GEDALIAH (ge'd'a-lrah), (IIeb. ghed-al yaw', made great by Jehovah).
1. The son of Ahikam, and appointed by Neb uchadnezzar, governor of Judea, after the de struction of Jerusalem. He was probably of the number of those who quitted the city at the in stance of the prophet', justly despairing of the suc cessful defense of a place which God had aban doned. Gedaliah had inherited his father's respect for Jeremiah (Jer. xl :s. sq.), and was moreover enjoined by Nebuzaradan to look to his safety and welfare. He established the seat of his melan choly government at Mizpah in the tribe of Ben jamin : and there the Jews, who had fled at the advance of the Chaldwan armies, or when the troops of Zedekiali were dispersed in the plains of Jericho, quitting their retreats, began to gather around him. Gedalialt wisely counseled them to submission and quietness; and he promised on that condition to ensure them the undisturbed en joyment of their possessions, and of the produce of the ground. In this hope the labors of the field were resumed, and the extraordinary returns of that season seemed as if specially given to re pair the recent injuries of war. But this calm was of short duration. Among those who returned was a member of the royal family, named Ishmael, who had taken refuge with Baalis, king of the Ammonites. He appears to
have been irritated at seeing one who was not of the house of David seated upon even the shad ow of David's throne ; and some of the friends of Gedaliah believed him to be in a plot with Baalis to take away his life. But the noble-mind ed governor refused to entertain such a suspicion, and rejected with horror the proposal of an ON er zealous friend, who offered to assassinate Ish mael. The suspicion which he thus generously re pelled was, however, correct. He was murdered in the midst of a repast by this very Ishmael, whom he had received as a friend. This event happened about two months after the destruction of Jerusalem, and by it the present ruin of Judea seemed to be consummated (B. C. 588) (2 Kings xxv :22-26 ; Jer. xxxix :14 ; xl :5 ; xli :18) .
2. Son of Amariah, and grandfather of the prophet Zephaniah (Zeph. i:I). (B. C. before 635.) 3. One of the six sons of Jeduthun, the Levite, who played a harp in the temple service (t Chron. xxv :3, 9). (B. C. 1°13).
4. A priest of the time of Ezra (Ezra x :t8). (B. C. 458.) 5. One of those who conspired to imprison Jere miah (Jer. xxxviii:t). (B. C. 589.)