Jeremiah 41

1In the seventh month, Ishmael son of Nethaniah (the son of Elishama) came to Gedaliah son of Ahikam. Ishmael came with ten of his men. Those men came to the town of Mizpah. Ishmael was a member of the king’s family. He had been one of the officers of the king of Judah. Ishmael and his men ate a meal with Gedaliah. 2While they were eating together, Ishmael and his ten men got up and killed Gedaliah son of Ahikam with a sword. Gedaliah was the man that the king of Babylon had chosen to be governor of Judah. 3Ishmael also killed all the men of Judah that were with Gedaliah at the town of Mizpah. Ishmael also killed the Babylonian soldiers that were there with Gedaliah. 4- 5The day after Gedaliah was murdered, 80 men came to Mizpah. They were bringing grain offerings and incense to the Lord’s temple. Those 80 men had shaved off their beards, torn their clothes, and cut themselves. They came from Shechem, Shiloh, and Samaria. None of these men knew that Gedaliah had been murdered. 6Ishmael left Mizpah and went to meet those 80 men. He cried while he walked out to meet them. Ishmael met those 80 men and said, “Come with me to meet with Gedaliah son of Ahikam.” 7- 8As soon as they were in the city, Ishmael and the men with him began to kill the 80 men and throw them into a deep cistern! But ten of the men said to Ishmael, “Don’t kill us! We have hidden some things in a field. We have wheat and barley, and oil and honey. ˻We will give those things to you!˼” So Ishmael stopped and didn’t kill them with the others. 9(Ishmael threw the dead bodies into the cistern until it was full—and that cistern was very big! It had been built by a king of Judah named Asa. King Asa had made the cistern so that during war there would be water in the city. Asa did this to protect his city from Baasha, the king of Israel.) 10Ishmael captured all the other people in the town of Mizpah and started to cross over to the country of the Ammonite people. (Those people included the king’s daughters, and all the other people that were left there. Nebuzaradan, the commander of the king of Babylon’s special guards, had chosen Gedaliah to watch over those people.) 11Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers that were with him, heard about all the evil things Ishmael had done. 12So Johanan and the army officers with him took their men and went to fight Ishmael son of Nethaniah. They caught Ishmael near the big pool of water that is at the town of Gibeon. 13The captives that Ishmael had taken captive saw Johanan and the army officers. Those people became very happy. 14Then all those people that Ishmael had taken captive at the town of Mizpah ran to Johanan son of Kareah. 15But Ishmael and eight of his men escaped from Johanan. They ran away to the Ammonite people. 16So Johanan son of Kareah and all his army officers rescued the captives. Ishmael had murdered Gedaliah and then he had taken those people from Mizpah. Among the survivors were soldiers, women, children, and court officials. Johanan brought them back from the town of Gibeon. 17- 18Johanan and the other army officers were afraid of the Chaldeans. The king of Babylon had chosen Gedaliah to be governor of Judah. But Ishmael murdered Gedaliah, and Johanan was afraid that the Chaldeans would be angry. So they decided to run away to Egypt. On the way to Egypt, they stayed at Geruth Kimham. Geruth Kimham is near the town of Bethlehem.

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