The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Jeremias
The seventh month had come; and now Ismahel, son of Nathanias, son of Elisama, one of the royal princes and the king’s vassals,✻ came with ten followers to Masphath, where Godolias was, and at Masphath they sat at table together.
There and then, at the sword’s point, Ismahel and his ten men put Godolias to death. So perished Godolias, son of Ahicam, son of Saphan, that held the king of Babylon’s warrant to rule the country.
Such Jews as were with Godolias at Masphath, such Chaldaean soldiers as he found there, Ismahel despatched at the same time.
And the day after Godolias’ murder, before the news of it was out,
came eighty pilgrims from Sichem, Silo, and Samaria, beards shaven, garments rent, in mourning all of them, with bloodless offerings and incense for the Lord’s temple.
Out came Ismahel son of Nathanias from Masphath to meet them, and wept ever as he went; Welcome, said he, from Godolias son of Ahicam!
And when they had reached the middle of the town, just by the cistern,✻ they were slain by Ismahel and his men;
all except ten of them, who pleaded for their lives and told Ismahel they had a hoard of wheat, barley, oil and honey hidden away under their lands; these were spared the fate of the rest.
When he slew the companions of Godolias, Ismahel had thrown their bodies into the cistern; it was one which king Asa had made to defend the place against Baasa, king of Israel; now, Ismahel’s massacre filled it to the brim.
Thus there was no longer a remnant at Masphath; the king’s daughters, and all the other folk left there by Nabuzardan under the care of Godolias, Ismahel took off with him as his captives, and so would have marched away into the Ammonite country.
But Johanan, son of Caree, and the other army chieftains that were on his side, no sooner heard the ill news of what Ismahel had done
than they mustered all their men to give him battle, and caught up with him at the pool of Gabaon.
A welcome sight it was to Ismahel’s company, when they saw Johanan, son of Caree, and the other chieftains approaching;
back went all the prisoners to Masphath, and threw in their lot with Johanan instead;
Ismahel fled at the sight of him, and reached the Ammonite country with only eight men at his back.
Johanan and his fellow chieftains would not leave at Masphath this remnant they had rescued from Ismahel after the murder of Godolias; all the fighting men, the women and children, the eunuchs, who had returned with them from Gabaon.
They went off and made their home for a time at Chamaan, near Bethlehem, thinking to take refuge in Egypt
from the vengeance of the Chaldaeans. From these they had much to fear, now that Ismahel son of Nathanias had murdered Godolias son of Ahicam, the king of Babylon’s own representative in Juda.
The Holy Bible