Jerusalem Captured

39 [a]Now when Jerusalem was captured [b](A)in the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came to Jerusalem and laid siege to it; in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the city wall was (B)breached. Then all the (C)officials of the king of Babylon came in and sat down at the (D)Middle Gate: Nergal-sar-ezer, Samgar-nebu, Sar-sekim the [c]Rab-saris, Nergal-sar-ezer the [d]Rab-mag, and all the rest of the officials of the king of Babylon. And when Zedekiah the king of Judah and all the men of war saw them, they (E)fled and left the city at night by way of the king’s garden through the gate (F)between the two walls; and he went out toward the [e]Arabah. But the army of the (G)Chaldeans pursued them and overtook Zedekiah in the (H)plains of Jericho; and they took him and brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon at (I)Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he [f]passed sentence on him. Then the (J)king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah (K)before his eyes at Riblah; the king of Babylon also slaughtered all the (L)nobles of Judah. He then (M)blinded Zedekiah’s eyes and bound him in (N)shackles of bronze to bring him to (O)Babylon. The Chaldeans also (P)burned the king’s palace and the houses of the people with fire, and they (Q)tore down the walls of Jerusalem. And as for the rest of the people who were left in the city, the (R)deserters who had deserted to him and (S)the rest of the people who remained, (T)Nebuzaradan the (U)captain of the bodyguard took them into exile in Babylon. 10 But some of the (V)poorest people, who had nothing, (W)Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard left behind in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields [g]at that time.

Jeremiah Spared

11 Now Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon gave orders regarding (X)Jeremiah through Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard, saying, 12 “Take him and [h]look after him, and (Y)do not do anything harmful to him, but rather deal with him just as he tells you.” 13 So Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard sent word, along with Nebushazban the [i]Rab-saris, Nergal-sar-ezer the [j]Rab-mag, and all the leading officers of the king of Babylon; 14 they even sent word and (Z)took Jeremiah out of the courtyard of the guardhouse and entrusted him to (AA)Gedaliah, the son of (AB)Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, to take him home. So he stayed among the people.

15 Now the word of the Lord had come to Jeremiah while he was (AC)confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse, saying, 16 “Go and speak to (AD)Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, ‘This is what the Lord of armies, the God of Israel says: “Behold, I am going to bring My words on this city (AE)for disaster and not for [k]prosperity; and they will (AF)take place before you on that day. 17 But I will (AG)save you on that day,” declares the Lord, “and you will not be handed over to the men of whom you are afraid. 18 For I will assuredly rescue you, and you will not fall by the sword; but you will have your own (AH)life as plunder, because you have (AI)trusted in Me,” declares the Lord.’”

Jeremiah Remains in Judah

40 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord after (AJ)Nebuzaradan captain of the bodyguard had released him from (AK)Ramah, when he had taken him bound in (AL)chains among all the exiles of Jerusalem and Judah who were being exiled to Babylon. Now the captain of the bodyguard had taken Jeremiah and said to him, “The (AM)Lord your God promised this disaster against this place; and the Lord has brought it and done just as He promised. Because you people (AN)sinned against the Lord and did not listen to His voice, this thing has happened to you. But now, behold, I am (AO)setting you free today from the chains that are on your hands. If [l]you would prefer to come with me to Babylon, come along, and I will [m]look after you; but if [n]you would prefer not to come with me to Babylon, [o]do not come. Look, the (AP)whole land is before you; go wherever it seems good and right for you to go.” As [p]Jeremiah was still not going back, [q]he said, “Go on back then to (AQ)Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has (AR)appointed over the cities of Judah, and stay with him among the people; or else go anywhere it seems right for you to go.” So the captain of the bodyguard gave him a (AS)ration and a (AT)gift, and let him go. Then Jeremiah went to (AU)Mizpah to (AV)Gedaliah the son of Ahikam and stayed with him among the people who were left in the land.

(AW)Now all the commanders of the forces that were in the field, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam over the land, and that he had put him in charge of the men, women, and [r]children, those of the (AX)poorest of the land who had not been exiled to Babylon. So they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah, along with (AY)Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, (AZ)Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the (BA)Netophathite, and (BB)Jezaniah the son of the (BC)Maacathite, both they and their men. Then Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, (BD)swore to them and to their men, saying, “(BE)Do not be afraid of serving the Chaldeans; stay in the land and serve the king of Babylon, so that it may go well for you. 10 Now as for me, behold, I am going to stay in Mizpah to (BF)stand for you before the Chaldeans who come to us; but as for you, (BG)gather wine, (BH)summer fruit, and oil, and put them in your storage vessels, and live in your cities that you have taken over.” 11 Likewise, also all the Jews who were in (BI)Moab and among the sons of (BJ)Ammon and in (BK)Edom, and who were in all the other countries, heard that the king of Babylon had [s]left a remnant for Judah, and that he had appointed over them Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan. 12 Then all the Jews (BL)returned from all the places to which they had been scattered and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah, and gathered wine and summer fruit in great abundance.

13 Now Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces that were in the field came to Gedaliah at Mizpah, 14 and said to him, “Are you well aware that Baalis the king of the sons of (BM)Ammon has sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to take your life?” But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam did not believe them. 15 Then Johanan the son of Kareah spoke secretly to Gedaliah in Mizpah, saying, “(BN)Let me go and kill Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no one will know! Why should he (BO)take your life, so that all the Jews who are gathered to you would be scattered and the (BP)remnant of Judah would perish?” 16 But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said to Johanan the son of Kareah, “(BQ)Do not do this thing, for you are telling a lie about Ishmael.”

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 39:1 Ch 38:28b in Heb
  2. Jeremiah 39:1 Ch 39:1 in Heb
  3. Jeremiah 39:3 I.e., chief official
  4. Jeremiah 39:3 I.e., title of a high official
  5. Jeremiah 39:4 I.e., Jordan valley
  6. Jeremiah 39:5 Lit spoke judgments with
  7. Jeremiah 39:10 Lit on that day
  8. Jeremiah 39:12 Lit set your eyes on
  9. Jeremiah 39:13 I.e., chief official
  10. Jeremiah 39:13 I.e., title of a high official
  11. Jeremiah 39:16 Lit good
  12. Jeremiah 40:4 Lit it is good in your eyes
  13. Jeremiah 40:4 Lit set my eyes on
  14. Jeremiah 40:4 Lit it is evil in your eyes
  15. Jeremiah 40:4 Lit refrain
  16. Jeremiah 40:5 Lit he
  17. Jeremiah 40:5 I.e., Nebuzaradan
  18. Jeremiah 40:7 Lit infants
  19. Jeremiah 40:11 Lit given