10. Then Ishmael carried away captive all the residue of the people that were in Mizpah, even the king's daughters, and all the people that remained in Mizpah, whom Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard had committed to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam: and Ishmael the son of Nethaniah carried them away captive, and departed to go over to the Ammonites.
10. Et captivum cepit Ismael quod residuum erat populi, quod erat in Mispath, nempe filias regis, et totum populum qui relictus fuerat in Mispath quem commiserat Nabuzardan princeps interfectorum Godoliae filio Achikam (vel, cui residuo populi praefecerat Godoliam, eodem sensu, filium Achikam:) accepit ergo Ismael filius Nathaniae, et profectus est ut transiret ad filios Ammon.
It is not known whether Ishmael had this design at the beginning, or whether, when he saw that he had no power to stand his ground, he took the captives with him, that he might dwell with the king of Ammon. It is, however, probable that this was done according to a previous resolution, and that before he slew Gedaliah, it was determined that the remnant should be drawn away to that country. Perhaps the king of Ammon wished to send some of his own people to dwell in Judea; thus he hoped to become the ruler of Judea, and also hoped to pacify the king of Babylon by becoming his tributary. It was, however, a great thing to possess a land so fertile. However this may have been, there is no doubt but that the king of Ammon hoped for something great after the death of Gedaliah. And it is probable that for this reason the people were drawn away, to whom an habitation in Judea had been permitted.
The Prophet now tells us, that Ishmael took the remnant of the people captives. And it appears that in a short time he had a greater force than at the beginning; for he could not with a few men collect the people, for the number of those who had been left, as we have seen, was not inconsiderable: and they were dispersed through many towns; and Ishmael could not have prevailed on them by his command alone to remove to the land of Ammon. But after he had killed Gedaliah, his barbarity frightened them all, and no doubt many joined him; for an impious faction ever finds many followers when any hope is offered them. All then who were miserable among the people followed him as their leader; and thus he was able to lead away the whole people as captives.
But here again a question arises, that is, respecting the
But it is again repeated,
He then says that he
It hence appears that Ishmael was wholly devoid of all humane feelings, having been thus capable of the impiety of betraying the children of Abraham. For where there is ambition, it often happens that a lust for empire impels men to deeds of great enormity; but to draw away unhappy people to the Ammonites was certainly an act more than monstrous.
As to the people, we shall hereafter see that they deserved all their reproaches and miseries; and this calamity did not happen to them except through the righteous providence of God. For though they were freed, as we shall see, by the son of Kareah, yet they soon went into Egypt, notwithstanding the remonstrances of the Prophet, and his severe denunciations in case they removed there. Though then the base and monstrous cruelty of Ishmael is here set before us, let us yet know that the Jews deserved to be driven away into exile, and to be subjected to all kinds of miseries.
Oh, miserable sentence! when it is said, that there were slain seventy men
1 This is in the ninth verse. The words are omitted in the Sept.; "on account of Gedaliah," is the Vulg. and the Targum.; which is the same with our version. "Along with Gedaliah," is Blayney's. The word "hand,' often means power, authority, dominion. (Genesis 9:2; Judges 1:35) Then the rendering would be, "on account of the power of Gedaliah;" and this would give the passage the most emphatic meaning: Ishmael smote them because he envied the power given to Gedaliah, which these men, by coming to Mizpah, acknowledged and supported. -- Ed.
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