The siege of Nineveh (Nah 3:12-3:14)

“You also will be drunken.

You will go into hiding.

You will seek

A refuge

From the enemy.

All your fortresses are

Like fig trees

With first-ripe figs.

If shaken,

They fall

Into the mouth

Of the eater.

Look at your troops!

They are women

In your midst.

The gates

Of your land

Are wide open

To your foes.

Fire has devoured

The bars of your gates.

Draw water

For the siege!

Strengthen your forts!

Trample the clay!

Tread the mortar!

Take hold

Of the brick mold!”

So too, the people of Nineveh would be drunk and go into hiding, as they would seek to get away from their enemies.  All their strong fortresses would be like ripe fig trees.  If they would be touched or shaken, these strongholds would fall like ripe fruit right into the mouths of their enemies.  Women had become their troops.  The gates of the city were wide open to their enemies because fire had consumed the bars on their gates.  They had to get water during the siege.  They would have to strengthen their fortresses with clay, mortar, and bricks.

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Johanan goes to Gibeon (Jer 41:11-41:12)

“But Johanan,

The son of Kareah,

With all the leaders

Of the forces with him,

Heard of all the crimes

That Ishmael,

The son of Nethaniah,

Had done.

They then took

All their men.

They went to fight

Against Ishmael,

The son of Nethaniah.

They came upon him

At the great pool

That is in Gibeon.”

Johanan, the son of Kareah, who had wanted to kill Ishmael before this, heard about what had happened at Mizpah. It is not clear how he found out about all the killings there. Johanan got all the open field leaders and their troops, and then he set out to fight against Ishmael. They actually found him about a couple miles outside of Mizpah, at the ancient Canaanite and Levitical city of Gibeon in the Benjamin territory, by the great pool.

The speech of Gedaliah (Jer 40:9-40:10)

“Gedaliah,

The son of Ahikam,

The son of Shaphan,

Swore to them

With their troops.

Saying.

‘Do not be afraid

To serve the Chaldeans!

Stay in the land!

Serve the king of Babylon!

It shall go well with you.

As for me,

I am staying at Mizpah,

To represent you

Before the Chaldeans

Who come to us.

But as for you,

Gather wine!

Gather summer fruits!

Gather oil!

Store them in your vessels!

Live in the towns

That you have taken over!’”

Gedaliah, whose father Ahikam and grandfather Shaphan were well known, swore to these field leaders and their troops. As in 2 Kings, chapter 25, he told them not to be afraid of these Chaldean officials. They would be better off staying in the land and serving the Babylonian king. He would take care of things with the Chaldean officials, representing their causes. They should just go home and enjoy their wine, fruits, and oils. They should store them up and live in their towns. Everything was okay. Thus it was clear that not everyone was sent into captivity.