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Jeremiah 40 (Lexham English Bible)

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Jeremiah Decides to Remain in the Land

1 The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh after Nebuzaradan, [the] captain of [the] guard,a had let him go from Ramah, {where he had been taken}b bound in chains in the midst of all the exilesc of Jerusalem and Judah who were being deported [to] Babylon. 2 And [the] captain of [the] guardd took Jeremiah and said to him, "Yahweh your God threatened this disaster to this place, 3 and [now] he has brought [it about],e and Yahweh has done {just as}f he threatened. Because you sinned against Yahweh and did not listen to his voice, so this thing [has] happened to you. 4 And so then look, I have released you {today}g from the chains that [were] on your hands.h If it is good in your eyes to come with me [to] Babylon, [then] come, and {I will take care of you}.i But if it is bad in your eyes to come with me [to] Babylon, [then] refrain. Look, the whole land [is] {before you}.j To [wherever it is] good and right in your eyes to go, [then] go there." 5 While he still had not turned back, [Nebuzaradan] added, "Return to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has appointed [in an official position] over the towns of Judah, and stay with him in the midst of the people. Or to [wherever it is] right in your eyes to go, [then] go [there]."k Then [the] captain of [the] guardl gave him an allowance of provisions and a present, and let him go. 6 So Jeremiah went to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, [at] Mizpah and stayed with him in the midst of the people who were left in the land.

The Assassination of Gedaliah

7 When all the commanders of the armies who [were] in the open country and their men heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam [in an official position] in the land, and that {he had put him in charge of}m men, and women, and little children, and of the poor of the land, of [all those] who had not been deported [to] Babylon, 8 then they went to Gedaliah [at] Mizpah--Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan, and Jehonathan 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, swore to them and to their men, {saying},n "You must not be afraid of serving the Chaldeans. Stay in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you. 10 {As for me},o look, I [am] staying at Mizpah to represent [you] {before}p the Chaldeans who come to us. But you, gather wine and summer fruit and oil, and put [them] in your vessels, and live in your towns that you have seized." 11 And also all the Judeans who [were] in Moab, and among the {Ammonites},q and in Edom, and who [were] in all the lands, [when] they heard that the king of Babylon had given a remnant to Judah and that he had appointed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, [in an official position] over them, 12 then all the Judeans returned from all the places [to] which they were scattered. And they came [to] the land of Judah, to Gedaliah [at] Mizpah, and they gathered wine and summer fruit that yielded {in great abundance}.r 13 And Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders of the armies who [were] in the open country came to Gedaliah [at] Mizpah 14 and said to him, "{Are you at all aware}s that Baalis, the king of the {Ammonites},t has sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, to kill you?" But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam would not believe them. 15 Then Johanan the son of Kareah said to Gedaliah in secrecy at Mizpah, {saying},u "Please let me go and kill Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and {nobody}v will know. Why should he kill you, so that all of Judah who are gathered to you will be scattered, and the remnant of Judah will perish?" 16 But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said to Johanan the son of Kareah, "You must not do this thing, for you [are] telling a lie about Ishmael."
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