Then took they Jeremiah
Having the king's leave, or at least no prohibition from him; they went with proper attendants to the court of the prison, and took the prophet from thence: and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that
[was] in the court of the prison;
this was a dungeon that belonged to the prison which Malchiah had the care of, or which belonged to his house, which was contiguous to the court of the prison. The Targum renders it, Malchiah the son of the king; and so the Septuagint and Arabic versions; but it is not likely that Zedekiah should have a son that was set over his dungeon, or to whom one belonged, or should be called by his name: here the princes cast the prophet, in order that he should perish, either with famine or suffocation, or the noisomeness of the place; not caring with their own hands to take away the life of a prophet, and for fear of the people; and this being a more slow and private way of dispatching him, they chose it; for they designed no doubt nothing less than death: and they let down Jeremiah with cords;
there being no steps or stairs to go down into it; so that nobody could come to him when in it, or relieve him: and in the dungeon [there was] no water, but mire;
so Jeremiah sunk in the mire; up to the neck, as Josephus F17 says. Some think that it was at this time, and in this place, that Jeremiah put up the petitions to the Lord, and which he heard, recorded in ( Lamentations 3:55-57 ) ; and that that whole chapter was composed by him in this time of his distress.
F17 Antiqu. l. 10. c. 7. sect. 5.