Jeremiah
Chapter 40

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1 The word which came to Ieremiah frō the Lord after that Nebuzaradan the captaine of the guard had let him goe from Ramath, when hee had taken him being bound in chaines among all that were caried away captiue of Ierusalem and Iudah, which were caried away captiue vnto Babylon.

2 And the captaine of the gard took Ieremiah, and sayd vnto him, The Lord thy God hath pronounced this euill vpon this place.

3 Now the Lord hath brought it, and done according as he hath sayd: because yee haue sinned against the Lord, and haue not obeyed his voyce, therefore this thing is come vpon you.

4 And now behold, I loose thee this day from the chaines which were vpon thine hand: if it seeme good vnto thee to come with me into Babylon, come, and I will looke well vnto thee: but if it seeme ill vnto thee to come with me into Babylon, forbeare: behold, all the land is before thee: whither it seemeth good and conuenient for thee to goe, thither goe.

5 Now while he was not yet gone backe, he sayd, Goe backe also to Gedaliah the sonne of Ahikam the sonne of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon hath made gouernour ouer all the cities of Iudah, and dwell with him among the people: or goe wheresoeuer it seemeth conuenient vnto thee to goe. So the captaine of the gard gaue him vitailes and a reward, and let him goe.

6 Then went Ieremiah vnto Gedaliah the sonne of Ahikam to Mizpah, and dwelt with him among the people, that were left in the land.

7 Now when all the captaines of the forces which were in the fields, euen they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah the sonne of Ahikam gouernour in the land, and had committed vnto him men, and women and children, and of the poore of the land, of them that were not caried away captiue to Babylon;

8 Then they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, euen Ishmael the sonne of Nethaniah, and Iohanan, and Ionathan the sonnes of Kareah, and Seraiah the sonne of Tanhumeth, and the sonnes of Ephai the Netophathite, and Iezaniah the sonne of a Maachathite, they and their men.

9 And Gedaliah the sonne of Ahikam the sonne of Shaphan, sware vnto them and to their men, saying, Feare not to serue the Caldeans: dwell in the land and serue the king of Babylon, and it shalbe well with you.

10 As for me, behold, I will dwell at Mizpah to serue the Caldeans, which will come vnto vs: but yee, gather yee wine, and summer fruits, and oyle, and put them in your vessels, and dwell in your cities, that yee haue taken.

11 Likewise when all the Iewes that were in Moab, and among the Ammonites, and in Edom, and that were in all the countries, heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant of Iudah, and that he had set ouer them Gedaliah the sonne of Ahikam the sonne of Shaphan;

12 Euen all the Iewes returned out of all places whither they were driuen, and came to the land of Iudah, to Gedaliah vnto Mizpah, and gathered wine and summer fruits, very much.

13 Moreouer Iohanan the sonne of Kareah, and all the captaines of the forces that were in the fields, came to Gedaliah to Mizpah,

14 And sayd vnto him, Doest thou certainly know, that Baalis the king of the Ammonites hath sent Ishmael the sonne of Nethaniah to slay thee? But Gedaliah the sonne of Ahikam beleeued them not.

15 Then Iohanan the sonne of Kareah, spake to Gedaliah in Mizpah secretly, saying, Let me goe, I pray thee, and I will slay Ishmael the sonne of Nethaniah, and no man shall know it. Wherefore should he slay thee, that all the Iewes which are gathered vnto thee should be scattered, and the remnant in Iudah perish?

16 But Gedaliah the sonne of Ahikam sayd vnto Iohanan the sonne of Kareah; Thou shalt not do this thing, for thou speakest falsely of Ishmael.

Viewing the original 1611 KJV with archaic English spelling
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Commentary for Jeremiah 40

Jeremiah is directed to go to Gedaliah. (1-6) A conspiracy against Gedaliah. (7-16)1-6 The captain of the guard seems to glory that he had been God's instrument to fulfil, what Jeremiah had been God's messenger to foretell. Many can see God's justice and truth with regard to others, who are heedless and blind as to themselves and their own sins. But, sooner or later, all men shall be made sensible that their sin is the cause of all their miseries. Jeremiah has leave to dispose of himself; but is advised to go to Gedaliah, governor of the land under the king of Babylon. It is doubtful whether Jeremiah acted right in this decision. But those who desire the salvation of sinners, and the good of the church, are apt to expect better times from slight appearances, and they will prefer the hope of being useful, to the most secure situations without it.

7-16 Jeremiah had never in his prophecies spoken of any good days for the Jews, to come immediately after the captivity; yet Providence seemed to encourage such an expectation. But how soon is this hopeful prospect blighted! When God begins a judgment, he will complete it. While pride, ambition, or revenge, bears rule in the heart, men will form new projects, and be restless in mischief, which commonly ends in their own ruin. Who would have thought, that after the destruction of Jerusalem, rebellion would so soon have sprung up? There can be no thorough change but what grace makes. And if the miserable, who are kept in everlasting chains for the judgment of the great day, were again permitted to come on earth, the sin and evil of their nature would be unchanged. Lord, give us new hearts, and that new mind in which the new birth consists, since thou hast said we cannot without it see thy heavenly kingdom.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Jeremiah 40

  • A disciple
    "The WORD that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah..." And so we read it like a story in the News; yet it is called, "The WORD that came to Jeremiah from the LORD." A word of knowledge? Yes, certainly! A word of Divine Authority over the affairs of men? That too! A word that searches us, and compels us to search and to discern?
  • Jamie
    We see how Jehovah took care of his faithful servant Jeremiah and as we stay faithful to Jeremiah he will take care of us.
  • BSP
    In verse 12 the Jews who listened to Jeremiah suffered for a little bit, but look at the blessings they received in this verse.
  • Andrew
    Is Johanan plot justifiable to save Gedaliah? Or Gedaliah naivete to blame for the tragedy? Or must Jeremiah, the mouth piece of God, be consulted?

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