THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET
Jeremiah 40 ©
For an introduction into the further prophecies of Jeremiah to the remaining Jews, here is related how he was fetched away from the midst of the captives, and, being very favorably dealt with, adjoined himself to Gedaliah at Mizpah, v. 1, etc. Whither all the fugitives and they who were left in the land did resort, and were comforted and advised by Gedaliah, 7. Some of them, especially Johanan, advise Gedaliah to beware of Ishmael, but he believes them not, 13.
THE 1word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after that Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard 2had let him go from 3Ramah, when he had 4taken him being bound in chains among all 5that were carried away captive of Jerusalem and Judah, which were carried away captive unto Babylon.
And the captain of the guard took Jeremiah, and said unto him, The 6LORD thy God hath pronounced this 7evil upon this place.
Now the LORD hath brought it, and done according as he hath said: because ye have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed his voice, therefore 8this thing is come upon you.
9And now, behold, I loose thee this day from the chains which were upon thine 10hand. If it seem 11good unto thee to come with me into Babylon, come; and I will 12look well unto thee: but if it seem 13ill unto thee to come with me into Babylon, forbear: behold, all the land is 14before thee: whither it seemeth good and convenient for thee to go, thither go.
Now while 15he was not yet gone back, he said, Go back also to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon hath made governor over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people: or go wheresoever it seemeth convenient unto thee to go. So the captain of the guard gave him 16victuals and a reward, and let him go.
Then went Jeremiah unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to 17Mizpah; and dwelt with him among the people that were left in the land.
¶Now when all the 18captains of the forces which were in the fields, even they and their 19men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam governor in the land, and had committed unto him men, and women, and children, and of the 20poor of the land, of them that were not carried away captive to Babylon;
Then they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, even 21Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, and the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah the son of a Maachathite, they and their men.
And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan sware unto them and to their men, saying, Fear not to serve the Chaldeans: 22dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you.
As for me, behold, I will dwell at Mizpah to 23serve the Chaldeans, which will come unto us: but ye, gather ye wine, and summer fruits, and oil, and put them in your vessels, and dwell in your cities that ye have 24taken.
Likewise when all the Jews that were in Moab, and among the Ammonites, and in Edom, and that were in all the 25countries, heard that the king of Babylon had 26left a remnant of Judah, and that he had set over 27them Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan;
Even all the Jews returned out of all places whither they were driven, and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah, unto Mizpah, and gathered wine and summer fruits very much.
¶Moreover Johanan the son of Kareah, and 28all the captains of the forces that were in the fields, came to Gedaliah to Mizpah,
And said unto him, 29Dost thou certainly know that Baalis the king of the Ammonites hath sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah 30to slay thee? But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam believed them not.
Then Johanan the son of Kareah spake to Gedaliah in Mizpah secretly, saying, Let me go, I pray thee, and I will slay Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no man shall know it: wherefore should he slay thee, that all the Jews which are gathered unto thee should be scattered, and the remnant in Judah perish?
But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said unto Johanan the son of Kareah, Thou shalt not do this thing: for thou speakest falsely 31of Ishmael.