1 A word came to Jeremiah from the LORD after Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him being bound in chains among all who were carried away captive of Jerusalem and Judah, who were carried away captive to Babylon. 2 And the captain of the guard took Jeremiah, and said to him, "The LORD your God has pronounced this evil upon this place. 3 Now the LORD has brought it and done according as he has said. Because you have sinned against the LORD and have not obeyed his voice, therefore this thing has come upon you. 4 And now, behold, I loose you this day from the chains which were upon your hand. If it seems good to you to come with me into Babylon, come, and I will look well to you. But if it seems ill to you to come with me into Babylon, forbear. Behold, all the land is before you. Where it seems good and convenient for you to go, go there." 5 Now while he had not yet gone back, he said, "Go back also to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon had made governor over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people, or go wherever it seems convenient for you to go." So the captain of the guard gave him provisions and a reward and let him go. 6 Then Jeremiah went to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah and dwelt with him among the people who were left in the land.
7 Now when all the captains of the forces who were in the fields—they and their men—heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam governor in the land and had committed to him men, women, children, and those of the poor of the land, of those who were not carried away captive to Babylon, 8 They came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, even Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah the son of a Maachathite—they and their men. 9 And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, swore to them and to their men, saying, "Do not fear to serve the Chaldeans. Dwell in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you. 10 As for me, behold, I will dwell at Mizpah to serve the Chaldeans who will come to us. But you, gather wine, summer fruits, and oil, and put them in your vessels and dwell in your cities that you have taken." 11 Likewise, when all the Jews who were in Moab, among the Ammonites, in Edom, and who were in all the countries, heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant of Judah and that he had set over them Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, 12 Even all the Jews returned out of all places where they were driven and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah, to Mizpah, and gathered wine and summer fruits in abundance.
13 Moreover, Johanan the son of Kareah and all the captains of the forces who were in the fields came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, 14 And said to him, "Do you certainly know that Baalis the king of the Ammonites has sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to slay you?" But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam did not believe them. 15 Then Johanan the son of Kareah spoke to Gedaliah in Mizpah secretly, saying, "Let me go, I pray you, and I will slay Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no man shall know it. Why should he slay you so that all the Jews who are gathered to you should be scattered and the remnant of Judah perish?" 16 But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said to Johanan the son of Kareah, "You shall not do this thing, for you speak falsely of Ishmael."