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the day cometh that shall burn like an oven, and the proud shall be destroyed; but God's servants shall be his in the day when he maketh up his jewels,
4. God remembers and will reward the favour and kindness shown to any of his servants, especially his ministers. Ebedmelech delivered Jeremiah ; who was therefore sent to him with a comfortable assurance of protection in the day of evil. Because he had acted kindly to the prophet, and did it upon good principles ; not
doing right, and trusting in God to prosper and defend him ; therefore God would deal kindly by him, and put it into the hearts of the Chaldeans to protect him. God will still be pleased with the favour shown to his ministers and people ; and they who show it, and trust in him, mercy shall compass them abouí. God is not unrighteous 10 forget any work and labour'of love that is done to his saints.
CHAP. XL, XLI.
Jeremiah being set free by Nebuzaradan, goes to Gedaliah ; the dis,
THE word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, after
1 that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramath, when he had taken him, being bound in chains
among all that were carried away captive of Jerusalem and Ju. 2 dah, (which were] carried away captive to Babylon.* And the
captain of the guard took Jeremiah, and said unto him, The 3 LORD thy God hath pronounced this evil upon this place. Now
the Load hath brought (it,] and done according as he hath said : because ye have sinned against the Lord, and have not obeyed 4 his voice, therefore this thing is come upon you. And now, be
hold, I loose thee this day from the chains which were] upon thine hand : if it seem good unto thee to come with me into Babylon, come ; and I will look well unto thee; I will set mine (ye upon thee for good ; promising to be his friend, and to treat him in a respectful manner : but if it seein ill unto thee to come with me into Babylon, forbear : behold, all the land [is] before
thee: whither it seemeth good and convenient for thee to go, 5 thither go. Now while he was not yet gone back, while Jeremiah
was hesitating, she said,] go back also to Gedaliah the son of Abikam the son of Shaphan, a worthy, honourable character, a person of rank, whose grandfather and father were ministers of state to Josiah, and whose father saved thee, and whom the king
This refers to the forty second chapter, where he warns the people left in the land ; and the story before us is to illustrate that prophecy. Jereiniah had been ser free, but was taka eartive by some of the Chaldeans who did not know him, and was carried to Ramah; but there captain of the guard set bin free again,
of Babylon hath made governor over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people : or go wheresoever it seemeth
convenient unto thee to go. So the captain of the guard gave 6 him victuals and a reward, and let him go. Then went Jeremi
ah unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah ; and dwelt with him among the people that were left in the land. 7 Now when all the captains of the forces which (were] in the
fields, [even) they and their men who had fled, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam governor in the land, and had committed unto him men, and women, and
children, and of the poor of the land, of them that were not car8 ried away captive to Babylon; Then they came to Gedaliah to
Mizpah, even Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, and the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah the 9 son of a Maachathite, they and their men. And Gedaliah the
son of Abikam the son of Shaphan sware unto them and to their men, assured them of his protection, saying, Fear not to serve the
Chaldeans : dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon, 10 and it shall be well with you. As for me, behold, I will dwell at
Mizpah to serve the Chaldeans, which will come unto us ; that is, to send the tribute and to receive orders : but ye, gather ye wine, and summer fruits, and oil, and put (them) in your vessels, and dwell in your cities that ye have taken : while you re
main tributary to the king of Babylon you may enjoy the fruits of 11 the land. Likewise when all the Jews that [were] in Moab, and
among the Ammonites, and in Edom, and that were) in all the countries, heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant of
Judah, and that he had set over them Gedaliah the son of Abi:2 kam the son of Shaphan ; Even all the Jews returned out of all
places whither they were driven, and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah unto Mizpah, and gathered wine and summer fruits
v ry inuch. 13 Moreover Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of
the forces that were] in the fields, came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, 14. And said unto him, Dost thou certainly know that Baalis the
king of the Ammonites hath sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to slay thee? out of a personal prique to thee, or hatred Io tie Jews ; hoping to bring more to his dominions, or make those thar
remained his vassals. But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam believed 15 them not. Then Johanan the son of Kareah spake to Gedaliah
in Mizpah secretly, saying, Let me go, I pray thee, and I will slay Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no man shall know [it :) wherefore should he slay thee, that all the Jews which are gath.
ered unto thee should be scattered, and the remnant of Judah 16 perish? But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said unto Johanan the
son of Kareah, Thou shalt not do this thing : for tbou speakest falsely of Ishmael ; he is an honest man, and I cannot blete the report.
CHAP. XLI. Now it came to pass in the seventh month, [that] Ishmael the son of Nethaniah the son of Elishama, of the seed royal, and the princes of the king, even ten men with him, came unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah, where he made a splendid entertainment for them; and there they did eat 2 bread together in Mizpah. Then, valuing himself on his royal
extraction, and envying Gedaliah, arose Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and the ten men that were with him, and smote Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan with the sword, and
slew him, whom the king of Babylon had made governor over 3 the land. Ishmael also slew all the Jews that were with him,
the Chaldeans that were found there, [and] the men of war, all 4 that opposed him. And it came to pass the second day after he $ had slain Gedaliah, and no man knew [it] That there came
certain from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, (even] fourscore men, having their beards shaven, and their clothes rent, and having cut themselves, with offerings and incense in their hand, to bring (them) to the house of the LORD; that is, some pious men of the ten tribes came in mourning habits to weep over
the ruins of Jerusalem, and to offer incense, if they could find an 6 altar and a priest. And Ishmael the son of Nethaniah went
as if he sympathised with them : and it came to pass, as he met
them, he said unto them, Come to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam; 7 wanting to see how they stood affected to him. And it was (so)
when they came into the midst of the city, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah slew them, [and cast them) into the midst of the pit, he, and the men that were) with him. But ten men were found among them that said unto Ishmael, Slay us not : for we have treasures in the field, of wheat, and of barley, and of oil, and of honey, which we will give thee; thinking to influence his covetousness, if not his compassion, So he forbare, and slew them not among their brethren. Now the pit wherein Ishmael had cast all the dead bodies of the men, whom he had slain because of Gedaliah, (was] it which Asa the king had made for fear of
Baasha king of Israel : [and] Ishmael the son of Nethaniah 10 filled it with (them that were] slain. Then Ishmael carried
away captive all the residue of the people that [were) in Mizpah, (even) the king's daughters, and all the people that remained in Mizpah, whom Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had committed to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam : and Ishmael the son of Nethaniah carried them away captive, and departed to go over to the Ammonites; as had been concerted between him and the
king of the Ammonites. Il But when Johanan the son of Karealı, and all the captains of
the forces that were) with him, heard of all the evil that Ish12 mael the son of Nethaniah bad done, Then they took all the
men, and went to fight with Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and
13 found him by the great waters that (are) in Gibeon. Now it
came to pass, [that] when all the people which (were) with Ish. mael saw Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the
forces that (were) with him, then they were glad ; hoping to be 14 recovered and taken back. So all the people that Ishmael had
carried away captive from Mizpah cast about and returned, and 15 went unto Johanan the son of Kareah. But Ishmael the son of
Nethaniah escaped from Johanan with eight men, only two of
the assassins being probably slain, and went to the Ammonites. 16 Then took Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of
the forces that [were) with him, all the remnant of the people whom he had recovered from Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, from Mizpah, after [that] he had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, [even) mighty men of war, and the women, and the chile
dren, and the eunuchs whom he had brought again from Gibe17 on : And they departed, and dwelt in the habitation of Chimham,
which is by Bethlehem, an estate which David had given to Chim
ham the 80% of Barzillai, and which was called by his name, to go 18 to enter into Egypt, Because of the Chaldeans ; that is, in or
der to proceed to Egypt out of the reach of the Chaldeans : for they were afraid of them, because Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon made governor in the land ; they were fearful it would be imputed to them all as a revolt ; a groundle88 fear ; for though the king of Babylon might have resented the murder of his viceroy, he would rather have applauded and rewarded Johanan, for slaying the murderers and recovering the captives.
1. THOSE who are most honest and friendly, and mean the
1 best, have need of prudence and discretion. It was wise in Gedaliah not to entertain jealousy of his subjects ; but very unwise not to be more upon his guard, after he had been warned of Ishmael's design. A proper medium is to be observed between hastily crediting and hastily rejecting or despising reports of inju« ries intended us. We should be cautious whom we trust; and while we show the courage of an honest heart, we should be upon our guard that we be not deceived by pretended friendship.
2. Observe here the dismal consequences of pride and ambition, and what dreadful evils they occasion in society. Ishmael treacherously slew Gedaliah, because he thought, that being of the seed royal, he had a better claim to the government; and when once he was engaged in this bloody work, he slew those honest Israelites, because they were the friends of Gedaliah, though he had nothing to fear from them: and this cruelty he exercised upon his brethren and countrymen, who were all companions in the general affliction of the nation. Such monsters, such demons, do ambition and ntal. ice tarn men into : and we have need to pray earnestly, that God Vol. V,
would restrain this ambitious spirit in our land, which seems otherwise likely to blast our hopeful prospects, and hurry us into ruin.
3. See the uncertainty of human affairs, and how little the continuance of earthly blessings is to be depended upon. The poor Jews that were left in the land, began to think themselves happy in such a governor as Gedaliah, and probably would have been so : but he was treacherously slain ; and then all their expectations were disappointed, and there was nothing but confusion again. Thus may God soon disappoint our most pleasing expectations ; and bring upon us fresh troubles, while we are rejoicing in the restoration of peace. Let us therefore maintain a constant sense of
kingdom that cannot be moved ; an inheritance, incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away.
CHAP. XLII, XLIII.
Johanan and the remnant of the fieople desire Jeremiah to ask counsel of God what they should do ; the prophet assures them of safety in Judea, but of destruction in Egypt: Nevertheless the leading men carry the people there '; and the prophet foretells the conquest of Egypt by Nebuchadrezzar.
irTHEN all the captains of the forces, and Johanan the son
1 of Kareah, and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the 2 people from the least even unto the greatest, came near, And
said unto Jeremiah the prophet, Lel, we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto the LORD
thy God, [even] for all this remnant ; (for we are left [but) a 3 few of many, as thine eyes do behold us :) That the LORD thy God may show is the way wherein we may walk, and the thing
that we may do : nothing could be more fironer, humble, and re4 spectful, than this address, liad it been honest. Then Jeremiah
the prophet said unto thein, I have heard [you ;) behold, I will pray unto the LORD your God according to your words ; and it shall come to pass, [that] whatsoever thing the Lord shall
answer you, I will declare [it] unto you; I will keep nothing 5 back from you. Then they said to Jeremiah ; The Lord be
a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not even accord
ing to all things for the which the LORD thy God shall send 6 thee to us. Whether (it be] good, or whether it be] evil, we
will obey the voice of the LORD Our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the LORD
our God. 7 And it came to pass after ten days, that the word of the LORD
came unto Jeremialı ; they were kept so long in 8w8f10780, 10 girie