Jeremiah 40:7-41:15

Some people kill Gedaliah.

7 Some Jewish army officers and soldiers were living in the fields in Judah. Somebody told them that the king of Babylon had chosen Gedaliah, Ahikam's son, as the ruler over the people. These people were the poorest men, women and children in the country. The soldiers from Babylon had not taken them to Babylon. 8 Some army officers and their men came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. They were Nethaniah's son Ishmael, and Johanan and Jonathan, who were Kareah's sons. They came with Seraiah, who was Tanhumeth's son. The sons of Ephai from Netophah came. And the son of Jaazaniah from Maakah and their men also came.

9 Gedaliah, Ahikam's son, saw that they were afraid. So he said, ‘Do not be afraid to be servants to the soldiers from Babylon. Stay here and serve the king of Babylon. If you do that, good things will happen. 10 I myself will stay with you. I will speak on your behalf when the men from Babylon come. But you can take in the summer fruits and the food seeds and you can make wine and oil. Then you can store them in jars. And you can live in the towns that you have got power over.’

11 People told this news to the Jews in Moab, Ammon, Edom and all the other countries. People told them that the king of Babylon had let a few people remain in Judah. And they told them that he had chosen Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, as their ruler. 12 So all those Jews came back to Judah. They came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. They came from all the countries where they were hiding. And they took very much wine and summer fruit from the fields and they stored them.

13 Kareah's son Johanan and all the officers that were in the fields came to Gedaliah. 14 ‘You should know that Baalis, king of Ammon, has sent Ishmael, Nethaniah's son, to kill you,’ they said to him. But Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, did not believe them.

15 Johanan, son of Kareah, went to speak to Gedaliah secretly. ‘Let me go and kill Ishmael, son of Nethaniah. And nobody will know about it,’ he said. ‘We should not let him kill you. There are many Jews with you. If he kills you, all those Jews will run away to different places. Then the few people from Israel that remain will die.’

16 But Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, said to Johanan, son of Kareah, ‘Do not do anything like that. The things that you are saying about Ishmael are not true.’

Jeremiah 41

1 Ishmael, Nethaniah's son, came to Gedaliah, Ahikam's son, at Mizpah in the seventh month. Ishmael was a relative of the king and he had 10 men with him. He had been an officer of the king. They were all eating a meal together. 2 During the meal, Ishmael and his 10 men stood up and they killed Gedaliah, Ahikam's son. Ahikam was the son of Shaphan. They killed Gedaliah with their swords. They killed the man that the king of Babylon had chosen to rule the country. 3 Ishmael also killed the Jews who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah. And he killed the soldiers from Babylon who were there.

4-5 The day after Gedaliah died, 80 Jews came to the temple with grain and with nice oils. They came from Shechem, Shiloh and Samaria to offer them to the Lord. Nobody knew that Ishmael had killed Gedaliah. 6 Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, went out from Mizpah to meet them. He was crying while he went. ‘Come to see Gedaliah, son of Ahikam,’ he said, when he met them. 7 They came into the city. Then Nethaniah's son Ishmael and the men who were with him killed them. They threw their dead bodies into a hole in the ground. 8 But 10 men said, ‘Do not kill us! We have wheat, barley, oil and honey that we have hidden in a field.’ So he let them go and he did not kill them with the other men. 9 He had thrown Gedaliah's body into a hole that King Asa had dug. Asa had dug many holes to save himself from Baasha king of Israel. Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, filled this hole with dead bodies.

10 Ishmael caused all the other people who were in Mizpah to become his prisoners. He took the king's daughters and all the other people who remained there. Nebuzaradan, captain of the king's special soldiers, had said that Gedaliah, Ahikam's son, must rule over those people. Ishmael, Nethaniah's son, made them his prisoners. And he started to take them to the country called Ammon.

11 People told Johanan, Kareah's son, and the army officers with him about the bad things that Ishmael had done. 12 So they took all their men and they went to fight Ishmael, Nethaniah's son. They found him near the big pool in Gibeon. 13 All the people that were with Ishmael saw Johanan and the soldiers with him. They were happy when they saw them. 14 All the people that Ishmael had taken as prisoners at Mizpah left Ishmael. They went to join Johanan, son of Kareah. 15 But Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, escaped from Johanan. He and eight of his men went to live among the Ammonites.