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 governor1 over the land and had put him in charge of the men, women and children who were the poorest2 in the land and who had not been carried into exile to Babylon,
they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah3--Ishmael4 son of Nethaniah, Johanan5 and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite,6 and Jaazaniaha the son of the Maacathite,7 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 serve8 the Babylonians,b9" he said. "Settle down in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you.1010
I myself will stay at Mizpah11 to represent you before the Babylonians who come to us, but you are to harvest the wine,12 summer fruit and oil, and put them in your storage jars,13 and live in the towns you have taken over."1411
When all the Jews in Moab,15 Ammon, Edom16 and all the other countries17 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,
they all came back to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah, from all the countries where they had been scattered.18 And they harvested an abundance of wine and summer fruit.
Johanan19 son of Kareah and all the army officers still in the open country came to Gedaliah at Mizpah2014
and said to him, "Don't you know that Baalis king of the Ammonites21 has sent Ishmael22 son of Nethaniah to take your life?" But Gedaliah son of Ahikam did not believe them.
Then Johanan23 son of Kareah said privately to Gedaliah in Mizpah, "Let me go and kill24 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 scattered25 and the remnant26 of Judah to perish?"
But Gedaliah son of Ahikam said to Johanan27 son of Kareah, "Don't do such a thing! What you are saying about Ishmael is not true."