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the Chaldeans, which will come unto us : 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.” 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 Ahikam, 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 very much.*
The degraded state to which the Jews were now reduced, could only be exceeded by that which took place at their final dispersion, more than six centuries afterwards; for Ishmael and bis companions had not united themselves to Gedaliah more than a few months, when Johanan and his party informed him that Ishmael had entered into a conspiracy with Baalis, king of the Ammonites, to slay him, and offered to assassinate Ishmael privately. This Gedaliah peremptorily forbid; but disbelieving the suggestion of Johanan, most probably in consequence of the wicked proposal which accompanied it, he neglected to take any precautions for his own protection.
Johanan's information, however, was but too correct; forin the seventh month of the government, Ishmael, who was of the seed royal, with ten of the late monarch's princes, came to Gedaliah at Mizpah; and whilst eating bread with him, probably on his own invitation, they slew him, and all the Jews that were with him, and such of the Chaldeans and men of war as happened to be at Mizpah.
So secretly and effectually had the work of murder been performed, that two days passed without its being
* 2 Kings, xxv. 22–24. Jer. xl. 7-12.
+ Jer. xl. 13-16.
known, that Gedaliah was dead; when eighty persons from Shechem, Shiloh, and Samaria, having their beards shaven, and their cloaths rent, and having cut themselves, with offerings and incense in their hand, * were met on their way to the house of Jehovah,t by the hypocritical assassin, who, with tears in his eyes, invited them to accompany him to Gedaliah. As soon, however, as he had decoyed them into the city, he slew seventy of them, and cast their bodies into the midst of a pit, which Asa, king of Judah, had made for fear of Baasha, # king of Israel; but he spared ten of these people, on account of their having treasures in the field, of wheat, barley, oil, and honey.
Having perpetrated these atrocious acts, Ishmael carried away captive all the residue of the people that were in Mizpah, with the king's daughters, and departed to go over to the Ammonites; but Johanan and his friends, who, from dwelling in the fields or plains,|| had escaped the massacre, having heard of that transaction, immediately pursued after Ishmael, and overtook him by the great waters in Gibeon.
•“ A most criminal species of idolatry, joining the worship of God
and idols together." Burder, O. L. 982.. + Viz.: at Jerusalem ; for though the temple was destroyed, yet the people that were left continued to offer sacrifices, and worship there on the place where it stood, as long as they remained in the land. Prid. i. 116. This must be a house at Mizpah, which they had set apart for the present occasion. There were, it seems, some godly Jews at that time in Samania. Wall. But see the last note.
"That is, it was a cistern, or reservoir for water, for the supply of Mizpali, when Asa expected it would be besieged by Baasba." A. CLARKE
& Jer. xli. 4-9. “ In Barbary, when the grain is winnowed, they lodge it in mallaniores, or subterranean repositories ; two or three hundred of which are sometimes together, the smallest holding four hundred bushels. These are very common in other parts of the East, especially about Aleppo. Burder, 0. C.779.
Jer. xi. 13.
Upon the approach of Johanan, all the captives and companions of Ishmael forsook him and fled to Johanan, except eight men, who, with Ishmael, made good their retreat, and escaped to the Ammonites. *
After this, Johanan and all the remnant of the people took up a temporary residence at Geruth-Chimham, near Bethlehem; with the intention of proceeding into Egypt, because of the Chaldeans, of whom they were afraid, on account of the murder of Gedaliah, which they apprehended might be visited upon them.t
By some circumstance which is not related, Jeremiah bad not suffered in the massacre at Mizpah, but had been carried voluntarily or coercively by Johanan, and his partizans to Chimhain; and to him they now applied with all seeming reverence, all the people approaching him from the least even to the greatest, and saying, Let we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto Jehovah, thy God, even for all this remnant; (for we are left but a few of many, as thine eyes do behold us :) that Jehovah, thy God, may shew us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do.
The prophet replied, I have heard you; behold, I will pray unto Jehovah, your God, according to your words; and it shall come to pass, that whatsoever thing Jehovah shall answer you, I will declare it unto you, I will keep nothing back from you. And to assure the prophet they were sincere in their inquiries, they voluntarily proffered an oath, as a test of their sincerity. “ Jehovah be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not even according to all things for the which Jehovah, thy God, shall send thee to us. Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of
• Jer. xli. 11-15.
Jer. xli, 16-18.
Jehovah, our God, to whom we send thee; that it
be well with us, when we obey the voice of Jehovah, our God.".
After ten days, Jehovah condescended to vouchsafe them a message, when Jeremiah declared, Thus sạith Jehovah, the God of Israel, unto whom ye sent me to present your supplication before him, if ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you. Be not afraid of the King of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid; be not afraid of him, saith Jehovah : for I am with you, to save you, and to deliver you from his hand. And I will shew mercies unto you, that he may have mercy upon you, and cause you to return to your own land. But if ye say, we will not dwell in this land, neither obey the voice of Jehovah, your God, saying, no; but we will go into the land of Egypt, where we shall see no war, nor hear the sound of the trumpet, nor have hunger of bread; and there will we dwell;- now, therefore, hear the word of Jehovah, ye remnant of Judah, Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel ; if ye wholly set your faces to enter into Egypt, and go to sojourn there; then it shall come to pass, that the sword, which ye feared, shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt; and the famine, whereof ye were afraid, shall follow close after you there in Egypt; and there ye shall die. So shall it be with all the men that set their faces to go into Egypt to sojourn there, they shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence; and none of them shall remain, or escape from the evil that I will bring upon them. For thus saith Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel: As mine anger and my fury hath been poured forth upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem; so shall my fury be poured forth upon you, when ye shall enter into Egypt; and ye shall
• Jer. xlii. 5,6
be an execration, and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach; and ye shall see this place no more.
Jehovah hath said concerning you, O ye remnant of Judah : Go ye not into Egypt: know certainly that I have admonished you this day. For ye dissembled in your hearts, when ye sent me unto Jehovah, your God, saying, pray for us unto Jehovah, our God; and according unto all that Jehovah, our God, shall say, so declare unto us, and we will do it. And now I have this day declared it to you; but ye have not obeyed the voice of Jehovah, your God, nor any thing for the which he hath sent me unto you. Now, therefore, know certainly that ye shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, in the place whither ye desire to go and to sojourn.*
Notwithstanding their late oath, Johanan and the other officers no sooner heard the declaration of the prophet, than they declared he had spoken falsely, and that Jehovah had not sent any such message; but charged him with being instigated by Baruch to deliver them into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they might put them to death, and carry them captives to Babylon.t
In direct violation, therefore, of the command of Jehovah, did Johanan and all his party take the whole remnant of Judah, including the king's daughters, Jeremiah, and Baruch with them into Egypt, and settled at Tahpanhes# and other neighbouring cities.
Still the prophet was permitted to warn this infatuated remnant; for whilst at Tahpanhes, Jehovah said to him, Take great stones in thine hand, and hide them in the clay,
• Jer. xlii. 9-22.
Jer. xliii. 1-3. The flanes of Isaiah, (xxx. 4).—The Tapboas of the Septuagint, and the Daphnæ Pelusiæ of Herodotus, (Euterpe); it was situated near Pelusium. Wells, i. 233. Gray's Key, 375.
& Jer. xliii, 4—7. 2 Kings, xxv. 26.