Jeremiah 38:7-13

Jeremiah Rescued from the Cistern

7 When 1Ebed-melech 2the Ethiopian, 3a eunuch who was in the king's house, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern--the king was sitting 4in the Benjamin Gate--
8 5Ebed-melech went from the king's house and said to the king,
9 "My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they did to Jeremiah the prophet by casting him into the cistern, and he will die there of 6hunger, 7for there is no bread left in the city."
10 Then the king commanded 8Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, "Take thirty men with you from here, and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies."
11 So 9Ebed-melech took the men with him and went to the house of the king, to a wardrobe in the storehouse, and took from there old rags and worn-out clothes, which he let down to Jeremiah in the cistern 10by ropes.
12 Then 11Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, "Put the rags and clothes between your armpits and 12the ropes." Jeremiah did so.
13 Then they drew Jeremiah up with 13ropes and lifted him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in the 14court of the guard.

Jeremiah 38:7-13 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH 38

This chapter is taken up in giving an account of Jeremiah's being cast into a dungeon; his deliverance from it; and private conversation with King Zedekiah. The occasion of the prophet's being cast into a dungeon was his discourse to the people, which four of the princes represented to the king as seditious, and moved to have him put to death; and, being delivered into their hands, was put into a miry dungeon, Jer 38:1-6. Ebedmelech, the Ethiopian, hearing of his miserable case, represented it to the king, and interceded for his release; which being granted, with the help of thirty men, and by means of old clouts and rotten rags, let down by cords, drew him up, and placed him in the court of the prison, Jer 38:7-13. King Zedekiah sends for Jeremiah, and has a private conference with him about the state of affairs; when the prophet faithfully told him how things would issue, and gave him his best advice, Jer 38:14-23; upon parting, the king desires the conference might be kept a secret from the princes, which was accordingly done, Jer 38:24-27; and Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison till the taking of Jerusalem, Jer 38:28.

Jeremiah 38:7-13 In-Context

5 King Zedekiah said, "Behold, he is in your hands, for the king can do nothing against you."
6 So they took Jeremiah and cast him into the cistern of Malchiah, the king's son, which was in the court of the guard, letting Jeremiah down by ropes. And there was no water in the cistern, but only mud, and Jeremiah sank in the mud.
7 When Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, a eunuch who was in the king's house, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern--the king was sitting in the Benjamin Gate--
8 Ebed-melech went from the king's house and said to the king,
9 "My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they did to Jeremiah the prophet by casting him into the cistern, and he will die there of hunger, for there is no bread left in the city."
10 Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, "Take thirty men with you from here, and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies."
11 So Ebed-melech took the men with him and went to the house of the king, to a wardrobe in the storehouse, and took from there old rags and worn-out clothes, which he let down to Jeremiah in the cistern by ropes.
12 Then Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, "Put the rags and clothes between your armpits and the ropes." Jeremiah did so.
13 Then they drew Jeremiah up with ropes and lifted him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard.
14 King Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah the prophet and received him at the third entrance of the temple of the LORD. The king said to Jeremiah, "I will ask you a question; hide nothing from me."
15 Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, "If I tell you, will you not surely put me to death? And if I give you counsel, you will not listen to me."

Cross References 14

  • 1. Jeremiah 39:16
  • 2. [Acts 8:27]
  • 3. Jeremiah 29:2; Isaiah 56:3, 4
  • 4. See Jeremiah 37:13
  • 5. [See ver. 7 above]
  • 6. Jeremiah 11:22; [Jeremiah 14:16, 18; Jeremiah 19:9]
  • 7. [Jeremiah 37:21]
  • 8. [See ver. 7 above]
  • 9. [See ver. 7 above]
  • 10. ver. 6
  • 11. [See ver. 7 above]
  • 12. [See ver. 11 above]
  • 13. [See ver. 11 above]
  • 14. [See ver. 6 above]