1The word that hath been unto Jeremiah from Jehovah, after Nebuzar-Adan, chief of the executioners, hath sent him from Ramah, in his taking him — and he a prisoner in chains — in the midst of all the removal of Jerusalem and of Judah, who areremoved to Babylon.
2And the chief of the executioners taketh Jeremiah, and saith unto him, ‘Jehovah thy God hath spoken this evil concerning this place,
3and Jehovah bringeth [it] in, and doth as He spake, because ye have sinned against Jehovah, and have not hearkened to His voice, even this thing hath been to you.
4‘And now, lo, I have loosed thee to-day from the chains that [are] on thy hand; if good in thine eyes to come with me [to] Babylon, come, and I keep mine eye upon thee: and if evil in thine eyes to come with me to Babylon, forbear; see, allthe land [is] before thee, whither [it be] good, and whither [it be] right in thine eyes to go — go.’ —
5And while he doth not reply — ‘Or turn back unto Gedaliah son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon hath appointed over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him in the midst of the people, or whithersoever it is right in thine eyes to go — go.’ And the chief of the executioners giveth to him for the way, and a gift, and sendeth him away,
6and Jeremiah cometh in unto Gedaliah son of Ahikam, to Mizpah, and dwelleth with him, in the midst of the people who are left in the land.
7And all the heads of the forces that [are] in the field hear, they and their men, that the king of Babylon hath appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam over the land, and that he hath charged him [with] men, and women, and infants, and of the poor of the land, of those who have not been removed to Babylon;
8and they come in unto Gedaliah to Mizpah, even Ishmael son of Nethaniah, and Johanan and Jonathan sons of Kareah, and Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, and the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah son of the Maachathite, they and their men.
9And swear to them doth Gedaliah son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, and to their men, saying, ‘Be not afraid of serving the Chaldeans, abide in the land, and serve the king of Babylon, and it is well for you;
10and I, lo, I am dwelling in Mizpah, to stand before the Chaldeans who are come in unto us, and ye, gather ye wine, and summer fruit, and oil, and put in your vessels, and dwell in your cities that ye have taken.’
11And also all the Jews who [are] in Moab, and among the sons of Ammon, and in Edom, and who [are] in all the lands, have heard that the king of Babylon hath given a remnant to Judah, and that he hath appointed over them Gedaliah son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan,
12and all the Jews from all the places whither they have been driven, turn back and enter the land of Judah, unto Gedaliah, to Mizpah, and they gather wine and summer fruit — very much.
13And Johanan son of Kareah, and all the heads of the forces that [are] in the field, have come in unto Gedaliah to Mizpah,
14and they say unto him, ‘Dost thou really know that Baalis king of the sons of Ammon hath sent Ishmael son of Nethaniah to smite thy soul?’ And Gedaliah son of Ahikam hath not given to them credence.
15And Johanan son of Kareah hath spoken unto Gedaliah in secret, in Mizpah, saying, ‘Let me go, I pray thee, and I smite Ishmael son of Nethaniah, and no one doth know; why doth he smite thy soul? and scattered have been all Judah who are gathered unto thee, and perished hath the remnant of Judah.’
16And Gedaliah son of Ahikam saith unto Johanan son of Kareah, ‘Thou dost not do this thing, for falsehood thou art speaking concerning Ishmael.’