The Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost | September 19th, 2021
Shephatiah son of Mattah, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jehucal son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malkijah heard what Jeremiah had told the people when he said, 2 “This is what the LORD says. Whoever remains in this city will die by sword, famine, and plague, but whoever goes over to the Chaldeans will live. He will escape with his life, and he will live. 3 This is what the LORD says. This city will surely be handed over to the army of the king of Babylon, and he will capture it.” 4 Then the officials said to the king, “This man should be put to death because he is demoralizing the soldiers who are left in the city. He is demoralizing all the people by saying these things to them. This man is not seeking the welfare of the people. He wants to hurt them.” 5 King Zedekiah answered, “Very well. He is in your hands. The king cannot do anything to stop you.” 6 So they took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern of Malkijah, the king’s son, which was in the courtyard of the guard. They let Jeremiah down by ropes. There was no water in the cistern, but only mud, and Jeremiah sank down into the mud. 7 Ebed Melek the Cushite, an official in the king’s house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the cistern. While the king was sitting in the Benjamin Gate, 8 Ebed Melek left the palace and said to the king, 9 “My lord the king, everything that these men have done to Jeremiah the prophet is evil. They have thrown him into a cistern, where he is likely to die because of the famine, for there is no more bread in the city.” 10 Then the king gave orders to Ebed Melek the Cushite: “Take thirty men from here under your command and lift Jeremiah the prophet up out of the cistern before he dies.” 11 So Ebed Melek took command of the men and entered a room under the treasury in the palace. He took some old rags and worn-out clothing from there, and he lowered them with ropes to Jeremiah in the cistern. 12 Ebed Melek the Cushite said to Jeremiah, “Put these rags and worn-out clothes under your arms to pad the ropes.” After Jeremiah did that, 13 they lifted him up with the ropes and pulled him out of the cistern. After this Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard.