41 But in the seventh month 1 Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah and grandson of Elishama who was a member of the royal family and had been one of Zedekiah’s chief officers, came with ten of his men to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah. While they were eating a meal together with him there at Mizpah, 2 Ishmael son of Nethaniah and the ten men who were with him stood up, pulled out their swords, and killed Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan. Thus Ishmael killed the man that the king of Babylon had appointed to govern the country. 3 Ishmael also killed all the Judeans 2 who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah and the Babylonian 3 soldiers who happened to be there. 4
4 On the day after Gedaliah had been murdered, before anyone even knew about it, 5 eighty men arrived from Shechem, Shiloh, and Samaria. 5 They had shaved off their beards, torn their clothes, and cut themselves to show they were mourning. 6 They were carrying grain offerings and incense to present at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. 7 6 Ishmael son of Nethaniah went out from Mizpah to meet them. He was pretending to cry 8 as he walked along. When he met them, he said to them, “Come with me to meet Gedaliah son of Ahikam.” 9 7 But as soon as they were inside the city, Ishmael son of Nethaniah and the men who were with him slaughtered them and threw their bodies 10 in a cistern. 8 But there were ten men among them who said 11 to Ishmael, “Do not kill us. For we will give you the stores of wheat, barley, olive oil, and honey we have hidden in a field. 12 So he spared their lives and did not kill 13 them along with the rest. 14 9 Now the cistern where Ishmael threw all the dead bodies of those he had killed was a large one 15 that King Asa had constructed as part of his defenses against King Baasha of Israel. 16 Ishmael son of Nethaniah filled it with dead bodies. 17 10 Then Ishmael took captive all the people who were still left alive in Mizpah. This included the royal princesses 18 and all the rest of the people in Mizpah that Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, had put under the authority of Gedaliah son of Ahikam. Ishmael son of Nethaniah took all these people captive and set out to cross over to the Ammonites.
11 Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him heard about all the atrocities 19 that Ishmael son of Nethaniah had committed. 12 So they took all their troops and went to fight against Ishmael son of Nethaniah. They caught up with him near the large pool 20 at Gibeon. 13 When all the people that Ishmael had taken captive saw 21 Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers with him, they were glad. 14 All those people that Ishmael had taken captive from Mizpah turned and went over to Johanan son of Kareah. 15 But Ishmael son of Nethaniah managed to escape from Johanan along with eight of his men, and he went on over to Ammon.
16 Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him led off all the people who had been left alive at Mizpah. They had rescued them from Ishmael son of Nethaniah after he killed Gedaliah son of Ahikam. They led off the men, women, children, soldiers, and court officials whom they had brought away from Gibeon. 17 They set out to go to Egypt to get away from the Babylonians, 22 but stopped at Geruth Kimham 23 near Bethlehem. 24 18 They were afraid of what the Babylonians might do 25 because Ishmael son of Nethaniah had killed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had appointed to govern the country.
42 Then all the army officers, including Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah 1 and all the people of every class, 2 went to the prophet Jeremiah. 2 They said to him, “Please grant our request 3 and pray to the Lord your God for all those of us who are still left alive here. 4 For, as you yourself can see, there are only a few of us left out of the many there were before. 5 3 Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.” 4 The prophet Jeremiah answered them, “Agreed! 6 I will indeed pray to the Lord your God as you have asked. I will tell you everything the Lord replies in response to you. 7 I will not keep anything back from you.” 5 They answered Jeremiah, “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not do just as 8 the Lord sends you to tell us to do. 6 We will obey what the Lord our God to whom we are sending you tells us to do. It does not matter whether we like what he tells us or not. We will obey what he tells us to do so that things will go well for us.” 9
7 Ten days later the Lord spoke to Jeremiah. 8 So Jeremiah summoned Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him and all the people of every class. 10 9 Then Jeremiah said to them, “You sent me to the Lord God of Israel to make your request known to him. Here is what he says to you: 11 10 ‘If you will just stay 12 in this land, I will build you up. I will not tear you down. I will firmly plant you. 13 I will not uproot you. For I am filled with sorrow because of the disaster that I have brought on you. 11 Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon whom you now fear. 14 Do not be afraid of him because I will be with you to save you and to rescue you from his power. I, the Lord, affirm it! 15 12 I will have compassion on you so that he in turn will have mercy on you and allow you to return to your land.’
13 “You must not disobey the Lord your God by saying, ‘We will not stay in this land.’ 14 You must not say, ‘No, we will not stay. Instead we will go and live in the land of Egypt where we will not face war, 16 or hear the enemy’s trumpet calls, 17 or starve for lack of food.’ 18 15 If you people who remain in Judah do that, then listen to what the Lord says. The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 19 says, ‘If you are so determined 20 to go to Egypt that you go and settle there, 16 the wars you fear will catch up with you there in the land of Egypt. The starvation you are worried about will follow you there to 21 Egypt. You will die there. 22 17 All the people who are determined to go and settle in Egypt will die from war, starvation, or disease. No one will survive or escape the disaster I will bring on them.’ 18 For 23 the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 24 says, ‘If you go to Egypt, I will pour out my wrath on you just as I poured out my anger and wrath on the citizens of Jerusalem. 25 You will become an object of horror and ridicule, an example of those who have been cursed and that people use in pronouncing a curse. 26 You will never see this place again.’ 27
19 “The Lord has told you people who remain in Judah, ‘Do not go to Egypt.’ Be very sure of this: I warn you 28 here and now. 29 20 You are making a fatal mistake. 30 For you sent me to the Lord your God and asked me, ‘Pray to the Lord our God for us. Tell us what the Lord our God says and we will do it.’ 31 21 This day 32 I have told you what he said. 33 But you do not want to obey the Lord by doing what he sent me to tell you. 34 22 So now be very sure of this: You will die from war, starvation, or disease in the place where you want to go and live.”
43 Jeremiah finished telling all the people all these things the Lord their God had sent him to tell them. 1 2 Then Azariah 2 son of Hoshaiah, Johanan son of Kareah, and other arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are telling a lie! The Lord our God did not send you to tell us, ‘You must not go to Egypt and settle there.’ 3 But Baruch son of Neriah is stirring you up against us. 3 He wants to hand us over 4 to the Babylonians 5 so that they will kill us or carry us off into exile in Babylon.” 4 So Johanan son of Kareah, all the army officers, and all the rest of the people did not obey the Lord’s command to stay in the land. 5 Instead Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers led off all the Judean remnant who had come back to live in the land of Judah from all the nations where they had been scattered. 6 6 They also led off all the men, women, children, and royal princesses 7 that Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, had left with Gedaliah, 8 the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan. This included the prophet Jeremiah and Baruch son of Neriah. 7 They went on to Egypt 9 because they refused to obey the Lord, and came to Tahpanhes. 10
8 At Tahpanhes the Lord spoke to Jeremiah. 11 9 “Take some large stones 12 and bury them in the mortar of the clay pavement 13 at the entrance of Pharaoh’s residence 14 here in Tahpanhes. Do it while the people of Judah present there are watching. 15 10 Then tell them, 16 ‘The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 17 says, “I will bring 18 my servant 19 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. I will set his throne over these stones which I 20 have buried. He will pitch his royal tent 21 over them. 11 He will come and attack Egypt. Those who are destined to die of disease will die of disease. Those who are destined to be carried off into exile will be carried off into exile. Those who are destined to die in war will die in war. 22 12 He will set fire 23 to the temples of the gods of Egypt. He will burn their gods or carry them off as captives. 24 He will pick Egypt clean like a shepherd picks the lice from his clothing. 25 He will leave there unharmed. 26 13 He will demolish the sacred pillars in the temple of the sun 27 in Egypt and will burn down the temples of the gods of Egypt.”’”