1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after Nebuzaradan the chief of the executioners had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him, being bound in chains, among all the captives of Jerusalem and Judah, who were being exiled to Babylon.
2 And the chief of the executioners took Jeremiah and said to him, Jehovah your God has spoken this evil against this place.
3 And the LORD has brought [it], and has done according as He has said, Because you have sinned against the LORD and have not obeyed His voice, therefore this thing has come on you.
4 And now, behold, I set you free today from the chains on your hand. If [it seems] good to you to come with me into Babylon, come. And I will keep my eye on you. But if [it seems] evil to you to come with me into Babylon, stay. Behold, all the land [is] before you. Wherever it seems good and pleasing for you to go, go there.
5 And while he had not yet gone back, [he said], Go back also to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has made governor over the cities of Judah, and live with him among the people. Or go wherever it seems right to you to go. So the chief of the executioners gave him food and a reward, and let him go.
6 Then Jeremiah went to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam at Mizpah. And [he] lived with him among the people who were left in the land.
7 And when all the commanders of the forces who [were] in the fields, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam governor in the land, and had entrusted to him men, and women, and children, and [many] of the poor of the land, of those who [were] not exiled to Babylon;
8 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 of Netopha, and Jezaniah the son of a Maachathite, they and their men.
9 And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan swore to them and to their men, saying, Do not fear to serve the Chaldeans. Live in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you.
10 [As for] me, behold, I will live at Mizpah to serve the Chaldeans, who have come to us. But you go gather wine, and summer fruits, and oil, and put [them] in your vessels, and live in your cities that you have taken.
11 Also when all the Jews in Moab, and among the Ammonites, and in Edom, and 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;
12 even all the Jews returned out of all places where they were driven, and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah, to Mizpah, and gathered wine and summer fruits in abundance.
13 And Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the commanders of the forces that [were] in the fields, came to Gedaliah to Mizpah.
14 And they said to him, You certainly know that Baalis the king of the Ammonites has sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to kill you. But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam did not believe them.
15 Then Johanan the son of Kareah spoke to Gedaliah in Mizpah secretly, saying, Please let me go. And I will kill Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no man shall know. Why should he kill you so that all the Jews who are gathered to you should be scattered, and the remnant in Judah perish?
16 But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said to Johanan the son of Kareah, You shall not do this thing. For you speak falsely of Ishmael.