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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature

Gedaliah

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Gedali´ah (God-greatened); son of Ahikam, and appointed by Nebuchadnezzar governor of Judea after the destruction of Jerusalem. He was probably of the number of those who quitted the city at the instance of the prophet, justly despairing of the successful defense of a place which God had abandoned. Gedaliah had inherited his father's respect for Jeremiah (, sq.), and was moreover enjoined by Nebuzaradan to look to his safety and welfare. Gedaliah was in every way worthy of the difficult post he had to fill; and he adopted as the principle of his conduct that submission to existing circumstances which was requisite in one who believed that Judah had, according to the declared will of God, been justly doomed and punished for her iniquities, and who yet believed that His loving kindness had not utterly departed from her. He established the seat of his melancholy government at Mizpeh in the tribe of Benjamin: and there the Jews, who had fled at the advance of the Chaldean armies, or when the troops of Zedekiah were dispersed in the plains of Jericho, quitting their retreats, began to gather around him. Gedaliah wisely counseled them to submission and quietness; and he promised on that condition to ensure them the undisturbed enjoyment of their possessions, and of the produce of the ground. In this hope the labors of the field were resumed, and the extraordinary returns of that season secured as if specially given to repair the recent injuries of war. But this calm was of short duration. Among those who returned was a member of the royal family, named Ishmael, who had taken refuge with Baalis, king of the Ammonites. He appears to have been irritated at seeing one who was not of the house of David seated upon even the shadow of David's throne; and some of the friends of Gedaliah believed him to be in a plot with Baalis to take away his life. But the noble-minded governor refused to entertain such a suspicion, and rejected with horror the proposal of an over-zealous friend, who offered to assassinate Ishmael. The suspicion which he thus generously repelled was, however, correct. He was murdered in the midst of a repast by this very Ishmael, whom he had received as a friend. This event happened about two months after the destruction of Jerusalem, and by it the present ruin of Judea seemed to be consummated, B.C. 588 (;;; ).

 

 

 

 

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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Gedaliah'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature". https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/kbe/g/gedaliah.html.

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