The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD 1after Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from 2Ramah, when he took him 3bound in chains along with all the captives of Jerusalem and Judah who were being exiled to Babylon.
The captain of the guard took Jeremiah and said to him, 4"The LORD your God pronounced this disaster against this place.
The LORD has brought it about, and has done as he said. 5Because you sinned against the LORD and did not obey his voice, this thing has come upon you.
Now, behold, I release you today from 6the chains on your hands. 7If it seems good to you to come with me to Babylon, come, and I will look after you well, 8but if it seems wrong to you to come with me to Babylon, do not come. 9See, the whole land is before you; go wherever you think it good and right to go.
If you remain, then return to 10Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, 11whom the king of Babylon appointed governor of the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people. Or go wherever you think it right to go." So the captain of the guard gave him an allowance of food and a present, and let him go.
Then Jeremiah went to 12Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, at 13Mizpah, and lived with him 14among the people 15who were left in the land.
16When all the captains of the forces in the open country and their men heard that 17the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam governor in the land and had committed to him men, women, and children, those of 18the poorest of the land who had not been taken into exile to Babylon,
they went to Gedaliah at 19Mizpah--20Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, 21Johanan the son of Kareah, Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, 22Jezaniah the son of the Maacathite, they and their men.
Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, swore to them and their men, saying, "Do not be afraid to serve the Chaldeans. Dwell in the land and serve the king of Babylon, 23and it shall be well with you.
As for me, I will dwell at 24Mizpah, to represent you before the Chaldeans who will come to us. But as for you, 25gather wine and summer fruits and oil, and store them in your vessels, and dwell in your cities that you have taken."
Likewise, when all the Judeans who were in 26Moab and among 27the Ammonites and in 28Edom and in other lands heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant in Judah and had appointed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, as governor over them,
29then all the Judeans returned from all the places to which they had been driven and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah. And they 30gathered wine and summer fruits in great abundance.
Now 31Johanan the son of Kareah and 32all the leaders of the forces in the open country came to Gedaliah at Mizpah
and said to him, "Do you know that Baalis the king of 33the Ammonites has sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to take your life?" But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam would not believe them.
Then Johanan the son of Kareah spoke secretly to Gedaliah at Mizpah, "Please let me go and strike down Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no one will know it. Why should he take your life, so that all the Judeans who are gathered about you would be scattered, 34and the remnant of Judah would perish?"
But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said to Johanan the son of Kareah, "You shall not do this thing, for you are speaking falsely of Ishmael."