him, I know
Jeremiah 39:11- 40:6 (JDV)
Jeremiah 39:11 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon gave orders, via Nebuzaradan, captain of the guards, concerning Jeremiah:
Jeremiah 39:12 “Take him and look after him. Don’t do him any harm, but do for him whatever he says.”
Jeremiah 39:13 Nebuzaradan, captain of the guards, Nebushazban the chief of staff, Nergal-sharezer the chief soothsayer, and all the captains of Babylon’s king
Jeremiah 39:14 had Jeremiah brought from the guard’s courtyard and turned him over to Gedaliah son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, to take him home. So he settled among his own people.
Jeremiah 39:15 Now the word of Yahveh had come to Jeremiah when he was confined in the guard’s courtyard:
Jeremiah 39:16 “Go tell Ebed-melech the Cushite, ‘This is what Yahveh of Armies, the God of Israel, says: I am about to fulfill my words for disaster and not for good against this city. They will take place before your eyes on that day.
Jeremiah 39:17 But I will rescue you on that day – this is what Yahveh declares – and you will not be handed over to the men you are fearing.
Jeremiah 39:18 In fact, I will certainly deliver you so that you do not fall by the sword. Because you have trusted in me, you will retain your life like the spoils of war. this is what Yahveh declares.'”
Jeremiah 40:1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from Yahveh after Nebuzaradan, captain of the guards, released him at Ramah. When he found him, he was bound in chains with all the exiles of Jerusalem and Judah who were being exiled to Babylon.
Jeremiah 40:2 The captain of the guards took Jeremiah and said to him, “Yahveh your God decreed this disaster on this place,
Jeremiah 40:3 and Yahveh has fulfilled it. He has done just what he decreed. Because you people have failed Yahveh and have not obeyed him, this thing has happened.
Jeremiah 40:4 Now pay attention: Today I am setting you free from the chains that were on your hands. If it pleases you to come with me to Babylon, come, and I will take care of you. But if it seems wrong to you to come with me to Babylon, go no farther. You see that the whole land is in front of you. Wherever it seems good and right for you to go, go there.”
Jeremiah 40:5 When Jeremiah had not yet turned to go, Nebuzaradan said to him, “Return to Gedaliah son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has appointed over the cities of Judah, and stay with him among the people or go wherever it seems right for you to go.” So the captain of the guards gave him a ration and a gift and released him.
Jeremiah 40:6 Jeremiah therefore went to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah, and he stayed with him among the people who remained in the land.
him, I know
How did Jeremiah know which choice to make? Would he serve best the exiled house of Judah, or the newly appointed governor Gedaliah?
Jeremiah knew both Gedaliah’s father (2 Kings 22:12-14) and his grandfather (2 Kings 22:3-13). It may be that Jeremiah felt he would finally have a leader that respected him. Perhaps that is why he chose to stay.
Lord, give us leaders who respect you, and your congregation.