Chapter 40

1The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan the chief executioner sent him away from Ramah when he took him and he was bound in fetters among the entire exile of Jerusalem and Judah who were exiled to Babylon.   אהַדָּבָ֞ר אֲשֶׁר־הָיָ֚ה אֶל־יִרְמְיָ֙הוּ֙ מֵאֵ֣ת יְהֹוָ֔ה אַחַ֣ר | שַׁלַּ֣ח אֹת֗וֹ נְבֽוּזַרְאֲדָ֛ן רַב־טַבָּחִ֖ים מִן־הָֽרָמָ֑ה בְּקַחְתּ֣וֹ אֹת֗וֹ וְהֽוּא־אָס֚וּר בָּֽאזִקִּים֙ בְּת֨וֹךְ כָּל־גָּל֚וּת יְרֽוּשָׁלִַ֙ם֙ וִֽיהוּדָ֔ה הַמֻּגְלִ֖ים בָּבֶֽלָה:
The word that came: What is stated at the end of the section (42: 7): “And it was at the end of ten days that the word of the Lord came etc.,” but he first wrote on account of what it was said to him. And the Midrash Aggadah in Lamentations Rabbah (Proem 34): What was the word? “And return to Gedaliah.” He said to him: Either you go down with them and I will remain (?) here, or you remain here and I will go down with them. He replied: If I go down with them, what will I help them? Rather, let their Creator go down with them, for He will help them exceedingly.  
from Ramah: Where he went into exile by himself with them. He would see a group [of youths] joined by a collar and would put his neck between them, etc., as is stated in Pesikta of the Haftarah Divrei Yirmiyahu (p. 113). For it is impossible to say that Nebuzaradan put him in chains since Nebuchadnezzar commanded him, “Do him no harm” (above 39:12).  
in fetters: Heb. באזקים, ceps in French, fetters.  
2And the chief executioner took Jeremiah and said to him, "The Lord your God spoke this evil upon this place.   בוַיִּקַּ֥ח רַב־טַבָּחִ֖ים לְיִרְמְיָ֑הוּ וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלָ֔יו יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֗יךָ דִּבֶּר֙ אֶת־הָֽרָעָ֣ה הַזֹּ֔את אֶל־הַמָּק֖וֹם הַזֶּֽה:
“The Lord your God spoke”: Why are you troubled about them? Did you not prophesy to them and they did not hearken? As it is stated in Pesikta d’Rav Kahana (p. 113a).  
3And the Lord has brought and performed as He spoke, for you sinned against the Lord, and you did not hearken to His voice, and this thing has come upon you.   גוַיָּבֵ֥א וַיַּ֛עַשׂ יְהֹוָ֖ה כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֣ר דִּבֵּ֑ר כִּֽי־חֲטָאתֶ֚ם לַֽיהֹוָה֙ וְלֹֽא־שְׁמַעְתֶּ֣ם בְּקוֹל֔וֹ וְהָיָ֥ה לָכֶ֖ם הַדָּבָ֥ר (כתיב דָּבָ֥ר) הַזֶּֽה:
4And now, behold I have released you today from the fetters that are on your hands; if it pleases you to come with me to Babylon, come, and I will look after you, and if it does not please you to come with me to Babylon, refrain. See, the whole land is before you; wherever it seems good and right to you to go, go there."   דוְעַתָּ֞ה הִנֵּ֧ה פִתַּחְתִּ֣יךָ הַיּ֗וֹם מִן־הָֽאזִקִּים֘ אֲשֶׁ֣ר עַל־יָדֶךָ֒ אִם־ט֨וֹב בְּעֵינֶ֜יךָ לָב֧וֹא אִתִּ֣י בָבֶ֗ל בֹּא וְאָשִׂ֚ים אֶת־עֵינִי֙ עָלֶ֔יךָ וְאִם־רַ֧ע בְּעֵינֶ֛יךָ לָבֽוֹא־אִתִּ֥י בָבֶ֖ל חֲדָ֑ל רְאֵה֙ כָּל־הָאָ֣רֶץ לְפָנֶ֔יךָ אֶל־ט֨וֹב וְאֶל־הַיָּשָׁ֧ר בְּעֵינֶ֛יךָ לָלֶ֥כֶת שָׁ֖מָּה לֵֽךְ:
I have released you: Heb. פתחתיך, an expression related to “And he untied (ויפתח) the camels” (Gen. 24.32). And so did Jonathan render: Behold, now I have untied you. But Menahem (p. 147) interpreted all of them as an expression of actual opening (פתיחה).  
5But he would still not return, "So return to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has appointed in the cities of Judah, and stay with him amidst the people, or go wherever it seems right to you to go," and the chief executioner gave him an allowance and a present and sent him away.   הוְעוֹדֶ֣נּוּ לֹֽא־יָשׁ֗וּב וְשֻׁ֡בָה אֶל־גְּדַלְיָ֣ה בֶן־אֲחִיקָ֣ם בֶּן־שָׁפָ֡ן אֲשֶׁר֩ הִפְקִ֨יד מֶֽלֶךְ־בָּבֶ֜ל בְּעָרֵ֣י יְהוּדָ֗ה וְשֵׁ֚ב אִתּוֹ֙ בְּת֣וֹךְ הָעָ֔ם א֠וֹ אֶל־כָּל־הַיָּשָׁ֧ר בְּעֵינֶ֛יךָ לָלֶ֖כֶת לֵ֑ךְ וַיִּתֶּן־ל֧וֹ רַב־טַבָּחִ֛ים אֲרֻחָ֥ה וּמַשְׂאֵ֖ת וַֽיְשַׁלְּחֵֽהוּ:
But he would still not return: Despite this, he did not wish to return. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him, “And return to Gedaliah,” who was appointed over the remaining poor people. They, too, need you, like the rest of the exiles.  
an allowance and a present: Heb. ארחה ומשאת. Jonathan renders: מתנן וּנבזבן.  
6And Jeremiah came to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, to Mizpah, and he lived with him amidst the people remaining in the land.   ווַיָּבֹ֧א יִרְמְיָ֛הוּ אֶל־גְּדַלְיָ֥ה בֶן־אֲחִיקָ֖ם הַמִּצְפָּ֑תָה וַיֵּ֚שֶׁב אִתּוֹ֙ בְּת֣וֹךְ הָעָ֔ם הַנִּשְׁאָרִ֖ים בָּאָֽרֶץ:
7And all the officers of the armies that were in the field heard, they and their men that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam in the land, and that he had appointed with him men, women, and children, and of the poor of the land, of those who were not exiled to Babylon.   זוַיִּשְׁמְעוּ֩ כָל־שָׂרֵ֨י הַֽחֲיָלִ֜ים אֲשֶׁ֣ר בַּשָּׂדֶ֗ה הֵמָּה וְאַנְשֵׁיהֶ֔ם כִּֽי־הִפְקִ֧יד מֶֽלֶךְ־בָּבֶ֛ל אֶת־גְּדַלְיָ֥הוּ בֶן־אֲחִיקָ֖ם בָּאָ֑רֶץ וְכִ֣י | הִפְקִ֣יד אִתּ֗וֹ אֲנָשִׁ֚ים וְנָשִׁים֙ וָטָ֔ף וּמִדַּלַּ֣ת הָאָ֔רֶץ מֵֽאֲשֶׁ֥ר לֹֽא־הָגְל֖וּ בָּבֶֽלָה:
8And they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, and Ishmael the son of Nethaniah and Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth and the sons of Ephai the Netophathite and Jezaniah the son of the Maacathite, they and their men.   חוַיָּבֹ֥אוּ אֶל־גְּדַלְיָ֖ה הַמִּצְפָּ֑תָה וְיִשְׁמָעֵ֣אל בֶּן־נְתַנְיָ֡הוּ וְיֽוֹחָנָ֣ן וְיֽוֹנָתָ֣ן בְּנֵֽי־קָ֠רֵחַ וּשְׂרָיָ֨ה בֶן־תַּנְחֻ֜מֶת וּבְנֵ֣י | עֵיפַ֣י (כתיב עֵופַ֣י) הַנְּטֹֽפָתִ֗י וִֽיזַנְיָ֙הוּ֙ בֶּן־הַמַּ֣עֲכָתִ֔י הֵ֖מָּה וְאַנְשֵׁיהֶֽם:
9And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan swore to them and to their men, saying, "Fear not to serve the Chaldeans. Dwell in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you.   טוַיִּשָּׁבַ֨ע לָהֶ֜ם גְּדַלְיָ֨הוּ בֶן־אֲחִיקָ֚ם בֶּן־שָׁפָן֙ וּלְאַנְשֵׁיהֶ֣ם לֵאמֹ֔ר אַל־תִּֽירְא֖וּ מֵֽעֲב֣וֹד הַכַּשְׂדִּ֑ים שְׁב֣וּ בָאָ֗רֶץ וְעִבְד֛וּ אֶת־מֶ֥לֶךְ בָּבֶ֖ל וְיִיטַ֥ב לָכֶֽם:
10And I, behold I dwell in Mizpah to stand before the Chaldeans who will come to us, and you gather wine and dried figs and oil and put [them] into your vessels and dwell in your cities, which you have taken.   יוַֽאֲנִ֗י הִֽנְנִ֚י ישֵׁב֙ בַּמִּצְפָּ֔ה לַֽעֲמֹד֙ לִפְנֵ֣י הַכַּשְׂדִּ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר יָבֹ֖אוּ אֵלֵ֑ינוּ וְאַתֶּ֡ם אִסְפוּ֩ יַ֨יִן וְקַ֜יִץ וְשֶׁ֗מֶן וְשִׂ֙מוּ֙ בִּכְלֵיכֶ֔ם וּשְׁב֖וּ בְּעָֽרֵיכֶ֥ם אֲשֶׁר־תְּפַשְׂתֶּֽם:
and dried figs: Heb. וקיץ, dried figs.  
11And also, all the Jews who [were] in Moab and among the children of Ammon and in Edom and who [were] in all the lands, heard that the king of Babylon had given Judah a remnant and that he had appointed over them Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan.   יאוְגַ֣ם כָּל־הַיְּהוּדִ֡ים אֲשֶׁר־בְּמוֹאָ֣ב | וּבִבְנֵֽי־עַמּ֨וֹן וּבֶֽאֱד֜וֹם וַֽאֲשֶׁ֚ר בְּכָל־הָֽאֲרָצוֹת֙ שָֽׁמְע֔וּ כִּֽי־נָתַ֧ן מֶֽלֶךְ־בָּבֶ֛ל שְׁאֵרִ֖ית לִֽיהוּדָ֑ה וְכִי֙ הִפְקִ֣יד עֲלֵיהֶ֔ם אֶת־גְּדַלְיָ֖הוּ בֶּן־אֲחִיקָ֥ם בֶּן־שָׁפָֽן:
12And all the Jews returned from all the places they had been driven, and they came to the land of Judah to Gedaliah to Mizpah, and they gathered very much wine and dried figs.   יבוַיָּשֻׁ֣בוּ כָל־הַיְּהוּדִ֗ים מִכָּל־הַמְּקֹמוֹת֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר נִדְּחוּ־שָׁ֔ם וַיָּבֹ֧אוּ אֶֽרֶץ־יְהוּדָ֛ה אֶל־גְּדַלְיָ֖הוּ הַמִּצְפָּ֑תָה וַיַּֽאַסְפ֛וּ יַ֥יִן וָקַ֖יִץ הַרְבֵּ֥ה מְאֹֽד:
13And Johanan the son of Kareah and all the officers of the armies who were in the field, came to Gedaliah to Mizpah.   יגוְיֽוֹחָנָן֙ בֶּן־קָרֵ֔חַ וְכָל־שָׂרֵ֥י הַֽחֲיָלִ֖ים אֲשֶׁ֣ר בַּשָּׂדֶ֑ה בָּ֥אוּ אֶל־גְּדַלְיָ֖הוּ הַמִּצְפָּֽתָה:
14And they said to him, "Do you know that Baalis the king of the children of Ammon sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to assassinate you?" But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam did not believe them.   ידוַיֹּאמְר֣וּ אֵלָ֗יו הֲיָדֹ֚עַ תֵּדַע֙ כִּ֞י בַּֽעֲלִ֣יס | מֶ֣לֶךְ בְּנֵֽי־עַמּ֗וֹן שָׁלַח֙ אֶת־יִשְׁמָעֵ֣אל בֶּן־נְתַנְיָ֔ה לְהַכֹּֽתְךָ֖ נָ֑פֶשׁ וְלֹא־הֶאֱמִ֣ין לָהֶ֔ם גְּדַלְיָ֖הוּ בֶּן־אֲחִיקָֽם:
15And Johanan the son of Kareah said to Gedaliah secretly, in Mizpah, saying, "Let me go now and I will slay Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no one shall know. Why should he put you to death, and all the Judeans gathered to you scatter, and the remnant of Judah be lost?"   טווְיֽוֹחָנָ֣ן בֶּן־קָרֵ֡חַ אָמַ֣ר אֶל־גְּדַלְיָהוּ֩ בַסֵּ֨תֶר בַּמִּצְפָּ֜ה לֵאמֹ֗ר אֵ֚לְכָה נָּא֙ וְאַכֶּה֙ אֶת־יִשְׁמָעֵ֣אל בֶּן־נְתַנְיָ֔ה וְאִ֖ישׁ לֹ֣א יֵדָ֑ע לָ֧מָּה יַכֶּ֣כָּה נֶּ֗פֶשׁ וְנָפֹ֙צוּ֙ כָּל־יְהוּדָה֙ הַנִּקְבָּצִ֣ים אֵלֶ֔יךָ וְאָֽבְדָ֖ה שְׁאֵרִ֥ית יְהוּדָֽה:
16And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said to Johanan the son of Kareah, "Do not do this thing for you speak falsely about Ishmael."   טזוַיֹּ֨אמֶר גְּדַלְיָ֚הוּ בֶן־אֲחִיקָם֙ אֶל־יֽוֹחָנָ֣ן בֶּן־קָרֵ֔חַ אַל־תַּֽעֲשֵׂ֖ה (כתיב תַּֽעֲשֵׂ֖) אֶת־הַדָּבָ֣ר הַזֶּ֑ה כִּֽי־שֶׁ֛קֶר אַתָּ֥ה דֹבֵ֖ר אֶל־יִשְׁמָעֵֽאל: