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Jeremiah 40 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

Jeremiah Returns to Judah

40 The word which came to Jeremiah from Adonai, after Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had released him from Ramah. He had taken him bound in chains among all the captives of Jerusalem and Judah, who were being exiled to Babylon. Now the captain of the guard had taken Jeremiah and said to him: “Adonai your God pronounced this evil against this place, and Adonai brought it about and did just as He said. Because you have sinned against Adonai and have not listened to His voice, this thing has happened to you. [a] But now behold, I am freeing you this day from the chains that are on your hand. If it is good in your eyes to come with me to Babylon, come, and I will look after you. But if it is evil in your eyes to come with me to Babylon, stop. Look, the whole land is before you—wherever it seems good and right to you to go, there go.”

But he would not turn back. “Go back then to Gedaliah son of Ahikam 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 anywhere it seems right in your eyes to go.”

Then the captain of the guard gave him a ration and a gift, and let him go. So Jeremiah went to the son of Ahikam to Mizpah, and dwelt with him among the people that were left in the land.

Gedaliah Appointed Governor

Now all the commanders of the forces that were in the field—they and their men—heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam over the land, and had put him in charge of the men, and women and children, the poorest of the land who were not carried away captive to Babylon. So they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah—including Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan and Jonathan sons of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah son of the Maacathite—they and their men. Then Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan swore to them and to their men, saying: “Do not be afraid to serve the Chaldeans. Stay in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well for you. 10 As for me, look, I will dwell at Mizpah, to stand before the Chaldeans who come to us. But as for you, gather wine, summer fruit and oil, and put them in your jars, and dwell in your cities that you have taken over.”

11 Also when all the Jews who were in Moab, among Ammon’s children, in Edom, and in all the countries, heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant of Judah, and that he had appointed over them Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan, 12 then all the Jews returned out of all places where they had been driven, and came back to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah, and gathered wine and summer fruit in great abundance.

13 Then Johanan son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces that were in the field came to Gedaliah to Mizpah 14 and said to him, “Are you aware that Baalis the king of Ammon’s children has sent Ishmael son of Nethaniah to take your life?” But Gedaliah son of Ahikam did not believe them.

15 Then Johanan son of Kareah spoke privately to Gedaliah at Mizpah, saying, “Let me go now, and I will slay Ishmael son of Nethaniah, and no one will know it. Why should he take your life, so that all the Jews that are gathered to you would be scattered, and the remnant of Judah perish?’

16 But Gedaliah son of Ahikam said to Johanan son of Kareah, “Don’t do this thing! For what you are saying about Ishmael is a lie.”

Tree of Life Version (TLV)

Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.

Jeremiah 40 New International Version (NIV)

Jeremiah Freed

40 The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had released him at Ramah. He had found Jeremiah bound in chains among all the captives from Jerusalem and Judah who were being carried into exile to Babylon. When the commander of the guard found Jeremiah, he said to him, “The Lord your God decreed this disaster for this place. And now the Lord has brought it about; he has done just as he said he would. All this happened because you people sinned against the Lord and did not obey him. But today I am freeing you from the chains 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.” However, before Jeremiah turned to go,[a] Nebuzaradan added, “Go back to Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has appointed over the towns of Judah, and live with him among the people, or go anywhere else you please.”

Then the commander gave him provisions and a present and let him go. So Jeremiah went to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah and stayed with him among the people who were left behind in the land.

Gedaliah Assassinated

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 governor over the land and had put him in charge of the men, women and children who were the poorest in the land and who had not been carried into exile to Babylon, they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah—Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah[b] the son of the Maakathite, 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 serve the Babylonians,[c]” he said. “Settle down in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you. 10 I myself will stay at Mizpah to represent you before the Babylonians who come to us, but you are to harvest the wine, summer fruit and olive oil, and put them in your storage jars, and live in the towns you have taken over.”

11 When all the Jews in Moab, Ammon, Edom and all the other countries 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, 12 they all came back to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah, from all the countries where they had been scattered. And they harvested an abundance of wine and summer fruit.

13 Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers still in the open country came to Gedaliah at Mizpah 14 and said to him, “Don’t you know that Baalis king of the Ammonites has sent Ishmael son of Nethaniah to take your life?” But Gedaliah son of Ahikam did not believe them.

15 Then Johanan son of Kareah said privately to Gedaliah in Mizpah, “Let me go and kill Ishmael son of Nethaniah, and no one will know it. Why should he take your life and cause all the Jews who are gathered around you to be scattered and the remnant of Judah to perish?”

16 But Gedaliah son of Ahikam said to Johanan son of Kareah, “Don’t do such a thing! What you are saying about Ishmael is not true.”

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 40:5 Or Jeremiah answered
  2. Jeremiah 40:8 Hebrew Jezaniah, a variant of Jaazaniah
  3. Jeremiah 40:9 Or Chaldeans; also in verse 10
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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