1In the seventh month Ishmael came with ten men to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, at Mizpah. Ishmael was the son of Nethaniah. Nethaniah was the son of Elishama. Ishmael was a member of the royal family. He had been one of the king’s officers. Ishmael and his ten men were eating together at Mizpah. 2They got up and struck down Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, with their swords. They killed him even though the king of Babylon had appointed him as governor over Judah. Ahikam was the son of Shaphan. 3Ishmael also killed all the men of Judah who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah. And he killed the Babylonian soldiers who were there.
4On the next day, people still hadn’t found out that Gedaliah had been murdered. 5On that day 80 men came from Shechem, Shiloh and Samaria. They had shaved off their beards. They had torn their clothes. And they had cut themselves. They brought grain offerings and incense with them. They took them to the Lord’s house. 6Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, went out from Mizpah to meet them. He was weeping as he went. When he met them, he said, “Come to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam.” 7They went with him into the city. Then Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, and the men who were with him killed them. And they threw them into an empty well. 8But ten of the men had spoken to Ishmael. They had said, “Don’t kill us! We have some wheat and barley. We also have olive oil and honey. We’ve hidden all of it in a field.” So he didn’t kill them along with the others. 9But he had thrown into the empty well all the bodies of the men he had killed. That included Gedaliah’s body. The well was the one King Asa had made. He had made it when he strengthened Mizpah against attack by Baasha, the king of Israel. Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, filled it with the bodies of those he had killed.
10Nebuzaradan was the commander of the royal guard. He had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam over all the people at Mizpah. But Ishmael made prisoners of the people left at Mizpah. These prisoners included women who were members of the royal court. The prisoners also included everyone else left at Mizpah. Then Ishmael started out to go across the Jordan River to the land of Ammon.
11Johanan, the son of Kareah, was told what had happened. And so were all the other army officers with him. They heard about all the crimes Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, had committed. 12So they brought all their men together. Then they went to fight against Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah. They caught up with him near the large pool in Gibeon. 13Ishmael had many people with him. They saw Johanan, the son of Kareah. And they saw the other army officers who were with him. So the people who had been forced to go with Ishmael were glad. 14Ishmael had taken those people from Mizpah as prisoners. But now they turned and went over to the side of Johanan, the son of Kareah. 15But Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, and eight of his men escaped from Johanan. They ran away to the land of Ammon.
Some Jews Take Jeremiah to Egypt
16Then Johanan, the son of Kareah, led away all the people of Mizpah who were still alive. All the other army officers with Johanan helped him do this. He had taken them away from Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah. That happened after Ishmael had murdered Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam. The people Johanan had taken away included soldiers, women, children and court officials. He had brought them from Gibeon. 17They went on their way. They stopped at Geruth Kimham near Bethlehem. They were going to Egypt. 18They wanted to get away from the Babylonians. They were afraid of them. That’s because Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, had killed Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam. The king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah as governor over Judah.