40 The word that came to Jeremiah from Jehovah after Neb·uʹzar·adʹan+ the chief of the guard let him go free from Raʹmah.+ He had taken him there bound with handcuffs, and he was among all the exiles of Jerusalem and of Judah who were being deported to Babylon. 2 Then the chief of the guard took Jeremiah and said to him: “Jehovah your God foretold this calamity against this place, 3 and Jehovah has brought it about just as he said, because you people sinned against Jehovah and did not obey his voice. That is why this has happened to you.+ 4 Now I am releasing you today from the handcuffs that were on your hands. If it seems good to you to come with me to Babylon, come, and I will look after you. But if you do not want to come with me to Babylon, do not come. See! The entire land is before you. Go wherever you choose.”+
5 While Jeremiah still had not turned back, Neb·uʹzar·adʹan said: “Return to Ged·a·liʹah+ the son of A·hiʹkam+ the son of Shaʹphan,+ whom the king of Babylon has appointed over the cities of Judah, and stay with him among the people; or go wherever you choose.”
The chief of the guard then gave him a food allowance and a gift and let him go. 6 So Jeremiah went to Ged·a·liʹah the son of A·hiʹkam at Mizʹpah+ and stayed with him among the people who were left in the land.
7 In time all the army chiefs who were in the field with their men heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Ged·a·liʹah the son of A·hiʹkam over the land and that he had appointed him over the men, women, and children from the poor people of the land who had not been deported to Babylon.+ 8 So they came to Ged·a·liʹah at Mizʹpah.+ They were Ishʹma·el+ the son of Neth·a·niʹah, Jo·haʹnan+ and Jonʹa·than the sons of Ka·reʹah, Se·raiʹah the son of Tan·huʹmeth, the sons of Eʹphai the Ne·tophʹa·thite, and Jez·a·niʹah+ the son of the Ma·acʹa·thite, together with their men. 9 Ged·a·liʹah the son of A·hiʹkam the son of Shaʹphan swore an oath to them and to their men, saying: “Do not be afraid of serving the Chal·deʹans. Live in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you.+ 10 As for me, I will stay in Mizʹpah to represent you to* the Chal·deʹans who come to us. But you should gather wine, summer fruits, and oil and put them in your storage containers and settle in the cities that you have taken over.”+
11 And all the Jews who were in Moʹab, Amʹmon, and Eʹdom, as well as those who were in all the other lands, also heard that the king of Babylon had let a remnant stay in Judah and that he had appointed over them Ged·a·liʹah the son of A·hiʹkam the son of Shaʹphan. 12 So all the Jews began returning from all the places to which they had been dispersed, and they came into the land of Judah, to Ged·a·liʹah at Mizʹpah. And they gathered wine and summer fruits in very great quantity.
13 Jo·haʹnan the son of Ka·reʹah and all the army chiefs who were in the field came to Ged·a·liʹah at Mizʹpah. 14 They said to him: “Do you not know that Baʹa·lis, the king of the Amʹmon·ites,+ has sent Ishʹma·el the son of Neth·a·niʹah to kill you?”*+ But Ged·a·liʹah the son of A·hiʹkam did not believe them.
15 Then Jo·haʹnan the son of Ka·reʹah secretly told Ged·a·liʹah in Mizʹpah: “I want to go and strike down Ishʹma·el the son of Neth·a·niʹah, and no one will know. Why should he kill you,* and why should all the people of Judah who have gathered to you be scattered and the remnant of Judah perish?” 16 But Ged·a·liʹah+ the son of A·hiʹkam said to Jo·haʹnan the son of Ka·reʹah: “Do not do this, for what you are saying concerning Ishʹma·el is a lie.”