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AND it came to pass in the seventh month, that Ismahel the son of Nathanias, the son of Elisama of the royal blood, and the nobles of the king, and ten men with him, came to Godolias the son of Ahicam into Masphath: and they ate bread there together in Masphath.

Ver. 1.  Month; Tisri, the third of which is still observed as a fast by the Jews.  C.


--- Godolias had given a supper to the traitors, and had drunk plentifully.  They set upon him while he and the people were retired to rest.  Jos. Ant. x. 11.


--- This happened two months after the burning of Jerusalem.  C. xxix. 2.  Nabuchodonosor soon after punished this perfidy of the Ammonites.  C.


--- Bread: feasted.  H.


--- Such tragedies are usually performed with the show of friendship.  W.

2 And Ismahel the son of Nathanias arose, and the ten men that were with him, and they struck Godolias the son of Ahicam, the son of Saphan with the sword, and slew him whom the king of Babylon had made governor over the land.

3 Ismahel slew also all the Jews that were with Godolias in Masphath, and the Chaldeans that were found there, and the soldiers. 4 And on the second day after he had killed Godolias, no man yet knowing it,

Ver. 4.  Second, or next day.  All had been slain in the night but some captives.  C.

5 There came some from Sichem, and from Silo, and from Samaria, fourscore men, with their beards shaven, and their clothes rent, and mourning: and they had offerings and incense in their hand, to offer in the house of the Lord.

Ver. 5.  Rent, as people mourning.  Lit. "dirty."  Heb. and Sept. "cut." H.  C. xvi. 6.  Lev. xix. 28.


--- Lord, Masphath, were people performed their devotions, as well as they could.  Judg. xx. 1. and 1 Mac. iii. 46.  Jeremias had probably ordered an altar to be erected, as Samuel had done.  1 K. vii. 6.  C.


--- Others think that these people went thither for a priest, to offer what they had brought on the altar of Jerusalem.  Bar. i. 10.  T.


--- Masphath lay to the south.  C.


--- It seems many of the people about Samaria were true believers, and even more affected at the destruction of the temple.  H.


--- Their city had been demolished by Salmanasar (C.) long before, and many fresh inhabitants introduced, who adhered to idols.  H.

6 And Ismahel the son of Nathanias went forth from Masphath to meet them, weeping all along as he went: and when he had met them, he said to them: Come to Godolias, the son of Ahicam.

Ver. 6.  He.  Sept. "they."  Yet Heb. intimates that Ismahel feigned tears.  C.


--- He did not weep sincerely.  W.


7 And when they were come to the midst of the city, Ismahel the son of Nathanias, slew them, and cast them into the midst of the pit, he and the men that were with him.

Ver. 7.  Into.  Lit. "slew them about the," &c.  H.


--- The pit was not full of water, but had been intended by Asa for a reservoir, (v. 9. and 3 K. xv. 20.  C.) when he built Maspha.  W.

8 But ten men were found among them, that said to Ismahel: Kill us not: for we have stores in the field, of wheat, and barley, and oil, and honey. And he forbore, and slew them not with their brethren.

Ver. 8.  Field.  It was usual to cover them up carefully.  Chardin.


--- Avarice sometimes will set bounds to cruelty, when nothing else will.  W.

9 And the pit into which Ismahel cast all the dead bodies of the men whom he slew because of Godolias, is the same that king Asa made, for fear of Baasa the king of Israel: the same did Ismahel the son of Nathanias fill with them that were slain. 10 Then Ismahel carried away captive all the remnant of the people that were in Masphath: the king's daughters, and all the people that remained in Masphath: whom Nabuzardan the general of the army had committed to Godolias the son of Ahicam. And Ismahel the son of Nathanias took them, and he departed, to go over to the children of Ammon.

Ver. 10.  King's; Sedecias, (C.) or some of his predecessors, as all the women were taken, (C. xxxviii. 22, 23.) unless those had escaped before.  H.

11 But Johanan the son of Caree, and all the captains of the fighting men that were with him, heard of the evil that Ismahel the son of Nathanias had done.

Ver. 11.  Johanan.  He and the rest of the fugitives thus shewed that they were clean.  W.

12 And taking all the men, they went out to fight against Ismahel the son of Nathanias, and they found him by the great waters that are in Gabaon.

Ver. 12.  Gabaon, famous for the battle of Abner.  2 K. ii. 13.

13 And when all the people that were with Ismahel, had seen Johanan the son of Caree, and all the captains of the fighting men that were with him, they rejoiced. 14 And all the people whom Ismahel had taken, went back to Masphath: and they returned and went to Johanan the son of Caree. 15 But Ismahel the son of Nathanias fled with eight men, from the face of Johanan, and went to the children of Ammon.

Ver. 15.  Eight.  He had brought ten.  v. 1.

16 Then Johanan the son of Caree, and all the captains of the soldiers that were with him, took all the remnant of the people whom they had recovered from Ismahel the son of Nathanias, from Masphath, after that he had slain Godolias the son of Ahicam: valiant men for war, and the women, and the children, and the eunuchs, whom he had brought back from Gabaon:

Ver. 16.  Eunuchs; officers of Sedecias, who had escaped.  C. xl. 9.

17 And they departed, and sat as sojourners in Chamaam, which is near Bethlehem: in order to go forward, and enter into Egypt,

Ver. 17.  As.  Heb. "at the station or inn of Chamaam," the son of Berzellai.  Chal.  Perhaps our Saviour was born in this (C.) "inn," (Eus. Dem. vii. 4.) which was then deserted.  H.


--- Egypt.  These poor wretches find no repose.  C.


Bethlehem of Juda, where Booz also was born. C. --- That place was, moreover, to be honoured with the birth of the Messias. S. Aug. q. 165. --- Ephrata: another name of Bethlehem. Ch.


Chamaam (Jer 41:17), name of a caravanserai in the neighbourhood of Bethlehem.

18 From the face of the Chaldeans: for they were afraid of them, because Ismahel the son of Nathanias had slain Godolias the son of Ahicam, whom the king of Babylon had made governor in the land of Juda.

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