Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 41

Jer 41.1-18 tells us about the plot to kill Gedaliah and his murder. This caused a flurry of events that left the remnant in Judah in peril. Ishmael the son of Nethaniah will be a picture of the False Messiah in this story who is jealous of Gedaliah, who is a picture of Yeshua. Ishmael has ten men with him and they allude to the ten kings with the False Messiah when he begins to rule, and it also alludes to the ten brothers who sought to kill Joseph because of jealousy. Ishmael and his ten men will resist Nebuchadnezzar, who is a picture of Yehovah, so they kill his representative. In like manner, the ten brothers of Joseph and the False Messiah and the ten kings resist Yehovah’s representative. Gedaliah is killed in the month of Tishri, the same month when the False Messiah will gain power and authority to oppose God’s representative Yeshua in the BIrth-pains.

v 1…Now it came about in the seventh month (Tishri) that Ishmael (God hears) the son of Nethaniah (given of Yehovah), the son of Elishama (my god hears), of the royal family (a son of David-2 Sam 5.16; 1 Chr 3.8, 14.7) and one of the chief officers of the king, along with ten men (a type of the False Messiah and the ten kings with him-Dan 7; Rev 7; Rev 13; Rev 17), came to Mizpah to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam. While they were eating bread together (invited by Gedaliah to his table as governor) there in Mizpah (Gedaliah neglected the warning in Jer 40.14, and this alludes to Joseph brothers who ate before they put Joseph in the pit).

v 2…Ishmael the son of Nethaniah and the ten men who were with him arose and struck down Gedaliah the son of Ahikam (he was jealous that Gedaliah was made governor. Ishmael thought he was more worthy because he was of the royal family-Jer 41.1), the son of Shaphan, with the sword and put to death the one whom the king of Babylon had appointed over the land.

v 3…Ishmael also struck down all the Jews who were with him, that is with Gedaliah at Mizpah, and the Chaldeans who were found there, the men of war (those soldiers who were his bodyguard).

v 4…Now it happened on the next day after killing Gedaliah, when no one knew about it (beyond Mizpah),

v 5… that eighty men came from Shechem (where Joseph was buried and where Joseph’s brothers were tending the flock), from Shiloh, and from Samaria with their beards shaved off and their clothes torn and their bodies gashed (in mourning over the loss of the Temple and Jerusalem, retaining some pagan customs-Lev 19.28), having grain offerings and incense in their hands to bring to the house of the Lord (the Temple was destroyed so they were going to the site of the Temple to offer bloodless offerings because they were content to do so, but not according to the Torah. Perhaps they hoped to find the Temple and the priesthood still functioning).

v 6…Then Ishmael the son of Nethaniah went out from Mizpah to meet them (to stop and destroy them), weeping (to fool them into thinking he mourned the loss of Jerusalem and the Temple, too) as he went; and it came about as he met them that he said to them, “Come to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam (as if he was still alive)!”

v 7…Yet it turned out as soon as they came inside the city (they were not planning to do so, but to go on to Jerusalem), Ishmael the son of Nethaniah and the men that were with him slaughtered them and cast them into the cistern (except for ten).

v 8…But ten men who were found among them said to Ishmael, “Do not put us to death; for we have stores of wheat, barley, oil and honey hidden in the land (begging for their lives).” So he refrained and did not put them to death along with their companions.

v 9…Now as for the cistern where Ishmael had cast all the corpses of the men whom he had struck down because of Gedaliah, it was the one that King Asa had made on account of Baasha, king of Israel (1 Kings 15.22; 2 Chr 16.6); Ishmael the son of Nethaniah filled it with the slain.

v 10…Then Ishmael took captive all the remnant of the people who were in Mizpah (those not slain by him), the king’s daughters (most likely Zedekiah’s, so some of the king’s seed still existed and not killed or taken to Babylon) and all the people who were left in Mizpah, whom Nebuzaradan the captain of the executioners had put under the charge of Gedaliah the son of Ahikam; thus Ishmael the son of Nethaniah took them captive and proceeded to cross over to the sons of Ammon (to sell them; Ammon was always suspected to be a part of a plot to kill Gedaliah-Jer 40.14).

v 11…But Johanan the son of Kareah and all the the commanders of the forces that were with him heard of all the evil that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had done (in murdering Gedaliah and his associates, the seventy others, taking captives from Mizpah and fleeing to Ammon the source of the plot).

v 12…So they took all the men and went to fight with Ishmael the son of Nethaniah and they found him by the great pool that is in Gibeon (took all the soldiers and sought Ishmael and found him at the same pool where the servants of Ishboshet met the servants of David in 2 Sam 2.12).

v 13…Now it came about, as soon as all the people who were with Ishmael (as captives) saw Johanan the son of Kareah and the commanders of the forces that were with him, they were glad (saw them as saviors from slavery or worse).

v 14…So all the people whom Ishmael had taken captive from Mizpah turned around and came back (left and tried to join those who they knew to be friendly), and went to Johanan the son of Kareah (the one who warned Gedaliah about the plot to kill him).

v 15…But Ishmael the son of Nethaniah escaped from Johanan with eight men and went to the sons of Ammon (two were killed, captured or fled; the rest turned their back on the Jewish people).

v 16…Then Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces that were with him took from Mizpah all the remnant of the people whom he had recovered from Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, after he had struck down Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, that is, the men who were soldiers, the women, the children and the eunuchs (the king of Judah may have adopted this pagan practice) whom he had brought back from Gibeon (to Mizpah again).

v 17…And they went (from Mizspah) and stayed at Geruth (their habitation) Chimham (their longing), which is beside Bethlehem (house of bread), in order to proceed to Egypt

v 18…because of the Chaldeans; for they were afraid of them (their retaliation), since Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had struck down Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had appointed over the land (because Gedaliah was killed, the final judgment and deportation of the Jewish people came in Jer 52.30. Tishri 3 became a fast day among the Jewish people in order to remember this event and it is called the “Fast of Gedaliah” or the fast of the seventh month in Zech 8.19).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Tying into the New Testament

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