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Gedaliah was an Israelite appointed by king Nebuchadnezzar as a replacement to the Judean monarchy after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BCE. Gedaliah’s capital was at Mizpah, in the Benjaminite region, a region largely left untouched by the Babylonian invasion, which may hint that Mizpah may have been a pro-Babylonian regional center before 586 BCE as well. Gedaliah comes from a family of high officials as shown by his ancestry (2 Kings 25:22), but the exact position that he held is not clear in the biblical text. Hayes and Miller argue that Gedaliah was considered a king, but this was suppressed in the biblical text (they take later references to the “king’s daughter” (Jer 41:10) to be evidence that Gedaliah was the “king”). Whether this is the case or not the position and authority he wielded was opposed by Ishmael of the royal family who lead a coup that killed Gedaliah. After Ishmael was confronted by Johanan and the captains of the army confront him, a segment of the population fled to Egpyt, fearing Babylonian reprisal for Ishmael’s deed, and this may have been the third deportation mentioned in Jeremiah but not in 2 Kings or Chronicles. Gedaliah’s reign, due to the lack of sources remains largely mysterious, but the region around Mizpah appeared to prosper during the exile.

BibliographyEdit

"History of Israel 6: Babylonian Period," Dictionary of the Old Testament Historical Books

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