Good News Translation (GNB)
41

411

41.1–3:
2 Kgs 25.25
In the seventh month of that year, Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah and grandson of Elishama, a member of the royal family and one of the king's chief officers, went to Mizpah with ten men to see Gedaliah. While they were all eating a meal together, 2Ishmael and the ten men with him pulled out their swords and killed Gedaliah. 3Ishmael also killed all the Israelites who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah and the Babylonian soldiers who happened to be there.

4The next day, before anyone knew about Gedaliah's murder, 5eighty men arrived from Shechem, Shiloh, and Samaria. They had shaved off their beards, torn their clothes, and gashed themselves. They were taking corn and incense to offer in the Temple. 6So Ishmael went out from Mizpah to meet them, weeping as he went. When he came to them, he said, “Please come in to see Gedaliah.” 7As soon as they were inside the city, Ishmael and his men killed them and threw their bodies in a well.

8But there were ten men in the group who said to Ishmael, “Please don't kill us! We have wheat, barley, olive oil, and honey hidden in the fields.” So he spared them. 9The well into which Ishmael threw the bodies of the men he had killed was the large one41.9 One ancient translation was the large one; Hebrew by means of Gedaliah. that King Asa had dug when he was being attacked by King Baasha of Israel. Ishmael filled the well with the bodies. 10Then he made prisoners of the king's daughters and all the rest of the people in Mizpah, whom Nebuzaradan the commanding officer had placed under the care of Gedaliah. Ishmael took them prisoner and started off in the direction of the territory of Ammon.

11Johanan and all the army leaders with him heard of the crime that Ishmael had committed. 12So they went after him with their men and overtook him near the large pool at Gibeon. 13When Ishmael's prisoners saw Johanan and the leaders of the forces with him, they were glad, 14and turned and ran to them. 15But Ishmael and eight of his men got away from Johanan and escaped to the land of Ammon.

16Then Johanan and the leaders of the forces with him took charge of the people whom Ishmael had taken away as prisoners from Mizpah after murdering Gedaliah — soldiers, women, children, and eunuchs. 17-18They were afraid of the Babylonians because Ishmael had murdered Gedaliah, whom the king of Babylonia had made governor of the land. So they set out for Egypt, in order to get away from the Babylonians. On the way, they stopped at Chimham, near Bethlehem.

42

The People Ask Jeremiah to Pray for them

421Then all the army leaders, including Johanan son of Kareah and Azariah42.1 One ancient translation (see also 43.2) Azariah; Hebrew Jezaniah. son of Hoshaiah, came with people of every class 2and said to me, “Please do what we ask you! Pray to the LORD our God for us. Pray for all of us who have survived. Once there were many of us; but now only a few of us are left, as you can see. 3Pray that the LORD our God will show us the way we should go and what we should do.”

4I answered, “Very well, then. I will pray to the LORD our God, just as you have asked, and whatever he says, I will tell you. I will not keep back anything from you.”

5Then they said to me, “May the LORD be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not obey all the commands that the LORD our God gives you for us. 6Whether it pleases us or not, we will obey the LORD our God, to whom we are asking you to pray. All will go well with us if we obey him.”

The LORD's Answer to Jeremiah's Prayer

7Ten days later the LORD spoke to me; 8so I called together Johanan, all the army leaders who were with him, and all the other people. 9I said to them, “The LORD, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me with your request has said, 10‘If you are willing to go on living in this land, then I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not pull you up. The destruction I brought on you has caused me great sorrow. 11Stop being afraid of the king of Babylonia. I am with you, and I will rescue you from his power. 12Because I am merciful, I will make him have mercy on you and let you go back home. I, the LORD, have spoken.’

13-15“But you people who are left in Judah must not disobey the LORD your God and refuse to live in this land. You must not say, ‘No, we will go and live in Egypt, where we won't face war any more or hear the call to battle or go hungry.’ If you say this, then the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says, ‘If you are determined to go and live in Egypt, 16then the war that you fear will overtake you, and the hunger you dread will follow you, and you will die there in Egypt. 17All the people who are determined to go and live in Egypt will die either in war or of starvation or disease. Not one of them will survive, not one will escape the disaster that I am going to bring on them.’

18“The LORD, the God of Israel, says, ‘Just as my anger and fury were poured out on the people of Jerusalem, so my fury will be poured out on you if you go to Egypt. You will be a horrifying sight; people will treat you with scorn and use your name as a curse. You will never see this place again.’ ”

19Then I continued, “The LORD has told you people who are left in Judah not to go to Egypt. And so I warn you now 20that you are making a fatal mistake. You asked me to pray to the LORD our God for you, and you promised that you would do everything that he commands. 21And now I have told you, but you are disobeying everything that the LORD our God sent me to tell you. 22So then, remember this: you will die in war or of starvation or disease in the land where you want to go and live.”