Easton's Bible Dictionary
made great by Jehovah.
(1) The son of Jeduthum ( 1 Chronicles 25:3 1 Chronicles 25:9 ).
(2) The grandfather of the prophet Zephaniah, and the father of Cushi ( Zephaniah
(3) One of the Jewish nobles who conspired against Jeremiah ( Jeremiah
(4) The son of Ahikam, and grandson of Shaphan, secretary of king Josiah ( Jeremiah
26:24 ). After the destruction of Jerusalem (see ZEDEKIAH), Nebuchadnezzar left
him to govern the country as tributary to him ( 2 Kings 25:22 ; Jeremiah 40:5
; 52:16 ). Ishmael (son of Nethaniah), 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" ( Jeremiah 41:2 , 41:3 ) 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 ( Jeremiah
41:15 ). The little remnant of the Jews now fled to Egypt.
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
God is my greatness
Smith's Bible Dictionary
(God is my greatness), Son of Ahikam (Jeremiahs protector,
( Jeremiah 26:24 ) 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, ( Jeremiah 40:5 ) at Mizpah to govern the vinedressers
and husbandmen, ( Jeremiah 52:16 ) who were exempted from captivity. Jeremiah
joined Gedaliah; and Mizpah became the resort of Jews from various quarters. (
Jeremiah 40:6 , 40:11 ) He was murdered by Ishmael (son of Nethaniah) two months
after his appointment.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
ged-a-li'-a (gedhalyah; except in 1 Chronicles 25:3,9
and Jeremiah 38:1, where it is gedhalyahu, "Yah(u) is great"):
(1) Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam (the friend and protector of Jeremiah) and grandson
of Shaphan (the scribe in the reign of Josiah) (2 Kings 25:22 - 25 ; Jeremiah
39:14 ; 40:5 - 16 ; 41:1 - 18).
|1. His Appointment as Governor in Judah:
After the destruction of Jerusalem and the carrying away captive of the Jews to
Babylon (586 BC), Gedaliah was appointed by Nebuchadnezzar governor over the poor
Jews who had been left in the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen (2 Kings
25:12 , 22). To his charge were committed also some royal princesses (Jeremiah
43:6) and courtiers (Jeremiah 41:16) who had been allowed to remain as unlikely
to cause any trouble. Gedaliah fixed his residence at Mizpah, a few miles Northwest
of Jerusalem. Here he was joined by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 40:6).
2. His Conciliatory Spirit and Wise Rule:
The Jewish soldiers who had escaped capture, having heard that the Chaldeans had
departed, and that Gedaliah, one of their own nation, had been appointed governor
in Judah, came with Ishmael (son of Nethaniah), Johanan and other officers at
their head, to Gedaliah at Mizpah (2 Kings 25:23 , 14 ; Jeremiah 40:7 - 10). The
governor assured them that they need have no fear of vengeance from their conquerors,
and promised them on oath protection and security, if they would remain and cultivate
the land and become the peaceful subjects of the king of Babylon. This assurance
led to a general gathering around Gedaliah of refugees from all the neighboring
countries (Jeremiah 40:11 , 12). For two months (some think longer) Gedaliah's
beneficent and wise rule did much to consolidate affairs in Judah and to inspire
the feeble remnant of his countrymen with heart and hope.
3. His Treacherous Assassination:
But evil spirits were at work against him. Baalis, king of Ammon, had determined
upon his life (Jeremiah 40:13-16). The peaceful and popular rule which was being
established by the good governor stood in the way of the accomplishment of any
plan of conquest he entertained. Baalis found a ready instrument for his murderous
design in Ishmael who, as one of royal birth and in the counsels of the king (Jeremiah
41:1), was doubtless jealous of the man who had been chosen governor in preference
to himself. Gedaliah was informed by Johanan and the other captains of the plot
to assassinate him, and Johanan at a private interview expressed to him a strong
desire to go himself and slay Ishmael secretly, declaring that the safety of the
Jews depended upon the life of the governor. But Gedaliah refused to allow Johanan
to anticipate his enemy, believing, in the generosity of his heart, that Ishmael
was not capable of such an act of treachery. He soon found, however, that his
confidence had been sadly misplaced. Ishmael, with ten of his companions, came
on a visit to him to Mizpah, and after they had been hospitably entertained they
fell upon their good host and murdered him, along with all the Jewish and the
Chaldean soldiers whom he had with him for order and protection (2 Kings 25:25
; Jeremiah 41:1 - 3). They then cast the bodies of their victims into the cistern
which Asa had made (Jeremiah 41:9). Ishmael was pursued and overtaken by Johanan,
but he succeeded in effecting his escape to the Ammonites (Jeremiah 41:11 - 15).
Then Johanan and the other captains, afraid lest the Chaldeans should avenge upon
them the murder of the governor (Jeremiah 41:16 - 18), and against the earnest
entreaties of Jeremiah (chapter 42), fled to Egypt, taking the prophet and the
Jewish remnant with them (Jeremiah 43:5 - 7). In memory of the date of Gedaliah's
assassination the Jews kept a fast (which is still retained in the Jewish calendar)
on the 3rd day of the 7th month, Tishri (Zechariah 7:5 ; 8:19).
4. His Noble Character:
The narratives reveal Gedaliah in a very attractive light, as one who possessed
the confidence alike of his own people and their conquerors; a man of rare wisdom
and tact, and of upright, transparent character, whose kindly nature and generous
disposition would not allow him to think evil of a brother; a man altogether worthy
of the esteem in which he was held by succeeding generations of his fellow-countrymen.
(2) (gedhalyahu): Son of Jeduthun, and instrumental leader of the 2nd of the 24
choirs in the Levitical orchestra (1 Chronicles 25:3,1).
(3) A priest of the "sons of Jeshua," in the time of Ezra, who had married a foreign
woman (Ezra 10:18).
(4) (gedhalyahu): Son of Pashhur (who beat Jeremiah and put him in the stocks,
Jeremiah 20:1 - 6), and one of the chiefs of Jerusalem who, with the sanction
of the king, Zedekiah, took Jeremiah and let him down with cords into a cistern
where he sank in the mud (Jeremiah 38:1 , 4 - 6).
(5) Grandfather of Zephaniah the prophet, and grandson of Hezekiah, probably the
king (Zechariah 1:1).
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