1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him being bound in chains among all that were carried away captive of Jerusalem and Judah, which were carried away captive unto Babylon.
2 And the captain of the guard took Jeremiah, and said unto him, The LORD thy God has pronounced this evil upon this place.
3 Now the LORD has brought it and done according as he had said; because ye have sinned against the LORD, and did not listen to his voice, therefore this thing is come upon you.
4 And now, behold, I loose thee this day from the chains which were upon thine hand. If it seems good unto thee to come with me into Babylon, come; and I will look well unto thee: but if it seems ill unto thee to come with me into Babylon, forbear: behold, all the land is before thee; where it seems good and convenient for thee to go, go there.
5 Now while he had not yet replied that he would go back, the captain said, Go back also to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has made governor over the cities of Judah and dwell with him among the people, or go wherever it seems convenient unto thee to go. So the captain of the guard gave him victuals and a reward and sent him forth.
6 Then Jeremiah came unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah and dwelt with him among the people that were left in the land.
7 And all the princes of the army which were in the field, even they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam governor over the land and had committed unto him the men and the women and the children and the poor of the land, those that were not carried away captive to Babylon;
8 then they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, even Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, and the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah the son of a Maachathite, they and their men.
9 And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan swore unto them and to their men, saying, Fear not to serve the Chaldeans; dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you.
10 As for me, behold, I dwell in Mizpah to serve the Chaldeans, which will come unto us; but ye, gather ye the wine and the bread and the oil and put them in your vessels and dwell in your cities that ye have taken.
11 Likewise when all the Jews that were in Moab and among the Ammonites and in Edom and that were in all the lands heard how the king of Babylon had left a remnant in Judah and that he had set over them Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan,
12 all these Jews returned out of all places where they were driven and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah in Mizpah, and gathered wine and much fruit.
13 Moreover Johanan the son of Kareah and all the princes of the armies that were in the fields came to Gedaliah to Mizpah
14 and said unto him, Dost thou certainly know that Baalis the king of the Ammonites has sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to slay thee? But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam did not believe them.
15 Then Johanan the son of Kareah spoke to Gedaliah in Mizpah secretly, saying, I will go now, and I will slay Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no man shall know it; why should he slay thee, that all the Jews which are gathered unto thee should be scattered and the remnant in Judah perish?
16 But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said unto Johanan the son of Kareah, Thou shalt not do this thing, for thou dost speak falsely of Ishmael.