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Jeremiah 40 New Life Version (NLV)

Jeremiah Free to Go

40 This is the word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan, captain of the prison soldiers, had let him go from Ramah. He had taken him there in chains with all the other people of Jerusalem and Judah who were being taken to Babylon. The captain of the prison soldiers took Jeremiah and said to him, “The Lord your God promised this trouble against this place. The Lord has brought it about, and has done just as He promised. This thing has happened to you because you people sinned against the Lord and did not listen to Him. But now I am setting you free today from the chains on your hands. If you would like to come with me to Babylon, then come, and I will see that it goes well with you. But if you do not want to come with me to Babylon, do not come. See, the whole land is before you. Go where you think it is good and right for you to go. If you stay, then go back to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has set over the cities of Judah. Stay with him among the people. Or go where you think it is right to go.” Then the captain of the prison soldiers gave him a share of food and a gift, and let him go. So Jeremiah went to Mizpah, to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam. And he stayed with him among the people who were left in the land.

Gedaliah Is Ruler of Judah

Now all the captains of the armies that were in the field and their men heard that the king of Babylon had chosen Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to rule over the land. The king had put him over the men, women and children who were the poorest of the land and had not been taken to Babylon. So they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. With them were Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah the son of the Maacathite, together with their men. Then Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, made a promise to them and their men, saying, “Do not be afraid of serving the Babylonians. Stay in the land and serve the king of Babylon. Then it will go well with you. 10 As for me, I will stay at Mizpah to stand for you in front of the Babylonians who come to us. But as for you, gather wine and summer fruit and oil, and store them in your jars. And live in your cities that you have taken.” 11 All the Jews in Moab and Ammon and Edom, and in all the other countries, heard that the king of Babylon had left some of the people in Judah. They heard that he had chosen Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, to rule over them. 12 Then all the Jews returned from all the places where they had been driven, and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah. And they gathered much wine and summer fruit.

Gedaliah Is Killed

13 Now Johanan the son of Kareah and all the captains of the armies that were in the field came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. 14 They said to him, “Do you know that Baalis, the king of the sons of Ammon, 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 said in secret to Gedaliah in Mizpah, “Let me go and kill Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no one will know about it. Why should he kill you? Then all the Jews who are gathered to you would go everywhere. And those of Judah who are left here would die.” 16 But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said to Johanan the son of Kareah, “Do not do this. For you are telling a lie about Ishmael.”

New Life Version (NLV)

Copyright © 1969, 2003 by Barbour Publishing, Inc.

Jeremiah 40 New International Version (NIV)

Jeremiah Freed

40 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. When the commander of the guard found Jeremiah, he said to him, “The Lord your God decreed this disaster for this place. 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. 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.” However, before Jeremiah turned to go,[a] 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. 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

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, 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[b] the son of the Maakathite, 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 the Babylonians,[c]” 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.”

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
New International Version (NIV)

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

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