Jeremiah 38:6
Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) The dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech.—Literally, the pit, or cistern. The LXX. agrees with the marginal reading in describing him as “a son of the king.” The same phrase is so translated in 1Kings 22:26; 2Chronicles 28:7, and would seem to have been an official or court title, applied to one of the royal house, as distinguished from. others. (See Note on Jerahmeel in Jeremiah 36:26.) We have no data for judging whether this Malchiah is identical with the lather of Pashur in Jeremiah 38:1; but it is not unlikely. In Lamentations 3:53-55 we have probably a reminiscence of these days of horrible suffering. The cistern had been partly dried up (possibly through the supply of water having been cut off during the protracted siege), but there remained a thick deposit, three or four feet deep, of black foetid mud,, and there, it is obvious from Jeremiah 38:9 of this chapter, his enemies meant to leave him to die of hunger. They probably shrank from the odium of a public execution, or thought, with the strange superstition of the Eastern mind, that in this way they could escape the guilt of shedding the prophet’s blood. The death by starva-tion might easily be represented, even to themselves, as a death by disease.

Jeremiah 38:6. Then they took Jeremiah and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah — A place of much the same nature with that mentioned Jeremiah 37:16, but in another prison. And they let down Jeremiah with cords — It seems there was no passage into this dungeon by stairs, and, as it was deep, they were obliged to let him down in this manner. So Jeremiah sunk in the mire — Which was in the bottom of this pit. Josephus asserts that he sunk up to his neck in it, and adds, that their intention in putting him into so foul a place was, that he might perish in it, Antiq, lib. 9. cap. 10. It has been thought by some, that during his abode in this loathsome place he composed the melancholy meditations contained in the third chapter of his Lamentations; but this seems highly improbable.

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?The dungeon - The cistern. Every house in Jerusalem was supplied with a subterranean cistern, so well constructed that the city never suffered in a siege from want of water. So large were they that when dry they seem to have been used for prisons Zechariah 9:11.

Hammelech - See Jeremiah 36:26 note.

The prison - The guard. They threw Jeremiah into the nearest cistern, intending that he should die of starvation. Some have thought that Psalm 69 was composed by Jeremiah when in this cistern.

6. dungeon—literally, the "cistern." It was not a subterranean prison as that in Jonathan's house (Jer 37:15), but a pit or cistern, which had been full of water, but was emptied of it during the siege, so that only "mire" remained. Such empty cisterns were often used as prisons (Zec 9:11); the depth forbade hope of escape.

Hammelech—(Jer 36:26). His son followed in the father's steps, a ready tool for evil.

sunk in the mire—Jeremiah herein was a type of Messiah (Ps 69:2, 14). "I sink in deep mire," &c.

Cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison; a place much of the same nature with that of which we read Jeremiah 37:16, but in another prison. It should seem there was no passage into it by stairs, so as they were forced to let him down with cords. And in the bottom was nothing but mire, into which the prophet sank, in respect of which circumstances it was a much worse place than the dungeon in the prison in Jonathan’s house appeared to be, though Jeremiah feared that he should die there. It is probable these princes thrust him into this place, designing he should die in this hole a miserable death, but God otherwise provided for him.

Then took they Jeremiah,.... Having the king's leave, or at least no prohibition from him; they went with proper attendants to the court of the prison, and took the prophet from thence:

and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison; this was a dungeon that belonged to the prison which Malchiah had the care of, or which belonged to his house, which was contiguous to the court of the prison. The Targum renders it, Malchiah the son of the king; and so the Septuagint and Arabic versions; but it is not likely that Zedekiah should have a son that was set over his dungeon, or to whom one belonged, or should be called by his name: here the princes cast the prophet, in order that he should perish, either with famine or suffocation, or the noisomeness of the place; not caring with their own hands to take away the life of a prophet, and for fear of the people; and this being a more slow and private way of dispatching him, they chose it; for they designed no doubt nothing less than death:

and they let down Jeremiah with cords; there being no steps or stairs to go down into it; so that nobody could come to him when in it, or relieve him:

and in the dungeon there was no water, but mire; so Jeremiah sunk in the mire; up to the neck, as Josephus (q) says. Some think that it was at this time, and in this place, that Jeremiah put up the petitions to the Lord, and which he heard, recorded in Lamentations 3:55; and that that whole chapter was composed by him in this time of his distress.

(q) Antiqu. l. 10. c. 7. sect. 5.

Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6. the dungeon of Malchijah] mg. pit; a cistern for storage of water; see on Jeremiah 6:7. The depth and wretchedness of this place of confinement are shewn by the means employed to place Jeremiah in it.

the king’s son] better than mg. the son of Hammelech. See on Jeremiah 36:26.

Verse 6. - The dungeon; more literally, the cistern. "Every house in Jerusalem was supplied with a subterranean cistern, so well constructed that we never read of the city suffering in a siege from want of water" (Dr. Payne Smith). A grotto bearing the name of Jeremiah has been shown at Jerusalem since the fifteenth century. Under its floor are vast cisterns, the deepest of which professes to be the prison into which the prophet was thrown. The objection is that the sacred narrative proves that the prison was in the city, whereas "the present grotto was not included within the walls until the time of Herod Agrippa" (Thomson, 'The Land and the Book,' 1881, p. 555). The son of Hammelech; rather, a royal prince (as Jeremiah 36:26). Jeremiah 38:6The princes (שׂרים) now cast Jeremiah into the pit of the king's son (בּן־מלך, see on 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.
Links
Jeremiah 38:6 Interlinear
Jeremiah 38:6 Parallel Texts


Jeremiah 38:6 NIV
Jeremiah 38:6 NLT
Jeremiah 38:6 ESV
Jeremiah 38:6 NASB
Jeremiah 38:6 KJV

Jeremiah 38:6 Bible Apps
Jeremiah 38:6 Parallel
Jeremiah 38:6 Biblia Paralela
Jeremiah 38:6 Chinese Bible
Jeremiah 38:6 French Bible
Jeremiah 38:6 German Bible

Bible Hub






Jeremiah 38:5
Top of Page
Top of Page