Jeremiah Chapter 41
Verses 1-13: The assassination of “Gedaliah” by “Ismael”, a member of the “royal family”, shattered the stability of Judah in the aftermath of exile. This heinous crime was not only rebellion against Babylon, but also direct disobedience to the Word of God from Jeremiah.
In the second month after the city of Jerusalem had been burned, the careless governor entertained Ishmael’s group and invited a massacre.
In the last lesson Johanan had warned Gedaliah that Ishmael was plotting to kill him. Gedaliah trusted Ishmael, and would not let Johanan kill Ishmael.
Jeremiah 41:1 Now it came to pass in the seventh month, [that] Ishmael the son of Nethaniah the son of Elishama, of the seed royal, and the princes of the king, even ten men with him, came unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah; and there they did eat bread together in Mizpah.
The month Tisri, which answers to part of our September, and part of October. According to the Jewish chronicle, it was on the third day of this month, fifty two days after the destruction of the temple, that Gedaliah was slain. On which day a fast was kept by the Jews, after their return from captivity. On this occasion, called the fast of the seventh month (Zech. 7:5). Though, according to Kimchi and Ben Melech, this event happened on the first day of the month, the beginning of the new year. But the fast was kept the day following, because the first day was a festival. Josephus says it was thirty days after Johanan had departed from Gedaliah, having given him information of the conspiracy against him.
“That Ishmael the son of Nethaniah the son of Elishama, of the seed royal”: Not the son of King Zedekiah, but one of the remoter branches of the family. Whether Elishama his father was the same with Elishama the scribe is not certain (Jer. 36:12). The Jews have a tradition that he descended from Jerahmeel, whose wife, Atarah, was the daughter of a Heathen king, and was a proselyte. Which Kimchi relates (see 1 Chron. 2:26). This circumstance, of his being akin to the royal family is mentioned, to show that he envied the governor, and bore him a grudge for the honor he had, thinking that he was more entitled to it, as being of the royal seed.
“And the princes of the king, even ten men with him”: Some of the nobles of Zedekiah, who fled with him from Jerusalem, and deserted him when he was pursued and taken, and ever since had remained in the land. Even ten of these joined with Ishmael in the conspiracy against Gedaliah. Whom they bore an ill will to, for going over to the Chaldeans, and envying the power he was now possessed of. Some think these were ten ruffians, besides the princes of the king, since it may be rendered, “and the princes of the king, and ten men with him”. Whom Ishmael and the princes took with them, as fit persons to assassinate the governor. And besides, it is thought that eleven men were not sufficient to slay the Jews and the Chaldeans, as afterwards related. Though it may be observed, that Ishmael, and these ten princes, did not come alone. As it can hardly be imagined they should, but brought a number of servants and soldiers with them.
“Came unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah”: They had been with him before, to whom he had sworn, and given them assurance of security. And they departed from him to their respective cities, seemingly satisfied; and now return, to pay him a friendly visit, as they pretended.
“And there they did eat bread together at Mizpah”: Had a feast, and kept holiday together, it being a new moon, the first day of the month, and the beginning of the new year too. So that it was a high festival: and perhaps this season was fixed upon the feast, to cover their evil plan, and to perpetrate it. Pretending they came to keep the festival with him, and who, no doubt, liberally provided for them. For bread here, is put for all provisions and accommodations.
The seventh month on the Jewish calendar is similar to our October. The number 10 symbolizes world government. This then is the world coming against this man who lived above the worldly temptation. This eating of the bread together was more than filling their stomachs. This was a time to carry out their evil deed.
Jeremiah 41:2 “Then arose Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and the ten men that were with him, and smote Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan with the sword, and slew him, whom the king of Babylon had made governor over the land.”
These ten men fall upon Gedaliah, and barbarously murder him. Their quarrel against him was, that he was deputy governor to the king of Babylon. So desperately hardened were these Jews that they would not yet see that God had given their country into the hand of the king of Babylon. Who having now a right of conquest over them, had authority to set whom he pleased as his viceroy or deputy governor over them. To whom they ought to have yielded all subjection and obedience.
Gedaliah was a peaceful man. He had not wanted the death of Ishmael but Ishmael was not so honorable. It appears they rushed in on him unawares and slew Gedaliah with the sword. This was an act of violence against Gedaliah but was also an act of rebellion against Babylon.
Jeremiah 41:3 “Ishmael also slew all the Jews that were with him, [even] with Gedaliah, at Mizpah, and the Chaldeans that were found there, [and] the men of war.”
Not only were those that were at the table, but that in the city also. Josephus says, that having slain those that were at the feast with him, he went out in the night, and slew all the Jews in the city. And also the soldiers that were left by the Babylonians in it. But this cannot be understood of all the individuals there, or of the main body of the people, for they were carried captive by him (Jer. 41:9). But of those that opposed him, or were able to avenge the death of their governor, and he might suspect would do it.
“And the Chaldeans that were found there, and the men of war”: Or, “even the men of war”; this describes more particularly who they were that were slain. Those of the Jews, and especially the Chaldeans, who were in military service. Either the bodyguards of the governor, or the city guards, or both, whom Ishmael thought it advisable to cut off. Lest they should fall upon him, and revenge the death of Gedaliah, and prevent his further designs.
All of these people were relaxing in the palace and never dreamed that Ishmael had such terrible plans. They were caught unaware and unprepared. This should tell us something as well. We must be ready at all times to combat the enemy. We must be more alert at recognizing who the enemy is. We must listen to warnings. The Chaldeans mentioned here, are the people Nebuchadnezzar left to guard Gedaliah.
Jeremiah 41:4 “And it came to pass the second day after he had slain Gedaliah, and no man knew [it],”
That is, the day following, for it was in the night, as Josephus relates. As before observed, the murder was committed.
“And no man knew it”: Not any out of the city, or in remote parts. For those that were in the city must be sensible of it. But as yet the report of it had not reached the neighborhood, and much less distant parts. This is observed on account of the following story, and to show how easily the persons after mentioned were drawn in by Ishmael.
You can easily see from the two days, that no one knew about the murder since they had done this quietly. This was a surprise attack. They were thought to be friends so they could have easily gotten to Gedaliah.
Verses 5-10: Acting more like a foreign invader, Ishmael takes “captives” from his own people and leads them out of the land. Ishmael was forced to flee when a military force led by “Johanan” attempted to put down his insurrection out of fear of Babylonian reprisals for his actions.
Jeremiah 41:5 “That there came certain from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, [even] fourscore men, having their beards shaven, and their clothes rent, and having cut themselves, with offerings and incense in their hand, to bring [them] to the house of the LORD.”
“Fourscore men”: Most likely, this group had come in mourning over the destruction of Jerusalem, and so were led to slaughter. Ismael did amazing damage with only 10 men (verse 1). Eventually they must have acquired more to do than what is described in verse 10.
These were descendants from the 10 tribes of Israel. They were on their way to worship. It appears they were seriously trying to please God. They were in a state of mourning and repentance. It was a custom to shave the beard and cut yourself in extreme mourning. The temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. They were going to a place that had been set aside for worship.
Jeremiah 41:6 “And Ishmael the son of Nethaniah went forth from Mizpah to meet them, weeping all along as he went: and it came to pass, as he met them, he said unto them, Come to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam.”
Hearing there was such a number of men upon the road to Jerusalem, in such a habit, and upon such a design. He thought it advisable to go out and meet them, and stop them, and decoy them into the city, and there destroy them. Lest, if they should have got any hint of what had been done by him, they should spread it, and raise the country upon him, before he had executed his whole design.
“Weeping all along as he went”: Pretending equal concern for the destruction of the land, city, and temple, as they had.
“And it came to pass, as he met them”: When he came up to them, and some discourse had passed between them.
“He said unto them, come to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam”: As if he was alive, and for whom he had a great respect, and whose character was well known to these men. And thought that this would be an inducement to come along with him: this he said either to try them, whether they had heard anything upon the road of the death of him. Or as an argument to come into the city, suggesting the governor would gladly receive, and liberally entertain them. This looks as if their design was not to come to Mizpah, but to go on their way to Jerusalem, had they not been met with by him, and had he not thus solicited them.
This Ishmael was a liar. He was not interested in the temple or in these men. He had no desire to worship God only to trick these men. There are people today in the church that are like Ishmael here. They are going to church, but not to worship God. Just because someone sits on the pew with you in church does not make them a Christian. We are warned to try the spirits, and see whether they be of God, or not.
Jeremiah 41:7 “And it was [so], when they came into the midst of the city, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah slew them, [and cast them] into the midst of the pit, he, and the men that [were] with him.”
Where Gedaliah’s house was, to which he invited them. And as they went in, he shut up the court, as Josephus says, and slew them, as it here follows.
“That Ishmael the son of Nethaniah slew them, and cast them into the midst of the pit”: When he had slain them, the fourscore men he had enticed into the city, except ten of them, he cast their dead bodies into a pit near at hand.
“He, and the men that were with him”: Ishmael and the ten princes, with what servants they brought with them. These were all concerned in the death of these men.
The enemy is out to kill and destroy any way he can. Just as Ishmael killed these people who were truly seeking God, the enemy (Satan), will destroy you if you are not aware of him. This Ishmael was as evil as Satan himself.
Jeremiah 41:8 “But ten men were found among them that said unto Ishmael, Slay us not: for we have treasures in the field, of wheat, and of barley, and of oil, and of honey. So he forbare, and slew them not among their brethren.”
They begged for their lives, using what follows as an argument to prevail upon him.
“For we have treasures in the field, of wheat, and of barley, and of oil, and of honey”: Not that they had then a stock upon the ground at this time; for this being the seventh month. Not only the barley and wheat harvests had been over long ago, but the rest of the fruits of the earth were gathered in. But this either means storehouses of such things in the field; or else that these things were hid in cells underground. The land having been invaded, to secure them from the enemy, as is common to do in time of war. And so Josephus says, they promised to deliver to him things hid in the fields, household goods, clothes, and corn.
“So he forbore, and slew them not among their brethren”: But saved them, and kept and carried them with him. In order to take these hidden treasures, which lay in his way to Ammon. For between Gibeon, where he was found (Jer. 41:12); and Ammon, lay Samaria, Sichem, and Shiloh. At least it was not far out of his way to take that course; and thus, he appears to be a covetous man, as well as a cruel one.
These ten men had hidden their treasures to keep from being robbed. Life is more precious than things. These ten offered their goods in return for their lives. Someone who was a vicious murderer would also be greedy. This is the case here. The greed of Ishmael was greater than his desire to murder the ten. There is no record that Ishmael ever collected this bribe.
Verses 9-10 (see the note on 37:15). The cistern mentioned here had been made in the days of King Asa during the political crisis with Baasha of Israel (1 Kings 15:22). “Mizpah” has been identified with “Tell en-Nasbeh”, where over four dozen such cisterns have been found.
Jeremiah 41:9 “Now the pit wherein Ishmael had cast all the dead bodies of the men, whom he had slain because of Gedaliah, [was] it which Asa the king had made for fear of Baasha king of Israel: [and] Ishmael the son of Nethaniah filled it with [them that were] slain.”
Not only of those seventy men of Samaria, etc. but of the men whom he had slain because of Gedaliah. Because of their attachment to him: or, “by the hand of Gedaliah”; not by him, as an instrument. Unless, as Jarchi observes, because he rejected the advice of Johanan, and provided not for his safety, and his people, it was as if they were slain by him. Rather the sense is, that they were slain by the side of him, or in the place where he was, or along with him (see a like phrase in Jer. 38:10). Now both the one and the other were cast into one pit.
“Was that which Asa the king had made for fear of Baasha king of Israel”: Which was either a ditch that was cast up against the wall that went round the city. Or a large pit or well in the midst of it, to hold water in it. And this was made by King Asa, either when he built and fortified Mizpah (1 Kings 15:22); or, as the Targum here, when Baasha king of Israel besieged it. Which he made that he might be provided for with water during the siege. Or to hide himself in it; or stop the enemy from proceeding any further, should he enter.
“And Ishmael the son of Nethaniah filled it with them that were slain”: Which shows it rather to be a pit or well within the city than a ditch about it. Since it was filled with the slain. With those that were slain with Gedaliah, and those seventy other persons. And by which he made the well useless to the inhabitants hereafter.
“Asa”: He ruled Judah (ca. 911 – 873 B.C.; compare 1 Kings 15:16-22).
This pit had probably been a giant cistern to catch water to keep water in the city, when they were under attack. Asa was the exact opposite of Ishmael. Asa had tried to restore true worship of God to his land. Baasha did not want his people going to Asa to worship.
1 Kings 15:17 “And Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, that he might not suffer any to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.”
Ishmael had a very evil use for the cistern. He threw all the dead bodies in the cistern.
Jeremiah 41:10 “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.”
All that were not slain by him that remained after the slaughter he had made. Chiefly the unarmed people; they being men of war who fell by his sword.
“Even the king’s daughters”: whether they were the daughters of Zedekiah, Jehoiakim, or others, says Kimchi, we do not know. But it is most likely that they were the daughters of Zedekiah the last king, and who was just taken and carried captive. And so Josephus expressly calls them. These the king of Babylon regarded not, because they could neither fight, nor claim the kingdom. Only the sons of the king, whom he slew before his eyes. Though it may be these were not his daughters by his lawful wife, but by his concubines, and so were not properly of the royal family, and less regarded.
“And all the people that remained in Mizpah, whom Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard had committed to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam”: That were not slain, or carried captive by the Chaldeans; but were left at Mizpah, under the care and government of Gedaliah.
“And Ishmael the son of Nethaniah carried them away captive”: So that those who escaped one captivity fell into another, and even by the hand of one of their own countrymen.
“And departed to go over to the Ammonites”: He went from Mizpah with these captives, in order to carry them to the king of Ammon, and make them his slaves. Who had put him upon this enterprise out of hatred to the Jews, and to enrich himself with their spoils. Some render it, “to go over with the Ammonites”; which they suppose the ten men to be.
This evil man spoiled the kingdom and fled with the daughters of the king. This is like Satan himself who comes and steals the people away. We must resist the devil, and he will flee from us. He may get away with his hideous crime here on the earth, but there is coming a day when he too will stand before the Judge of all the earth. He cannot hide his evil acts from God.
Ezekiel 7:8 “Now will I shortly pour out my fury upon thee, and accomplish mine anger upon thee: and I will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense thee for all thine abominations.”
Jeremiah 41:11 “But when Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that [were] with him, heard of all the evil that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had done,”
The same that is mentioned (Jer. 40:8); and who had informed Gedaliah of Ishmael’s designs against him, but he would not believe him.
“And all the captains of the forces that were with him”: His brother Jonathan, Seraiah, the sons of Ephai, and Jezaniah (Jer. 40:8).
“Heard of all the evil that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had done”: In murdering Gedaliah, and those that were with him. Destroying seventy other persons he had decoyed, and carrying captive the rest of the people at Mizpah. For though Ishmael kept all this a secret as much as he could, for fear of these forces, and that he might get off clear to Ammon. Yet, by some means or another, these captains came to hear of it, who probably were not at a great distance from Mizpah.
We remember that Johanan had tried to warn Gedaliah. Johanan has now heard the terrible thing Ishmael had done.
Verses 12-15: “Went to fight with Ishmael”: Johanan heard of Ishmael’s murders and taking people captive, and brought men to stop him. They freed the captives (verses 13-15), but Ishmael and his men escaped (verse 15).
Jeremiah 41:12 “Then they took all the men, and went to fight with Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and found him by the great waters that [are] in Gibeon.”
All the soldiers that were under their command. This they did at once, believing the report to be true, as they had reason to. Since they knew of Ishmael’s plans, and had given notice and warning of them to Gedaliah, though he would not listen to them.
“And went to fight with Ishmael the son of Nethaniah”: Resolving to give him battle, and to revenge the innocent blood he had shed. And rescue the captives out of his hands he was carrying to the Ammonites.
“And found him by the great waters that are in Gibeon”: Taking this road to the country of Ammon, though it was not quite the direct road. Either to avoid the forces of Johanan; or rather for the sake of the hid treasure at Shechem, or Shiloh, or Samaria, the ten men had promised him for their lives. These great waters were the same with the pool at Gibeon, where the servants of Ish-bosheth and the servants of David met. And sat one on one side, and the other on the other; and where twelve young men on each side slew one another, and from thence called Helkath-hazzurim (2 Sam. 2:12-13). And the Targum calls it “the pool of many waters, which were in Gibeon.”
Josephus calls it a fountain in Hebron; which perhaps should be read Gibeon.
Johanan was not afraid of Ishmael. He took his men and chased him down. Ishmael had not made it to Ammon. He had stopped by the side of a big lake.
Jeremiah 41:13 “Now it came to pass, [that] when all the people which [were] with Ishmael saw Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that [were] with him, then they were glad.”
That is, those which he had brought captives from Mizpah. Not those that came with him thither.
“Saw Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, they were glad”: Looking upon them as their deliverers; hoping by their means to be preserved from being carried captives to the king of Ammon.
These people were afraid of Ishmael and that was the only reason they had come with him. The people were pleased because they wanted to go home. These simple people did not trust Ishmael.
Jeremiah 41:14 “So all the people that Ishmael had carried away captive from Mizpah cast about and returned, and went unto Johanan the son of Kareah.”
Or turned about, and wheeled off from Ishmael, and deserted him at once. Not at all regarding his authority, nor fearing his menaces or his power. Being in sight of the captains and their forces, they were determined to join. And put themselves under their protection, knowing them to be their friends, and that they, came to deliver them.
“And returned, and went unto Johanan the son of Kareah”: Turned their backs on Ishmael, and marched directly to Johanan, and the captains of the forces under them.
It appears that all the people ran back to Johanan at once.
Jeremiah 41:15 “But Ishmael the son of Nethaniah escaped from Johanan with eight men, and went to the Ammonites.”
Of the ten he brought with him (Jer. 41:1). Two of them being slain in this skirmish, or taken by Johanan, or they fled away.
“And went to the Ammonites”: Who had put him upon, or however encouraged and assisted him in, his wicked attempts. Though he returned to them not according to their wishes, nor with that honor and glory he thought to have done.
In all of the confusion of the people running back to Johanan, Ishmael escapes with 8 men. The Ammonites were descended from Lot’s youngest daughter. She had an incestuous affair with her father, and these are her descendants. They were not friendly with Israel. The Israelites did not attack them, but they would take sides against Israel quite often. Ishmael knew these Ammonites would not turn him over to Johanan.
Jeremiah 41:16 “Then took Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that [were] with him, all the remnant of the people whom he had recovered from Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, from Mizpah, after [that] he had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, [even] mighty men of war, and the women, and the children, and the eunuchs, whom he had brought again from Gibeon:”
After Ishmael had made his escape, whom they did not think fit to pursue, and the people had committed themselves to their care and protection. And having brought them to Mizpah again, they took them from thence, as follows.
“All the remnant of the people whom he had recovered from Ishmael the son of Nethaniah from Mizpah, after that he had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam”: Those whom he had rescued from Ishmael, and had returned to Mizpah, be persuaded to go with him from thence. Who are more particularly described, as follows.
“Even mighty men of war, and the women, and the children, and the eunuchs, whom he had brought again from Gibeon”: Or “men, even men of war”; warlike men, soldiers. By which it appears that Ishmael must have more than ten men with him when he came to Mizpah, as well to do what he did there. As likewise to carry away such a number of captives, among which were mighty men, men of war, some of whom he had slain. Besides women and children, to which are added eunuchs, not mentioned before, such as the king of Judah had in his court (see Jer. 38:7). But these were of no account with the Chaldeans; and therefore, they left them behind with the poor of the land. Perhaps Ebed-melech might be among them, whose safety and protection is promised, because of his kindness to Jeremiah (Jer. 39:15). The Targum calls them princes. These were brought back by Johanan from Gibeon, where he met with Ishmael. To Mizpah; from whence they had been carried, and whom he took from thence again.
At least Johanan recovered the people Ishmael had captured and took them home. This is like snatching these people out of the grasp of Satan himself.
Jeremiah 41:17 “And they departed, and dwelt in the habitation of Chimham, which is by Beth-lehem, to go to enter into Egypt,”
From Mizpah, Johanan, and the captains of the forces, and all the people rescued from Ishmael.
“And dwelt in the habitation of Chimham, which is by Bethlehem”: So called perhaps from Chimham, the son of Barzillai the Gileadite, to whom David or Solomon might give this place to dwell in (2 Sam. 19:37; 1 Kings 2:7). The Targum is express for the former, calling it “the habitation which David gave to Chimham, the son of Barzillai the Gileadite;”
“Which is by Bethlehem”: It might be a part of the patrimony which belonged to David, as a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite. Which he might give to Chimham, out of respect to his father Barzillai, who showed kindness to him when he was obliged to flee from Absalom. Which, though it returned to David’s family in the year of jubilee, as all inheritances did. Yet might continue to be called after the name of Chimham, in commemoration of the royal grant of it to him. Josephus calls the name of the place Mandra. The reason why Johanan and those with him pitched on this place was, because it lay in the way.
“To go to enter into Egypt”: Where they had an inclination to go. Having still a friendly regard to that people, and a confidence in them, as appears by some following chapters. And that they might be ready and at hand to flee thither, should the Chaldeans come against them, which they feared.
Bethlehem is just 5 miles out of Jerusalem. Chimham is an area that had been given to the man Chimham by king David. It appears there was an inn for strangers to stop and rest there.
Jeremiah 41:18 “Because of the Chaldeans: for they were afraid of them, because Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon made governor in the land.”
Which clause some think should have been joined to (Jer. 41:17). This is a reason given why they departed from Mizpah, and dwelt at the habitation of Chimham in the way to Egypt. And which is explained in the next words:
“For they were afraid of them”: At least this they pretended, that the Chaldeans would come upon them, and cut them off, and revenge themselves on them.
“Because Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon made governor in the land. No doubt it was provoking to them to hear that the viceroy or deputy governor of the king of Babylon was slain in this manner. And still more so, as there were many Chaldeans slain with him. But there was no reason to believe that the king of Babylon would carry his resentment against the Jews with Johanan, or take vengeance on them. Who had so bravely appeared against the murderers, and had rescued the captives out of their hands. This seems only a pretense for their going into Egypt. For though they were promised safety in Judah by the Prophet Jeremiah, yet they were still for going into Egypt, as the following chapters show.
It appears they were afraid that Nebuchadnezzar would hold them responsible for the terrible thing that Ishmael had done. They were afraid of guilt by association.
Jeremiah Chapter 41 Questions
- Who had warned Gedaliah of the plot to kill him?
- Why did Gedaliah not listen?
- When did Ishmael come to see Gedaliah?
- Who did he bring with him?
- Gedaliah was a _____________ man.
- This act of violence against Gedaliah was also an act of rebellion against whom?
- Who did Ishmael kill at the same time?
- Why were they so easily killed?
- What are some of the things Christians can learn from this?
- How long was it before anyone knew he had killed Gedaliah?
- What were Shechem and Samaria part of?
- These men from Shechem and the other cities were headed where?
- What revealed that they were mourning?
- Why were they not going to the temple in Jerusalem?
- What deceiving thing did Ishmael do?
- How did the author compare some in the church today to Ishmael?
- What happened to the men who had come to worship?
- How many were not killed?
- What saved them?
- Vicious murderers are also _________.
- Where did Ishmael put the dead bodies?
- What had this been used for?
- What type of man was Asa?
- What happened to the people that had been entrusted to Gedaliah?
- Who is Ishmael like?
- What did Johanan do, when he heard the evil that Ishmael had done?
- Where did he catch Ishmael?
- What did the people Ishmael had captured do when they saw Johanan?
- Who escaped from Johanan?
- Who were the Ammonites descended from?
- Where did Johanan and the people go to dwell?