New Defender's Study Bible Notes
41:1 ten men with him. It is probable that these ten men were officers, each with a band he could later assemble. The slaughter of seventy pilgrims (Jeremiah 41:5, 7-8) and the capture of “all the people” in Mizpah (Jeremiah 41:10) implies a fairly sizeable army.
41:9 Asa the king. The warfare between Asa, king of Judah, and king Baasha of Israel is described in I Kings 15:16-22 and II Chronicles 16:1-6. However, this particular pit made by Asa is mentioned only here in Jeremiah 41:7-9.
41:11 Johanan. Johanan had warned Gedaliah of the assassination being planned by Ishmael, but to no avail. At this point, however, he assumed leadership of the other guerrilla bands, and defeated the forces of Ishmael.
41:17 And they departed. The people left in the land continued their rejection of God’s will. Ishmael slew Gedaliah, the governor appointed by Nebuchadnezzar, then Johanan routed Ishmael, but—for fear of the Chaldeans—prepared to flee to Egypt. Many of the Jews had been hoping that Egypt would save them from Babylon, but Jeremiah had warned them not to trust in Egypt. Instead, he said they should submit to Babylon. Now, after all that had happened, even the remnant was still making the same mistake.
41:17 to enter into Egypt. Events had made Johanan a sort of de facto governor of Judah. He was afraid the Babylonians would not approve, so he prepared to take his people into Egypt for protection.