Ishmael, treacherously killing Gedaliah and others, purposes with the remnant to flee to the Ammonites, 1-10. Johanan recovers the captives and is minded to flee into Egypt, 11-18.
1 Now it came to pass in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the royal seed, and the princes of the king, even ten men with him, came to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah. And there they ate bread together in Mizpah. 2 Then Ishmael the son of Nethaniah and the ten men who were with him arose and smote Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, with the sword and slew him, whom the king of Babylon had made governor over the land. 3 Ishmael also slew all the Jews who were with him, even with Gedaliah, at Mizpah, and the Chaldeans who were found there and the men of war.
4 And it came to pass the second day after he had slain Gedaliah, and no man knew it, 5 That there came men from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, even eighty men, having their beards shaved and their clothes rent and having cut themselves, with offerings and incense in their hand, to bring them to the house of the LORD. 6 And Ishmael the son of Nethaniah went forth from Mizpah to meet them, weeping all along as he went. And it came to pass, as he met them, he said to them, "Come to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam." 7 And it was so, when they came into the midst of the city, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah slew them and cast them into the midst of the pit—he and the men who were with him. 8 But ten men were found among them who said to Ishmael, "Do not slay us, for we have treasures in the field of wheat, of barley, of oil, and of honey." So he forbore and did not slay them among their brothers.
9 Now the pit into which Ishmael had cast all the dead bodies of the men, whom he had slain because of Gedaliah, was that which Asa the king had made for fear of Baasha king of Israel. And Ishmael the son of Nethaniah filled it with those who were slain. 10 Then Ishmael carried away captive all the residue of the people who were in Mizpah, even the king's daughters and all the people who remained in Mizpah, whom Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard had committed to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam. And Ishmael the son of Nethaniah carried them away captive and departed to go over to the Ammonites.
11 But when Johanan the son of Kareah and all the captains of the forces who were with him heard of all the evil that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had done, 12 They took all the men and went to fight with Ishmael the son of Nethaniah and found him by the great waters that are in Gibeon. 13 Now it came to pass, that when all the people who were with Ishmael saw Johanan the son of Kareah and all the captains of the forces who were with him, they were glad. 14 So all the people who Ishmael had carried away captive from Mizpah turned around and returned and went to Johanan the son of Kareah. 15 But Ishmael the son of Nethaniah escaped from Johanan with eight men and went to the Ammonites. 16 Then Johanan the son of Kareah and all the captains of the forces who were with him took all the remnant of the people whom he had recovered from Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, from Mizpeh, after he had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, even mighty men of war, and the women, the children, and the eunuchs, whom he had brought back from Gibeon. 17 And they departed and dwelt in the habitation of Chimham, which is by Beth-lehem, to go to enter into Egypt, 18 Because of the Chaldeans. For they were afraid of them, because Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon made governor in the land.
Matthew Henry Commentary - Jeremiah, Chapter 41[➚]