Jeremiah 40: Jeremiah returns to Jerusalem
Comment: Now Jeremiah
returns to Jerusalem after he had accidentally been carried off
in chains and is told of a new governor, Gedaliah who hears of
a possible plot to kill him but dismisses it.]
A word comes to Jeremiah as he is being rescued
word came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan commander
of the imperial guard had released him at Ramah. He had found
Jeremiah bound in chains among all the captives from Jerusalem
and Judah who were being carried into exile to Babylon.
The commander gives Jeremiah a choice – Babylon or stay here
the commander of the guard found Jeremiah, he said to him, ‘The
Lord your God decreed this disaster for this place.
now the Lord has brought it about; he has done just as he said
he would. All this happened because you people sinned against
the Lord and did not obey him.
today I am freeing you from the chains on your wrists. Come with
me to Babylon, if you like, and I will look after you; but if
you do not want to, then don't come. Look, the whole country lies
before you; go wherever you please.'
The commander counsels him, if he is staying, to stay with their
before Jeremiah turned to go, Nebuzaradan added, ‘Go back to Gedaliah
son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king
of Babylon has appointed over the towns of Judah, and live
with him among the people, or go anywhere else you please.'
the commander gave him provisions and a present and let him go.
Jeremiah went to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah and stayed with
him among the people who were left behind in the land.
The fleeing Israeli officers heard that Gedaliah was now governor
all the army officers and their men who were still in the open
country heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah
son of Ahikam as governor over the land and had put him in charge
of the men, women and children who were the poorest in the land
and who had not been carried into exile to Babylon,
The come to him and he reassures them
came to Gedaliah at Mizpah – Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan
and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, the
sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah the son of the Maakathite,
and their men.
son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, took an oath to reassure them
and their men. ‘Do not be afraid to serve the Babylonians,' he
said. ‘Settle down in the land and serve the king of Babylon,
and it will go well with you.
He counsels them to return to their towns and prosper
myself will stay in Mizpah to represent you before the Babylonians
who come to us, but you are to harvest the wine, summer fruit
and olive oil, and put them in your storage jars, and live in
the towns you have taken over.'
The scattered Jews hear of this and return
all the Jews in Moab, Ammon, Edom and all the other countries
heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant in Judah and
had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, as governor
all came back to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah, from
all the countries where they had been scattered. And they harvested
an abundance of wine and summer fruit.
Gedaliah refuses to believe there is a plot to kill him
son of Kareah and all the army officers still in the open country
came to Gedaliah at Mizpah
said to him, ‘Don't you know that Baalis king of the Ammonites
has sent Ishmael son of Nethaniah to take your life?' But Gedaliah
son of Ahikam did not believe them.
Johanan son of Kareah said privately to Gedaliah in Mizpah, ‘Let
me go and kill Ishmael son of Nethaniah, and no one will know
it. Why should he take your life and cause all the Jews who are
gathered around you to be scattered and the remnant of Judah to
Gedaliah son of Ahikam said to Johanan son of Kareah, ‘Don't do
such a thing! What you are saying about Ishmael is not true.'
to Chapter 41