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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 41

Bridgeway Bible CommentaryBridgeway Bible Commentary

Verses 1-18

Ishmael’s plot against Gedaliah (40:13-41:18)

One of the former army commanders, Ishmael, was opposed to Gedaliah’s policy of submission to Babylon. With Ammonite support he plotted to kill Gedaliah. So sincere and trusting was Gedaliah, that when told of the plot, he refused to believe it (13-16). Gedaliah apparently took no precautions against the reported treachery, and when a suitable time arrived Ishmael carried out his brutal plot. He murdered Gedaliah, along with all the Judean officials and Babylonian supervisors at Gedaliah’s headquarters (41:1-3).
Ishmael wanted no news of the assassination to be made public till he had carried out the next stage of his plan. But he was surprised by the arrival of a group of men travelling to Jerusalem to mourn the destruction of the temple (4-5). To prevent news of the assassination leaking out, Ishmael killed the travellers, though some saved their lives by telling Ishmael where he could find needed food supplies (6-9). Ishmael, it seems, panicked. Not knowing exactly what to do, he decided to take the whole population of Mizpah captive to Ammon (10).
Johanan, who had first warned Gedaliah of the plot against him (see 40:13-16), decided to pursue Ishmael. He rescued the captive people of Mizpah, but Ishmael escaped into Ammon (11-15). Fearing revenge from the Babylonians because of Ishmael’s rebellion, the people of Mizpah decided it would be safer to look for refuge in Egypt than to return to Mizpah (16-18).

Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Jeremiah 41". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/jeremiah-41.html. 2005.
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