40 The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had released him at Ramah.e He had found Jeremiah bound in chains among all the captivesf from Jerusalem and Judah who were being carried into exile to Babylon. 2 When the commanderg of the guard found Jeremiah, he said to him, “The Lord your God decreedh this disasteri for this place.j 3 And now the Lord has brought it about; he has done just as he said he would. All this happened because you people sinnedk against the Lord and did not obeyl him. 4 But today I am freeingm you from the chainsn on your wrists. Come with me to Babylon, if you like, and I will look after you; but if you do not want to, then don’t come. Look, the whole country lies before you; go wherever you please.”o 5 However, before Jeremiah turned to go,a Nebuzaradan added, “Go back to Gedaliahp son of Ahikam,q the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has appointedr over the townss of Judah, and live with him among the people, or go anywhere else you please.”t
Then the commander gave him provisions and a presentu and let him go. 6 So Jeremiah went to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpahv and stayed with him among the people who were left behind in the land.
7 When all the army officers and their men who were still in the open country heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam as governorw over the land and had put him in charge of the men, women and children who were the poorestx in the land and who had not been carried into exile to Babylon, 8 they came to Gedaliah at Mizpahy—Ishmaelz son of Nethaniah, Johanana and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite,b and Jaazaniahb the son of the Maakathite,c and their men. 9 Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, took an oath to reassure them and their men. “Do not be afraid to served the Babylonians,c e” he said. “Settle down in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you.f 10 I myself will stay at Mizpahg to represent you before the Babylonians who come to us, but you are to harvest the wine,h summer fruit and olive oil, and put them in your storage jars,i and live in the towns you have taken over.”j
11 When all the Jews in Moab,k Ammon, Edoml and all the other countriesm heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant in Judah and had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, as governor over them, 12 they all came back to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah, from all the countries where they had been scattered.n And they harvested an abundance of wine and summer fruit.
13 Johanano son of Kareah and all the army officers still in the open country came to Gedaliah at Mizpahp 14 and said to him, “Don’t you know that Baalis king of the Ammonitesq has sent Ishmaelr son of Nethaniah to take your life?” But Gedaliah son of Ahikam did not believe them.
15 Then Johanans son of Kareah said privately to Gedaliah in Mizpah, “Let me go and killt Ishmael son of Nethaniah, and no one will know it. Why should he take your life and cause all the Jews who are gathered around you to be scatteredu and the remnantv of Judah to perish?”
16 But Gedaliah son of Ahikam said to Johananw son of Kareah, “Don’t do such a thing! What you are saying about Ishmael is not true.”
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