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¶ THE word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after Nebuzaradan the general of the guard sent him away from Ramtha, when he had taken him bound in chains among all the captives of Jerusalem and Judah who were carried away captive to Babylon.
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And the general of the guard took Jeremiah, and said to him, The LORD your God has pronounced this evil upon this place.
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Now the LORD has brought it and done according as he has said, because you have sinned against the LORD and did not obey his voice, therefore this thing has come upon you.
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And now, behold, I release you this day from the chains which are upon your hands.
If you wish to come with me to Babylon, come, and I will take good care of you;
but if you do not wish to come with me to Babylon, remain here.
Behold, all the land is before you;
wherever it seems good and convenient for you to go, thither go.
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Then he said to him again, If you remain, dwell among the people with Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has made governor over the cities of Judah;
or go wherever it seems good to you to go.
Then Nebuzaradan, the general of the guard gave him presents after the custom and let him go.
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Then Jeremiah went to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, to Mizpah, and dwelt with him among the people who were left in the land.
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¶ Now when all the captains of the forces who were in the villages and their men heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam governor in the land and had committed to him men and women and children and some of the poor of the land who had not been carried away captive to Babylon,
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Then they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah, even Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, and the sons of Ephai the Netophathite and Jezaniah the son of Maacath, they and their men.
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And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan swore to them and to their men, saying, Fear not to serve the Chaldeans;
dwell in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you.
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As for me, behold, I will dwell in Mizpah, to stand before the Chaldeans who will come to us;
but you gather wheat, wine, oil, and summer fruits, and put them in your vessels, and dwell in the cities that you have taken.
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Likewise when all the Jews who were in Edom, Moab, and among the Ammonites, and in all other countries heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant of Judah and that he had appointed over them Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan;
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Then all the Jews returned from all the places to which they had been driven and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah, to Mizpah, and gathered wine and summer fruits very much.
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Moreover, Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces who were in the villages came to Gedaliah to Mizpah,
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And said to him, Do you not know that Baalis the king of the Ammonites has sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to slay you?
But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam did not believe them.
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Then Johanan the son of Kareah spoke secretly to Gedaliah at Mizpah, saying, Let me go and slay Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no man shall know it;
lest he slay you, and all the Jews who are gathered to you should be scattered, and the remnant of the Jews should perish.
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But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said to Johanan the son of Kareah, You shall not do this thing;
for you are speaking falsely of Ishmael.