Jeremiah Chapter 40 |
1The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, after Nebuzaradan, the chief of the guards, set him free at Ramah, to which he had taken him, chained in fetters, among those from Jerusalem and Judah who were being exiled to Babylon.
2The chief of the guards took charge of Jeremiah, and he said to him, “The Lord your God threatened this place with this disaster;
3and now the Lord has brought it about. He has acted as He threatened, because you sinned against the Lord and did not obey Him. That is why this has happened to you.
4Now, I release you this day from the fetters which were on your hands. If you would like to go with me to Babylon, come, and I will look after you. And if you don’t want to come with me to Babylon, you need not. See, the whole land is before you: go wherever seems good and right to you.”—
5But [Jeremiah] still did not turn back.—“Or go to Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has put in charge of the towns of Judah, and stay with him among the people, or go wherever you want to go.”
The chief of the guards gave him an allowance of food, and dismissed him. 6So Jeremiah came to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah, and stayed with him among the people who were left in the land.
7The officers of the troops in the open country, and their men with them, heard that the king of Babylon had put Gedaliah son of Ahikam in charge of the region, and that he had put in his charge the men, women, and children—of the poorest in the land—those who had not been exiled to Babylon. 8So they with their men came to Gedaliah at Mizpah—Ishmael son of Nethaniah; Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah; Seraiah son of Tanhumeth; the sons of Ephai the Netophathite; and Jezaniah son of the Maacathite. 9Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan reassured them and their men, saying, “Do not be afraid to serve the Chaldeans. Stay in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you. 10I am going to stay in Mizpah to attend upon the Chaldeans who will come to us. But you may gather wine and figs and oil and put them in your own vessels, and settle in the towns you have occupied.”
11Likewise, all the Judeans who were in Moab, Ammon, and Edom, or who were in other lands, heard that the king of Babylon had let a remnant stay in Judah, and that he had put Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan in charge of them. 12All these Judeans returned from all the places to which they had scattered. They came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah, and they gathered large quantities of wine and figs.
13Johanan son of Kareah, and all the officers of the troops in the open country, came to Gedaliah at Mizpah 14and said to him, “Do you know that King Baalis of Ammon has sent Ishmael son of Nethaniah to kill you?” But Gedaliah son of Ahikam would not believe them. 15Johanan son of Kareah also said secretly to Gedaliah at Mizpah, “Let me go and strike down Ishmael son of Nethaniah before anyone knows about it; otherwise he will kill you, and all the Judeans who have gathered about you will be dispersed, and the remnant of Judah will perish!”
16But Gedaliah son of Ahikam answered Johanan son of Kareah, “Do not do such a thing: what you are saying about Ishmael is not true!”