Jeremiah is freed
1 The word of Yahweh came to Jere miah after Nebuzaradan, commander of the guards, had released him at Ra mah when he had taken him, bound in chains, with those to be deported from Jeru salem and Judah to Baby lon. 2 The commander of the guards took Jere miah and said to him, “Yahweh your God foretold this calamity for this place. 3 Now he has implemented what he then said he would do because you have sinned against him and have not listened to him. 4 But I have been removing today the fetters off your hands and releasing you to be free… You may wish to go with me to Babylon and I will take care of you. How ever I am not obliging you if you decide not to go. You have the choice to go wher ever you like in this land.” 5 Nebuza radan added, “Why don’t you go back to Geda liah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan? He has been appointed governor over the towns of Judah by the King of Babylon. You could stay with him among your peo ple. Yet go wherever it seems right for you to go.” The commander of the guards gave him provisions and a gift and set him on his way. 6 And so Jeremiah went to Geda liah son of Ahikam who was residing at Mizpah. He stayed with him a mong the people who were left in the land.
Gedaliah, the governor
7 Now all the army chiefs in the open country with their men heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Geda liah son of Ahi kam to be governor over the land and put him in charge of the men, women and children and the lowliest of the people who had not been deported to Babylon. 8 They came to Geda liah at Miz pah: Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Jo ha nan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, Se raiah son of Tanhu meth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite and Jaazaniah son of Ma acathite and their men.
9 Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Sha phan swore to them and their men: “Don’t be afraid to serve the Chaldeans; remain in the country, serve the king of Babylon and all will be well with you. 10 As for me, I am based here in Mizpah and I am your representative with the Chaldeans who settle at this place. For your part gather wine, fruit and oil; store it in your vessels and stay in the towns you have occupied.”
11 The Jews who were in Moab, Am mon, Edom and in the other lands also learned that the king of Babylon had left a remnant of the population and that he had placed over them Gedaliah son of Ahi kam, son of Shaphan. 12 All of these Jews returned from the places where they had been dispersed and came to Gedaliah at Mizpah in the land of Judah. There they gathered in wine and fruit in great quantities.
13 Johanan son of Kareah and all the chiefs of guerrilla warfare came to Ge da liah at Mizpah 14 and said, “Don’t you know that Baalis, king of the Ammonites has commissioned Ishmael son of Ne thaniah to assas sinate you?” 15 But Ge daliah, son of Ahi kam, did not believe him.
15 Then Johanan spoke secretly to Ge daliah at Mizpah, “Let me go and kill Ish mael son of Nethaniah without anyone knowing. Don’t allow him to kill you lest all the Jews assembled with you be dispersed and the rest of Judah perish.” 16 But Gedaliah son of Ahikam said to Johanan son of Kareah, “Don’t do that because what you have said about Ish mael is a lie.”