Jeremiah 38:13
So they drew up Jeremiah with cords, and took him up out of the dungeon: and Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison.
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38:1-13 Jeremiah went on in his plain preaching. The princes went on in their malice. It is common for wicked people to look upon God's faithful ministers as enemies, because they show what enemies the wicked are to themselves while impenitent. Jeremiah was put into a dungeon. Many of God's faithful witnesses have been privately made away in prisons. Ebed-melech was an Ethiopian; yet he spoke to the king faithfully, These men have done ill in all they have done to Jeremiah. See how God can raise up friends for his people in distress. Orders were given for the prophet's release, and Ebed-melech saw him drawn up. Let this encourage us to appear boldly for God. Special notice is taken of his tenderness for Jeremiah. What do we behold in the different characters then, but the same we behold in the different characters now, that the Lord's children are conformed to his example, and the children of Satan to their master?Old cast clouts ... - Rags of torn garments and rags of worn-out garments. 13. court of … prison—Ebed-melech prudently put him there to be out of the way of his enemies. The sense of these verses is obvious. Ebed-melech having received a commission from the king, presently puts it in execution, only because the dungeon was deep, and full of mire, and the prophet possibly not over-well clothed, he prudently takes some old clouts and rags, and lets them down with cords, that Jeremiah, to prevent the galling and macerating his flesh, might put them under the cords, by which they drew him up: thus he was restored to the court of the prison, where he was before this suggestion of the princes, and where he did abide until the city was taken. The rest of the chapter is spent in a private conference betwixt king Zedekiah and the prophet, after he was restored to the court of the prison.

So they drew up Jeremiah with cords,.... The men that were with Ebedmelech, as many as were necessary; he overlooking, directing, and encouraging:

and he took him out of the dungeon; alive, according to the king's orders and design, and in spite of the prophet's enemies: the thing succeeded according to wish; the Lord ordering and prospering every step:

and Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison; from whence he had been taken, and where he was replaced; Ebedmelech having no warrant to set him at entire liberty; nor would it have been prudent to have solicited that, which might too much have exasperated the princes; and besides, here, according to the king's order, bread was to be given him, as long as there was any in the city; so that it was the most fit and proper place for him to remain in; wherefore what Josephus (x) says, that he dismissed him, and set him free, is not true.

(x) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 10. c. 7. sect. 5.)

So they drew up Jeremiah with cords, and took him out of the dungeon: and Jeremiah remained in the {g} court of the prison.

(g) Where the king had set him before to be at more liberty, as in Jer 37:21.

13. court of the guard] See on Jeremiah 32:2.

Jeremiah 38:13Ebedmelech took the men at his hand, went into the king's house under the treasury, and took thence rags of torn and of worn-out garments, and let them down on ropes to Jeremiah into the pit, and said to him, "Put, I pray thee, the rages of the torn and cast-off clothes under thine arm-pits under the ropes." Jeremiah did so, and then they drew him out of the pit by the ropes. תּחת is a room under the treasury. בּלוי, in Jeremiah 38:12 בּלואים, from בּלה, to be worn away (of clothes), are rags. סחבות (from סחב, to drag, drag about, tear to pieces) are torn pieces of clothing. מלחים, worn-out garments, from מלח, in Niphal, Isaiah 51:6, to vanish, dissolve away. The article at הסּחבות is expunged from the Qeri for sake of uniformity, because it is not found with מלחים; but it may as well be allowed to stand as be removed. אצּילות ידים, properly the roots of the hands, are not the knuckles of the hand, but the shoulders of the arms. מתּחת לחבלים, under the ropes; i.e., the rags were to serve as pads to the ropes which were to be placed under the arm-pits, to prevent the ropes from cutting the flesh. When Jeremiah had been drawn out in this way from the deep pit of mire, he remained in the court of the prison.
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