After depopulating Judah of all but the poorest of its inhabitants, the Babylonians set up a new governor, Gedaliah, in Mizpah. Among Gedaliah’s new officers was Ishmael, a member of the Judean royal family. King Baalis of the Ammonites incited Ishmael to assassinate Gedaliah at Mizpah, and then he slaughtered many pilgrims from Shechem, Shiloh, and Samaria and took captives to Gibeon. Another leader named Johanan, however, overtook Ishmael at Gibeon and freed the captives, but Ishmael escaped to Ammon. Fearing what the Babylonians might do in retaliation for Gedaliah’s murder, many of the freed captives fled to Egypt.