Then Johanan the son of Kareah spake to Gedaliah in Mizpah
Partly that he might, as he thought, more easily prevail upon him, and persuade him to believe the information given; and partly for the sake of the proposal he had to make to him, which it was not proper should be publicly made: saying, let me go, I pray thee, and I will slay Ishmael the son of
Nethaniah, and no man shall know [it];
that he had slain him, or that Gedaliah had given him leave to do it: wherefore should he slay thee, that all the Jews that are gathered unto
thee should be scattered, and the remnant in Judah perish?
suggesting, that it was not barely his losing his own life, which is, and ought to be, precious to every man, and should be carefully preserved, but it would be a public loss; the people, being without a governor, would disperse here and there, fearing their own lives and property would not be safe under a murderer; and that the Chaldeans would be so incensed by such an action, as to come and revenge his death on them; and thus being scattered about, some one way, and some another, would be no more under any form of government as a body politic, and so perish as such, at least; and thus all their hopes, which began to revive, of their beings commonwealth again, would be lost: with this argument Johanan hoped to prevail on Gedaliah to give him leave to slay the conspirator.