Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window or tab)
1. Which political assassination do you remember most clearly? Did it affect you emotionally? Why or why not?
2. Do you have any hobby collection? What lengths do you go to to collect and maintain your collection?
3. Are you a “pack-rat” (collecting everything)? If you had to suddenly clear out all of your stuff, what would be the last to go?
4. What sort of governor was Gedaliah (chapter 40:7)? What were the Jewish guerrilla commanders concerned about (chapter 40:8 – 10)?
5. Why do the Jewish refugees from the war return to Judah (chapter 40:11, 12)? What are their alternatives? What alternative is Ishmael pursuing and why (chapter 40:14 – chapter 41:1)?
6. Why would Baalis support this assassination plot? Why does Gedaliah find such a plot incredible? What is Gedaliah’s “fatal flaw”?
7. Why do the 80 Samaritans come to Judah (chapter 41:5; see also Jeremiah 16:6, 7)? Why does Ishmael ambush them (chapter 41:7, 8)? What political statement is made in filling King Asa’s cistern with the dead (chapter 41:; see 1 Kings 15:16 – 22)?
8. Ishmael could set up rule at Mizpah and declare war on Babylon. Why doesn’t he (chapter 41:10 – 12)? Why is his leadership divided?
9. To this day, Jews commemorate the assassination of Gedaliah with a day of fasting. Why do you think this event was so significant?
10. Do you think Gedaliah was right not to male a preemptive strike at Ishmael? Why or why not? What else could he have done to protect himself?
11. Are you a good judge of character? What sorts of things influence your impressions? Have you ever seriously misjudged someone’s intentions towards you?
12. Is there any situation in which you are tempted to take matters into your own hands and rid yourself of the person you can’t get along with? If violence only begets more violence, why would you do it? If running away from your problems or striking first doesn’t solve your problems, what does?