1The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after Nebuzar-adan 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, who were carried away captive unto Babylon.
2And the captain of the guard took Jeremiah, and said unto him, The LORD your God has pronounced this evil upon this place.
3Now the LORD has brought it, and done according as he has said: because you have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed his voice, therefore this thing has come upon you.
4And now, behold, I loose you this day from the chains which were upon your hand. If it seems good unto you to come with me into Babylon, come; and I will look well after you: but if it seems wrong unto you to come with me into Babylon, remain here: behold, all the land is before you: where it seems good and convenient for you to go, there go.
5Now 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 has made governor over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people: or go wherever it seems convenient unto you to go. So the captain of the guard gave him rations and a gift, and let him go.
6Then went Jeremiah unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah; and dwelt with him among the people that were left in the land.
7Now 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 the poor of the land, of them that were not carried away captive to Babylon;
8Then 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 Maacathite, they and their men.
9And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan swore 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.
10As for me, behold, I will dwell at Mizpah to serve the Chaldeans, who 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 you have taken.
11Likewise 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;
12Even 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.
13Moreover Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were in the fields, came to Gedaliah to Mizpah,
14And said unto him, Do you certainly know that Baalis the king of the Ammonites has sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to slay you? But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam believed them not.
15Then Johanan the son of Kareah spoke to Gedaliah in Mizpah secretly, saying, Let me go, I pray you, and I will slay Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no man shall know it: why should he slay you, that all the Jews who are gathered unto you should be scattered, and the remnant in Judah perish?
16But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said unto Johanan the son of Kareah, You shall not do this thing: for you speak falsely of Ishmael.