And Ebedmelech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, Put now these old cast clouts and rotten rags under your armholes under the cords. And Jeremiah did so.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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].
put now these old cast clouts and rotten rags under thine arm holes under the cords; the cords were first put under his arm holes to draw him up with, and then these clouts and rags were put under the cords; lest they should cut into his flesh, at least hurt him, and give him pain, the whole weight of his body resting on them; and perhaps these parts had received some hurt when he was let down into the dungeon with cords, when they were not so careful of him; and therefore needed some soft rags the more to be put under them at this time; all which shows what an affection this man had for the prophet and holy tender he was of him:And Ebedmelech the Ethiopian said unto Jeremiah, Put now these old cast clouts and rotten rags under thine armholes under the cords. And Jeremiah did so.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Jeremiah 36:26) Malchiah, which was in the court of the prison, letting him down with ropes into the pit, in which there was no water, but mud; into this Jeremiah sank. The act is first mentioned in a general way in the words, "they cast him into the pit;" then the mode of proceeding is particularized in the words, "and they let him down," etc. On the expression הבּור מלכּיּהוּ, "the pit of Malchiah," cf. Ewald, 290, d: the article stands here before the nomen regens, because the nomen rectum, from being a proper name, cannot take it; and yet the pit must be pointed out as one well known and definite. That it was very deep, and that Jeremiah must have perished in it if he were not soon taken out again, is evident from the very fact that they were obliged to use ropes in letting him down, and still more so from the trouble caused in pulling him out (Jeremiah 38:10-12). That the princes did not at once put the prophet to death with the sword was not owing to any feeling of respect for the king, because the latter had not pronounced sentence of death on him, but because they sought to put the prophet to a final death, and yet at the same time wished to silence the voice of conscience with the excuse that they had not shed his blood.
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