When the commander1 of the guard found Jeremiah, he said to him, "The LORD your God decreed2 this disaster3 for this place.43
And now the LORD has brought it about; he has done just as he said he would. All this happened because you people sinned5 against the LORD and did not obey6 him.
But today I am freeing7 you from the chains8 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."95
However, before Jeremiah turned to go,a Nebuzaradan added, "Go back to Gedaliah10 son of Ahikam,11 the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has appointed12 over the towns13 of Judah, and live with him among the people, or go anywhere else you please."14 Then the commander gave him provisions and a present15 and let him go.
So Jeremiah went to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah16 and stayed with him among the people who were left behind in the land.
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 governor17 over the land and had put him in charge of the men, women and children who were the poorest18 in the land and who had not been carried into exile to Babylon,
they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah19--Ishmael20 son of Nethaniah, Johanan21 and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite,22 and Jaazaniahb the son of the Maacathite,23 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 serve24 the Babylonians,c25" he said. "Settle down in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you.2610
I myself will stay at Mizpah27 to represent you before the Babylonians who come to us, but you are to harvest the wine,28 summer fruit and oil, and put them in your storage jars,29 and live in the towns you have taken over."3011
When all the Jews in Moab,31 Ammon, Edom32 and all the other countries33 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.34 And they harvested an abundance of wine and summer fruit.