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CHAPTER 40

1 The word which came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, after Nebuzar-adan, the prince of the executioners, had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him; for he had been bound with chains among all the captivity of Jerusalem and Judah, who were carried away to Babylon.

2 But the prince of the executioners took Jeremiah, and said to him, —

3 Jehovah thy God hath spoken this evil as to this place: and Jehovah hath brought it and done as he had spoken, because ye have sinned against Jehovah and hearkened not to his voice; therefore hath this evil come upon you.

4 Now, as to thee, be- hold, I have loosed thee this day from the chains which were on thine hands; if it be good in thine eyes to come to Babylon, come, and I will set mine eyes on thee; but if it be evil in thine eyes to come to Babylon, forbear: behold, the whole land is before thee; according to what is good and right in thine eyes to go, thither go.

5 (And he had not yet returned,) return then to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon hath set over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people, or go to whatever place it seemeth good in thine eyes to go. And the prince of the executioners gave him meat and a reward, and dismissed him:

6 And Jeremiah went to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, to Mizpah, and dwelt with him among the people who had been left in the land.

7 When all the princes of the forces who were in the field, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had set Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, over the land, and that he had committed to him men, and women, and children, and the poor of the land, who had not been removed to Babylon;

8 Then came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth; and Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah the son of a Maachathite, they and their men.

9 And Gedaliah, the son of Shaphan, swear to them and to their men, saying, Fear not to serve the Chaldeans, but submit yourselves and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you:

10 And I, behold, I will dwell at Mizpah, to stand before the Chaldeans who may come to us; and gather ye wine, and summer-fruits, and oil, and put into your vessels, and dwell in the cities which ye have taken.

11 When also all the Jews which were in Moab, and among the children of Ammon, and in Edom, and those in all countries, heard that the king of Babylon had dismissed a remnant of Judah, and had set over them Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan;

12 Then all the Jews came from all those places whither they had been driven, yea, they came to the land of Judah, unto Gedaliah, to Mizpah; and they gathered wine and summer-fruits in great abundance.

13 And Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the leaders of the forces, who had been in the field, came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, and said to him:

14 “Knowing, dost thou know that Baalis, the king of the children of Ammon, hath sent Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, to smite thy life?” But Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, believed them not.

15 And Johanan, the son of Kareah, said privately to Gedaliah in Mizpah, saying, I will now go and will smite Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, and no one shall know: why should he smite thy life, and all Judah, who are gathered unto thee, be dispersed, and the remnant of Judah perish?

16 But Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, said to Johanan, the son of Kareah, By no means do this thing; for thou speakest falsely of Ishmael.

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