Jeremiah 41

Chapter 41

1 In the seventh month, Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, who was a member of the royal family and one of the chief officers of the king, came with ten men to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, at Mizpah. While they were eating together there at Mizpah, 2 Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, and the ten men who had accompanied him rose up and struck Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, with their swords and assassinated him because the king of Babylon had appointed him to be the governor of the land. 3 Ishmael also killed all the Judeans who were with Gedaliah in Mizpah as well as the Chaldean soldiers who were present.

4 On the day after Gedaliah had been slain, before news of the assassination had spread, 5 eighty men arrived from Shechem, Shiloh, and Samaria, with their beards shaved and their clothes torn and their bodies covered with self-inflicted gashes. They were carrying grain offerings and incense to present at the temple of the Lord.

6 Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, went out from Mizpah to meet them, weeping as he proceeded, and as he met them, he said, 7 “Come to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam.” But when they had proceeded a good distance into the city, Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, and his men slaughtered them and threw them into a cistern.

8 However, there were ten men among them who cried out to Ishmael, “Do not kill us. We have large stores of wheat and barley, oil and honey, buried in the fields.” Therefore, he spared them and did not kill them, as he had done with their companions. 9 The cistern into which Ishmael threw the corpses of all the men he had killed was the large cistern that King Asa had built as a defensive measure against Baasha, the king of Israel. Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, filled this cistern with the slain.

10 Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, then led away as prisoners the remaining people who were in Mizpah—the king’s daughters as well as all the others who were left there, and over whom Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, had appointed Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam. With these captives, Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, set out to cross over to the Ammonites.

11 Flight to Egypt. When Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all of the army officers who were with him learned of the crimes that Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, had committed, 12 they took all their men and set forth to attack Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, finally catching up with him by the great pool in Gibeon.

13 At the sight of Johanan, the son of Kareah, and the other army leaders, the people who were Ishmael’s captives were delighted. 14 All the people whom Ishmael had taken as prisoners from Mizpah went over to Johanan, the son of Kareah. 15 However, Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, escaped from the clutches of Johanan and fled to the Ammonites with eight men.

16 Then Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the military leaders who were with him, led away all of the remaining people whom Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, had carried away as prisoners from Mizpah after he had slain Gedaliah—soldiers, women, children, and eunuchs, whom he had brought from Gibeon. 17 After they started out, they stopped at Chinham, near Bethlehem, intending to flee into Egypt. 18 They had no wish to engage in a confrontation with the Chaldeans, since Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, had slain Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had appointed as governor over the country.


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