Jeremiah 41

1 In the seventh month Ishmael son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, who was of royal blood and had been one of the king’s officers, came with ten men to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah. While they were eating together there,
2 Ishmael son of Nethaniah and the ten men who were with him got up and struck down Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, with the sword, killing the one whom the king of Babylon had appointed as governor over the land.
3 Ishmael also killed all the men of Judah who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah, as well as the Babylonian[a] soldiers who were there.
4 The day after Gedaliah’s assassination, before anyone knew about it,
5 eighty men who had shaved off their beards, torn their clothes and cut themselves came from Shechem, Shiloh and Samaria, bringing grain offerings and incense with them to the house of the LORD.
6 Ishmael son of Nethaniah went out from Mizpah to meet them, weeping as he went. When he met them, he said, “Come to Gedaliah son of Ahikam.”
7 When they went into the city, Ishmael son of Nethaniah and the men who were with him slaughtered them and threw them into a cistern.
8 But ten of them said to Ishmael, “Don’t kill us! We have wheat and barley, olive oil and honey, hidden in a field.” So he let them alone and did not kill them with the others.
9 Now the cistern where he threw all the bodies of the men he had killed along with Gedaliah was the one King Asa had made as part of his defense against Baasha king of Israel. Ishmael son of Nethaniah filled it with the dead.
10 Ishmael made captives of all the rest of the people who were in Mizpah—the king’s daughters along with all the others who were left there, over whom Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam. Ishmael son of Nethaniah took them captive and set out to cross over to the Ammonites.
11 When Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him heard about all the crimes Ishmael son of Nethaniah had committed,
12 they took all their men and went to fight Ishmael son of Nethaniah. They caught up with him near the great pool in Gibeon.
13 When all the people Ishmael had with him saw Johanan son of Kareah and the army officers who were with him, they were glad.
14 All the people Ishmael had taken captive at Mizpah turned and went over to Johanan son of Kareah.
15 But Ishmael son of Nethaniah and eight of his men escaped from Johanan and fled to the Ammonites.
16 Then Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him led away all the people of Mizpah who had survived, whom Johanan had recovered from Ishmael son of Nethaniah after Ishmael had assassinated Gedaliah son of Ahikam—the soldiers, women, children and court officials he had recovered from Gibeon.
17 And they went on, stopping at Geruth Kimham near Bethlehem on their way to Egypt
18 to escape the Babylonians.[b] They were afraid of them because Ishmael son of Nethaniah had killed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had appointed as governor over the land.

Jeremiah 41 Commentary

Chapter 41

Ishmael murders Gedaliah. (1-10) Johanan recovers the captives, and purposes to retire to Egypt. (11-18)

Verses 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.

Verses 11-18 The success of villany must be short, and none can prosper who harden their hearts against God. And those justly lose comfort in real fears, who excuse themselves in sin by pretended fears. The removal of a prudent and peaceable ruler, and the succession of another who is rash and ambitious, affects the welfare of many. Only those are happy and steady who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.

Cross References 36

  • 1. S Jeremiah 40:8
  • 2. Psalms 41:9; Psalms 109:5
  • 3. S Joshua 11:10; Jeremiah 40:15; Hebrews 11:37
  • 4. S Jeremiah 40:5
  • 5. 2 Samuel 3:27; 2 Samuel 20:9-10; S Jeremiah 40:8
  • 6. S Leviticus 19:27; Jeremiah 47:5; Jeremiah 48:37
  • 7. S Genesis 37:29; S Leviticus 10:6; S Mark 14:63
  • 8. S Leviticus 19:28
  • 9. Genesis 12:6; Genesis 33:18; Judges 9:1-57; 1 Kings 12:1
  • 10. S Joshua 18:1
  • 11. 1 Kings 16:24
  • 12. S Numbers 16:40; S Luke 1:9
  • 13. 1 Kings 3:2; 1 Kings 6:38; 2 Kings 25:9
  • 14. 2 Samuel 3:16
  • 15. Psalms 5:9; Hosea 7:11; Revelation 20:10
  • 16. S Genesis 37:24; 2 Kings 10:14
  • 17. Isaiah 45:3
  • 18. S 1 Kings 15:22; S 2 Chronicles 16:6
  • 19. S Judges 6:2
  • 20. S 2 Chronicles 16:1
  • 21. Jeremiah 40:7,12
  • 22. Jeremiah 38:23
  • 23. S Jeremiah 40:14
  • 24. S Jeremiah 40:8
  • 25. S Exodus 14:14; John 18:36
  • 26. S Joshua 9:3; John 9:7; 2 Samuel 2:13
  • 27. ver 10
  • 28. Jeremiah 40:6
  • 29. Job 21:30; S Proverbs 28:17
  • 30. Jeremiah 42:1; Jeremiah 43:2
  • 31. Isaiah 1:9; Jeremiah 43:4; Ezekiel 7:16; Ezekiel 14:22; Zephaniah 2:9
  • 32. 2 Samuel 19:37
  • 33. Genesis 35:19; Micah 5:2
  • 34. Jeremiah 42:14
  • 35. S Numbers 14:9; Isaiah 51:12; Jeremiah 42:16; Luke 12:4-5
  • 36. S 2 Kings 25:22; Jeremiah 40:5

Footnotes 2

Chapter Summary


This chapter relates the event of the conspiracy against Gedaliah Johanan and the princes had informed him of, to which he gave no credit; but it proved true. An account is given of the murder of Gedaliah, and of the Jews and Chaldeans with him; and of the perpetrators of it, Jer 41:1-3; and of the chief of them, Ishmael's treacherous dealing with fourscore men that came from several parts to the house of God to offer sacrifice, who all perished by his hands, excepting ten, Jer 41:4-9; and of the rest of the people at Mizpah being carried away, in order to be captives among the Ammonites, Jer 41:10; and of Johanan, and the rest of the captives, hearing of all this, and coming out to fight with Ishmael; upon which the people deserted him, and he fled to the Ammonites, Jer 41:11-15; and of Johanan and the people settling in the way to Egypt, to flee there on occasion, should the Chaldeans fall on them for what was done to the governor, which they feared, Jer 41:16-18.

Jeremiah 41 Commentaries

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