Jeremiah 40: Gedaliah Ignores Life-Saving Information

Hebrew-English Text

I. Summary

Refugees remain in Judah and Gedaliah urges them to serve Babylon. Gedaliah ignores life-saving information about an assassination attempt on his person.

II. Photo

Gedaliah ignores life-saving information: “[The men] said to him, ‘Do you know that King Baalis of Ammon has sent Ishmael son of Nethaniah to kill you?’ But Gedaliah son of Ahikam would not believe them. ”

III. Select Verses

2-3: The chief of the guards took charge of Jeremiah, and he said to him, “The LORD your God threatened this place with this disaster; and now the LORD has brought it about. He has acted as He threatened, because you sinned against the LORD and did not obey Him. That is why this has happened to you.

9-10: Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan reassured them and their men, saying, “Do not be afraid to serve the Chaldeans. Stay in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you.  I am going to stay in Mizpah to attend upon the Chaldeans who will come to us. But you may gather wine and figs and oil and put them in your own vessels, and settle in the towns you have occupied.”

11-12: Likewise, all the Judeans who were in Moab, Ammon, and Edom, or who were in other lands, heard that the king of Babylon had let a remnant stay in Judah, and that he had put Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan in charge of them. All these Judeans returned from all the places to which they had scattered. They came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah, and they gathered large quantities of wine and figs.

13-16: Johanan son of Kareah, and all the officers of the troops in the open country, came to Gedaliah at Mizpah and said to him, “Do you know that King Baalis of Ammon has sent Ishmael son of Nethaniah to kill you?” But Gedaliah son of Ahikam would not believe them.  Johanan son of Kareah also said secretly to Gedaliah at Mizpah, “Let me go and strike down Ishmael son of Nethaniah before anyone knows about it; otherwise he will kill you, and all the Judeans who have gathered about you will be dispersed, and the remnant of Judah will perish!” But Gedaliah son of Ahikam answered Johanan son of Kareah, “Do not do such a thing: what you are saying about Ishmael is not true!”

IV. Outline

1. Introduction: Jeremiah is freed at Ramah

2-5. Sin and punishment; Jeremiah is given the choice of staying or going to Babylon

6. Jeremiah stays with Gedaliah at Mizpah

7-12. Some people return to Judah; Gedaliah urges subservience to Babylon

13-16. Johanan informs Gedaliah that Ishmael intends to kill him; Gedaliah denies the information


V. Comment

No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used

(see “Commentaries” page)

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