41 In the seventh month Ishmael son of Nethaniah and ten of his men came to Gedaliah son of Ahikam [C the Babylonian appointed governor] at Mizpah [40:6]. (Nethaniah was the son of Elishama.) Now Ishmael was a member of the ·king’s [royal] family and had been one of the officers of the king of Judah. While they were eating ·a meal with Gedaliah [L bread together] at Mizpah, 2 Ishmael and his ten men got up and killed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, with a sword. (Gedaliah was the man the king of Babylon had ·chosen [appointed] as governor over Judah.) 3 Ishmael also killed all the ·Jews [L Judeans] and the ·Babylonian [L Chaldean] soldiers who were there with Gedaliah at Mizpah.
4 The day after Gedaliah was murdered, before anyone knew about it, 5 eighty men came to Mizpah bringing ·grain [L gift; tribute] offerings [Lev. 2:1] and incense to the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord. Those men from Shechem, Shiloh, and Samaria [C important centers in northern Israel] had shaved off their beards, torn their clothes, and ·cut [gashed] themselves [C mourning rituals]. 6 Ishmael son of Nethaniah went out from Mizpah to meet them, crying as he walked. When he ·met [encountered] them, he said, “Come with me to meet Gedaliah son of Ahikam.” 7 So they went into Mizpah. Then Ishmael son of Nethaniah and his men ·killed [slaughtered] seventy of them and threw the bodies into a deep ·well [cistern; pit]. 8 But the ten men who were ·left alive [L still found] said to Ishmael, “Don’t kill us! We have stores of wheat and barley and oil and honey that we have hidden in a field.” So ·Ishmael let them live [L he stopped] and did not kill them with the others. 9 Now the ·well [cistern; pit] where he had thrown all the bodies had been made by King Asa [C ruled 913–873 bc] as a part of his defenses against Baasha king of Israel [C ruled 900–877 bc; 1 Kin. 15:9–24; 15:33—16:7]. But Ishmael son of Nethaniah put dead bodies in it until it was full.
10 Ishmael captured all the other people in Mizpah: the king’s daughters and all the other people who ·were left [remained] there. They were the ones whom Nebuzaradan commander of the guard had ·chosen Gedaliah son of Ahikam to take care of [appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam as governor over]. So Ishmael son of Nethaniah captured those people, and he started to cross over to the country of the ·Ammonites [L sons of Ammon].
11 Johanan son of Kareah [40:13–14] and all his army officers with him heard about all the ·evil things [crimes] Ishmael son of Nethaniah had done. 12 So they took their men and went to fight Ishmael son of Nethaniah and ·caught [L found] him near the ·big pool of water [L many waters] at Gibeon [C southwest of Mizpah; 2 Sam. 2:8–17]. 13 When ·the captives Ishmael had taken [L all the people who were with Ishmael] saw Johanan and the army officers, they were glad. 14 So all the people Ishmael had taken captive from Mizpah turned around and ran to Johanan son of Kareah. 15 But Ishmael son of Nethaniah and eight of his men escaped from Johanan and ran away to the ·Ammonites [L sons of Ammon].
16 So Johanan son of Kareah and all his army officers ·saved [L took] the captives that Ishmael son of Nethaniah had taken from Mizpah after he ·murdered [L struck] Gedaliah son of Ahikam. Among those left alive were soldiers, women, children, and ·palace officers [or eunuchs]. And Johanan brought them back from the town of Gibeon.
The Escape to Egypt
Johanan and the other army officers were afraid of the ·Babylonians [L Chaldeans]. Since the king of Babylon had chosen Gedaliah son of Ahikam to be governor of Judah but Ishmael son of Nethaniah had ·murdered [L struck] him, Johanan was afraid that the Babylonians would be angry. So they decided to run away to Egypt. On the way they stayed at Geruth Kimham, near the town of Bethlehem.
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