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Now when all the captains of the forces which were in the fields, even they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam governor in the land, and had committed unto him men, and women, and children, and of the poor of the land, of them that were not carried away captive to Babylon;

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

40:7 captains. Evidently a number of bands of soldiers, with their captains, had scattered under the Babylonian onslaught and so had escaped capture. These captains came to meet Gedaliah after his appointment as governor, ostensibly to offer support to him. One of them, however, Ishmael, resented his acquiescence to Babylon’s control, and began to plot a coup. He was a surviving member of the royal family (Jeremiah 41:1), and perhaps felt that he should have been made governor.

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