¶ This is the manner how the LORD entreated Ieremy, when Nabuzaradan the chief Captain had let him go free from Raniah, whither he had led him bound among all the prisoners, that were carried from Ierusalem and Iudah unto Babylon. The chief Captain called for Ieremy, and said unto him: The LORD thy God spake mightily before of the misery upon this place: Now the LORD hath sent it, and performed it as he had promised: For ye have sinned against the LORD, and have not been obedient to his voice, therefore cometh this plague upon you. Behold, I loose the bounds from thy hands this day: if thou wilt now go with me unto Babylon, up then: for I will see to thee, and provide for thee: But if thou wilt not go with me to Babylon, then remain here. Behold, all the land is at thy will, look where thou thinkest convenient and good for thee to abide, there dwell. If thou canst not be content to dwell alone, then remain with Godoliah the son of Ahicam, the son of Saphan: whom the king of Babylon hath made governor over the cities of Iudah, and dwell with him among the people, or remain wheresoever it pleaseth thee. So the chief Captain of the guard gave him his expenses with a reward, and let him go. Then went Ieremy unto Godoliah the son of Ahikam to Mazphah, and dwelt there with him among the people that were left in the land.
¶ Now when the captains of the Host of Iuda (which with their fellows were scattered abroad on every side in the land) understood that the king of Babylon had made Godoliah the son of Ahicam governor in the land, and that man, wife and child, yea and the poor men in the land (that were not led captive to Babylon) should be under his Iurisdiction: They came to Godoliah unto Mazphah: Namely, Ishmael the son of Nathaniah, and Iohanan and Ionathah the sons of Careah, and Saraiah the son of Thanhometh, and the sons of Ophai the Netophathite, and Iesaniah the son of Maachati, with their companions. And Godoliah the son of Ahicam, the son of Saphan, swore unto them and their fellows on this manner: Be not afraid to serve the Caldees, dwell in the land, and do the king of Babylon service, so shall ye prosper. Behold, I dwell at Mazphah to be an officer in the Caldees behalf, and to satisfy such as come to us. Therefore gather you wine, corn and oil, and keep them in your ware houses, and dwell in your cities that ye have in keeping. Yea all the Iews also that dwelt in Moab, under the Ammonites, in Idumea and in all the countries, when they heard, that the king of Babylon had made Godoliah the son of Ahicam the son of Saphan, governor upon them that were left in Iuda: All the Iews (I say) returned out of all places where they fled unto: and came in to the land of Iudah, to Godoliah unto Mazphah, and gathered wine and other fruits, and that very much. Moreover Iohanan the son of Careah and all the captains of the Host, that were scattered on every side in the land, came to Godoliah to Mazphah, and said unto him: knowest thou not that Baalis king of the Ammonites hath sent Ismael the son of Nathaniah, to slay thee? But Godoliah the son of Ahicam believed them not. Then said Iohanan the son of Careah unto Godoliah in Mazphah these words secretly: Let me go, I pray thee, and I will slay Ismael the son of Nathaniah, so that no body shall know it. Wherefore will he kill thee, that all the Iews which resort unto thee, might be scattered, and the remnant in Iudah perish? Then said Godoliah the son of Ahicam to Iohanan the son of Careah: Thou shalt not do it, for they are but lies, that men say of Ismael.