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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Jeremiah 41



1Ishmael, treacherously killing Gedaliah and others, purposes with the residue to flee unto the Ammonites.
11Johanan recovers the captives, and is minded to flee into Egypt.

Verse 1
Now it came to pass in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah the son of Elishama, of the seed royal, and the princes of the king, even ten men with him, came unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah; and there they did eat bread together in Mizpah.
the seventh month
This was the month Tisri, answering to the new moon of September, the seventh of the sacred, but the first of the civil year; on the third day of which the Jews keep a fast, in commemoration of the death of Gedaliah, to which the prophet Zechariah refers, ch. 8:19; 39:2; 52:6. 2 Ki 25:3, 8, 25. Zec 7:5; 8:19.
of the
Proverbs 13:10; 27:4; James 4:1-3
2 Kings 11:1; 2 Chronicles 22:10; Ezekiel 17:13
they did
40:14-16; 2 Samuel 3:27; 20:9,10; Psalms 41:9; 109:5; Proverbs 26:23-26; Daniel 11:26,27; Luke 22:47,48; John 13:18

Verse 2
Then arose Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and the ten men that 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 smote
2 Kings 25:25

Verse 3
Ishmael also slew all the Jews that were with him, even with Gedaliah, at Mizpah, and the Chaldeans that were found there, and the men of war.
11,12; 2 Kings 25:25; Ecclesiastes 9:18; Lamentations 1:2

Verse 4
And it came to pass the second day after he had slain Gedaliah, and no man knew it,
1 Samuel 27:11; Psalms 52:1,2

Verse 5
That there came certain 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.
2 Kings 10:13,14
Genesis 33:18; 34:2; Joshua 24:32; Judges 9:1; 1 Kings 12:1,25
7:12,14; Joshua 18:1
1 Kings 16:24,29
their beards
All these were signs of deep mourning; which, though forbidden on funeral occasions, were customary, and perhaps counted allowable, on seasons of public calamity, and this mourning was probably on account of the destruction of Jerusalem.
Leviticus 19:27,28; Deuteronomy 14:1; 2 Samuel 10:4; Isaiah 15:2
to the
1 Samuel 1:7; 2 Kings 25:9; Psalms 102:14

Verse 6
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, etc
Heb. in going and weeping.
50:4; 2 Samuel 1:2-16; 3:16; Proverbs 26:23-26

Verse 7
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 that were with him.
1 Kings 15:28,29; 16:10-12; 2 Kings 11:1,2; 15:25; Psalms 55:23; Proverbs 1:16; Isaiah 59:7; Ezekiel 22:27; 33:24-26; Romans 3:15

Verse 8
But ten men were found among them that 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 forbare, and slew them not among their brethren.
Job 2:4; Psalms 49:6-8; Proverbs 13:8; Matthew 6:25; 16:26; Mark 8:36,37; Philippians 3:7-9
These "treasures hid in the field" were doubtless laid up in subterranean pits, similar to the mattamores in Barbary, in which, Dr. Shaw informs us, they deposit the grain when winnowed; two or three hundred of them being sometimes together, and the smallest holding four hundred bushels. The same mode of keeping corn prevails in Syria and the Holy Land.

Verse 9
Now the pit wherein Ishmael had cast all the dead bodies of the men, whom he had slain because of Gedaliah, 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.
the pit
This was probably a large reservoir for receiving rain water, which Asa had caused to be made in the midst of the city, in case of a siege.
because of Gedaliah
or, near Gedaliah. Heb. by the hand, or the side of Gedaliah. was it.
Joshua 10:16-18; Judges 6:2; 1 Samuel 13:6; 14:11,22; 24:3; 2 Samuel 17:9; Hebrews 11:38
for fear
1 Kings 15:17-22; 2 Chronicles 16:1-10

Verse 10
Then Ishmael carried away captive all the residue of the people that 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.
all the
22:30; 39:6; 43:5-7; 44:12-14
to the
40:14; Nehemiah 2:10,19; 4:7,8; 6:17,18; 13:4-8

Verse 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,
2,3,7; 40:7,8,13-16; 42:1,3; 43:2-5

Verse 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.
to fight
Genesis 14:14-16; 1 Samuel 30:1-8,18-20
the great
2 Samuel 2:13

Verse 13
Now it came to pass, that when all the people which were with Ishmael saw Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, then they were glad.
that when
They appear to have been weary of the tyranny of Ishmael, and glad of an opportunity to abandon him.

Verse 15
But Ishmael the son of Nethaniah escaped from Johanan with eight men, and went to the Ammonites.
1 Samuel 30:17; 1 Kings 20:20; Job 21:30; Proverbs 28:17; Ecclesiastes 8:11,12; Acts 28:4
eight men
2; 2 Kings 25:25

Verse 16
Then took Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, 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, even mighty men of war, and the women, and the children, and the eunuchs, whom he had brought again from Gibeon:
10; 42:8; 43:4-7

Verse 17
And they departed, and dwelt in the habitation of Chimham, which is by Bethlehem, to go to enter into Egypt,
2 Samuel 19:37,38
to go
As Johanan and the other princes had taken a decided part against Ishmael, they had no sufficient reason to fear that the Chaldeans would revenge on them the murder of Gedaliah; but perhaps Johanan was unwilling to be superseded in the command which he had rightly assumed, and so used his influence to induce the whole company to take refuge in Egypt; and their old attachment to the Egyptians rendered them more ready to concur in this ruinous measure.
42:14,19; 43:7; Isaiah 30:2,3

Verse 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.
for they
42:11,16; 43:2,3; 2 Kings 25:25; Isaiah 30:16,17; 51:12,13; 57:11; Luke 12:4,5


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 41:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, September 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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