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Jeremiah 40

Jeremiah Freed

1 The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan
commander of the imperial guard had released him at Ramah. He
had found Jeremiah bound in chains among all the captives from
Jerusalem and Judah who were being carried into exile to Babylon.
2 When the commander of the guard found Jeremiah, he said to
him, “The Lord your God decreed this disaster for this place.
3 And now the Lord has brought it about; he has done just as he
said he would. All this happened because you people sinned
against the Lord and did not obey him. 4 But today I am freeing
you from the chains 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.” 5 However, before Jeremiah turned to go,
Nebuzaradan added, “Go back to Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son
of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has appointed over the
towns of Judah, and live with him among the people, or go
anywhere else you please.”
Then the commander gave him provisions and a present and let
him go. 6 So Jeremiah went to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah
and stayed with him among the people who were left behind in the
land.

Gedaliah Assassinated

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 governor over the land and had put him
in charge of the men, women and children who were the poorest in
the land and who had not been carried into exile to Babylon, 8 they
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 Jaazaniah the son of the
Maakathite, 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 serve the Babylonians,” he said. “Settle down in the
land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you. 10 I
myself will stay at Mizpah to represent you before the Babylonians
who come to us, but you are to harvest the wine, summer fruit and
olive oil, and put them in your storage jars, and live in the towns
you have taken over.”
11 When all the Jews in Moab, Ammon, Edom and all the other
countries 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. And they harvested an abundance of wine
and summer fruit.
13 Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers still in the
open country came to Gedaliah at Mizpah 14 and said to him,
“Don’t you know that Baalis king of the Ammonites has sent
Ishmael son of Nethaniah to take your life?” But Gedaliah son of
Ahikam did not believe them.
15 Then Johanan son of Kareah said privately to Gedaliah in
Mizpah, “Let me go and kill 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 and the remnant of
Judah to perish?”
16 But Gedaliah son of Ahikam said to Johanan son of Kareah,
“Don’t do such a thing! What you are saying about Ishmael is not
true.”

Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV® Copyright © 1973 1978 1984 2011 by Biblica, Inc. TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.