Son of Ahikam, appointed by Nebuchadnezzar to govern Judea after the destruction of Jerusalem. Like his father, he honored and befriended Jeremiah, Jer 40:5. He began the administration of his government at Mizpeh with wisdom, but in two months was treacherously murdered by one Ishmael, 2Ki 25:22-26; Jer 39:14; 40:5-41:18.
made great by Jehovah. (1.) the son of Jeduthum (1Ch 25:3,9). (2.) The grandfather of the prophet Zephaniah, and the father of Cushi (Zep 1:1). (3.) One of the Jewish nobles who conspired against Jeremiah (Jer 38:1). (4.) The son of Ahikam, and grandson of Shaphan, secretary of king Josiah (Jer 26:24). After the destruction of Jerusalem (see Zedekiah), Nebuchadnezzar left him to govern the country as tributary to him (2Ki 25:22; Jer 40:5; 52:16). Ishmael, however, at the head of a party of the royal family, "Jewish irreconcilables", rose against him, and slew him and "all the Jews that were with him" (Jer 41:2-3) at Mizpah about three months after the destruction of Jerusalem. He and his band also plundered the town of Mizpah, and carried off many captives. He was, however, overtaken by Johanan and routed. He fled with such of his followers as escaped to the Ammonites (Jer 41:15). The little remnant of the Jews now fled to Egypt.
1. Son of Ahikam, who saved Jeremiah from death (Jer 26:24); grandson of Shaphan, Josiah's secretary, whom the king sent to inquire concerning the book of Jehovah' s law recently found (2Ki 22:12,14). Gedaliah thus inherited from father and grandfather a legacy of the fear of God. Left by Nebuchadnezzar, after the destruction of the temple (588 B.C.), to govern the cities of Judah and the farmers and vinedressers, who were allowed to remain in the land (Jer 39:10,14; 40:5-6,11; 52:16). He was stationed at the stronghold Mizpah, six miles N. of Jerusalem, with a Chaldean guard (Jeremiah 41).
Jeremiah, when given his choice by Nebuzaradan where he should dwell, attached himself to Gedaliah, who was joined also by a promiscuous multitude of "men, women, and children, and of the poor of the land"; also by Ishmael of the blood royal, Johanan and Jonathan, Seraiah, the sons of Ephai, Jezaniah, and their men; also by the Jews who had been driven to Moab, Ammon, and Edom, but who now with reassured confidence began to gather, as formerly, "wine and summer fruits." This indicates his deserved popularity, while his words imply his loyalty to the supreme monarch to whom God by express prophecy had assigned the world kingdoms, and at the same time his gentleness as a ruler. "Fear not to be servants of the Chaldees; dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you."
Even reverence for the temple, though in ruins, revived under him; and men from Shechem, Shiloh, and Samaria came with their offerings and badges of mourning for the destruction of the Lord's house and the holy city (Jer 41:5). Johanan warned Gedaliah that Baalis (called from the idol Baal) king of Ammon had sent Ishmael to assassinate him and his retinue. With unsuspecting generosity Gedaliah refused to credit it. So Ishmael, in violation of the sacred rights of hospitality and taking advantage of the opportunity, while eating Gedaliah's "bread" at Mizpah, smote him two months after his appointment (compare Ps 41:9). Jealousy of Gedaliah's presidency was Ishmael's motive; his royal descent leading him to regard himself as the rightful ruler. Ammon, Israel's ancient foe, gladly used such a tool.
A mystery of providence that God should permit the righteous, in spite of warning, to rush in unsuspecting honesty of purpose into the trap laid for them; Isa 57:1 suggests a solution. An enemy's presence appears in such anomalies. Faith, in spite of them, believes God is ordering all things for the ultimate good of His people, and at the judgment will vindicate His ways and clear up all that is now dark. All suffering nature and disorganized society as well as believers yearn for the advent of Him who shall reign in righteousness (Isaiah 11; Eze 21:27). His death is commemorated in the Jewish calendar as a national calamity; and many Jews under Johanan, fearing Babylon's vengeance, fled to Egypt, forcing Jeremiah with them (Jer 41:18).
3. Ezr 10:18.
4. Zep 1:1.
5. Son of Pashur; one of the princes who caused Jeremiah's imprisonment (Jer 38:1, etc.).
1. Son of Ahikam, who had protected Jeremiah from the anti-Chald
1. Son of Ahikam: he was made governor over those left in the land, with a Chaldean guard, by Nebuchadnezzar. He was joined by Jeremiah, and apparently ruled well; but he was treacherously murdered by Ishmael of Judah, who, according to Josephus (Ant. 10:9, 3), was a member of the royal family. Gedaliah was duly warned, but had too good an opinion of the man. 2Ki 25:22-25; Jer 39:14; 40:5-16; 41; 43:6.
3. Priest who had married a strange wife. Ezr 10:18.
4. Grandfather of Zephaniah the prophet. Zep 1:1.
5. Son of Pashur and one of the princes who caused Jeremiah to be cast into a dungeon. Jer 38:1.
(God is my greatness), son of Ahikam (Jeremiah's protector,
and grandson of Shaphan the secretary of King Josiah. After the destruction of the temple, B.C. 588, Nebuchadnezzar departed from Judea, leaving Gedaliah with a Chaldean guard,
at Mizpah to govern the vinedressers and husbandmen,
who were exempted from captivity. Jeremiah jointed Gedaliah; and Mizpah became the resort of Jews from various quarters.
He was murdered by Ishmael two months after his appointment.