Jeremiah becomes free
1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah again after Captain Nebuzaradan let him go free at Ramah. Jeremiah was with all the other people of Jerusalem and Judah that Captain Nebuzaradan was taking to Babylon. He was taking them in chains, as his prisoners. But he removed the chains from Jeremiah in Ramah. 2 He said this to Jeremiah when they were alone: ‘The Lord your God warned your people that he would bring trouble to this place. 3 Now he has done that. The Lord has done what he promised to do. He sent this trouble because your people did not obey the Lord. They turned against him. 4 But today I am taking the chains off your hands so that you can go free. You can come with me to Babylon, if you choose to do that. If you come, I will take care of you. But if you do not choose to come with me, you do not have to do that. You are a free man. You may go to any part of the land that you choose.’
40:1Gedaliah had been taking care of Jeremiah in Jerusalem. But Babylon's soldiers took hold of Jeremiah together with other people of Judah. They wanted to take him to Babylon as their prisoner. We do not know how this happened. It was a mistake. Ramah was about 6 kilometres north of Jerusalem.
5 But before Jeremiah turned away from him, Captain Nebuzaradan said, ‘Return to Ahikam's son Gedaliah. The king of Babylon chose him to rule over the towns of Judah. Go and live with Gedaliah, among the people of Judah. Or you may go to any other place that you choose.’
Captain Nebuzaradan gave Jeremiah some food and a gift. Then he let him go. 6 So Jeremiah went to live with Gedaliah in Mizpah. He stayed among the few people who continued to live in Judah.