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Jeremiah chapter 40

1
[This is] the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD after Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, released him at Ramah when he had been bound in chains with all the exiles of Jerusalem and Judah who were being exiled to Babylon.
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The captain of the guard took Jeremiah and said to him, "The LORD your God decreed this disaster on this place,
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and the LORD has fulfilled [it]. He has done just what He decreed. Because you [people] have sinned against the LORD and have not obeyed Him, this thing has happened.
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Now pay attention [to what I say]. Today I am setting you free from the chains that were on your hands. If it pleases you to come with me to Babylon, come, and I will take care of you. But if it seems wrong to you to come with me to Babylon, go no farther. Look-- the whole land is in front of you. Wherever it seems good and right for you to go, go there."
5
When Jeremiah had not yet turned [to go, Nebuzaradan said to him:] "Return to Gedaliah son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has appointed over the cities of Judah, and stay with him among the people or go wherever you want to go." So the captain of the guard gave him a ration and a gift and released him.
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Jeremiah therefore went to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah, and he stayed with him among the people who remained in the land.
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When all the commanders of the armies in the field-- they and their men-- heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam over the land and that he had put him in charge of the men, women, and children, the poorest of the land who had not been deported to Babylon,
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they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. [The commanders included] Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah son of the Maacathite-- they and their men.
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Gedaliah son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, swore an oath to them and their men, assuring them, "Don't be afraid to serve the Chaldeans. Live in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well for you.
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As for me, I am going to live in Mizpah to represent [you] before the Chaldeans who come to us. As for you, gather wine, summer fruit, and oil, place them in your [storage] jars, and live in the cities you have captured."
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When all the Judeans in Moab and among the Ammonites and in Edom and in all the other lands also heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant in Judah and had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, over them,
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they all returned from all the places where they had been banished and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah, and harvested a great amount of wine and summer fruit.
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Meanwhile, Johanan son of Kareah and all the commanders of the armies in the field came to Gedaliah at Mizpah
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and warned him, "Don't you realize that Baalis, king of the Ammonites, has sent Ishmael son of Nethaniah to strike you down?" But Gedaliah son of Ahikam would not believe them.
15
Then Johanan son of Kareah suggested to Gedaliah in private at Mizpah, "Let me go kill Ishmael son of Nethaniah. No one will know it. Why should he strike you down and scatter all of Judah that has gathered to you so that the remnant of Judah would perish?"
16
But Gedaliah son of Ahikam responded to Johanan son of Kareah, "Don't do that! What you're saying about Ishmael is a lie."

Jeremiah chapter 41

1
In the seventh month, Ishmael son of Nethaniah, son of Elishama, of the royal family and one of the king's chief officers, came with 10 men to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah. They ate a meal together there in Mizpah,
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but then Ishmael son of Nethaniah and the 10 men who were with him got up and struck down Gedaliah son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, with the sword; he killed the one the king of Babylon had appointed in the land.
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Ishmael also struck down all the Judeans who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah, as well as the Chaldean soldiers who were there.
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On the second day after he had killed Gedaliah, when no one knew [yet],
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80 men came from Shechem, Shiloh, and Samaria who had shaved their beards, torn their garments, and gashed themselves, and who were carrying grain and incense offerings to bring to the temple of the LORD.
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Ishmael son of Nethaniah came out of Mizpah to meet them, weeping as he came. When he encountered them, he said: "Come to Gedaliah son of Ahikam!"
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But when they came into the city, Ishmael son of Nethaniah and the men with him slaughtered them and threw them into a cistern.
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However, there were 10 men among them who said to Ishmael, "Don't kill us, for we have hidden treasure in the field-- wheat, barley, oil, and honey!" So he stopped and did not kill them along with their companions.
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Now the cistern where Ishmael had thrown all the corpses of the men he had struck down was a large one that King Asa had made in the encounter with Baasha king of Israel. Ishmael son of Nethaniah filled [it] with the slain.
10
Then Ishmael took captive all the remnant of the people of Mizpah including the daughters of the king-- all those who remained in Mizpah over whom Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam. Ishmael son of Nethaniah took them captive and set off to cross over to the Ammonites.
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When Johanan son of Kareah and all the commanders of the armies with him heard of all the evil that Ishmael son of Nethaniah had done,
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they took all their men and went to fight with Ishmael son of Nethaniah and found him by the great pool in Gibeon.
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When all the people with Ishmael saw Johanan son of Kareah and all the commanders of the army with him, they rejoiced,
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and all the people whom Ishmael had taken captive from Mizpah turned around and rejoined Johanan son of Kareah.
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But Ishmael son of Nethaniah escaped from Johanan with eight men and went to the Ammonites.
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Johanan son of Kareah and all the commanders of the armies with him then took from Mizpah all the remnant of the people whom he had recovered from Ishmael son of Nethaniah after Ishmael had killed Gedaliah son of Ahikam-- men, soldiers, women, children, and court officials whom he brought back from Gibeon.
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They left, stopping in Geruth Chimham, which is near Bethlehem, in order to make their way into Egypt
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away from the Chaldeans. For they feared them because Ishmael son of Nethaniah had struck down Gedaliah son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had appointed in the land.

Jeremiah chapter 42

1
Then all the commanders of the armies, along with Johanan son of Kareah, Jazaniah son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest, approached
2
Jeremiah the prophet and said, "May our petition come before you; pray to the LORD your God on our behalf, on behalf of this entire remnant (for few of us remain out of the many, as you can see with your own eyes),
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that the LORD your God may tell us the way we should walk and the thing we should do."
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So Jeremiah the prophet said to them, "I have heard. I will now pray to the LORD your God according to your words, and every word that the LORD answers you I will tell you; I won't withhold a word from you."
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And they said to Jeremiah, "As for every word the LORD your God sends you to [tell] us, if we don't act accordingly, may the LORD be a true and faithful witness against us.
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Whether it is pleasant or unpleasant, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God to whom we are sending you so that it may go well with us. We will certainly obey the voice of the LORD our God!"
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Now at the end of 10 days, the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah,
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and he summoned Johanan son of Kareah, all the commanders of the armies who were with him, and all the people from the least to the greatest.
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He said to them, "This is what the LORD says, the God of Israel to whom you sent me to bring your petition before Him:
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'If you will indeed stay in this land, then I will rebuild and not demolish you, and I will plant and not uproot you, because I relent concerning the disaster that I have brought on you.
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Don't be afraid of the king of Babylon whom you now fear; don't be afraid of him'-- [this is] the LORD's declaration-- 'because I am with you to save you and deliver you from him.
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I will grant you compassion, and he will have compassion on you and allow you to return to your own soil.
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But if you say: We will not stay in this land, so as not to obey the voice of the LORD your God,
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and if you say: No, instead we'll go to the land of Egypt where we will not see war or hear the sound of the ram's horn or hunger for food, and we'll live there,
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then hear the word of the LORD, remnant of Judah! This is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: If you are firmly resolved to go to Egypt and live there for a while,
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then the sword you fear will overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine you are worried about will follow on your heels there to Egypt, and you will die there.
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All who resolve to go to Egypt to live there for a while will die by the sword, famine, and plague. They will have no survivor or escapee from the disaster I will bring on them.'
18
"For this is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: 'Just as My anger and fury were poured out on Jerusalem's residents, so will My fury pour out on you if you go to Egypt. You will become an object of execration, scorn, cursing, and disgrace, and you will never see this place again.'
19
The LORD has spoken concerning you, remnant of Judah: 'Don't go to Egypt.' Know for certain that I have warned you today!
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You have led your own selves astray because you are the ones who sent me to the LORD your God, saying, 'Pray to the LORD our God on our behalf, and as for all that the LORD our God says, tell it to us, and we'll act accordingly.'
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For I have told you today, but you have not obeyed the voice of the LORD your God in everything He has sent me to [tell] you.
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Now therefore, know for certain that by the sword, famine, and plague you will die in the place where you desired to go to live for a while."