Thursday, April 22, 2010

Gedaliah Governor of Judah - Jeremiah 40

Jeremiah 40:5 "Now while he was not yet gone back, he said, Go back also to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king 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 him victuals and a reward, and let him go."

The Chaldeans are leaving Judah and have left Gedaliah in charge as governor. A man who was of the princes of Judah (the fallen government) is not pleased with this arrangement, perhaps he still wants to be king, and so sets a trap for Gedaliah who was for peace as best they could manage under the Chaldeans.

v9 "And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan sware unto them and to their men, saying Fear not to serve the Chaldeans; dwell in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you."

It sounds a lot like the instructions given by Jeremiah for the king to surrender to the Chaldeans to preserve his life.

Then appears two men: Johanan who was for Gedaliah. Ishmael sent by Baalis (king of Ammonites) to kill Gedaliah.

v15 "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 gathered unto thee should be scattered, and the remnant in Judah perish?"

But Gedaliah would not believe Johanan. I suppose he felt like everyone wanted to just live quietly for a change. But he was wrong and we will follow the story in the next chapter.

v16 "But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said unto Johanan the son of Kareah, Thou shalt not do this thing; for thou speakest falsely of Ishmael." And by doing so, he signed his own death warrant. Tomorrow the next part of the story.

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