Jeremiah 40 (Bible in Basic English)

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1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, after Nebuzaradan, the captain of the armed men, had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him; for he had been put in chains, among all the prisoners of Jerusalem and Judah who were taken away prisoners to Babylon. 2 And the captain of the armed men took Jeremiah and said to him, The Lord your God gave word of the evil which was to come on this place: 3 *** and the Lord has made it come, and has done as he said; because of your sin against the Lord in not giving ear to his voice; and that is why this thing has come on you. 4 Now see, this day I am freeing you from the chains which are on your hands. If it seems good to you to come with me to Babylon, then come, and I will keep an eye on you; but if it does not seem good to you to come with me to Babylon, then do not come: see, all the land is before you; if it seems good and right to you to go on living in the land, 5 Then go back to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has made ruler over the towns of Judah, and make your living-place with him among the people; or go wherever it seems right to you to go. So the captain of the armed men gave him food and some money and let him go. 6 So Jeremiah went to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, in Mizpah, and was living with him among the people who were still in the land. 7 Now when it came to the ears of all the captains of the forces who were in the field, and their men, that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, ruler in the land, and had put under his care the men and women and children, all the poorest of the land, those who had not been taken away to Babylon; 8 Then they came to Gedaliah in Mizpah, even Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan, the son of Kareah, and Seraiah, the son of Tanhumeth, and the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah, the son of the Maacathite, they and their men. 9 And Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, took an oath to them and their men, saying, Have no fear of the servants of the Chaldaeans: go on living in the land, and become the servants of the king of Babylon, and all will be well. 10 As for me, I will be living in Mizpah as your representative before the Chaldaeans who come to us: but you are to get in your wine and summer fruits and oil and put them in your vessels, and make living-places for yourselves in the towns which you have taken. 11 In the same way, when all the Jews who were in Moab and among the children of Ammon and in Edom and in all the countries, had news that the king of Babylon had let Judah keep some of its people and that he had put over them Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan; 12 Then all the Jews came back from all the places to which they had gone in flight, and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah, to Mizpah, and got in a great store of wine and summer fruit. 13 Now Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces which were in the field, came to Gedaliah in Mizpah, 14 And said to him, Has it come to your knowledge that Baalis, the king of the children of Ammon, has sent Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, to take your life? But Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, put no faith in what they said. 15 Then Johanan, the son of Kareah, said to Gedaliah in Mizpah secretly, Let me now go and put Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, to death without anyone's knowledge: why let him take your life so that all the Jews who have come together to you may be sent in flight, and the rest of the men of Judah come to an end? 16 But Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, said to Johanan, the son of Kareah, You are not to do this: for what you say about Ishmael is false.
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