Jeremiah 38:11
So Ebedmelech took the men with him, and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took there old cast clouts and old rotten rags, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah.
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(11) Under the treasury . . .—This was obviously what we should call the “lumber-room” of the palace. Nothing could show the acuteness of the prophet’s sufferings more vividly than the precautions which the thoughtful kindness of the Eunuch thus suggested. The pit was so deep that ropes were needed to draw him up, as they had been to let him down, and lest they should cut into the flesh of Jeremiah’s emaciated form, improvised cushions had to be fastened to the ropes, that he might rest his arm-pits on them. He was, however, at last rescued, and re-instated in his former position, as a prisoner under the king’s protection.

“Clout” in old English was used for a patch of cloth as distinct from the “rags,” which were of linen. So Spenser, “His garments nought but many ragged clouts.”

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. 11. cast clouts—"torn clothes" [Henderson].

rotten rags—"worn-out garments." God can make the meanest things His instruments of goodness to His people (1Co 1:27-29).

under … armholes—"under the joints of thine hands," that is, where the fingers join the hand, the clothes being in order that the hands should not be cut by the cords [Maurer].

No text from Poole on this verse. So Ebedmelech took the men with him,.... The thirty men, as the king ordered: as soon as ever he had got the grant, he immediately set about the work, and lost no time to save the prophet's life:

and went unto the house of the king under the treasury; from the gate of Benjamin he went to the king's palace, and to a particular place under the treasury; by which "treasury" may be meant the treasury of garments, or the royal wardrobe, under which was a place, where clothes worn out, or cast off, were put: the Septuagint represent it as underground, a cellar under the wardrobe:

and took thence old cast clouts, and old rotten rags: the Syriac version has it, such as cattle were wiped and cleaned with:

and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah; for it was so deep, that men could not reach to put them into the hands of the prophet; and, had they been thrown in, they might have been scattered about and be out of his reach, who stuck in the mire; or they would have been in all likelihood greatly bedaubed with the mire.

So Ebedmelech took the men with him, and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took thence old cast clouts and old rotten rags, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah.
11. under the treasury] to a room under the treasury, a sort of lumber-room.

old cast clouts and old rotten rags] worn out pieces of torn and ragged garments, to ease the pressure of the ropes.Verse 11. - Under the treasury; rather, to (a room) under the treasury. Old cast clouts, etc.; literally, rags of torn garments and rags of worn-out garments. The king said, "Behold, he is in your hand, for the king can do nothing alongside of you." This reply indicates not merely the weakness and powerlessness of the king against his princes, but also his inward aversion to the testimony of the man of God. "That he would like to save him, just as he afterwards does (Jeremiah 38:10)," is not implied in what he says, with which he delivers up the prophet to the spite of his enemies. Though the princes had at once put Jeremiah to death, the king would not even have been able to reproach them. The want of courage vigorously to oppose the demand of the princes did not spring from any kindly feeling towards the prophet, but partly from moral weakness of character, partly from inward repugnance to the word of God proclaimed by Jeremiah. On the construction אין וּיכל instead of the participle from יכול, which does not occur, cf. Ewald, 321, a. אתכם is certainly in form an accusative; but it cannot be such, since דּבר follows as the accusative: it is therefore either to be pointed אתּכם or to be considered as standing for it, just as אותך often occurs for אתּך, "with," i.e., "along with you."
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