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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Gedaliah

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(Heb. Gedatyah', גְּדִלְיָה made great by Jehovah, Ezra 10:18; Jeremiah 40:5; Jeremiah 40:8; Jeremiah 12:16; Zephaniah 1:1; elsewhere in the prolonged or full form Gedalya´ hu, גְּדִלְרָהוּ; Sept. usually Γοδολία, Vulgate Godolia), the same of five men.

1. The son and second assistant of Jeduthuen in the Levitical choir of the Temple in the time of David (1 Chronicles 25:3; 1 Chronicles 25:9), B.C. 1013.

2. The (son of Amariah and father of Cusbi) grandfather of the prophet Zephaniah (Zephaniah 1:1). B.C. sante 635.

3. Son of Pashur, and one of the Jewish nobles who conspired to accuse and imprison Jeremiah (Jeremiah 38:1). B.C. 589.

4. The son of Ahikam (Jeremiah's protector, Jeremiah 26:24), and grandson of Shaphan, the secretary of king Josiah. After the destruction of the Temple, B.C. 588, Nebuchadnezzar departed from Judaea, leaving Gedaliah with a Chaldfaean guard (Jeremiah 40:5) at Mizpah, a strong (1 Kings 15:22) town, six miles north of Jerusalem, to govern, as tributary (Josephus, Ant. 10:9, 1) of the king of Babylon, the vine-dressers and husband men (Jeremiah 52:16) who were exempted from captivity. He was probably of the nunmber of those who left 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 (Jeremiah 40:5 sq.), and was, moreover, enjoined by Neluzaradan 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 thee 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 Mizpah, in the tribe of Benjamin; and there the inhabitants, who had fled at the advance of the Chaldaean 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 insure them. the undisturbed enjoyment of their possassions, sand of the produce of the ground. In this hope the labors of the field were resunied, and the extraordinary returns of that season secured as if specially given to repair the recent injuries of war. Jeremiah joined Gedaliah; and Mizpah became the resort of Jews from various quarters (Jeremiah 40:6; Jeremiah 40:11), many of whom, as might be expected at the end of a long war, were in a demoralized state, unrestrained by religion, patriotism, or prudence. The gentle and popular character of Gedaliah (Joseph. Ant. 10:9, 1 and 3), his hereditary piety (Rosenmü ller on Jeremiah 26:24), the prosperity of hin brief rule (Jeremiah 40:12), the reverence which revived and was fostered sunder him for the ruined Temple (Jeremiah 41:5), fear of the Chaldean conquerors, whose officer he was all proved insufficient to secure Gedaliah from the foreign jealousy of Baalis, king of Ammon, and the domestic ambition of Ishmael, a member of the royal family of Judah (Joseph. Ant. 10:9, 3). This man came to Mizpah with a secret purpose to destroy Gedaliab. Gedaliab, generously refusing to believe a friendlfy warning which he received of the intended treachery, was murdered, with his Jewish and Chaldsman followers, two months after his appointment. After his death, which is still commemorated in the Jewish Calendar (Prideaux, Connexion, anno 588, and Zechariah 7:19) as a national calamity, the Jews, in their native land, anticipating the resentment of the king of Babylon, gave way to despair. Many, forcing Jeremiah to accompany them, fled to Egypt under Johanan. By this series (of tragical enents the utter ruin of Judaea was consummated (2 Kings 25:22-26; Jeremiah 39:14; 12:18). (See JEREMIAH).

5. A descendant of Jeshua, and one of the priests who divorced their heathen wives after the return from the Babylonian captivity (Ezra 10:18). B.C. 458.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Gedaliah'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/g/gedaliah.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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