2 These are the words of the Lord: Whoever goes on living in this town will come to his death by the sword or through need of food or by disease: but whoever goes out to the Chaldaeans will keep his life out of the power of the attackers and be safe. 3 The Lord has said, This town will certainly be given into the hands of the army of the king of Babylon, and he will take it. 4 Then the rulers said to the king, Let this man be put to death, because he is putting fear into the hearts of the men of war who are still in the town, and into the hearts of the people, by saying such things to them: this man is not working for the well-being of the people, but for their damage. 5 Then Zedekiah the king said, See, he is in your hands: for the king was not able to do anything against them. 6 So they took Jeremiah and put him into the water-hole of Malchiah, the king's son, in the place of the armed watchmen: and they let Jeremiah down with cords. And in the hole there was no water, but wet earth: and Jeremiah went down into the wet earth. 7 Now it came to the ears of Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, an unsexed servant in the king's house, that they had put Jeremiah into the water-hole; the king at that time being seated in the doorway of Benjamin: 8 And Ebed-melech went out from the king's house and said to the king, 9 My lord the king, these men have done evil in all they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have put into the water-hole; and he will come to his death in the place where he is through need of food: for there is no more bread in the town.
Matthew Henry's Commentary on Jeremiah 38:2-9
Commentary on Jeremiah 38:1-13
(Read Jeremiah 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?