The Assassination of Gedaliah
1st governor of Judea: 3 months: 9
Tammuz-Tishri (July - September) 587 BC
Governors of Judah: 587 BC- 66 AD
"The rebellion to restore the throne
of David on earth."
Bulla of Gedaliah who is over the house
(Jeremiah chapters 39-44)
Bible Bullae from Israel and Judah
1st Governor of Judea
in 587 BC
are digging up bible stories!!!"
Glyptic artifact: Clay Bulla
Inscription: "Belonging to Gedaliah who is over the
Provenance: Lachish official archeological dig 1935 AD season
Current location: Israel Museum
Date: 587 BC
Bible verses: Jer 39-44: 2 Kings 25:22; Jeremiah 40:13–41:4
Events: Gedaliah, 1st Judean governor appointed
by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BC, assassinated by Ishmael and Baalis.
they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah along with Ishmael the son
of Nethaniah, and the sons of Ephai the Netophathite and Jaazaniah the son
of the Maacathite. Johanan the son of Kareah said, 'Are you well aware that Baalis the king of Ammon has
sent Ishmael to
take your life? But Gedaliah did not believe them. Ishmael
the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of
the royal family and one of the chief officers [Jaazaniah] of the king came
Gedaliah at Mizpah and Ishmael with ten men arose and killed Gedaliah."
(summary of Jeremiah 40:8-41:2)
of Bullae and Seals:
Exhibit: On-line Museum of Bulla and seals
bullae are made to seal papyrus
fake bullae and seals
Archaeologists are digging up bible stories!!!
is an important science that confirms the historical accuracy of the Bible.
Since the Bible refers to hundreds of cities, kings, and places, we would
expect to find evidence from on-site excavations. And this is exactly what we
have found. The Bible is the most historically accurate book of history on
earth. Read the Bible daily!
Encyclopedia of Bullae and Seals of Judea and Israel
Bulla "belonging to Gedaliah who is over the
Glyptic artifact: Clay Bulla
Inscription: "Belonging to Gedaliah who is over the
Provenance: Lachish official archeological dig 1935 AD season
Current location: Israel Museum
Date: 587 BC
Bible verses: 2 Kings 25:22; Jeremiah 40:13–41:4
Events: Gedaliah, 1st Judean governor appointed
by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BC, assassinated by Ishmael and Baalis helped by
Jaazaniah and Maimen.
The assassination of Gedaliah, 1st Governor
of Judea in 587 BC
Don't call God a Liar!
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Jeremiah was born around the same year as Josiah in 648
BC. He started preaching at age 19 when Josiah began purging the idols from
the land. He wrote the books of Kings and Jeremiah. His ministry lasted until
561 BC when he recorded the rations given to Coniah by the new King of
Babylon Evil-merodach. The chronology of the book of Jeremiah is confusing
and needs the index we supplied on the "timeline of Jeremiah" chart
above in the little call out box.
Governor of Judah
A member of an important scribal family and the first
governor of Judea appointed by Nebuchadnezzar for 3 months in 587 BC: 9
Tammuz-Tishri (July - September) until he was assassinated by Ishmael, the
son of David in cooperation with Baalis king of Ammon.
King of Babylon
King of Babylon whom God called, "My servant"
who burned Jerusalem and deported the Jews to Babylon for 70 years.
Nebuchadnezzar's army commander for the entire operation
to burn Jerusalem and destroy the temple.
Wanted to replace Gedaliah as king. Distant grandson of
David and Bathsheba who fled to Baalis king of Ammon, then returned to murder
Gedaliah and claim the throne for himself after delivering slaves to Baalis
in exchange for his support
king of Ammon
King of Ammon with capital city at Rabbah (Modern Ammon,
Jordan) was the master mind behind the murder of Gedaliah who offered to
support Ishmael as the new king of Judah in exchange for Jewish slaves.
Zedekiah's failed army commander
Army commander who jumped the sinking ship like rats and
hid like chickens in the fields of Judah until the Babylonians returned to
Babylon. He then came out like a man of steel first offering to kill Ishmael
for Gedaliah then defeating Ishmael after he had kidnapped the people for the
King of Ammon. Johanan then revealed his blackened heart in disobeying
- He hid from the Babylonians instead of surrendering to
- He led the people to Egypt rather than stay in Judah.
This group of faithless idol worshippers also disobeyed
Jeremiah like Johanan by fleeing to Ammon, Moab and Edom instead of
surrendering. They also move to Egypt.
Wicked remnant in Judah
Those the Babylonians did not deport. These are the idol
worshippers who did not surrender but were useless to the Babylonians because
they were old, lame, unemployable, very poor etc. It is a huge mistake to
think they were left behind because God desired them to be there. They just
got lucky. But they revealed their wicked hearts in first moving to Egypt and
then openly telling Jeremiah he was a liar and they were not going to stop
Faithful Remnant in Babylon
These are the cream of the spiritual crop, the first
fruits of the age, the faithful worshippers of YHWH who believed the message
of the Bible and the prophets to surrender to the Babylonians. They
surrendered early in 605 BC along with Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-nego.
It took great faith to give up all your earthly belongings and your life as
you know it and to walk away from it all with the cloths on your back to
start a new life from scratch in Babylon for 70 years.
King of Egypt
This is the king of Egypt to promised military help to Zedekiah
but retreated. Zedekiah has relied on him instead of God to repel
Babylonians. When the Jews migrated against the wishes of Jeremiah to Egypt,
they were under the control of Hophra. In 582 Nebuchadnezzar defeats Hophra
and kills the pagan Jews living in Egypt. Hophra rebelled against Babylon in
571 because of the 6-18 months (~573-571 BC) of insanity of Nebuchadnezzar in
Daniel 4. In 570 BC Nebuchadnezzar kills Hophra fulfilling the prophecy of
Don't call God a Liar!
Introduction: The assassination of Gedaliah
- The story of the assassination of
Gedaliah is the final act of rebellion by faithless, self-seeking, worldly
ambitious, pagan, idol worshipping and disobedient Jews.
- God had willed that the throne of David
had become forever extinct on earth and having Gedaliah, a mere scribe as
king, was quite a shock to Ishmael, a direct descendant of David and
Bathsheba and living heir to the throne… or so he though.
- This shock, indignation, lack of faith
and personal ambition led Ishmael, "the king's son" to rise up
and kill Gedaliah, the Lord's anointed.
- Jeremiah had instructed the faithful Jews
to surrender to Nebuchadnezzar in each of his three attacks on Jerusalem
(605, 597, 587 BC).
- Those who left were the "cream of
the spiritual crop" and became the pure remnant of Israel who
returned to Judea until the coming of Christ.
- Those who disobeyed Jeremiah's call to
surrender to Nebuchadnezzar by staying in Jerusalem, hiding in the fields
or seeking refuge in Ammon, Moab or Edom were killed.
- Archeology has uncovered six different
bulla and seals of men involved in the assassination of Gedaliah! This is
an excellent example of how archeology verifies in the ground what we read
in the book.
- We have found six seals and Bullae of 6
different men involved in the story of the assassination of Gedaliah from
a single Bible text.
- "So they came
to Gedaliah at Mizpah along with Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and the sons of Ephai the Netophathite and Jaazaniah the
son of the Maacathite. Johanan the son of Kareah said, 'Are you well aware that Baalis the king of
Ammon has sent Ishmael to take your life? But Gedaliah did not believe them.
Ishmael the son
of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the royal family and one of the
chief officers [Jaazaniah] of the king came Gedaliah at Mizpah and
Ishmael with ten men arose and killed Gedaliah." (summary of
- Nebuchadnezzar appointed Gedaliah the
first governor of Judah after Zedekiah was deported to Babylon.
- When Nebuchadnezzar deported Zedekiah in
587 BC he appointed this Gedaliah to be governor of Judah.
- Gedaliah governed only 3 months in 587
BC: 9 Tammuz-Tishri (July - September) "But it came about in the
seventh month (Tishri), that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of
Elishama, of the royal family, came with ten men and struck Gedaliah down
so that he died along with the Jews and the Chaldeans who were with him
at Mizpah." (2 Kings 25:25)
- Baalas is a king of Ammon that succeeded
in assassinating Gedaliah. Baalas is unknown from any outside written
sources but is mentioned by name in one Bible verse: "Now
Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces that were
in the field came to Gedaliah at Mizpah and said to him, “Are you well
aware that Baalis the king of the sons of Ammon has sent Ishmael the son
of Nethaniah to take your life?” But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam did not
believe them." (Jeremiah 40:13-14)
- "Now as for the people who were
left in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left,
he appointed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam,
the son of Shaphan over them. When all the captains of the forces, they
and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah governor, they came to
Gedaliah to Mizpah, namely, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan the
son of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and
Jaazaniah the son of the Maacathite, they and their men. Gedaliah swore to them and their men and
said to them, “Do not be afraid of the servants of the Chaldeans; live in
the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will be well with you.”
But it came about in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of
Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the royal family, came with ten men
and struck Gedaliah down so that
he died along with the Jews and the Chaldeans who were with him at
Mizpah. Then all the people, both small and great, and the captains of
the forces arose and went to Egypt; for they were afraid of the
Chaldeans." (2 Kings 25:22–26)
- For example Elnathan is the third
"Persian" governor of Judah.
- Gedaliah was a member of the Shephan
- Gedaliah was the son of Ahikam, (who was
an important advisor to King Josiah: 2 Kgs 22:12, 14; 2 Chr 34:20) and
the grandson of Shaphan.
- Gedaliah's father (Ahikam) and
grandfather (Shaphan) were directly involved in the story of the lost
book of the Law found under Josiah in 623 BC. It was Shaphan (a scribe)
who first read the law and reported its contents.
- Baalis king of Ammon hired Ishmael from
the royal family of David to assassinate Gedaliah.
- Gedaliah's death was commemorated as the
“fast of Gedaliah,” on the seventh month (Zech 7:5; 8:19) but today the
third day of Tishri (September).
- To this day, the Jews celebrate a fast in
honor of the murder of Gedaliah on the third of Tishri, even though it was
originally in the seventh month (Zechariah 7:3; 8:19).
Nebuchadnezzar's four deportations of Jews to Babylon: 605, 597,587, 582 BC
- 605-587 BC: Jeremiah's message was:
Surrender to the Babylonians and live, stay in Judah and die:
- "Thus says the Lord, “Behold, I set
before you the way of life and the way of death. “He who dwells in this
city will die by the sword and by famine and by pestilence; but he who
goes out and falls away to the Chaldeans who are besieging you will live,
and he will have his own life as booty. “For I have set My face against
this city for harm and not for good,” declares the Lord. “It will be
given into the hand of the king of Babylon and he will burn it with
fire.” ’" (Jeremiah 21:8–10)
- "“Thus says the Lord, ‘He who stays
in this city will die by the sword and by famine and by pestilence, but
he who goes out to the Chaldeans will live and have his own life as booty
and stay alive.’" (Jeremiah 38:2)
- 605 BC deportation: Small "cream of the
crop" remnant of high faith: the first fruits.
- Daniel surrenders to the Babylonians in
keeping with the instructions of Jeremiah while Ismael had fled to Ammon
to seek refuge from Baalis, king of Ammon and the army had hid in the
hills, fields and caves.
- "In the third year (605 BC) of the
reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to
Jerusalem and besieged it." (Daniel 1:1)
- The numbers are not given, but it would
be a small number that included Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-nego.
- It took a huge amount of faith to leave
Jerusalem and surrender at the first appearance of Nebuchadnezzar in 605
- "Since the first Palestinian
invasion of Nebuchadnezzar took place in 605 b.c., and resulted in the
deportation of a considerable number of hostages (including Daniel,
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego), this date might serve as the terminus
a quo; thus 536 would be approximately seventy years later" (A
survey of Old Testament introduction, G. Archer, p403, 1994 AD)
- 601 BC Jehoiakim rebels after
Nebuchadnezzar is repelled by the king of Egypt.
- In 609 BC Jehoiakim was initially
appointed by Neco II, king of Egypt but when Nebuchadnezzar defeated Neco
II in the battle of Carchemish in 605 BC, Jehoiakim was forced to submit
- In 601 BC, Nebuchadnezzar launches an
attack on Egypt which failed and had to retreat.
- This military failure Nebuchadnezzar
emboldened Jehoiakim to rebel against Babylon with the expectation of
assistance of some kind from Egypt. Egypt never did help Jehoiakim and he
was led away in chains to Babylon where he died.
- "Late in his fourth year (601/600
b.c.) he marched against the borders of Egypt but was met with a serious
setback and consequently spent his fifth year recuperating and refitting
his army. In 599/598 b.c., in the ninth month (Kislev), he again moved
west and plundered several Arab towns to the east of Palestine. The
following year he attacked Palestine, again in the ninth month. The
account offers very specific details of his capture of Jerusalem on the
second day of Adar (the twelfth month), i.e., February 16, 597 b.c."
(WBC, 2 Kings 24:1-20, p348, 1998 AD).
- "Despite his initial successes,
Nebuchadnezzar suffered a major setback in the winter of 601/600, when he
set out to attack Egypt proper. The site of the battle is not recorded in
any source, but its outcome is certain. Nebuchadnezzar was forced to
withdraw all the way to Babylonia. In the following year, he did not
campaign; he stayed at home refitting “his numerous horses and chariots.”5
Under these circumstances, Jehoiakim saw a chance to free himself from
Babylonian vassalage and so rebelled. Nebuchadnezzar’s response was to
attack with garrison troops stationed in the West." (AYBC, 2 Kings
24:1, p308, 2008 AD)
- 597 BC Deportation: 10,000 Jews.
- When Jehoiakim was captured, put in
chains and deported to Babylon, his son 8 year old Jehoiachin became
king. Such a young king was unacceptable to Nebuchadnezzar so he ordered
him to surrender.
- Jehoiachin is the
only king during the life of Jeremiah who actually did what the prophet
said: Submit and Surrender.
- This was a major deportation designed to
weaken the Jewish state. All the men of war, the tradesmen, the leaders
and army commanders etc.
- Clearly at this time some of them fled
to Ammon and hid in the fields and hills.
- "Jehoiachin the king of Judah went
out to the king of Babylon, he and his mother and his servants and his
captains and his officials. So the king of Babylon took him captive in
the eighth year of his reign. He carried out from there all the treasures
of the house of the Lord,
and the treasures of the king’s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels
of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the Lord, just as the Lord had said. Then he led away
into exile all Jerusalem and all the captains and all the mighty men of
valor, ten thousand captives, and all the
craftsmen and the smiths. None remained except the poorest people of the
land. So he led Jehoiachin away into exile to Babylon; also the king’s
mother and the king’s wives and his officials and the leading men of the
land, he led away into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. All the men of
valor, seven thousand, and the craftsmen and the smiths, one thousand,
all strong and fit for war, and these the king of Babylon brought into
exile to Babylon." (2 Kings 24:12–16)
- "These are the people whom
Nebuchadnezzar carried away into exile: in the seventh year 3,023
Jews;" (Jeremiah 52:28)
- 587 BC Deportation and destruction of the
temple of Solomon: only 832 people.
- "in the eighteenth year of
Nebuchadnezzar 832 persons from Jerusalem;" (Jeremiah 52:29)
- What is stunning about this tiny
number is the fact that the entire city was destroyed.
- The 832 must have surrendered
immediately but for the 300,000 living in the city it was death!
- God's grace had come to an end. Repeated
warnings to repent or surrender had been ignored.
- When God's wrath destroyed His holy
temple, the people paid with their lives and blood.
- 582 BC Deportation in retaliation to the
killing of Gedaliah and destruction of the Jews who fled to Egypt:
- "in the twenty-third year of
Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried into exile
745 Jewish people; there were 4,600 persons in all." (Jeremiah
- "The third deportation in the
twenty-third year of King Nebuchadrezzar, i.e., 582/1 b.c., is not so
easy to identify, but it may have been associated with a further revolt,
or have been a belated punitive raid for the assassination of
Gedaliah." (NICOT, Jer 52:30, p782, 1980 AD)
- "The exile of 582 persons likely
refers to the almost certain Babylonian retaliation for the assassination
of Gedaliah and the massacre of the Babylonian garrison." (UNCS, Jer
52:30, p323, 2008 AD)
- "(180) And when they were there,
God signified to the prophet that the king of Babylon was about making an
expedition against the Egyptians, and commanded him to foretell to the
people that Egypt should be taken, and the king of Babylon should slay
some of them, and should take others captive, and bring them to Babylon;
(181) which things came to pass accordingly; for
on the fifth year after the destruction of Jerusalem, which was the
twenty-third of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, he made an expedition
against Celesyria; and when he had possessed himself of it, he made war
against the Ammonites and Moabites; (182) and when he had brought all
those nations under subjection, he fell upon Egypt, in order to overthrow
it; and he slew the king that then reigned, and set up another; and he
took those Jews that were there captives, and led them away to Babylon;
(183) and such was the end of the nation of the Hebrews, as it hath been
delivered down to us, it having twice gone beyond Euphrates; for
the people of the ten tribes were carried out of Samaria by the Assyrians
in the days of king Hoshea; after which the people of the two tribes that
remained after Jerusalem was taken [were carried away] by Nebuchadnezzar,
the king of Babylon and Chaldea. (184) Now as to Shalmanezer, he removed
the Israelites out of their country, and placed therein the nation of the
Cutheans, who had formerly belonged to the inner parts of Persia and
Media, but were then called Samaritans, by taking the name of the country
to which they were removed: but the king of Babylon, who brought out the
two tribes, placed no other nation in their country, by which means all
Judea and Jerusalem, and the temple, continued to be a desert for seventy
years; (185) but the entire interval of time which passed from the
captivity of the Israelites, to the carrying away of the two tribes proved
to be a hundred and thirty years, six months, and ten days. (Josephus
II. The Bible
story of the assassination of Gedaliah, 1st governor of Judea:
- Gedaliah was the first Judean governor who
ruled for 3 months in 587 BC: Tammuz-Tishri (July - September)
- Judah had governors appointed under the
occupation of Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome right down to the
destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
- Their sin and disobedience and idolatry
caused them to lose all their autonomy.
- In the same way we become slaves to the
devil when we sin.
- Here is a map of all the placed in the
story of the assassination of Gedaliah:
- Gedaliah commanded the people to submit
to the Babylonians without any fear, settle down in Judah and carry on
their normal lives.
- "Now as for the people who were
left in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left,
he appointed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan over them.
When all the captains of the forces, they and their men, heard that the
king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah governor, they came to Gedaliah to
Mizpah, namely, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan the son of
Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah
the son of the Maacathite, they and their men. Gedaliah swore to them and
their men and said to them, “Do not be afraid of
the servants of the Chaldeans; live in the land and serve the king of
Babylon, and it will be well with you.” But it came about in the
seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of
the royal family, came with ten men and struck Gedaliah down so that he
died along with the Jews and the Chaldeans who were with him at Mizpah.
Then all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the forces
arose and went to Egypt; for they were afraid of the Chaldeans." (2
(159) When Nebuzaradan had done thus, he made haste to Babylon; but as to
those that fled away during the siege of Jerusalem, and had been
scattered over the country, when they heard that the Babylonians were
gone away, and had left a remnant in the land of Jerusalem, and those
such as were to cultivate the same, they came together from all parts to
Gedaliah to Mispah. (160) Now the rulers that were over them were
Johanan, the son of Kareah, and Jezaniah, and Seraiah, and others beside
them. Now there was of the royal family one Ishmael, a wicked man, and
very crafty, who during the siege of Jerusalem, fled to Baalis, king of
the Ammonites, and abode with him during that time; (161) and Gedaliah
persuaded them, now they were there, to stay with him, and to have no
fear of the Babylonians, for that if they would cultivate the country,
they should suffer no harm." (Josephus Antiquities 10.158–161)
- Josephus on Gedaliah's character as a
gentle and righteous man:
- "1. (155)
Now the general of the army, Nebuzaradan, when he had carried the people
of the Jews into captivity, left the poor, and those that had deserted,
in the country; and made one, whose name was Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam,
a person of a noble family, their governor; which Gedaliah was of a gentle and righteous disposition. (156) He
also commanded them that they should cultivate the ground, and pay an
appointed tribute to the king. He also took Jeremiah the prophet out of
prison, and would have persuaded him to go along with him to Babylon, for
that he had been enjoined by the king to supply him with whatsoever he
wanted; and if he did not like to do so, he desired him to inform him
where he resolved to dwell, that he might signify the same to the king."
(Josephus Antiquities 10.154–156)
- The deal between Baalis king of Ammon and
Ishmael the son of David was one of mutual enrichment, power and prestige:
- THE DEAL: If Ishmael delivers Baalis
Jewish slaves then Baalis will support Ishmael's bid to be king!
- Remember that a large group of Jews had
been living in the kingdom of Ammon (Rabbah, modern Ammon, Jordan) for up
to 18 years and they were probably very useful and productive members of
society, as we see Jews today are very productive in all areas of life!
- This productive and resourceful group
left Ammon and returned home to Jerusalem WITH Ishmael.
- We know, therefore that the deal between
Baalis and Ishmael had been made before these Jews began their journey
from Ammon to be repatriated with Judah across the Jordan River.
Jerusalem is only 75 km from Ammon. A one or two day journey.
- "(164) And when Johanan, and the
rulers that were with him, observed the country, and the humanity of
Gedaliah, they were exceedingly in love with him, and told him that
Baalis, the king of the Ammonites, had sent Ishmael to kill him by
treachery, and secretly, that he might have the
dominion over the Israelites, as being of the royal family"
(Josephus Antiquities 10.164)
- Meanwhile, another group of Jews had
disobeyed Jeremiah's order to surrender to the Babylonians who had hid in
caves in the hills and fields, came out of their hiding places and joined
Gedaliah at Mitzpa.
- Johanan the son of Kareah was the
commander of the Jewish army at the time of Zedekiah's deportation. He
and a battalion of soldiers had successfully escaped capture or detection
by the Babylonians.
- This second group of faithless
disobedient Jews had their eye on gaining power in the vacuum left by the
departing Babylonian army.
- While it was Johanan the son of Kareah,
who warned Gedaliah about the assignation plot, as we will see later, he
was an evil man who led a large group to their destruction in Egypt after
Jeremiah specifically forbad them under the command of God himself.
- 587 BC, 7th month: Ishmael and
ten men kill Gedaliah who had governed for only 3 months.
- After Ishmael had killed Gedaliah, he
rounded up all the people he could and prepared to deport them back to
the king of Ammon likely to be sold a slaves… until they were stopped by
the commander of the Jewish army arrived.
- "Then Ishmael took captive all the
remnant of the people who were in Mizpah, the king’s daughters and all
the people who were left in Mizpah, whom Nebuzaradan the captain of the
bodyguard had put under the charge of Gedaliah the son of Ahikam; thus Ishmael the son of Nethaniah took them captive and
proceeded to cross over to the sons of Ammon." (Jeremiah
- Notice again that Ishmael was bringing
back anybody he could "kidnap", including those whom
Nebuchadnezzar had left under Gedaliah's control.
- Thus the deal was for Ishmael to deliver
a large slave population to Ammon and in return Baalis would support
Ishmael's bid to become king of Judah.
- The slaves would include those who had
returned from Ammon with Ishmael (and act of betrayal) and those who had
stayed in Judah and never left.
- 587 BC, fall: The great escape: Ishmael
flees back to Ammon and Jonanan flees to Egypt after rescuing the people
from Ishmael out of fear of Babylonian retaliation.
- "But Johanan the son of Kareah and all
the commanders of the forces that were with him heard of all the evil
that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had done. So they took all the men and
went to fight with Ishmael the son of Nethaniah and they found him by the
great pool that is in Gibeon." (Jeremiah 41:11–12)
- "But Ishmael the son of Nethaniah
escaped from Johanan with eight men and went to the sons of Ammon."
- "And they went and stayed in Geruth
Chimham, which is beside Bethlehem, in order to proceed into Egypt
because of the Chaldeans; for they were afraid of them, since Ishmael the
son of Nethaniah had struck down Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, whom the
king of Babylon had appointed over the land." (Jeremiah 41:17–18)
- Johanan, army general, asks Jeremiah to
seek advice from God and after 10 days God answers: DO NOT GO TO EGYPT.
- Johanan calls Jeremiah
a liar! (Jer 43:2)
- Johanan, had already disobeyed Jeremiah
once when they hid from the Babylonians instead of surrendering to them.
Now Johanan will disobey Jeremiah a second time when he is commanded to
stay in Judah without fear of the Babylonians and not flee to Egypt.
- "But as soon as Jeremiah, whom the
LORD their God had sent, had finished telling all the people all the
words of the LORD their God—that is, all these words— Azariah the son of
Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the arrogant men said to
Jeremiah, “You are telling a lie!
The LORD our God has not sent you to say, ‘You are not to enter Egypt to
reside there’; but Baruch the son of Neriah is inciting you against us to
give us over into the hand of the Chaldeans, so they will put us to death
or exile us to Babylon.” So Johanan the son of Kareah and all the
commanders of the forces, and all the people, did not obey the voice of
the LORD to stay in the land of Judah. But Johanan the son of Kareah and
all the commanders of the forces took the entire remnant of Judah who had
returned from all the nations to which they had been driven away, in
order to reside in the land of Judah— the men, the women, the children, the
king’s daughters and every person that Nebuzaradan the captain of the
bodyguard had left with Gedaliah the son of Ahikam and grandson of
Shaphan, together with Jeremiah the prophet and Baruch the son of Neriah—
and they entered the land of Egypt (for they did not obey the voice of
the LORD) and went in as far as Tahpanhes." (Jeremiah 43:1–7)
- 587 BC Winter: Jeremiah and the entire group of
unfaithful Jews who disobeyed Jeremiah's command to surrender when
Nebuchadnezzar attacked, including those who where left behind because
they were old, sick, lame, destitute or otherwise no use to the
Babylonians, AND General Johanan and his army troops who had hid in the
fields, left Judah and moved to Tahpanhes in Egypt (see map)
- Winter 587 BC: Jeremiah moves to Egypt with all the Jews.
He warn the Jews living there of their impending destruction. Jeremiah
predicts destruction in Egypt and in one of the most stunning and brazen
confessions in the entire Jews say to Jeremiah:
- Those who replied included Johanan, the
very army commanded who first warned Gedaliah about the threat to his
life, then defeated Ishmael and recaptured the hostages, then lead the
entire group to Bethlehem as a staging ground to make the migration to
- "“As for the message that you have
spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we are not
going to listen to you! “But rather we will certainly carry out
every word that has proceeded from our mouths, by burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink
offerings to her, just as we ourselves, our forefathers, our kings
and our princes did in the cities of Judah and in the streets of
Jerusalem; for then we had plenty of food and were well off and saw no
misfortune. “But since we stopped burning sacrifices to the queen of
heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything
and have met our end by the sword and by famine.” “And,” said the women,
“when we were burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and were pouring
out drink offerings to her, was it without our husbands that we made for
her sacrificial cakes in her image and poured out drink offerings to
her?”" (Jeremiah 44:16–19)
- In 582 BC, 5 years after Jerusalem was
burned, God sends Nebuchadnezzar "His servant" to kill the pagan
Jews who fled to Egypt against Jeremiah's orders:
- "(180) And when they were
there, God signified to the prophet that the king of Babylon was about
making an expedition against the Egyptians, and commanded him to foretell
to the people that Egypt should be taken, and the king of Babylon should
slay some of them, and should take others captive, and bring them to
Babylon; (181) which things came to pass
accordingly; for on the fifth year after the destruction of Jerusalem,
which was the twenty-third of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, he made
an expedition against Celesyria; and when he had possessed himself of it,
he made war against the Ammonites and Moabites; (182) and when he had
brought all those nations under subjection, he fell upon Egypt, in order
to overthrow it; and he slew the king that then reigned, and set up
another; and he took those Jews that were there captives, and led them
away to Babylon; (183) and such was the end of the nation of the Hebrews,
as it hath been delivered down to us, it having twice gone beyond
Euphrates; for the people of the ten tribes were carried out of Samaria
by the Assyrians in the days of king Hoshea; after which the people of
the two tribes that remained after Jerusalem was taken [were carried
away] by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon and Chaldea." (Josephus
- "Until a few decades ago, considerable skepticism was
voiced by many critics as to the fulfillment of the prediction made by
Jeremiah in 43:9–13 and 44:30 that northern Egypt would be devastated by
an invasion of the Chaldeans under Nebuchadnezzar (cf. also Ezek.
29:19–20, which contains a similar prediction). The pagan Greek
historians make no mention of such an invasion, although there is a
definite record to be found in Josephus’s Antiquities 10.9.5–7:
“Johanan took those whom he had rescued and came to a certain place
called Mandara. On the fifth year (582/81) after
the destruction of Jerusalem, which was the twenty-third (582) of the
reign of Nebuchadnezzar, he made an expedition against Coele-Syria; and
when he had possessed himself of it, he made war against the Ammonites
and Moabites; and when he had brought all those nations under subjection,
he fell upon Egypt in order to overthrow it, and he slew the king that
then reigned and set up another; and he took those Jews that were there
captives, and led them away to Babylon; and such was the end of the nation
of the Hebrews.” Many authorities tended to discount this
testimony of Josephus as merely manufactured in order to support the
Hebrew Scriptures. But R. Campbell Thompson of Oxford remarks: “The small
fragment of a Babylonian chronicle first published by Pinches shows that
Nebuchadnezzar launched an expedition against Egypt in his thirty-seventh
year, i.e., about 567 b.c.…
the very distance to which he penetrated is a matter of dispute.… We
might almost assume from the tradition that certain Babylonian settlers
built a ‘Babylon’ in Egypt near the Pyramids, which appears to have
existed as an important fort in the time of Augustus, that his army at
all events left some mark there.” In ANET3 (p. 308) appears a
translation of a fragmentary Babylonian text in the British Museum
containing the following sentence: “In the thirty-seventh year (568/67),
Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, marched against Mi-sir [Egypt] to
deliver a battle.” Additional archaeological confirmation is found in an
inscription on the statue of Nes-hor in the Louvre. Nes-hor was a
governor of southern Egypt under Hophra (Uaḥ-ib-Ra, in
Egyptian). In this biographical record he states that an army of Asiatics
and northern peoples who had invaded Egypt attempted to advance up the
Nile valley to Ethiopia, but this was fortunately averted by the favor of
the gods.” In view of this evidence, therefore, it is hardly justifiable
to deny any longer the historicity of Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion of Egypt,
or to question that it was a very serious and devastating
incursion." (A survey of Old Testament introduction, G. Archer,
p404, 1994 AD)
- The faithful, "obedient to the
prophet", righteous seed of Judah had surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar
for deportation to Babylon who lived safe and contented and prosperous lives.
- The idol worshipping faithless rejected
the commands of the prophet, calling him a liar and it ended in their
- Those who hid in the Judean fields or
fled to Ammon, Moab and Edom instead of "sitting on the 70 year time
out bench" in Babylon as God commanded, violated Jeremiah's commands
a second time and went to Egypt to die.
- The pure tiny remnant of pure Jewish
faith that stayed in Babylon for 70 years, experienced many exciting
- Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-nego being thrown
into the furnace only to be praised by Nebuchadnezzar in the direct
presence of Zedekiah.
- Daniel in the Lion's Den
- The conquest of Darius the Mede
- Cyrus' decree to return to Jerusalem in
- The trip home to Judah to rebuild the city
walls and the temple under Ezra, Nehemiah.
- The amazing story of Esther in 483 BC.
- The birth, crucifixion and resurrection
- The obedience to God leads to life
extinction of the throne of David on earth: Coniah, Gedaliah
- 587 BC, third month: God had brought the
dynasty of king David to a formal end and in a kind of "replacement
theology" scenario where, Gedaliah, son of a scribe was now king and
Ishmael, the Royal son of David had been made nothing.
- Ishmael was a descendant of David and
Bathsheba and part of the ancient Elishama clan of David's sons.
- Many others had also fled with Ishmael
to Ammon to escape the Babylonians. This brought much money and skilled
labour to the Ammonite kingdom.
- 18 years later, when the Babylonians
returned home they appointed Gedaliah as the first governor of Judea with
essentially same power and authority as the previous kings of Judah.
- Ishmael, a genuine royal heir to the
throne of David, was unhappy and perhaps indignant that Gedaliah a mere
scribe, was sitting on David's throne.
- Jeremiah himself prophesied the
extinction of the throne of David on earth regarding King Jehoiachin
(Jeconiah, Coniah), Jehoiakim's son, who reigned 3 months in Jerusalem at
Jeremiah 22:24-30 made the important prophecy that no
direct, blood descendant of Jeconiah (Coniah) would ever sit and rule on a
physical throne in physical Jerusalem ever again. This proves premillennialism
wrong in that it brings Christ back to earth to sit on the throne of David in
Jerusalem. (Mt 1:12; Hos 13:11; Acts 2:29-36)
No descendant of Jeconiah will
ever rule in physical Jerusalem ever again:
"“As I live,” declares the Lord, “even though Coniah
[Jehoiachin] the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were a signet ring on My
right hand, yet I would pull you off; and I will give you over into the hand of
those who are seeking your life, yes, into the hand of those whom you dread,
even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of the
Chaldeans. “I will hurl you and your mother who bore you into another country
where you were not born, and there you will die. “But as for the land to which
they desire to return, they will not return to it. “Is this man Coniah a
despised, shattered jar? Or is he an undesirable vessel? Why have he and his
descendants been hurled out And cast into a land that they had not known? “O
land, land, land, Hear the word of the Lord! “Thus says the Lord, ‘Write this
man down childless, A man who will not prosper in his
days; For no man of his descendants will prosper Sitting on the throne of David
Or ruling again in Judah.’ ”" (Jeremiah 22:24–30)
- Jesus is a
physical descendant of Jeconiah: "And
after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was
the father of Salathiel, and Salathiel the father of Zerubbabel,"
- The earthly throne
never was God's plan: "I gave you a king
in my anger, and I took him away in my wrath." (Hosea 13:11)
- Jesus is sitting
on the throne of David in heaven now: "“Fellow
Israelites, I may say to you confidently of our ancestor David that he
both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Since he
was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an
oath to him that he would put one of his descendants on his throne.
Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah,
saying, ‘He was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh experience
corruption.’ This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are
witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having
received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured
out this that you both see and hear. For David did not ascend into the
heavens, but he himself says, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right
hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” ’ Therefore let the
entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both
Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.”" (Acts 2:29-36)
Nebuchadnezzar also deported him to Babylon:
"Jehoiachin [Coniah] the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he
and his mother and his servants and his captains and his officials. So the king
of Babylon took him captive in the eighth year of his [Nebuchadnezzar's]
reign." (2 Kings 24:12)
Although Josiah had three sons who were kings, Coniah
was the end of the dynasty of King David.
Jeremiah offered messianic hope of restoration of Judah
and Israel in Christ, in the church:
"Then I will give you shepherds [apostles, church elders]
after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding. “It shall
be in those days when you are multiplied and increased in the land,” declares
the Lord, “they will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord.’ And
it will not come to mind, nor will they remember it, nor will they miss it, nor
will it be made again. “At that time they will call
Jerusalem ‘The Throne of the Lord,’ and all the nations will be gathered to it,
to Jerusalem, for the name of the Lord; nor will they walk anymore after the
stubbornness of their evil heart. “In those days the house of Judah will
walk with the house of Israel, and they will come together from the land of the
north to the land that I gave your fathers as an inheritance." (Jeremiah
The throne of God was originally in heaven, but during
the time of Saul the throne came to earth until the deportation of Jeconiah
(Coniah) and Zedekiah.
Jesus Christ sits on the throne of David right now as
king of the universe which he created by the power of his own divine might.
"‘Behold, days are coming,’ declares the Lord,
‘when I will fulfill the good word which I have spoken concerning the house of
Israel and the house of Judah. ‘In those days and at that time I will cause a
righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and
righteousness on the earth. ‘In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem
will dwell in safety; and this is the name by which she will be called: the
Lord is our righteousness.’ “For thus says the Lord, ‘David shall never lack a
man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel; and the Levitical priests
shall never lack a man before Me to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain
offerings and to prepare sacrifices continually.’ ” The word of the Lord
came to Jeremiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord, ‘If you can break My covenant
for the day and My covenant for the night, so that day and night will not be at
their appointed time, then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant
so that he will not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levitical
priests, My ministers. ‘As the host of heaven cannot be counted and the sand of
the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of David My
servant and the Levites who minister to Me.’ ” And the word of the Lord
came to Jeremiah, saying, “Have you not observed what this people have spoken,
saying, ‘The two families which the Lord chose, He has rejected them’? Thus
they despise My people, no longer are they as a nation in their sight. “Thus
says the Lord, ‘If My covenant for day and night stand not, and the fixed
patterns of heaven and earth I have not established, then I would reject the
descendants of Jacob and David My servant, not taking from his descendants rulers
over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But I will restore their
fortunes and will have mercy on them.’ ”" (Jeremiah 33:14–26)
Only through Jesus Christ, the branch (seed) of David
are the fortunes of David and the throne of David restored IN HEAVEN NOW not on
"Saul vs. David | Gedaliah vs. Ishmael" reverse allegory
- The Holy Spirit was careful to draw
special attention in showing a reverse parallel in the story of Saul
unsuccessfully trying to extinct the throne of David in attempting to kill
him, and Ishmael the son of David unsuccessfully trying to restore the
throne of David in the successful assassination of Gedaliah.
- The fact there are two whole chapters in
Jeremiah about Gedaliah is a signal something greater than insurrection
and murder of a governor is in play here.
- Indeed, the destruction of Jerusalem and
the temple and the appointment of Gedaliah was like God dropped a nuclear
bomb on the entire nation of Israel and Judah.
- Within 5 years of 587 BC, the entire
promised land lay uninhabited, desolate and destroyed.
- A brand new world order of perpetual
occupation by foreign powers had swept over the Jews which they would
have to live with until the coming of Christ.
- The blessings of Jerusalem were
transferred to Babylon and the curse of pagan Babylon was transferred to
- BLESSINGS IN BABYLON: "Thus says
the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent
into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, ‘Build houses and live in them; and
plant gardens and eat their produce. ‘Take wives and become the fathers
of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your
daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and
multiply there and do not decrease. ‘Seek the
welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to
the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.’"
(Jeremiah 29:4–7, 595 BC)
- CURSE IN JERUSALEM: "for thus says
the Lord concerning the king [Zedekiah] who sits
on the throne of David, and concerning all the people who dwell in
this city, your brothers who did not go with you into exile— thus says
the Lord of hosts, ‘Behold, I am sending upon them the sword, famine and
pestilence, and I will make them like split-open figs that cannot be
eaten due to rottenness. ‘I will pursue them with the sword, with famine
and with pestilence; and I will make them a terror to all the kingdoms of
the earth, to be a curse and a horror and a hissing, and a reproach among
all the nations where I have driven them, because they have not listened
to My words,’ declares the Lord, ‘which I sent to them again and again by
My servants the prophets; but you did not listen,’ declares the
Lord." (Jeremiah 29:16–19, 595 BC)
- The capital city was moved from Jerusalem
to Mitzpa, given the destruction and burning of Jerusalem.
- The end of a long established dynasty of
father to son kings dating back to 1010 BC when David first ruled from
Hebron after the death of Saul and the appointment of a mere scribe,
- Both Saul and Gedaliah were confirmed as
kings at Mitzpa.
- Special attention is drawn to the fact
that Jehoiakim, Coniah (Jeconiah) and Zedekiah sat "on the throne of
David" but that they were going to be exiled to Babylon. God even set
up a king of Deut 28 "blessings and curses" in Jer 17:24-27
where they were told "if you obey the throne of David will continue
but if you disobey the throne of David will end forever on earth".
- 605 BC Jehoiakim: "‘Therefore thus says the Lord concerning Jehoiakim king
of Judah, “He shall have no one to sit on the
throne of David, and his dead body shall be cast out to the heat
of the day and the frost of the night." (Jeremiah 36:30)
- 597 BC Coniah (Jeconiah, Jehoiachin): “O land, land, land, Hear the word of the Lord! “Thus says
the Lord, ‘Write this man [Coniah] down childless, A man who will not
prosper in his days; For no man of his
descendants will prosper Sitting on the throne of David Or ruling again
in Judah.’ ”" (Jeremiah 22:2930)
- 597 BC Zedekiah: Paralleling the blessings and curses Moses at Shechem in
Deut 28: "But it will come about, if you
listen attentively to Me,” declares the Lord, “to bring no load in
through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but to keep the
sabbath day holy by doing no work on it, then
there will come in through the gates of this city kings and princes
sitting on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses,
they and their princes, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of
Jerusalem, and this city will be inhabited forever. “They will come in
from the cities of Judah and from the environs of Jerusalem, from the
land of Benjamin, from the lowland, from the hill country and from the
Negev, bringing burnt offerings, sacrifices, grain offerings and incense,
and bringing sacrifices of thanksgiving to the house of the Lord. “But if you do not listen to Me to keep the
sabbath day holy by not carrying a load and coming in through the gates
of Jerusalem on the sabbath day, then I will
kindle a fire in its gates and it will devour the palaces of Jerusalem
and not be quenched.” (Jeremiah 17:24–27)
- 595 BC Zedekiah: "for thus says the Lord concerning the king [Zedekiah]
who sits on the throne of David, and
concerning all the people who dwell in this city, your brothers who did
not go with you into exile" (Jeremiah 29:16)
- Three times a pagan foreign king
Nebuchadnezzar was called "God's servant" who destroyed the
temple of David/Solomon.
- "behold, I will send and take all
the families of the north,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will send to Nebuchadnezzar
king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land
and against its inhabitants and against all these nations round about;
and I will utterly destroy them and make them a horror and a hissing, and
an everlasting desolation." (Jeremiah 25:9)
- "“Now I have given all these lands
into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,
My servant, and I have given him also the wild animals of the
field to serve him." (Jeremiah 27:6)
- "and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel,
“Behold, I am going to send and get Nebuchadnezzar
the king of Babylon, My servant, and I am going to set his throne
right over these stones that I have hidden; and he will spread his canopy
over them." (Jeremiah 43:10)
- Gedaliah, Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus were
considered God's Anointed kings and "shepherds of His people exactly
- "Thus says the Lord to Cyrus His anointed, Whom I have taken by
the right hand, To subdue nations before him And to loose the loins of
kings; To open doors before him so that gates will not be shut:"
- “It is I who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd! And he will perform
all My desire.’ And he declares of Jerusalem, ‘She will be built,’ And of
the temple, ‘Your foundation will be laid.’ ”" (Isaiah 44:28)
- Saul and Ishmael wanted to kill God's
anointed, David and Gedaliah who themselves refused to kill God's anointed
(Saul and Ishmael the son of David)
- "Then Abishai said to David, “Today
God has delivered your enemy into your hand; now therefore, please let me
strike him with the spear to the ground with one stroke, and I will not
strike him the second time.” But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy
him, for who can stretch out his hand against the Lord’s anointed and be
without guilt?”" (1 Samuel 26:8–9)
- Many cities are identical in the two
- Mitzpa: Saul and Gedaliah were
proclaimed rulers at Mitzpa: "Thereafter Samuel called the people
together to the Lord at Mizpah;" (1 Samuel 10:17) "So they came
to Gedaliah at Mizpah." (Jeremiah 40:8)
- Mitzpa was initial capital city of both
Saul and Gedaliah:
- Ammon: David
and Ishmael were allied with the king of Ammon (Shobi, Baalis). "Now
when David had come to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of
Nahash from Rabbah of the sons of Ammon, Machir the son of Ammiel
from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim, brought beds,
basins, pottery, wheat, barley, flour, parched grain, beans, lentils,
parched seeds, honey, curds, sheep, and cheese of the herd, for David and
for the people who were with him, to eat; for they said, “The people are
hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.”" (2 Samuel
17:27–29) "Then David said, “I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, just as his father
showed kindness to me.” So David sent some of his servants to console him
concerning his father." (2 Samuel 10:2)
- Gibeon: The
final battle to defeat the house of Saul was at the pool of Gibeon who
then fled across the Jordan River. (2 Sam 2:13-3:1) The final defeat of
the house of David happened at Gibeon when Ishmael fled across the Jordan
- Bethlehem: The throne of David started
in Bethlehem when Samuel anointed him and ended when Johanan , the army
commander camped near Bethlehem to leave for Egypt. Geruth Kimham is the
staging place near Bethlehem just before the Jews in 587 BC fled to
Egypt. This was the very parcel of land David gave to a man named Kimham
(Chimham, identical Hebrew word) as a reward for his loyalty in defeating
David's treasonous son Absalom. (2 Samuel 19:37-40)
- Here is a chart that highlights many of
the reverse parallels in the two stories of Saul/David and
Parallels of Saul vs. David and Ishmael vs. Gedaliah
Saul was proclaimed king at Mitzpa
Gedaliah was proclaimed governor at Mitzpa
Mitzpa was the first capital city of the new line of
Israelite kings that lasted 465 years (1052-587 BC)
Mitzpa was the first capital city of the new line of
Judean governs that lasted 657 years. (587 BC- 70 AD)
Ishmael was a son of David through Bathsheba and heir to
the throne but rejected as king.
Gedaliah the "commoner" was a scribe God chose
to be king.
Saul tried three times and failed to Kill David in a
failed attempt to extinct the throne of David
Ishmael succeeded in killing Gedaliah in a failed attempt
to restore the throne of David.
Saul tried three times to kill David and failed
David had three chances to kill Saul and refused
David had three chances to kill Saul but would never kill
Ishmael killed God's anointed governor Gedaliah.
Gedaliah was unwilling to kill Ishmael the son of David
(seed anointed) when he was warned of the assassination plot.
Saul and Ishmael were ok with the idea of killing
"God's anointed". (David and Gedaliah)
God called David "My servant, My anointed, My
God called Gedaliah, Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus called
"My servant, My anointed, My Shepherd"
Saul and David refused to retaliate when people opposed
their kingship (1 Samuel 10:27 and Shimei: 1 Kings 2:8–9)
Ishmael killed the governor.
One of David's men offered to kill Saul and david refused.
One of Gedaliah's men offered to kill Ishmael but he
Saul used the opportunity of a celebratory feast to try to
Ishmael used the opportunity of a celebratory feast to
Saul killed 85 tabernacle priests for supporting David in
giving him the holy showbread.
Ishmael killed 70 worshippers on the way to the house of
the Lord to sacrifice for supporting Gedaliah who was used as a lure to their
Saul lost the war between the "house of Saul"
and the "House of David" resulting in the collapse of the house of
Ishmael lost the war to restore the House of David"
against the "house of Gedaliah" when he fled back to Ammon in defeat.
The final battle to defeat the house of Saul was at the
pool of Gibeon who then fled across the Jordan River. (2 Sam 2:13-3:1)
The final defeat of the house of David happened at Gibeon
when Ishmael fled across the Jordan to Ammon.
At the time David became king with the death of Saul at
Mt. Gilboah, David's wives are kidnapped by the Amalekites which he rescued
through a military battle. (1 Sam 30:1-31)
Ishmael kidnaps "the kings daughters" to sell as
slaves to the Baalis, king of Ammon but are rescued by Johanan the army
commander in a military operation. (Jer 41:10-15)
The house of David began in Bethlehem when Samuel anointed
The house of David ended when Johanan used Bethlehem as
the staging ground and last point of departure before moving forever to
Governors of Judea after Jerusalem was destroyed in 587 BC:
- After the period of the kings came to an
end, Israel was under foreign control right down to 70 AD with the
exception of the brief Hasmonean/Maccabean rule (166-37 AD).
- Gedaliah was the first post 597 BC
Governor in a long line of governors of Judah that date down to 70 AD.
- Gedaliah is the only governor of Judea we
know about until the Persian age that began in 333 BC.
- During the Persian era we know the names
of 8 governors of Judah including their several bullae, pottery handle
stamps and coins!
- Sheshbazzar: The first Persian governor: 533-520 BC
- Zerubbabel: The second Persian governor: 520-510 BC
- Elnathan The
third Persian governor: 510-490 BC
- Yehoʿezer: The forth Persian governor: 490-470 BC
- Ahzai: The
fifth Persian governor: 470-460 BC
- Nehemiah: The Seventh Persian governor: First term: 445-433 BC
- Bagohi: The
eighth Persian governor: 406 BC
"Hezekiah": Last Persian Governor of Judea: 350-333 BC
- Some of the Governors during the Roman
era include: (King Herod’s successors minted coins, including Herod
Archelaus, Antipas, Philip II, Agrippa I, Herod of Chalcis, and Agrippa
- Herod the Great (39 BC - 1 BC)
- Archelaus (1 BC - 6AD) COMING 2015
- Coponius (6-9 AD)
- Marcus Ambibulus (9-12 AD)
- Annius Rufus (12-15 AD
- Varerius Gratus (15-26 AD)
- Pontius Pilate (26-36 AD)
- Marcellus (36-37 AD)
- Marullus (37-41 AD)
- King Agrippa I (37-43 AD)
Made king in 37-41 AD, then
both king and governor for 2 years after Marullus: 41-43 AD when Herod
Agrippa I was eaten by worms in Acts 12.
- Cuspius Fadus (44-46 AD)
- Tiberius Alexander (46-48 AD)
- Cumanus (48-52 AD)
- Antonius Felix (52-57 AD)
- Porcius Festus (57-62 AD)
- Albinus (62-64 AD)
- Gessius Florus (64-66 AD)
- 66-70 AD the first Jewish revolt broke
out and thus ended the Governors of Judea.
- First Jewish war Prutah: 66-69 AD
- Jerusalem was
destroyed by Titus in 70 AD ending the Jewish nation.
- Simon bar Kokhba:
Second Jewish war: 132-135 AD.
His actual name was "Simon bar
Kosiba/Koseba" but Rabbi Akiba/Akiva called him "bar
Kokhba" meaning "son of the star" which directly ties him
as the messiah to "There shall step forth
a star out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel"
(Num 24:17). The name Bar Kokhba does not appear in the Talmud but in
ecclesiastical sources. However, after he was defeated, the Jews started
calling him "bar Koziba" meaning "son of the lie".
Simon bar Kosiba/Kokhba was the first post-70 AD "president" of
Israel who all the Jews believed to be the Messiah of prophecy who would
liberate Israel from underneath Roman control. "Simon bar Kosiba, President over Israel, to Yehonathan and
Masabala, peace. [My order is] that you search and seize the wheat which
is in the possession of Hanun (Bar Kokhba's Letters, The Wooden Letter)
They were sadly mistaken in rejecting Jesus Christ as their true Messiah
whom they crucified and even more mistaken in their false faith in Simon
as the Messiah. Three ancient authentic sources (7th century, one 8th)
that show that the significant portion of the Jewish community initially
viewed Muhammad as the messiah, just as they did Bar Kokhba in 135 AD.
The Jews only realized Bar Kokhba was false after he was defeated and Akiva's disciple, Yose ben Halaphta changed
his name from "son of the star" to "the son of lies".
The Jews only realized Muhammad was not their messiah when he ate
non-kosher camel meat and the attack on the Jewish oasis of Khaybar in
628 AD. "Contrary to the widely held view that the Aramaic word
Kazab is "falsehood", and all examples cited from rabbinic literature
have the meaning of lie, deception, or falsehood. In modern Hebrew, the
usual meaning of kazab is "lie", although it can also take the
meaning of "disappointment." But any attempt to translate
"bar Kozeba" as "son of the disappointment" would be
forcing a meaning from a modern language onto a similar word in a
different language and from a different millennium." (Rodger Young).
"In rabbinic writings the s in the name [bar Kosiba] is
usually changed to a z (bar Koziba), implying in derogatory
fashion that Simon was regarded as “the son of a lie” (i.e., a
liar)." (ABD, Bar Kokhba). The Talmud always translates his name
"Simon bar Koziba" (בר כוזיבא) or "Simon Bar Kozevah" (בר כוזבה)." The Babyonian Talmud says: "Bar Koziba ruled for
two and a half years. He said to rabbis, “I am the Messiah.” They said to
him, “In the case of the Messiah it is written that he smells a man and
judges. Let us see whether you can smell a man and judge.” When they saw
that he could not smell a man and judge, they killed him." (Babylonian
Talmud, b. Sanh. 11:1, I.46.V–X)
- Hadrian 135 AD: Jews expelled from Judah, temple of Jupiter built on temple
mount in Jerusalem, Judah renamed "Palestine" after the
historic enemies of the Jews, the Philistines.
VI. Six archeological finds connected with the
Assassination of Gedaliah:
- We have the bulla of Gedaliah, the governor whom Baalis assassinated through Ishmael.
outline on Gedaliah
- This stunning find at Lachish in the
1935 archeological season is a prize for Bible students.
- "Now as for the people who were left
in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left, he
appointed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son
of Shaphan over them." (2
- We have found four seals from one bible
verse: "So they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah, along with Ishmael
the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah,
and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, and the sons of
Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah the
son of the Maacathite, both they and their men." (Jeremiah
- "Another important seal impression
was found at Lachish in 1935 by the Welcome Archaeological Expedition of
England. The inscription on it reads, “Belonging to Gedaliah, the one who
is over the house,” and the reverse side shows the marks of a papyrus
roll to which it had been stuck. In other words it was Gedaliah’s
personal seal to a letter or official document which he had just written.
Since the impression is dated by its archaeological context to the very
end of the Divided monarchy, we are safe in assuming that Gedaliah is the
same person who was the friend of Jeremiah (Jer. 39:14 and 40:1ff.) and
whom Nebuchadnezzar made governor of Judah after the destruction of
Jerusalem in 586 B.C. (II Kings 25:22). The title which he bore, “the one
who is over the house,” was always used to designate one of the highest
royal officials (cf. Gen. 43:16 where in the Hebrew the office of
Joseph’s “steward” is described in the same way, and Isaiah 22:15 where
the phrase is applied to an official of Hezekiah). Perhaps “Governor of
the Palace” would be a fairly accurate translation of the title. Gedaliah
himself must have been well trained for his position, for his
grandfather, Shaphan, was also a royal official—the scribe or secretary
of King Josiah." (Biblical Archeologist, Some Personal Seals of
Judean Royal Officials, G. Ernest Wright, Vol 1)
- "The nearby city fortress of
Lachish provides clear proof that it had been
twice burned over a short period of time, coinciding with the two
captures of Jerusalem. In Lachish the imprint of a clay seal was
found, its back still shows the fibers of the papyrus to which it had
been attached. It reads: “The property of Gedaliah who is over the
house.” We meet this distinguished individual in 2 Kings 25:22, where we
are told: “And as for the people that remained in the land of Judah, whom
Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left, even over them he made
Gedaliah…ruler.” (Elder, John. Prophets, Idols, and Diggers. New York:
Bobbs-Merrill, 1960 108, 109), (Evidence for Christianity, Josh McDowell,
p164, 2006 AD)
- We have the bulla of Ishmael "the
king's son" (of Solomon through
Bathsheba), who was hired by Baalis to kill Gedaliah in Jer 41:1.
outline on Ishmael
- Ishmael had disobeyed the prophet
Jeremiah in surrendering to Nebuchadnezzar as Daniel had in 605 BC. He
fled to Ammon likely around the same time and had lived with Baalis for 8
years. He was also a son of David and Bathsheba, who must have had
intentions to take over as the new king of Judah in place of Gedaliah,
who was not a son of David or of Royal descent. Add to this the fact that
the Jews who left Ammon to be repatriated to Judah would have caused
serious financial costs to Baalis.
- Baalis had likely made a deal with
Ishmael that if he brought back the Jews who were living in Ammon that
Baalis would support his bid to be king in place of Gedaliah.
- Three bullae have been found from this
one Bible verse: “Are you well aware that Baalis the king of the sons of Ammon has sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to take your life?” But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam did not believe them."
- "In the seventh month Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of
the royal family and one of the
chief officers of the king, along with ten men, came to Mizpah to Gedaliah the son
of Ahikam. While they were eating bread together there in Mizpah,"
- From the text is seems clear that
Nethaniah was the direct father of Ishmael and that Elishama was the
distant "father" whose name immediately connected Ishmael to
the royal family. Elishama would be a known clan of the sons of David.
Just as sons of Aaron formed three priestly clans, so to the sons of
David formed separate well known clans.
- David and Bathsheba had two sons named
Elishama: "These were born to David in Jerusalem: Shimea, Shobab,
Nathan and Solomon, four, by Bath-shua (Bathsheba) the daughter of
Ammiel; and Ibhar, Elishama, Eliphelet,
Nogah, Nepheg and Japhia, Elishama, Eliada
and Eliphelet, nine." (1 Chron 3:5-8)
- We have the seal of Baalis king of
Ammon who hired Ishmael to assassinate
Gedaliah in Jer 40:14.
outline on Baalis
Line 1: [ע]בעלישׁ[לְ] ([l]b‘lyš[‘])
“[Belonging to] Ba‘ališ[‘]”
Line 2: מלך (ml/k) “King of”
Line 3: ן[נעם]ב (b[n’m]n)
- Baalas wanted to kill Gedaliah because
the he was prospering with the new Jewish population who had immigrated
to Ammon between 605-587 BC. Now they were leaving to come home and this
was costing Baalas money, power and prestige. "Likewise, also all
the Jews who were in Moab and among the sons of Ammon and in Edom and who
were in all the other countries, heard that the king of Babylon had left
a remnant for Judah, and that he had appointed over them Gedaliah the son
of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan. Then all the Jews returned from all the
places to which they had been driven away and came to the land of Judah,
to Gedaliah at Mizpah, and gathered in wine and summer fruit in great
abundance." (Jeremiah 40:11–12)
- Notice that after Ishmael killed
Gedaliah, that he was preparing to take the repatriated Jews who had been
living in Ammon, back to Baalis!
- Baalas is the king of Ammon who
succeeded in assassinating Gedaliah. Baalas is mentioned by name in one
Bible verse: "Now Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders
of the forces that were in the field came to Gedaliah at Mizpah and said
to him, “Are you well aware that Baalis the
king of the sons of Ammon has
sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to take your life?” But Gedaliah the
son of Ahikam did not believe them." (Jeremiah 40:13-14)
- King Baalis is unknown from any outside
written sources except the Bible which caused bible scoffers to once
again, accuse God of making errors in the Bible. The discovery of the
this Baalis seal and the bulla of Milkom servant of Baalis silenced the
Bible haters once again! Outline
- "What makes this seal especially
exciting is that the king who owned the seal, a certain Ba‘alis, is also
referred to in the Bible. When the Babylonians conquered Judah in the
early sixth century B.C.E. and destroyed Jerusalem, they made Gedaliah,
who was from a prominent Jerusalem family, governor of Judah. Gedaliah,
however, was soon murdered, an event still commemorated in Jewish
tradition by a yearly fast. The assassin was sent by none other than
Ba‘alis, king of the Ammonites (Jeremiah 40:13–41:2). Ba‘alis’s seal
(shown on the cover of this issue; the seal impression appears below) is
made of brown agate with white bands and is in fact quite tiny (.5 inches
in diameter and .2 inches thick). A small hole was drilled through the
center of the scarab-shaped seal for the setting. On the seal are three
lines of script, each separated by double rules:" (Seal of Ba‘alis
Surfaces, Ammonite king plotted murder of Judahite governor, Robert
Deutsch, BAR 25:02, 1999 AD)
- We have the Bulla of Milkom (Molech)
servant of Baalis (Baal).
outline on Milkom
- It is likely that Milkon was part of the
assassination plot against Gedaliah. He may have initiated it, planned it
or help execute it. He certainly must have known about it given he lived
at the same time.
- The importance of this bulla is not that
Milkom himself is directly associated with the but that it is the second
archeological source that confirms Ba'alis was in fact a real king of
Ammon, contrary to the now silenced chortlings of Bible trashers who used
the absence of evidence to say the Bible just made Baalis up like mother
- Both men's names on the bulla are of
pagan gods: Milkom =Molech and Baalis =Baal.
- Although there is no man in the Bible
named Milkom, it is another name for Molech, the idol god of the Ammonites.
Just as Muslims name their fourth child, Muhammed-Muhammed-Muhammed-ABU-Muhammed, so too men would historically
name their children after pagan gods. Here we have man named after the
idol Molech who is the servant of Baalis who is named after the idol
- King Baalis is unknown from any outside
written sources except the Bible which caused bible scoffers to once
again, accuse God of making errors in the Bible. The discovery of the
this Baalis seal and the bulla of Milkom servant of Baalis silenced the
Bible haters once again! Outline
- "Then Solomon built a high place
for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab, on the mountain which is east of
Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestable idol of
the sons of Ammon." (1 Kings 11:7)
- "When Jephthah subdued the
Ammonites, “he smote them … as far as Abel-keramim” (Judges 11:33), whose
ruins today constitute Tell el ‘Umeiri, a Jordanian site about 37 miles
east of Jerusalem. Occupied from about 3000 B.C. to nearly 500 B.C., the
site has been linked with the Ammonite king Baalis (Jeremiah 40:14) and
with Pharaoh Thutmose III (1479–1425 B.C.). In past seasons, excavators
have found an early sixth-century B.C. bulla with the inscription,
“Belonging to Milkom-or, the servant of Baalyasha” (the Baalis of
Jeremiah 40:14), and a jar handle stamped with the cartouche of Thutmose
III." (Tell el ‘Umeiri-Madaba Plains Project, BAR 14:06, 1988 AD)
- "This king
[Baalis] has been identified with the Baʿal-yishʿa mentioned on
a seal impression found in 1984 at Tell el-ʿUmeiri,
just S of Amman in Jordan (Geraty 1984; 1985). It
was found in the sift from topsoil excavated near the W rim of the
mound about 50 cm above the remains of a major public structure termed
the Ammonite Citadel by the excavators. The seal impression itself (19 mm
in diameter) was on the flat end of a fired ceramic cone (21 mm in
length) which may have served as a stopper with identification for a
juglet of unknown contents. The finely conceived and executed seal
impression is divided into 3 panels. The top and bottom panels contain
the Ammonite inscription, dated paleographically to ca. 600 b.c. (Herr
1985b and fc.). The middle panel depicts typically Ammonite iconography
(Younker 1985): a 4-winged scarab beetle pushing a solar ball flanked by
standards, solar discs, and crescent moons in an assemblage reminiscent
of Zeph 1:4–6. The inscription reads lmlkm-ʾwr ʿbd bʿl-yšʿ,
“belonging to Milkom-ʾur, servant of Baʿal-yishʿa (or Baʿal-yashaʿ).”
Both of the personal names, that of the owner of the seal and that of the
king he served, constitute “firsts.” Milkom-ʾor (“Milkom is light”)
or Milkom-ʾur (“Milkom’s flame”), represents the first-known
occurrence in which Milkom, the well-known Ammonite divine name, appears
as one of the elements in an Ammonite proper name. According to his
title, “servant,” this individual would have been a prominent government
official in the service of the Ammonite king, Baʿal-yishʿa
(“Baal is salvation”) or Baʿal-yashaʿ (“Baal saves”). The
latter is identified with the Baalis of Jer 40:14, and this reference to
him is his first extrabiblical confirmation". (ABD, Baalis)
- We have the seal
of Jaazaniah servant of the king who helped assassinate Gedaliah.
outline on Jaazaniah
- "When all the captains of the forces,
they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah
governor, they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, namely, Ishmael the son of
Nethaniah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of
Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah the
son of the Maacathite, they and their men." (2 Kings
- "So they came to Gedaliah at
Mizpah, along with Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan and Jonathan
the sons of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, and the sons of
Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah the son
of the Maacathite, both they and their men." (Jeremiah
- "In the ruins of Tell en-Naṣbeh
(Mizpah?) a seal was found bearing the identifying inscription “To
Jaazaniah, servant of the king.” Jaazaniah was
one of the officials associated with Gedaliah (2 K. 25:23; Jer.
40:8). A seal impression found among the ruins of Lachish (thus
antedating its destruction) bears the inscription, “Gedaliah who is over
the house.” Thus G. Ernest Wright (WBA, p. 181) suggests that Gedaliah had
served as one of the last prime ministers of Judah, because the words
“who is over the house” refer to the office of prime minister. Not only
was Gedaliah’s father a high official in his own right (Jer. 26:24), but
his grandfather Shaphan had served Josiah as scribe, or secretary of
state (2 K. 22:3, 8–12)." (ISBE, Rule of Gedaliah, Volume 2, Page
919, 1979 AD)
- Since this seal was found at tel Mizpah,
it seems obvious to associate this Jaazaniah with the Gedaliah the first
governor of Judah who used Mizpah as his home city. (2 Ki 25:23; Jer
Jaazaniah was in Mizpah at the same time as Gedaliah
Jaazaniah was called the servant of the king and since Gedaliah
was NEVER called a KING and since
Jaananiah was hostile to Gedaliah and part of the assassination
Therefore it makes perfect sense that Jaazaniah served king
- The Bulla of Miamen Son of Ephai,
son of a Maachathite who
helped assassinate Gedaliah.
outline on Miamen
- Miamen is not named in the Bible but the
sons of Ephai were part of the assassination plot headed by Ishmael to
- The "sons of Ephai" are named
in the Bible: "So they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah, along with
Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan and Jonathan the sons of
Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, and the
sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah the son of the
Maacathite, both they and their men." (Jeremiah 40:8)
- This bulla came from the 255 bullae that
surfaced in 1975 AD:
- Gedaliah was the first in a long line of
governors of Israel and Judah appointed by the four foreign powers:
Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome.
- The Bible gives us little details about
these governors but archeology has actually helped us fill in the gaps
and the details.
- While the Bible is all sufficient for
life and godliness and we have all we need for salvation in the revealed
word of God, archeology certainly does add new information we would not
know otherwise. This information is not needed since we have the Bible,
but it sure thrills the heart of the Christian to learn about it!
- The central theme surrounding the assassination
of Gedaliah is the end of the house of David and the extinction of the
throne of David on earth:
- The Holy Spirit went to great lengths to
specifically highlight direct parallels between the triumph of the House
of David over the House of Saul in 1010 BC and the extinction of the
house of David in 587 BC with the appointment of Gedaliah as the first in
a long line of vassal kings that endured down to 70 AD.
- "The connection of Gedaliah and
Ishmael to Saul and David also accentuates the covenantal crisis created
by the removal of the Davidic ruler from the throne. The narrator in Jer
40-41 suggests that the house of David experiences the same divine
rejection that was the fate of the house of Saul (cf. 1 Sam 13:13-14;
15:1, 23, 26; 28:17), a startling and disturbing notion in light of
Yahweh's original promise to David that this very thing would never
happen (cf. 2 Sam 7:15-16; Ps 89:30-37). The Saul-David intertextuality
adds to the shock value of the story of Gedaliah and Ishmael and
magnifies the national import of this episode." (Ishmael's
Assassination of Gedaliah: Echoes of the Saul-David Story in Jeremiah
40:7-41:18, Gary E. Yates, WT767, p112, 2005 AD)
- It is strange that Premillennialists reject
that Jesus is a king sitting on the throne of David NOW in heaven, while
wanting to restore an apostate earthly throne in Judah for a future time
when Jesus can be king on earth.
- A future earthly throne of David on
earth with Jesus sitting as king is a direct violation of God's own
prophecy that no descendant of Coniah would ever be king in Judah again:
"Thus says the Lord, ‘Write this man [Jeconiah/Coniah] down
childless, A man who will not prosper in his days; For no man of his
descendants will prosper Sitting on the throne of David Or ruling again
in Judah.’ ”" (Jeremiah 22:30)
- Jesus was a direct descendant of
Jeconiah/Coniah: Matthew 1:12, therefore Jesus could never be a king on
earth in Judah.
- Premillennialism, therefore, fails to
understand that the fact that an earthly throne never was God's will and
he allowed Saul to replace Him as king only after a series of natural
disasters impressed how angry God was in their asking for an earthly
throne in the first place.
- Premillennialists need to mediate on
this key verse: "I gave you a king in My anger And took him away in
My wrath." (Hosea 13:11)
- God gave appointed Saul in his anger and
made extinct, the earthly throne in 587 BC in his wrath.
- The throne of God from all eternity was
in heaven. Then from the time of Saul to the time of Zedekiah God allowed
the "Throne of God" to come down to earth.
- In 587 BC the throne of God was restored
in God's wrath, ever again to be on earth.
- Jesus Christ was seated on the throne of
David IN HEAVEN at his resurrection: Acts 2:29-36.
- Jesus is king NOW!
- Three times God calls Nebuchadnezzar
"My Servant" (Jeremiah 25:9; 27:6; 43:10) and the appointment of
Gedaliah was directly from God's will. In the same way Titus was the
"Servant of YHWH" when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD.
- The Jews didn't like the idea of being
bossed around by the Babylon king Nebuchadnezzar and they killed Gedaliah
just like they killed the other righteous prophets of YHWH.
- Jesus Christ was the
God appointed king of Israel whom they nailed to the cross.
- The murder of Gedaliah was the final act
of disobedience and ended the kingdom of Judah forever!
- Had they listened to Jeremiah, Jerusalem
would not have been destroyed by the Babylonians on the 10 Av 587 BC.
- Had they listened to Jesus, Jerusalem
would not have been destroyed by the Romans on the 10 Av 70 AD.
- God sent a clear message in twice
destroying Jerusalem on the exact same day of the year, 656 years apart.
- In the story of the assassination of
Gedaliah we have 6 bulla and seals in two Bible texts, from men directly
involved in this tragic story.
- The assassination of Gedaliah is a story
of failure of the masses who twice disobeyed Jeremiah:
- First time Jeremiah commanded all to
surrender to Nebuchadnezzar and be deported to Babylon or die.
- The disobedience hid in the fields, fled
to foreign countries then surfaced after the Babylonians returned home
thinking they were so smart to have NOT listened to Jeremiah.
- This same group then asked Jeremiah to
pray for guidance and command from God for direction.
- Second time Jeremiah commanded them to
NOT surrender to the Egyptians but to remain in Judah.
- They all ended up dying in exile in
Egypt under the hands of Nebuchadnezzar in 582 BC just as Jeremiah had
- It seems God creates circumstances that
only those who walk by faith can successfully navigate without harm.
- The remnant of Israel who survived to
return again and rebuilt the city, therefore, was almost exclusively those
who had the faith to voluntarily surrender to Nebuchadnezzar. All the rest
were spiritual discards destined for destruction and extinction just like
the 10 lost tribes experienced in 723 BC
- Those who did not obey God and surrender
fled to Ammon or hid themselves in bunkers in the hills. When these
returned, they were cursed because the very lack of faith that caused
them to disobey Jeremiah's original order to surrender, led them to
disobey Jeremiah's second order to NOT flee to Egypt but stay in Judah.
- Ishmael had a right to claim the throne
of David but was not chosen by God to do so. His murder of Ishmael shows
his black heart was only interested in self-preservation and power as a
- Johanan the son of Kareah was Zedekiah's
failed army general and a coward who chose to hide from the Babylonians
rather than fight in the same way Captain Francesco Schettino abandoned
300 passengers aboard the sinking Costa Concordia in 2012 AD. He came out
of hiding and made himself look like a hero by warning Gedaliah of his
impending death then repelling Ishmael back to Ammon and rescuing the
captured daughters of the king destined to be sold as slaves to Baalis.
But in the end he was also a black heart to lead the people to death in
- Johanan may have spoken these very words
to Jeremiah in Egypt: “As for the message that you have spoken to us in
the name of the Lord, we are not going to listen
to you! “But rather we will certainly carry out every word that
has proceeded from our mouths, by burning
sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her,
just as we ourselves, our forefathers, our kings and our princes did in
the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then we had
plenty of food and were well off and saw no misfortune. “But since we
stopped burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink
offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have met our end by the
sword and by famine." (Jeremiah 44:16-19)
- The assassination of Gedaliah is a story
of success of a tiny faithful remnant.
- Those who surrendered to Babylon never
had to experience the horrific and terrifying destruction of the city or
the witness the injustice of the murder of Gedaliah.
- When the Jews in Babylon did hear about
the murder, they enacted a feast on the 7th month (Zechariah 7:3; 8:19)
but today the fast is held on the 3rd of Tishri.
- It is a strange paradox that the Jews
have been keeping a memorial feast day for the innocent slaughter of
Gedaliah at the hands of his fellow Jews and they refuse to even
acknowledge an even greater injustice in the crucifixion of the innocent,
sinless the son of David, rightful heir to the throne of David, Jesus
- The faithful obeyed Jeremiah and lost
all their worldly possessions but gained their "life as a
- In the same way Jesus Christ calls upon
us to surrender voluntarily to him, give up all our worldly possessions,
pick up our cross and follow him in order to gain "eternal
life" as our booty!
- Will you volunteer to surrender your life
to Jesus who rose from the dead?
- Johanan called
Jeremiah a liar (Jeremiah 43:2)
- Will you call God a liar when he says Jesus rose from the
- "The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at
My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.” The
Lord will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying, “Rule in
the midst of Your enemies.” Your people will
volunteer freely in the day of Your power; In holy array, from the
womb of the dawn, Your youth are to You as the dew." (Psalm 110:1–3)
Steve Rudd: Contact the author for
comments, input or corrections.
By Steve Rudd: Contact
the author for comments, input or corrections.
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