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After the InvasionA Reading of Jeremiah 40-44$
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Keith Bodner

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198743002

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198743002.001.0001

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Treachery at Mizpah

Treachery at Mizpah

(p.49) 3 Treachery at Mizpah
After the Invasion

Keith Bodner

Oxford University Press

When Johanan shares the rumor about Ishmael’s plans to assassinate Gedaliah, it creates a deep uncertainty, and this chapter assesses the horrific events of Jer 41:1–8 beginning with Gedaliah’s murder during a meal he hosts for Ishmael and his soldiers. Violation of hospitality is only one of Ishmael’s crimes as he also murders eighty pilgrims who are traveling from northern Israel to worship at the (ruined) temple of Jerusalem. Among the questions analyzed in this chapter, preeminent is Ishmael’s motive: the reader can perhaps understand Ishmael’s antipathy toward Gedaliah, but why does he ambush the pilgrims as well? The reader also discovers that Ishmael is from the royal family, so it may be that he hopes to reclaim the throne. Finally, the reader may ask about Johanan: why is he absent when Gedaliah is attacked by Ishmael, since he announced Ishmael’s intentions in the first place?

Keywords:   delayed exposition, third month, royal seed, hospitality, Gedaliah

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