Jeremiah (Ch 41-42)

The list of kings of Judah towards the end; in successive reigns, as Josiah (reign 640–609), Jehoahaz (reign 609), Jehoiakim (reign 609–598), Jehoiachin or Jechonias (reign 598–597), and Zedekiah (reign 597–586)

Jeremiah 41

1 Now it came to pass in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the royal seed and the princes of the king, came with ten men unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah; and there they ate bread together in Mizpah. — now it came to pass in the seventh month…. the month Tisri, which answers to part of our September, and part of October; according to the Jewish chronicle, it was on the third day of this month, fifty two days after the destruction of the temple, that Gedaliah was slain; on which day a fast was kept by the Jews, after their return from captivity, on this occasion, called the fast of the seventh month, Zechariah 7:5;

— this event happened on the first day of the month, the beginning of the new year; but the fast was kept the day following, because the first day was a festival. Josephus says it was thirty days after Johanan had departed from Gedaliah, having given him information of the conspiracy against him.

Then arose Ishmael the son of Nethaniah and the ten men who 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. — and slew him; they all drew their swords and thrust at him; though it is probable that Ishmael gave him the mortal wound, since the phrase, “and slew him”, is singular. Josephus 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.”

Ishmael also slew all the Jews who were with him, even with Gedaliah at Mizpah, and the Chaldeans who were found there and the men of war. — Ishmael also slew all the Jews that were with him, even with Gedaliah at Mizpah… not only those that were at table, but that were in the city also. Josephus says, that having slain those that were at the feast with him, he went out in the night, and slew all the Jews in the city, and the soldiers that were left by the Babylonians in it; but this cannot be understood of all the individuals there, or of the main body of the people, for they were carried captive by him.

And it came to pass the second day after he had slain Gedaliah, and no man knew it.

that there came certain ones from Shechem, from Shiloh and from Samaria, even fourscore men, having their beards shaven and their clothes rent and having cut themselves, with offerings and incense in their hand to bring them to the house of the Lord. — that there came certain from Shechem from Shiloh and from Samaria… places in the ten tribes, and which belonged to the house of Israel; so that it seems even at this distance of time, though the body of the ten tribes had been many years ago carried captive, yet there were still remnants (these could be of the house of Israel or from the house of Judah; or even colonies of the Samaritans) remaining and who had some regards to the temple at Jerusalem.

And Ishmael the son of Nethaniah went forth from Mizpah to meet them, weeping all along as he went; and it came to pass as he met them, he said unto them, “Come to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam.” — weeping all along as he go; pretending equal concern for the destruction of the land, city and temple as they had;

— he said unto them, come to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam; as if he was alive, and for whom he had a great respect, and whose character was well known to these men; and thought that this would be an inducement to come along with him: this he said either to try them, whether they had heard anything upon the road of the death of him; or as an argument to come into the city, suggesting the governor would gladly receive, and liberally entertain them. This looks as if their design was not to come to Mizpah, but to go on their way to Jerusalem, had they not been met with by him, and had he not thus solicited them.

And it was so when they came into the midst of the city, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah slew them and cast them into the midst of the pit, he and the men who were with him. — and it was so, when they came into the midst of the city… there Gedaliah’s house was, to which he invited them; and as they went in, he shut up the court, as Josephus h says, and slew them, as it here follows:

— that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah slew them, and cast them into the midst of the pit; when he had slain them, the fourscore men he had enticed into the city, except ten of them, he cast their dead bodies into a pit near at hand:

— he, and the men that were with him; Ishmael and the ten princes, with what servants they brought with them; these were all concerned in the death of these men.

But ten men were found among them who said unto Ishmael, “Slay us not; for we have treasures in the field of wheat, and of barley, and of oil, and of honey.” So he forbore, and slew them not among their brethren.

Now the pit wherein Ishmael had cast all the dead bodies of the men, whom he had slain because of Gedaliah, was that which Asa the king had made for fear of Baasha king of Israel; and Ishmael the son of Nethaniah filled it with those who were slain. — now, the pit wherein Ishmael had cast all the dead bodies of the men whom he had slain because of Gedaliah, literally, “at the hand of Gedaliah,” that is, next to Gedaliah, whom he had first cast into this trench or cistern, was it which Asa, the king, had made for fear of Baasha, king of Israel,  and Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah filled it with them that were slain, a gruesome heap of his victims.

10 Then Ishmael carried away captive all the residue of the people who were in Mizpah, even the king’s daughters and all the people that remained in Mizpah, whom Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had committed to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam; and Ishmael the son of Nethaniah carried them away captive, and departed to go over to the Ammonites. — then Ishmael carried away captive all the residue of the people that were in Mizpah, even the king’s daughters, all the princesses of the royal household, including the daughters of Zedekiah;

— and all the people that remained in Mizpah, whom Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, had committed to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, putting them into his care as people who had professed their loyalty to the Babylonian rule; and Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, carried them away captive and departed to go over to the Ammonites, his intention being either to have his captives settle in the territory of the Ammonites, in the service of whose king he seems to have placed himself, or to sell them outright as slaves. Such is the way of men who yield to a life of sin: one crime leads to another, until they are fairly steeped in sins;

— even the king’s daughters; whether they were the daughters of Zedekiah, Jehoiakim, or Jehoiakim, we know not; but it is most likely that they were the daughters of Zedekiah the last king, and who was just taken and carried captive; and so Josephus expressly calls them; these the king of Babylon regarded not, because they could neither fight, nor claim the kingdom; only the sons of the king, whom he slew before his eyes; though it may be these were not his daughters by his lawful wife, but by his concubines and so were not properly of the royal family and less regarded.

11 But when Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, heard of all the evil that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had done,

12 then they took all the men and went to fight with Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and found him by the great waters that are in Gibeon. — and found him by the great waters that are in Gibeon; taking this road to the country of Ammon, though it was not quite the direct road; either to avoid the forces of Johanan or rather for the sake of the hidden treasure at Shechem or Shiloh or Samaria, the ten men had promised him for their lives. 

13 Now it came to pass, that when all the people who were with Ishmael saw Johanan the son of Kareah and all the captains of the forces that were with him, then they were glad. — saw Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, they were glad; looking upon them as their deliverers; hoping by their means to be preserved from being carried captives to the king of Ammon.

14 So all the people whom Ishmael had carried away captive from Mizpah turned about and returned, and went unto Johanan the son of Kareah. — so all the people that Ishmael had carried away captive from Mizpah cast about… or turned about, and wheeled off from Ishmael and deserted him at once; not at all regarding his authority nor fearing his menaces or his power; being in sight of the captains and their forces, they were determined to join and put themselves under their protection, knowing them to be their friends and that they came to deliver them;

— and returned and went unto Johanan the son of Kareah; turned their backs on Ishmael and marched directly to Johanan and the captains of the forces under them.

15 But Ishmael the son of Nethaniah escaped from Johanan with eight men, and went to the Ammonites.

16 Then Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, took from Mizpah all the remnant of the people whom he had recovered from Ishmael the son of Nethaniah after 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. — 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;

— 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;

— 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” warlike men, soldiers; by which it appears that Ishmael must have more than ten men with him when he came to Mizpah, to do what he did there, 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.

17 And they departed and dwelt in the habitation of Chimham, which is by Bethlehem, to go to enter into Egypt, — and dwelt in the habitation of Chimham, which is by Bethlehem: so called perhaps from Chimham, the son of Barzillai the Gileadite, to whom David or Solomon might give this place to dwell in, 2 Samuel 19:37;

— the Targum is express for the former, calling it “the habitation which David gave to Chimham, the son of Barzillai the Gileadite;” as it was near Bethlehem;

— to go to enter into Egypt; where they had an inclination to go; having still a friendly regard to that people, and a confidence in them, as appears by some following chapters; and that they might be ready and at hand to flee thither, should the Chaldeans come against them, which they feared.

18 because of the Chaldeans; for they were afraid of them, because Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon made governor in the land. — because of the Chaldeans… which clause some think should have been joined to Jeremiah 41:17. This is a reason given why they departed from Mizpah, and dwelt at the habitation of Chimham in the way to Egypt;;

— for they were afraid of them; at least this they pretended that the Chaldeans would come upon them and cut them off;

— because Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam whom the king of Babylon made governor in the land; no doubt it was provoking to them to hear that the governor of the king of Babylon was slain in this manner; and still more so as there were many Chaldeans slain with him; but there was no reason to believe that the king of Babylon would carry his resentment against the Jews with Johanan or take vengeance on them, who had so bravely appeared against the murderers, and had rescued the captives out of their hands: this seems only a pretence for their going into Egypt; for though they were promised safety in Judah by the Prophet Jeremiah, yet they were still for going into Egypt as the following chapters show.

Jeremiah 42

1 Then all the captains of the forces, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least even unto the greatest, came near — then all the captains of the forces… having taken up their residence at Chimham on their way to Egypt, where they were desirous of going, and being afraid of the Chaldeans, as they pretended.

and said unto Jeremiah the prophet, “Let, we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto the Lord thy God, even for all this remnant (for we are left but a few of many, as thine eyes do behold us), — for we are left but a few as thine eyes do behold us; the number of the people had been very large, but by the judgements of the sword, famine, and pestilence and captivity, they were greatly reduced; here was their whole number before the prophet; his eyes beheld them, and the condition they were in: this they said move his compassion, and very likely to suggest to him how improbable it was that they should ever be able to continue in their own land; but that it would be better to put themselves under the protection of a neighbouring nation, Egypt, whither they were inclined to go; and hoped to have a word from the Lord by the prophet, to direct them thither.

that the Lord thy God may show us the way wherein we may walk and the thing that we may do.”

Then Jeremiah the prophet said unto them, “I have heard you; behold, I will pray unto the Lord your God according to your words, and it shall come to pass that whatsoever thing the Lord shall answer you, I will declare it unto you; I will keep nothing back from you.” — behold, I will pray unto the Lord your God, according to your words; be an intercessor for them; use his connection with his God and their God; and on account of relation, might expect to be heard; whom he would humbly entreat to direct what they should do as they desired.

Then they said to Jeremiah, “The Lord be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not do even according to all things for which the Lord thy God shall send thee to us. — if we do not according to all things for the which the Lord thy God shall send thee to us; they promise to do everything the Lord should signify by the prophet as his will; and if they did not, wish the severest judgements of God might fall upon them.

Whether it be good or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God to whom we send thee, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the Lord our God.” — that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the Lord our God; they spoke as if they knew their own interest; for so it was, that it was well or ill with those people as they obeyed or disobeyed the voice of the Lord; and yet they acted not according to it; and what was worse, did not intend to. What a wretched scene of hypocrisy here!

And it came to pass after ten days that the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah.

Then called he Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces who were with him, and all the people from the least even to the greatest, — all the captains of the forces which were with him and all the people from the least even unto the greatest; they were all convened together as it was proper they should to hear the word of the Lord; since they all joined in a request to the prophet, Jeremiah 42:1.

and said unto them, “Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, unto whom ye sent me to present your supplication before Him:

10 ‘If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you and not pull you down, and I will plant you and not pluck you up; for I repent of the evil that I have done unto you. — if ye will still abide in this land… in the land of Judea, their native country where they had always lived; and yet they thought of going out of it, which the Lord knew; and therefore to encourage them to abide in it and not think of departing into Egypt;

— and not pluck you up; that is, they should be firm and stable, happy and prosperous; and abound with all kind of blessings and increase in numbers, wealth and riches. The metaphors are taken from building houses and planting fields and vineyards:

— for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you; not that he had done any unjust thing to them; or that he changed his mind concerning them; but that he had compassion on them and would change his way and course of providence towards them according to his unchangeable will.

11 Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid; be not afraid of him, saith the Lord, for I am with you to save you and to deliver you from his hand. — be not afraid of the king of Babylon of whom ye are afraid… lest he should revenge the death of Gedaliah upon them, which was a groundless fear; Jeremiah 41:18; or that they should be dealt hardly with by him and be cruelly oppressed and not able to live in subjection to him; Jeremiah 40:9;

— be not afraid of him, saith the Lord: who being omniscient knew they were and being omnipotent a greater King than the king of Babylon, the King of king? they had no reason to fear anything from him since they were under his protection;

— for I am with you to save you and to deliver you from his hand; from his avenging and oppressing hand; though they were not to be delivered as yet from subjection to him, or being tributaries to him; which they might be and yet dwell in peace and safety.

12 And I will show mercies unto you, that he may have mercy upon you and cause you to return to your own land.’ — and I will show mercies unto you, literally, “I will give you to experience mercies,” that he, the king of Babylon may have mercy upon you and cause you to return to your own land which they were now leaving in abject flight.

13 “But if ye say, ‘We will not dwell in this land,’ neither obey the voice of the Lord your God, — but if ye say, We will not dwell in this land, neither obey the voice of the Lord your God, thereby once more becoming guilty of open rebellion against God;

14 saying, ‘No, but we will go into the land of Egypt where we shall see no war, nor hear the sound of the trumpet, nor have hunger for bread, and there will we dwell’ — saying, No, but we will go into the land of Egypt, a plan which they had at least been discussing, if they had not yet decided upon it, where we will see no war nor hear the sound of the trumpet as it called the soldiers to the battle, nor have hunger of bread in the various unfortunate conditions accompanying war with which they had become so familiar in the last year and there will we dwell.

15 and now therefore hear the word of the Lord, ye remnant of Judah! Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘If ye wholly set your faces to enter into Egypt, and go to sojourn there, — and now therefore hear the word of the Lord, ye remnant of Judah… a small remnant indeed, a few that were left in the land who ought therefore to have admired the distinguishing goodness of Providence in preserving them; where they should have continued and made use of their privilege to the glory of God and their mutual good:

— if you wholly set your faces to enter into Egypt: are resolved upon it and are actually engaged in it; turning their faces from Judea towards Egypt and obstinately pursuing it; their posture expresses their resolution, impudence and obstinacy;

— and go to sojourn there: to be sojourners and strangers there as their fathers had been before; the remembrance of which should be enough to set them against going into Egypt any more.

16 then it shall come to pass that the sword which ye feared shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine whereof ye were afraid shall follow close after you there in Egypt; and there ye shall die. — then it shall come to pass that the sword which ye feared, contrary to the assurance of Yehovah, shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine whereof ye were afraid shall follow close after you there in Egypt, pursuing you with unrelenting fierceness; and there ye shall die.

17 So shall it be with all the men that set their faces to go into Egypt to sojourn there. They shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence; and none of them shall remain or escape from the evil that I will bring upon them.’ — so shall it be with all the men that set their faces to go into Egypt to sojourn there, having definitely made up their mind to that effect: they shall die by the sword, by the famine and by the pestilence, which by God’s punishment, could strike them in Egypt as well as in Judea; and none of them shall remain or escape from the evil that I will bring upon them.

18 For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘As Mine anger and My fury hath been poured forth upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so shall My fury be poured forth upon you when ye shall enter into Egypt. And ye shall be an execration and an astonishment, and a curse and a reproach; and ye shall see this place no more.’ — as mine anger and my fury hath been poured upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem; like a large hasty shower of rain; or rather like melted metal which suddenly and swiftly runs, and spreads itself and burns and consumes with a violent heat; such was the wrath of God on Jerusalem in its destruction by the Chaldeans:

— so shall my fury be poured forth upon you when ye shall enter into Egypt; as soon as they had well got there, quickly after they were settled there; for it was in the time of the then present king of Egypt, Pharaohhophra, and by the then present king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, that the destruction of Egypt was, in which these Jews suffered;

— and ye shall be an execration and an astonishment, a curse and a reproach; men should be astonished at the hand of God upon them;

— and ye shall see this place no more; and so their case would be worse than their brethren in Babylon; who after a term of years were expired, would return to their own land, but these they would never see any more.

19 “The Lord hath said concerning you, O ye remnant of Judah: ‘Go ye not into Egypt!’ Know certainly that I have admonished you this day. — the Lord hath said concerning you, O ye remnant of Judah, so the prophet now elaborates upon the direct prophecy of Yehovah, Go ye not into Egypt; know certainly that I have admonished you this day, testifying against you and warning you.

20 For ye dissembled in your hearts when ye sent me unto the Lord your God, saying, ‘Pray for us unto the Lord our God; and according unto all that the Lord our God shall say, so declare unto us, and we will do it.’ — and according to all that the Lord our God shall say, so declare unto us and we will do it; they pressed him to a faithful declaration of the will of God to them, and promised they would act according to it. Now he had done all this; prayed unto him as they requested, and had brought them his mind and will, and yet they did not appreciate it; so that the deceit was greatly magnified.

21 And now I have this day declared it to you, but ye have not obeyed the voice of the Lord your God, nor any thing for which He hath sent me unto you. — and now I have this day declared it to you; that ye have not obeyed the voice of the Lord, your God, nor anything for the which He hath sent me unto you.

22 Now therefore know certainly that ye shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence in the place whither ye desire to go and to sojourn.” — that ye shall die by the sword, by the famine and by the pestilence; by one or another, or all of them; some by one, and some by another, as before threatened; evils they thought to escape by going thither, but which should surely follow them and overtake them;

— in the place whither ye desire to go and to sojourn; that is, in Egypt, to which they had a strong inclination where they greatly desired to be, pleased themselves with the thoughts of it and which they chose of their own will and pleasure for their own destruction.

~ by Joel Huan on November 20, 2021.

One Response to “Jeremiah (Ch 41-42)”

  1. […] Study of Chapters 41 and 42 HERE ~ —— […]

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