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2. See how ill men judge of the value of earthly things. Amidst the calamities of Judah, the rich men were driven from their fine houses and large estates, and the poor,

who had nothing, were put into possession of them. The rich, who had been cruel oppressors, were carried captive; and the poor of the land, who had been oppressed, were now poffesfed of large estates, and lived in plenty. The poor perhaps had envied the rich, and the rich despised the poor; but the condition of the poor proved to be most eligible. Such surprizing revolutions are often seen in the course of providence, and therefore it becomes us to rejoice as tho' we rejoiced not, and to weep as tho' we wept not, fince nothing below is certain and stable.

3. We fee that God can secure his fervants amidst general desolations. When a man's ways please the Lord, he can make even his enemies to be at peace with him. The prophet found better usage among enemies and heathens, than among his own countrymen, the princes, nobles, and priests of Israel. Thus the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of their tribulation, and reserves the unjust to be punished. So will it be in the future judgment : while the wicked are overwhelmed with speedy destruction, God will take care of his servants; and give his angels charge to look well to them: for the day cometh that shall burn like an oven, and the proud shall be destroyed; but God's servants shall be his in the day when he maketh up his jewels.

4. God remembers and will reward the favour and kindness shown to any of his servants, especially his minifters. Ebedmelech delivered Jeremiah; who was therefore sent to him with a comfortable assurance of

protection in the day of evil. Because he had acted kindly to the prophet, and did it upon good principles; not from mere humanity, but from regard to God, knowing that he was doing right, and trusting in God to prosper and defend him; therefore God would deal kindly by him, and put it into the hearts of the Chaldeans to protect him. God will still be pleased with the favour shown to his minifters and people, and they who show it, and trust in him, mercy Mall compass them about. God is not unrighteous to forget any work and labour of love that is done to his faints.

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CHAP. XL, XLI.
Jeremiah being set free by Nebuzar adan, goes to Gedaliah;

the dispersed Fews come to him; and Johanan informs him of
Ifhmael's conspiracy.

HE word which came to Jeremiah from the

LORD, after that Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramath, when he had taken him being bound in chains among all that were car

ried away captive of Jerusalem and Judah, (which were] 2 carried away captive to Babylon. And the captain of

the guard took Jeremiah, and faid unto him, The

Lord thy God hath pronounced this evil upon this 3 place. Now the LORD hath brought [it,) and done

according as he hath faid: because ye have finned

against the Lord, and have not obeyed his voice, 4 therefore this thing is come upon you. And now,

behold, I loose thee this day from the chains which
[were] upon thine hand : if it seem good unto thee
to come with me into Babylon, come; and I will look
well unto thee; I will set mine eye upon thee for good;
promising to be his friend, and to treat him in a respectful
manner : but if it seem ill unto thee to come with me
into Babylon, forbear: behold; all the land [is] be-

fore thee: whither it seemeth good and convenient for 5 thee to go, thither go. Now while he was not yet gone back, while Jeremiah was hesitating, [he said, ) go

back also to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, a worthy, honourable character, a person of rank, whoje

, grandfather and father were ministers of state to Jofah, and whole father saved thee, and whom the king of Baby. lon hath made governor over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people: or go wherefoever it seemeth convenient unto thee to go. So the captain

of à This refers to the forty second chapter, where he warns the people left in the 'land; and the story before us is to illuftrate that prophecy. Jeremiah had been fet free, but was taken cap. tive by some of the Chaldeans who did not know him, and was carried' to Ramah; but the captain of the guard let him free again.

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of the guard gave him victuals and a reward, and let 6 him go. Then went Jeremiah unto Gedaliah the fon

of Ahikam to Mizpah ; and dwelt with him among

the people that were left in the land. 7. Now when all the captains of the forces which (were]

in the fields, [even) they and their men who had fled, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam governor in the land, and had committed unto him men, and women, and children, and

of the poor of the land, of them that were not carried 8. away captive to Babylon ; Then they came to Gedaliah

to Mizpah, even Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan and Jonathan the fons of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, and the sons of Ephai the Ne

tophathite, and Jezaniah the son of a Maachathite, 9 they and their men. And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam

the son of Shaphan fware unto them and to their men, assured them of his protection, saying, Fear not to serve

the Chaldeans: dwell in the land, and serve the king 10 of Babylon, and it shall be well with you. As for me,

behold, I will dwell at Mizpah, to serve the Chaldeans, which will come unto us ; that is, to send the tribute and to receive orders: 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: while you remain

tributary to the king of Babylon you may enjoy the fruits Il of the land. 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 12 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 gather

ed wine and summer fruits very much. 13 Moreover Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the

captains of the forces that (were] in the fields, came 14 to Gedaliah to Mizpah, And said unto him, Dost thou

certainly know that Baalis the king of the Ammonites
hath sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to flay thee?
Vol. V.
0

out

1

out of a personal pique to thee, or hatred to the Jews ; hoping to bring more to his dominions, or make those that

remained his vaffals. But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam 15 believed them not. Then Johanan the son of Kareah.

fpake to Gedaliah in Mizpah fecretly, faying, Let me go, I pray thee, and I will say Ishmael the fon of Nethaniah, and no man shall know [it:] wherefore should he say thee, that all the Jews which are

gathered unto thee should be scattered, and the rem16 nant of Judah perish? But Gedaliah the fon of

Ahikam said unto Johanan the fon of Kareah, Thou shalt not do this thing: for thou speakest falfely of Ishmael; he is an honest man, and I cannot believe the report.

CHAP. XLI. Now it came to pass in the seventh month, [that] Ishmael the son of Nethaniah the son of Elifhama, of the feed royal, and the princes of the king, even ten men with him, came unto Gedaliah the fon of Ahikam to Mizpah, where he

made a splendid entertainment for them; and there they 2 did eat bread together in Mizpah. Then, valuing him

self on his royal extračtion, and envying Gedaliah, arose Ithmael the son of Nethaniah, and the ten men that were with him, and smote Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan with the sword, and flew

him, whom the king of Babylon had made governor 3 over the land. Ishmael also flew all the Jews that

were with him, [even) with Gedaliah, at Mizpah, that is, Gedaliah's guards, and the Chaldeans that were found there, [and] the men of war, all that opposed

And it came to pass the second day after he 5 had flain Gedaliah, and no man knew {it,] That

there came certain from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, [even] fourscore men, having their beards shaven, and their clothes rent, and having cut themselves, with offerings and incense in their hand, to bring (them] to the house of the LORD; that is, some pious men of the ten tribes came in mourning habits to

weep over the ruins of Jerufalem, and to offer incense, if 6 they could find an altar and a priest. And Ishmael the

son

4 him.

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fon of Nethaniah went forth from Mizpah to meet them, weeping all along as he went, as if he sympathised with them. and it came to pass, as he met them, he

faid unto them, Come to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam; 7 wanting to see how they stood affe&ted to him. And it was

[so,] when they came into the midst of the city, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah flew them, [and cast

them) into the midst of the pit, he, and the men that 8 [were] with him. But ten men were found among

them that said unto Ishmael, Slay us not: for we have treasures in the field, of wheat, and of barley, and of oil, and of honey, which we will give thee; thinking to

influence his covetousness, if not his compassion. So he fora 9 bare, and flew them not among their brethren. Now

the pit wherein Ishmael had cast all the dead bodies of the men, whom he had slain because of Gedaliah, (was] it which Asa the king had made for fear of Baasha

king of Ifrael: [and] Ishmael the son of Netha. 10 niah filled it with (them that were) flain. Then Ith

mael carried away captive all the residue of the people that (were] in Mizpah, [even] the king's daughters, and all the people that 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; as had been concerted between him and the king of the Ammonites.

But when Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were] with him, heard of

all the evil that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had 12 done, Then they took all the men, and went to fight

with Ifhmael the son of Nethaniah, and found him by 13 the great waters that (are) in Gibeon. Now it came

to pass, (that) when all the people which [were) with Ishmael faw. Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the

captains of the forces that (were] with him, then they 14 were glad ; hoping to be recovered and taken back. So

all the people that Ishmael had carried away captive

from Mizpah cast about and returned, and went unto 15 Johanan the son of Kareah. But Ishmael the son of

002

Nethaniah

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