40 Jeremiah hath license to go whither he will. 6 He dwelleth with the people that remain with Gedaliah.

The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord after that Nebuzaradan the chief steward had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him being bound in chains among all that were carried away captive of Jerusalem and Judah, which were carried away captive unto Babel.

[a]And the chief steward took Jeremiah and said unto him, The Lord thy God hath pronounced this plague upon this place.

Now the Lord hath brought it, and done according as he hath said: because ye have [b]sinned against the Lord, and have not obeyed his voice, therefore this thing is come upon you.

And now behold, I loose thee this day from the chains which were on thine hands: if it please thee to come with me into Babel, come, and I will look well unto thee: but if it please thee not to come with me into Babel, [c]tarry still: behold, all the land is [d]before thee: whither it seemeth good, and convenient for thee to go, thither go.

For yet he was not returned: therefore he said, Return to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babel hath made governor over all the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people, or go wheresoever it pleaseth thee to go. So the chief steward gave him vittles and a reward, and let him go.

Then went Jeremiah unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, to [e]Mizpah, and dwelt there with him among the people that were left in the land.

Now when all the captains of the host, [f]which were in the fields, even they and their men heard, that the king of Babel had made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam governor in the land, and that he had committed unto him men, and women, and children, and of the poor of the land, that were not carried away captive to Babel,

Then they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, even [g]Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan, and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, and the sons of Ephai, the Netophathite, and Jezaniah the son of Maachathi, they and their men.

And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan (A)sware unto them, and to their men, saying, Fear not to serve the Chaldeans: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babel, and it shall be well with you:

10 As for me, Behold, I will dwell at Mizpah to [h]serve the Chaldeans, which will come unto us: but you, gather you wine, and summer fruits, and oil, and put them in your vessels, and dwell in your cities, that ye have [i]taken.

11 Likewise when all the Jews that were in [j]Moab, and among the Ammonites, and in Edom, and that were in all the countries, heard that the king of Babel had left a remnant of Judah, and that he had set over them Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan,

12 Even all the Jews returned out of all places where they were driven, and came to the land of Judah to Gedaliah unto Mizpah, and gathered wine and summer fruits, very much.

13 Moreover Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the host, that were in the fields, came to Gedaliah to Mizpah,

14 And said unto him, Knowest thou not that [k]Baalis the King of the Ammonites hath sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to slay thee? But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam believed them not.

15 Then Johanan the son of Kareah spake to Gedaliah in Mizpah secretly, saying, Let me go, I pray thee, and I will slay Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no man shall know it. Wherefore should he kill thee, that all the Jews, which are gathered unto thee, should be scattered, and the remnant in Judah perish?

16 But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said unto Johanan the son of Kareah, Thou shalt [l]not do this thing: for thou speakest falsely of Ishmael.

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 40:2 From this second verse unto Jer. 42:7, it seemeth to be as a parenthesis, and separated matter: and there this story beginneth again, and this vision is declared what it was.
  2. Jeremiah 40:3 God moved this infidel to speak this to declare the great blindness and obstinacy of the Jews, which could not feel that which this heathen man confessed.
  3. Jeremiah 40:4 Hebrew, cease.
  4. Jeremiah 40:4 Or, at thy commandment.
  5. Jeremiah 40:6 Which was a city of Judah.
  6. Jeremiah 40:7 Which were scattered abroad for fear of the Chaldeans.
  7. Jeremiah 40:8 Who was of the king’s blood and after slew him, Jer. 41:2.
  8. Jeremiah 40:10 Or, to receive them, or to entreat them for you.
  9. Jeremiah 40:10 Or, chosen to dwell in.
  10. Jeremiah 40:11 Which were fled also for fear of the Chaldeans.
  11. Jeremiah 40:14 For under the color of entertaining of Ishmael, he sought only to make them destroy one another.
  12. Jeremiah 40:16 Thus the godly, which think no harm to others, are soonest deceived, and never lack such as conspire their destruction.

Jeremiah Freed

40 The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had released him at Ramah.(A) He had found Jeremiah bound in chains among all the captives(B) from Jerusalem and Judah who were being carried into exile to Babylon. When the commander(C) of the guard found Jeremiah, he said to him, “The Lord your God decreed(D) this disaster(E) for this place.(F) And now the Lord has brought it about; he has done just as he said he would. All this happened because you people sinned(G) against the Lord and did not obey(H) him. But today I am freeing(I) you from the chains(J) 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.”(K) However, before Jeremiah turned to go,[a] Nebuzaradan added, “Go back to Gedaliah(L) son of Ahikam,(M) the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has appointed(N) over the towns(O) of Judah, and live with him among the people, or go anywhere else you please.”(P)

Then the commander gave him provisions and a present(Q) and let him go. So Jeremiah went to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah(R) and stayed with him among the people who were left behind in the land.

Gedaliah Assassinated(S)

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 governor(T) over the land and had put him in charge of the men, women and children who were the poorest(U) in the land and who had not been carried into exile to Babylon, they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah(V)—Ishmael(W) son of Nethaniah, Johanan(X) and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite,(Y) and Jaazaniah[b] the son of the Maakathite,(Z) and their men. Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, took an oath to reassure them and their men. “Do not be afraid to serve(AA) the Babylonians,[c](AB)” he said. “Settle down in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you.(AC) 10 I myself will stay at Mizpah(AD) to represent you before the Babylonians who come to us, but you are to harvest the wine,(AE) summer fruit and olive oil, and put them in your storage jars,(AF) and live in the towns you have taken over.”(AG)

11 When all the Jews in Moab,(AH) Ammon, Edom(AI) and all the other countries(AJ) 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.(AK) And they harvested an abundance of wine and summer fruit.

13 Johanan(AL) son of Kareah and all the army officers still in the open country came to Gedaliah at Mizpah(AM) 14 and said to him, “Don’t you know that Baalis king of the Ammonites(AN) has sent Ishmael(AO) son of Nethaniah to take your life?” But Gedaliah son of Ahikam did not believe them.

15 Then Johanan(AP) son of Kareah said privately to Gedaliah in Mizpah, “Let me go and kill(AQ) 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 scattered(AR) and the remnant(AS) of Judah to perish?”

16 But Gedaliah son of Ahikam said to Johanan(AT) son of Kareah, “Don’t do such a thing! What you are saying about Ishmael is not true.”

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 40:5 Or Jeremiah answered
  2. Jeremiah 40:8 Hebrew Jezaniah, a variant of Jaazaniah
  3. Jeremiah 40:9 Or Chaldeans; also in verse 10

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