upon Gedaliah, and barbarously murder him. Their quarrel against him was, that he was deputy governor to the king of Babylon; so desperately hardened were these Jews, that they would not yet see that God had given their country into the hand of the king of Babylon, who having now a right of conquest over them, had authority to set whom he pleased as his viceroy or deputy governor over them, to whom they ought to have yielded all subjection and obedience.

Then arose Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and the ten men that were with him,.... After they had eat and drank well, they rose up from their seats at table:

and smote Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan with the sword,

and slew him; they all drew their swords and thrust at him, and were assisting in the murder of him; though it is probable that it was Ishmael that gave him the mortal wound, since the phrase, "and slew him", is singular. Josephus (d) says that Gedaliah prepared a splendid table, and made a sumptuous entertainment for them, and being drunk himself, which they observed, took the opportunity and slew him, and all at table with him:

whom the king Babylon had made governor over the land; which mentioned; both to aggravate the crime they were guilty of, and to observe the reason of it, and what it was that prompted them to it; for so the words may be rendered, "because the king of Babylon had made him governor over the land" (e).

(d) Antiqu. l. 10. c. 9. sect. 4. (e) "quia illum praefecerat", Vatablus. So Ben Melech.

Then 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 the land.
2. Then arose Ishmael … and the ten men] Gedaliah’s retinue may not have been very large, and were probably quite unsuspecting. The murders seem to have been committed privately at the entertainment. Next day (Jeremiah 41:4) no one knew of it. Ishmael’s action was apparently useless as well as criminal. However, he may have been prepared to go any length to shew spite at the appointment of a ruler who was not, like himself (see Jeremiah 41:1), of the royal house, or his object possibly was to keep the land in a state of unrest, so as to help out Baalis’s ambitious wishes; also, if Baalis was going to annex Judah, Ishmael may have had an eye to the governorship.

Verse 2. - Smote Gedaliah. The day of the murder of Gedaliah (the third day of the seventh month) was kept as a fast day by the post-Captivity Jews (see Zechariah 7:5; Zechariah 8:19). It was the day on which the hope of living a separate life in the promised land, for a time at least, vanished; and the murder was avenged by a new captivity (see above). Jeremiah 41:2Murder of Gedaliah and his followers, as well as other Jews, by Ishmael. - Jeremiah 41:1-3. The warning of Johanan had been only too well founded. In the seventh month - only two months, therefore, after the destruction of Jerusalem and the appointment of Gedaliah as governor - Ishmael came with the men to Mizpah, and was hospitably received by Gedaliah and invited to his table. Ishmael is here more exactly described as to his family descent, for the purpose of throwing a stronger light upon the exceeding cruelty of the murders afterwards ascribed to him. He was the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama - perhaps the secretary of state mentioned Jeremiah 36:12, or more likely the son of David who bore this name, 2 Samuel 5:6; 1 Chronicles 3:8; 1 Chronicles 14:7; so that Ishmael would belong to a lateral branch of the house of David, be of royal extraction, and one of the royal lords. ורבּי המּלך cannot be joined with Ishmael as the subject, because in what follows there is no further mention made of the royal lords, but only of Ishmael and his ten men; it belongs to what precedes, מזּרע המּלוּכּה, so that we must repeat מן before רבּי. The objections of Ngelsbach to this view will not stand examination. It is not self-evident that Ishmael, because he was of royal blood, was therefore also one of the royal nobles; for the רבּים certainly did not form a hereditary caste, but were perhaps a class of nobles in the service of the king, to which class the princes did not belong simply in virtue of their being princes. But the improbability that Ishmael should have been able with ten men to overpower the whole of the Jewish followers of Gedaliah, together with the Chaldean warriors, and (according to Jeremiah 41:7) out of eighty men to kill some, making prisoners of the rest, is not so great as to compel us to take רבּי המּלך in such a meaning as to make it stand in contradiction with the statement, repeated twice, over, that Ishmael, with his ten men, did all this. Eleven men who are determined to commit murder can kill a large number of persons who are not prepared against such an attempt, and may also keep a whole district in terror.

(Note: There is still less ground, with Hitzig, Graf, and Ngelsbach, for assuming that ורבּי המּלך is a gloss that has crept into the text. The fact that רבּים, which is used here, is elsewhere applied only to Chaldean nobles, is insufficient to show this; and even Ewald has remarked that "the last king (Zedekiah) may well be supposed to have appointed a number of grandees, after the example of the Chaldeans, and given them, too, Chaldean names.")

"And they did eat bread there together," i.e., they were invited by Gedaliah to his table. While at meat, Ishmael and his ten men rose and slew Gedaliah with the sword. On account of ויּמת אתו, which comes after, Hitzig and Graf would change ויּכּוּ into ויּכּוּ, he slew him, Gedaliah; this alteration is possibly warranted, but by no means absolutely necessary. The words 'ויּמת אתו וגו, "and he killed him," contain a reflection of the narrator as to the greatness of the crime; in conformity with the facts of the case, the murder is ascribed only to the originator of the deed, since the ten men of Ishmael's retinue were simply his executioners. Besides Gedaliah, Ishmael killed "all the Jews that were with him, with Gedaliah in Mizpah, and the Chaldeans that were found there, the men of war." The very expression shows that, of the Jews, only those are meant who were present in the house with Gedaliah, and, of the Chaldean soldiers, only those warriors who had been allowed him as a guard, who for the time being were his servants, and who, though they were not, as Schmidt thinks, hausto liberalius vino inebriati, yet, as Chr. B. Michaelis remarks, were tunc temporis inermes et imparati. The Jews of post-exile times used to keep the third day of the seventh month as a fast-day, in commemoration of the murder of Gedaliah; see on Zechariah 7:3.

Jeremiah 41:2 Interlinear
Jeremiah 41:2 Parallel Texts

Jeremiah 41:2 NIV
Jeremiah 41:2 NLT
Jeremiah 41:2 ESV
Jeremiah 41:2 NASB
Jeremiah 41:2 KJV

Jeremiah 41:2 Bible Apps
Jeremiah 41:2 Parallel
Jeremiah 41:2 Biblia Paralela
Jeremiah 41:2 Chinese Bible
Jeremiah 41:2 French Bible
Jeremiah 41:2 German Bible

Bible Hub

Jeremiah 41:1
Top of Page
Top of Page