A message came to me from the Lord. It came after Nebuzaradan, the commander of the royal guard, had set me free at Ramah. I was being held by chains when he found me. I was among all of the prisoners from Jerusalem and Judah. We were being taken to Babylon.
But the commander of the guard found me. He said to me, "The LORD your God ordered that this place be destroyed.
And now he has brought it about. He has done exactly what he said he would do. All of these things have happened because you people sinned against the Lord. You didn't obey him.
But today I'm setting you free from the chains that are on your wrists. Come with me to Babylon if you want to. I'll take good care of you there. But if you don't want to come, then don't. The whole country lies in front of you. Go anywhere you want to."
But before I turned to go, Nebuzaradan continued, "Go back to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam. The king of Babylonia has appointed Gedaliah to be over the towns of Judah. Go and live with him among your people. Or go anywhere else you want to." Ahikam was the son of Shaphan. The commander gave me food and water. He also gave me a gift. Then he let me go.
So I went to Mizpah to see Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam. I stayed with him. I lived among the people who were left behind in the land.