Jeremiah 41

 

וַיְהִי בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי בָּא יִשְׁמָעֵאל בֶּן־נְתַנְיָה בֶן־אֱלִישָׁמָע מִזֶּרַע הַמְּלוּכָה וְרַבֵּי הַמֶּלֶךְ וַעֲשָׂרָה   41:1           אֲנָשִׁים אִתֹּו אֶל־גְּדַלְיָהוּ בֶן־אֲחִיקָם הַמִּצְפָּתָה וַיֹּאכְלוּ שָׁם לֶחֶם יַחְדָּו בַּמִּצְפָּה׃

Jere. 41:1   Now it was in the seventh month Ishmael son of Nethaniah son of Elishama, from the seed of royalty, came, and the chiefs of the king, and ten men with him, to Gedaliah son of Ahikam, to Mizpah, and they ate bread together there in Mizpah.

Part of the story of this chapter was previously described beginning with 2Kin. 25:23.

וַיָּקָם יִשְׁמָעֵאל בֶּן־נְתַנְיָה וַעֲשֶׂרֶת הָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר־הָיוּ אִתֹּו וַיַּכּוּ אֶת־גְּדַלְיָהוּ בֶן־אֲחִיקָם בֶּן־שָׁפָן   41:2          בַּחֶרֶב וַיָּמֶת אֹתֹו אֲשֶׁר־הִפְקִיד מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל בָּאָרֶץ׃

Jere. 41:2   Then Ishmael son of Nethaniah arose, as well as ten of the men who were with him, and they smote Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan with the sword and slew him whom the king of Babylon had made overseer in the land.

וְאֵת כָּל־הַיְּהוּדִים אֲשֶׁר־הָיוּ אִתֹּו אֶת־גְּדַלְיָהוּ בַּמִּצְפָּה וְאֶת־הַכַּשְׂדִּים אֲשֶׁר נִמְצְאוּ־שָׁם אֵת אַנְשֵׁי   41:3 הַמִּלְחָמָה הִכָּה יִשְׁמָעֵאל׃

Jere. 41:3   And Ishmael slew all the Jews who were with him, Gedaliah, in Mizpah, and the Chaldeans, the men of war, who were found there.

וַיְהִי בַּיֹּום הַשֵּׁנִי לְהָמִית אֶת־גְּדַלְיָהוּ וְאִישׁ לֹא יָדָע׃   41:4

Jere. 41:4   And it was on the second day of his slaying Gedaliah, while no one knew,

וַיָּבֹאוּ אֲנָשִׁים מִשְּׁכֶם מִשִּׁלֹו וּמִשֹּׁמְרֹון שְׁמֹנִים אִישׁ מְגֻלְּחֵי זָקָן וּקְרֻעֵי בְגָדִים וּמִתְגֹּדְדִים וּמִנְחָה   41:5 וּלְבֹונָה בְּיָדָם לְהָבִיא בֵּית יְהוָה׃

Jere. 41:5   that men came from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, eighty each, shaven of beard and rent of garments, and being cut, with meal offering and frankincense in their hand to bring to the house of the Lord.

These men came from cities of the northern kingdom, the last of which had been its capital.  Apparently they came in mourning for the destruction of the Temple.  They brought only meal offerings, perhaps because they had few or no animals to slaughter, although the Temple was in ruins.  That they cut themselves indicates that they were still practicing some pagan rituals.

וַיֵּצֵא יִשְׁמָעֵאל בֶּן־נְתַנְיָה לִקְרָאתָם מִן־הַמִּצְפָּה הֹלֵךְ הָלֹךְ וּבֹכֶה וַיְהִי כִּפְגֹשׁ אֹתָם וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם   41:6

 בֹּאוּ אֶל־גְּדַלְיָהוּ בֶן־אֲחִיקָם׃

Jere. 41:6   And Ishmael son of Nethaniah went forth from Mizpah to meet them, coming closer and weeping, and it was as he met them that he said to them, “Come to Gedaliah son of Ahikam.”

Why was Ishmael weeping?  Was he feigning similar signs of mourning as the newcomers to gain their trust and confidence?  Probably.  Devilish, wasn’t he?  Ishmael was of royal blood in Judah, a descendant of Zedekiah.

וַיְהִי כְּבֹואָם אֶל־תֹּוךְ הָעִיר וַיִּשְׁחָטֵם יִשְׁמָעֵאל בֶּן־נְתַנְיָה אֶל־תֹּוךְ הַבֹּור הוּא וְהָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר־אִתֹּו׃   41:7

Jere. 41:7   And it was, after their coming in to the center of the city, that Ishmael son of Nethaniah slaughtered them to the middle of the pit, he and the men who were with him.

וַעֲשָׂרָה אֲנָשִׁים נִמְצְאוּ־בָם וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל־יִשְׁמָעֵאל אַל־תְּמִתֵנוּ כִּי־יֶשׁ־לָנוּ מַטְמֹנִים בַּשָּׂדֶה חִטִּים   41:8 וּשְׂעֹרִים וְשֶׁמֶן וּדְבָשׁ וַיֶּחְדַּל וְלֹא הֱמִיתָם בְּתֹוךְ אֲחֵיהֶם׃

Jere. 41:8   But ten men were found among them that said to Ishmael, “Do not slay us, for there are treasures hidden for us in a field, wheat plants and barley plants and oil and honey.” So he desisted, and did not kill them in the midst of their brethren.

וְהַבֹּור אֲשֶׁר הִשְׁלִיךְ שָׁם יִשְׁמָעֵאל אֵת כָּל־פִּגְרֵי הָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר הִכָּה בְּיַד־גְּדַלְיָהוּ הוּא אֲשֶׁר   41:9         עָשָׂה הַמֶּלֶךְ אָסָא מִפְּנֵי בַּעְשָׁא מֶלֶךְ־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֹתֹו מִלֵּא יִשְׁמָעֵאל בֶּן־נְתַנְיָהוּ חֲלָלִים׃

Jere. 41:9   Now the pit where Ishmael had cast down all the corpses of the men whom he had slain at the side of Gedaliah, it was what the king, Asa, had made because of Baasa, the king of Israel.  Ishmael son of Nethaniah had filled it with the slain.

וַיִּשְׁבְּ יִשְׁמָעֵאל אֶת־כָּל־שְׁאֵרִית הָעָם אֲשֶׁר בַּמִּצְפָּה אֶת־בְּנֹות הַמֶּלֶךְ וְאֶת־כָּל־הָעָם הַנִּשְׁאָרִים   41:10     בַּמִּצְפָּה אֲשֶׁר הִפְקִיד נְבוּזַרְאֲדָן רַב־טַבָּחִים אֶת־גְּדַלְיָהוּ בֶּן־אֲחִיקָם וַיִּשְׁבֵּם יִשְׁמָעֵאל בֶּן־נְתַנְיָה וַיֵּלֶךְ       לַעֲבֹר אֶל־בְּנֵי עַמֹּון׃

Jere. 41:10   Then Ishmael took captive all the remnant of the people who were in Mizpah, the daughters of the king and all the people remaining in Mizpah of whom Nebuzaradan, captain of the guardsmen, had made Gedaliah son of Ahikam overseer.  So Ishmael son of Nethaniah carried them away captive and he departed, passing over to the children of Ammon.

וַיִּשְׁמַע יוֹחָנָן בֶּן־קָרֵחַ וְכָל־שָׂרֵי הַחֲיָלִים אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ אֵת כָּל־הָרָעָה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יִשְׁמָעֵאל בֶּן־נְתַנְיָה׃   41:11

Jere. 41:11   When Johanan son of Kareah heard, as well as all the chiefs of the forces who were with him, all the evil that Ishmael son of Nethaniah had done,

וַיִּקְחוּ אֶת־כָּל־הָאֲנָשִׁים וַיֵּלְכוּ לְהִלָּחֵם עִם־יִשְׁמָעֵאל בֶּן־נְתַנְיָה וַיִּמְצְאוּ אֹתֹו אֶל־מַיִם רַבִּים אֲשֶׁר   41:12 בְּגִבְעֹון׃

Jere. 41:12   then they took all the men and they went to fight against Ishmael son of Nethaniah, and they found him by the great waters that are in Gibeon.

וַיְהִי כִּרְאוֹת כָּל־הָעָם אֲשֶׁר אֶת־יִשְׁמָעֵאל אֶת־יוֹחָנָן בֶּן־קָרֵחַ וְאֵת כָּל־שָׂרֵי הַחֲיָלִים אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ   41:13

 וַיִּשְׂמָחוּ׃

Jere. 41:13   And it was, upon Johanan son of Kareah and all the captains of the forces who were with him seeing all the people who were with Ishmael, that they rejoiced.

וַיָּסֹבּוּ כָּל־הָעָם אֲשֶׁר־שָׁבָה יִשְׁמָעֵאל מִן־הַמִּצְפָּה וַיָּשֻׁבוּ וַיֵּלְכוּ אֶל־יֹוחָןָן בֶּן־קָרֵחַ׃   41:14

Jere. 41:14   And all the people who Ishmael had taken captive from Mizpah turned and returned and went to Johanan son of Kareah,

וְיִשְׁמָעֵאל בֶּן־נְתַנְיָה נִמְלַט בִּשְׁמֹנָה אֲנָשִׁים מִפְּנֵי יוֹחָנָן וַיֵּלֶךְ אֶל־בְּנֵי עַמּוֹן׃   41:15

Jere. 41:15   but Ishmael son of Nethaniah slipped away, with eight men, from before Johanan and went to the children of Ammon.

וַיִּקַּח יוֹחָנָן בֶּן־קָרֵחַ וְכָל־שָׂרֵי הַחֲיָלִים אֲשֶׁר־אִתֹּו אֵת כָּל־שְׁאֵרִית הָעָם אֲשֶׁר הֵשִׁיב מֵאֵת   41:16

 יִשְׁמָעֵאל בֶּן־נְתַנְיָה מִן־הַמִּצְפָּה אַחַר הִכָּה אֶת־גְּדַלְיָה בֶּן־אֲחִיקָם גְּבָרִים אַנְשֵׁי הַמִּלְחָמָה וְנָשִׁים וְטַף

וְסָרִסִים אֲשֶׁר הֵשִׁיב מִגִּבְעֹון׃

Jere. 41:16   Then Johanan son of Kareah took, as well as all the chiefs of the forces who were with him, all the remnant of the people whom he took back from Ishmael son of Nethaniah from Mizpah after he had slain Gedaliah son of Ahikam, strong men, men of war, and women, and children, and officials, whom he took back from Gibeon,

וַיֵּלְכוּ וַיֵּשְׁבוּ בְּגֵרוּת (כְמֹוהֶם) [כִּמְהָם] אֲשֶׁר־אֵצֶל בֵּית לָחֶם לָלֶכֶת לָבֹוא מִצְרָיִם׃   41:17

Jere. 41:17   and they went and they remained in Geruth-chimham, which is near Beth-lehem, to go to enter Egypt,

The second part of the name Geruth-chimham (in the parentheses) is misspelled, having an extra vav in it.  The correction is in the brackets.

מִפְּנֵי הַכַּשְׂדִּים כִּי יָרְאוּ מִפְּנֵיהֶם כִּי־הִכָּה יִשְׁמָעֵאל בֶּן־נְתַנְיָה אֶת־גְּדַלְיָהוּ בֶּן־אֲחִיקָם   41:18                         אֲשֶׁר־הִפְקִיד מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל בָּאָרֶץ׃

Jere. 41:18   because of the Chaldeans, for they were afraid of their presence, because Ishmael son of Nethaniah had slain Gedaliah son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had made overseer in the land.

 

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