And Ishmael the son of Nethaniah went forth to Mizpah to meet
Hearing there was such a number of men upon the road to Jerusalem, in such a habit, and upon such a design, he thought it advisable to go out and meet them, and stop them, and decoy them into the city, and there destroy them; lest, if they should have got any hint of what had been done by him, they should spread it, and raise the country upon him, before he had executed his whole design: weeping all along as he went;
pretending equal concern for the destruction of the land, city, and temple, as they had: and it came to pass, as he met them;
when he came up to them, and some discourse had passed between them: 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.