Then the officials1 said to the king, "This man should be put to death.2 He is discouraging3 the soldiers who are left in this city, as well as all the people, by the things he is saying to them. This man is not seeking the good of these people but their ruin."
"He is in your hands,"4 King Zedekiah answered. "The king can do nothing5 to oppose you."
So they took Jeremiah and put him into the cistern of Malkijah, the king's son, which was in the courtyard of the guard.6 They lowered Jeremiah by ropes7 into the cistern; it had no water in it,8 only mud, and Jeremiah sank down into the mud.97
But Ebed-Melech,10 a Cushite,a an officialb11 in the royal palace, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern. While the king was sitting in the Benjamin Gate,128
Ebed-Melech went out of the palace and said to him,
"My lord the king, these men have acted wickedly in all they have done to Jeremiah the prophet. They have thrown him into a cistern,13 where he will starve to death when there is no longer any bread14 in the city."
Then the king commanded Ebed-Melech the Cushite, "Take thirty men from here with you and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies."
So Ebed-Melech took the men with him and went to a room under the treasury in the palace. He took some old rags and worn-out clothes from there and let them down with ropes15 to Jeremiah in the cistern.
Ebed-Melech the Cushite said to Jeremiah, "Put these old rags and worn-out clothes under your arms to pad the ropes." Jeremiah did so,
and they pulled him up with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard.16
Then King Zedekiah sent17 for Jeremiah the prophet and had him brought to the third entrance to the temple of the LORD. "I am going to ask you something," the king said to Jeremiah. "Do not hide18 anything from me."