Jeremiah 40 Expanded Bible (EXB)
Jeremiah Is Set Free
40 The Lord spoke his word to Jeremiah after Nebuzaradan, commander of the guards, had ·set Jeremiah free at the city of [released/L sent him from] Ramah. He had found Jeremiah in Ramah bound in ·chains [fetters] with all the ·captives [exiles] from Jerusalem and Judah who were being ·taken away [exiled] to Babylon. 2 When commander ·Nebuzaradan [L of the guards] ·found [L took] Jeremiah, Nebuzaradan said to him, “The Lord your God announced this ·disaster [evil; trouble] would come to this place. 3 And now the Lord has done everything he ·said [promised] he would do. This ·disaster [evil; trouble] happened because you [C the people of Judah] sinned against the Lord and did not ·obey him [L listen to his voice]. 4 But today I am ·freeing [releasing] you from the ·chains [fetters] on your ·wrists [L hands]. If ·you want to [L it is good in your eyes], come with me to Babylon, and I will ·take good care of you [L set my eyes on you]. But if ·you don’t want to come [L it is wrong/evil/bad in your eyes to come with me to Babylon], then ·don’t [fine]. Look, the whole country is open to you. Go wherever ·you wish [L it is good and right in your eyes].” 5 Before Jeremiah turned to leave, Nebuzaradan said, “Or go back to Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan. The king of Babylon has ·chosen [appointed] him to be governor over the towns of Judah. Go and ·live [stay] with Gedaliah among the people, or go anywhere ·you want [L it is right in your eyes].”
Then Nebuzaradan gave Jeremiah some ·food [provisions] and a ·present [gift] and let him go. 6 So Jeremiah went to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah [C perhaps Tell en-Nasbeh eight miles north of Jerusalem; Judg. 20:1–3; 1 Sam. 7:5–14; 10:17–24] and stayed with him there. He lived among the people who ·were left behind in Judah [L remained in the land].
The Short Rule of Gedaliah
7 Some officers and their men from the army of Judah were still out in the open country. They heard that the king of Babylon had ·put [appointed] Gedaliah son of Ahikam ·in charge of the people [L governor of those] who ·were left [remained] in the land: the men, women, and children who were the poorest. They were the ones who were not ·taken to Babylon as captives [exiled to Babylon]. 8 So these soldiers came to Gedaliah at Mizpah: Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan and Jonathan sons of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, Jaazaniah son of the Maacathite, and their men.
9 Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, ·made a promise [swore] to them, saying, “Do not be afraid to serve the ·Babylonians [L Chaldeans]. Stay in the land and serve the king of Babylon. Then everything will go well for you. 10 I myself will live in Mizpah and will ·speak for you [represent you; L stand] before the ·Babylonians [L Chaldeans] who come to us here. Harvest the wine, the summer fruit, and the oil, and put what you harvest in your storage jars. Live in the towns you control.”
11 The ·Jews [L Judeans] in Moab, ·Ammon [L the sons of Ammon], Edom, and other countries also heard that the king of Babylon had left a ·few Jews alive in the land [L remnant in Judea]. And they heard the king of Babylon had ·chosen [appointed] Gedaliah as governor over them. (Gedaliah was the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan.) 12 When the people of Judah heard this news, they came back to Judah from all the countries where they had been scattered. They came to Gedaliah at Mizpah and gathered a large harvest of wine and summer fruit.
13 Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers of Judah still in the open country came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. 14 They said to him, “Don’t you know that Baalis king of the ·Ammonite people [L sons of Ammon] wants you dead? He has sent Ishmael son of Nethaniah to ·kill you [L strike your life].” But Gedaliah son of Ahikam ·did [or would] not believe them.
15 Then Johanan son of Kareah spoke to Gedaliah in ·private [secret] at Mizpah. He said, “Let me go and ·kill [L strike] Ishmael son of Nethaniah. No one will know anything about it. ·We should not let Ishmael [L Why should he…?] ·kill you [L strike your life]. Then all ·the Jews [L Judah] gathered around you would be scattered to different countries again, and the ·few people of Judah who are left alive [L the remnant of Judah] would ·be lost [perish].”
16 But Gedaliah son of Ahikam said to Johanan son of Kareah, “Do not ·kill Ishmael [L do this thing]! The things you are saying about Ishmael are ·not true [false; lies].”