The speech of Gedaliah (Jer 40:9-40:10)

“Gedaliah,

The son of Ahikam,

The son of Shaphan,

Swore to them

With their troops.

Saying.

‘Do not be afraid

To serve the Chaldeans!

Stay in the land!

Serve the king of Babylon!

It shall go well with you.

As for me,

I am staying at Mizpah,

To represent you

Before the Chaldeans

Who come to us.

But as for you,

Gather wine!

Gather summer fruits!

Gather oil!

Store them in your vessels!

Live in the towns

That you have taken over!’”

Gedaliah, whose father Ahikam and grandfather Shaphan were well known, swore to these field leaders and their troops. As in 2 Kings, chapter 25, he told them not to be afraid of these Chaldean officials. They would be better off staying in the land and serving the Babylonian king. He would take care of things with the Chaldean officials, representing their causes. They should just go home and enjoy their wine, fruits, and oils. They should store them up and live in their towns. Everything was okay. Thus it was clear that not everyone was sent into captivity.

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Israel shall come back rejoicing (Jer 31:12-31:14)

“They shall come.

They shall sing aloud

On the height of Zion.

They shall be radiant

Over the goodness of Yahweh,

Over the grain,

Over the wine,

Over the oil,

Over the young of the flock.

Over their herd.

Their life shall become

Like a watered garden.

They shall never languish again.

Then shall the young women

Rejoice in the dance.

The young men

With the old men

Shall be merry.

I will turn their mourning

Into joy.

I will comfort them.

I will give them gladness

For sorrow.

I will give the priests

Their fill of fatness.

My people shall be satisfied

With my goodness.’

Says Yahweh.”

The Israelites will come to the heights of Zion to sing aloud. They will be happy over the goodness of Yahweh with their grain, their wine, their oil, their flocks, and their herds. Their life will become like a watered garden. They will never again languish away. The young women will rejoice in dancing, while the young and old men will be merry. Yahweh was going to comfort them by giving them gladness for all the sorrows that they suffered. Their mourning shall turn into joy. The priests would have fat sacrifices. They will be satisfied with all the goodness of Yahweh.