The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after that Nebuzaradan the
captain of the guard 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 Babylon.
And the captain of the guard took Jeremiah, and said unto him, The LORD thy God hath
pronounced this evil upon this place.
Now the LORD hath brought it, and done according as he hath said: because
ye have 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 upon
thine hand. If it seem good unto thee to come with me into Babylon, come;
and I will look well unto thee: but if it seem ill unto thee to come with me
into Babylon, forbear: behold, all the land is before thee: whither it
seemeth good and convenient for thee to go, thither go.
Now while he was not yet gone back, he said, Go back also to Gedaliah the
son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon hath made
governor over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people: or
go wheresoever it seemeth convenient unto thee to go. So the captain of the
guard gave him victuals and a reward, and let him go.
Then went Jeremiah unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah; and dwelt
with him among the people that were left in the land.
Now when all the captains of the forces which were in the fields, even
they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah the son
of Ahikam governor in the land, and had committed unto him men, and women,
and children, and of the poor of the land, of them that were not carried
away captive to Babylon;
Then they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, even 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 a
Maachathite, they and their men.
And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan sware unto them and to
their men, saying, Fear not to serve the Chaldeans: dwell in the land, and
serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you.
As for me, behold, I will dwell at Mizpah, to serve the Chaldeans, which
will come unto us: but ye, gather ye wine, and summer fruits, and oil, and
put them in your vessels, and dwell in your cities that ye have taken.
Likewise when all the Jews that were in Moab, and among the Ammonites, and
in Edom, and that were in all the countries, heard that the king of Babylon
had left a remnant of Judah, and that he had set over them Gedaliah the son
of Ahikam the son of Shaphan;
Even all the Jews returned out of all places whither they were driven, and
came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah, unto Mizpah, and gathered wine and
summer fruits very much.
Moreover Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces
that were in the fields, came to Gedaliah to Mizpah,
And said unto him, Dost thou certainly know that 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.
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 slay thee, that all
the Jews which are gathered unto thee should be scattered, and the remnant
in Judah perish?
But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said unto Johanan the son of Kareah, Thou
shalt not do this thing: for thou speakest falsely of Ishmael.