1. The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, after Nebuzaradan, the leader of the military, had released him from Ramah, where he had taken him, bound in chains, along with all those who were being carried away from Jerusalem and from Judah, and were being led to Babylon.
2. Therefore, the leader of the military, taking Jeremiah, said to him: “The Lord your God has declared this evil over this place,
3. and he has brought it. And the Lord has done just as he has spoken. For you have sinned against the Lord, and you have not heeded his voice, and so this word has happened to you.
4. Now therefore, behold, I have released you this day from the chains which were on your hands. If it pleases you to come with me into Babylon, then come. And I will set my eyes upon you. But if it displeases you to come with me into Babylon, then remain. Behold, all the land is in your sight. Whatever you will choose, and wherever it will please you to go, so shall you go, proceeding to that place.
5. And you may decline to come with me. For you may live with Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has made governor over the cities of Judah. Therefore, you may live with him in the midst of the people. And you may go wherever it will please you to go.” And the leader of the military also gave him foods and gifts, and he released him.
6. Then Jeremiah went to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, at Mizpah. And he lived with him in the midst of the people, those who had been left behind in the land.
7. And when all the leaders of the army, who had been dispersed throughout the regions, they and their associates, had heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, governor of the land, and that he had committed to him the men, and women, and children, and the poor of the land, who had not been carried away to Babylon,
8. they went to Gedaliah at Mizpah, with Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan and Jonathan, the sons of Kareah, and Seraiah, the son of Tanhumeth, and the sons of Ephai, who were of Netophathi, and Jezaniah, the son of Maacathi, they and their men.
9. And Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, swore to them and to their companions, saying: “Do not be afraid to serve the Chaldeans. Live in the land, and serve the king of Babylon, and it will be well with you.
10. Behold, I live at Mizpah, so that I may follow the instruction of the Chaldeans who are sent to us. But as for you, gather the vintage, and the harvest, and the oil, and store it up in your vessels, and dwell in your cities, which you hold.”
11. So then, all the Jews, who were in Moab, and among the sons of Ammon, and in Idumea, and in all the regions, when they had heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant in Judea, and that he had made Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, governor over them,
12. all the Jews, I say, returned from all the places to which they had fled, and they came into the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah. And they gathered wine and an exceedingly great harvest.
13. Then Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the leaders of the army, who had been dispersed in the regions, came to Gedaliah at Mizpah.
14. And they said to him: “Know that Baalis, the king of the sons of Ammon, has sent Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, to strike down your life.” And Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, did not believe them.
15. But Johanan, the son of Kareah, spoke to Gedaliah, separately, at Mizpah, saying: “I will go, and I will strike down Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, without anyone knowing; otherwise he may kill you, and all the Jews will be scattered who have been gathered to you, and the remnant of Judah will perish.”
16. And Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, said to Johanan, the son of Kareah: “Do not do this word. For what you have said about Ishmael is false.”