Jeremiah 41: Murder and Mayhem

(18 verses, 2:49 to read)


What I am about to READ

  • This chapter is a fuller explanation of the events recorded in II Kings 25:22-26, which is an accounting of Jeremiah’s interaction with Gedaliah, the Babylonian governor of Judea.


  • vv. 1-3: Gedaliah is murdered
  • vv. 4-8: Ishmael murders pilgrims through treachery
  • vv. 9-10:  Ishmael take captive the town of Mizpah (and presumably Jeremiah as well)
  • vv.11-18:  The captives are freed, but Ishmael escapes


  • This section of Jeremiah is part of a transition into further prophecy, which will begin after the historical narrative material found in chapters 40 and 41.
  • Gedaliah was set up as governor by the Babylonians.  He was in charge for only 7 months before he was assassinated.
    • Ishmael assassinates Gedaliah and all those with him out of jealousy and hatred for the Babylonians.  Gedaliah was seen as no more than a puppet.  He was also not of the line of David.  Ishmael presumably believed that he was doing a good and upright thing.
  • But we see what type of man Ishmael is.  Pilgrims, who obviously because of hitter shaved beards and mutilated bodies are in griefcome in order to offer sacrifices.  While it is true that such outward acts were forbidden by God and therefore were probably taken from the pagan Canaanites, Ishmael has not divine directive to slaughter them.  But feigning friendship and solidarity he does just that.
  • He then takes Mizpah captive along with all those who are still there.
  • Johanan come to the aid of the people of Mizpah and overtake Ishmael and his army.  While he is able to free the prisoners, Johanan is unable to capture Ishmael.


  • Prayer: O gracious Lord, as your servant Johanan had mercy on those who were suffering and protected those who were under tyranny, may we always receive the gift of your Divine protection.  Keep us safe from the evil one and free us from all those who would love to rest the kingdom from Your hands. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group:

-Rev. Eli Lietzau, pastor
Faith in Christ Lutheran Church, ABQ, NM


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