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Bible Encyclopedias

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia

Johanan ben Kareah

General of the Israelites at the time of Nebuchadnezzar (c. 586 B.C.). After the kingdom of Judea had been destroyed by the Chaldeans, the Babylonian king appointed Gedaliah b. Ahikam governor, with residence at Mizpah, over the remnant of the people that had remained in the country. Before him, as the representative of the government, appeared the Israelitish generals Ishmael b. Nethaniah, Johanan and Jonathan, the sons of Kareah, and others. This is the reading of the Masoretic text (Jer. 8), but the name of Jonathan seems incorrect, and is omitted in the Septuagint, in Josephus ("Ant." 10:9, § 2, where, furthermore, the name 'Iωάδηç hence "Joiada," replaces "Johanan" in Niese's text), and also in 2 Kings 25:23.

The generals noticed that Ishmael intended to kill Gedaliah; and Johanan, who seems to have had an especial feeling of friendship for Gedaliah, volunteered secretly to kill Ishmael before it might be too late; Gedaliah, however, would not consent (Jer. 15-16). Ishmael carried out his intention, and Johanan b. Kareah, at the head of the other generals, fought with Ishmael "by the great water in Gibeon." The people who had been imprisoned by Ishmael at once went over to Johanan, and Ishmael had to flee (Jeremiah 41:11-15). Johanan then gathered about him the generals and all the people he had saved in the hamlet of Chimham (Jeremiah 41:17; Josephus, "Ant." 10:9, § 5, has Μάνδρα = "hamlet," the name apparently having been lost), intending to lead them into Egypt, beyond the reach of the Chaldeans. The people sought counsel of Jeremiah, who advised them, addressing himself chiefly to Johanan (Jeremiah 42:8), to stay in the country. But the generals and the much-tried people rejected the prophet's advice, and emigrated to Egypt under Johanan's leadership (Jeremiah 43:1-7). Here all trace of him is lost.

G.
S. Kr.

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Bibliography Information
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Johanan ben Kareah'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tje/j/johanan-ben-kareah.html. 1901.

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