(Ged·a·liʹah) [Jehovah is great].
2. Grandfather of the prophet Zephaniah and possibly a descendant of King Hezekiah.—Zeph. 1:1.
3. Son of Pashhur; one of the princes in Jerusalem who accused Jeremiah before King Zedekiah of weakening the fighting men and all the people and urged that Jeremiah be put to death for this. Upon being given a free hand by the king, these princes threw Jeremiah into a miry cistern.—Jer. 38:1-6.
4. “The son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan.” After the destruction of Jerusalem in 607 B.C.E., King Nebuchadnezzar appointed Gedaliah as governor over the Jews who had been left remaining in the land of Judah. Gedaliah established his residence at Mizpah, and here the prophet Jeremiah took up dwelling. Then the Judean military chiefs who had escaped capture, upon hearing that Gedaliah had been appointed as governor, came with their men to him at Mizpah. Gedaliah assured them, under oath, that it would go well with them as long as they continued serving the king of Babylon, and he encouraged them to gather wine, oil and summer fruits. Even the Jews who were dispersed in Moab, Ammon, Edom and other places continued coming to Gedaliah.
All this was evidently not to the liking of Baalis the king of Ammon, who was successful in enlisting the cooperation of Ishmael in an assassination plot against Governor Gedaliah. Learning of this, Johanan and the other chiefs of the military forces advised the governor accordingly, but he did not believe them. Johanan even approached Gedaliah in private and offered to thwart the scheme by killing Ishmael. But Gedaliah would not hear of it, thinking that falsehood was being spoken about Ishmael. So when Ishmael, along with ten other men, came to Mizpah, Gedaliah took no precautions. He proceeded to eat with them; and while they were eating, Ishmael and the men with him rose up and killed Gedaliah as well as all the Jews and Chaldeans who were with Gedaliah.—2 Ki. 25:22-25; Jer. 39:14; 40:5–41:3.
It is of interest that a seal discovered at Lachish bears the inscription: “(belonging) to Gedaliah, who is over the house.”
5. One of the priests in Ezra’s time among those who had taken foreign wives and who promised to send them away.—Ezra 10:18, 19.
[Picture on page 632]
Seal inscription reading “(belonging) to Gedaliah, who is over the house”