Jeremiah in the muddy cistern (Jer 38:6-38:6)

“Thus the officials

Took Jeremiah.

They threw him

Into the cistern of Malchiah,

The king’s son.

This was

In the court of the guard.

They let Jeremiah down

By ropes.

There was no water

In the cistern,

But only mud.

Thus Jeremiah sank

In the mud.”

These officials, with the blessing of the king, went and took Jeremiah. They threw him down into a well or cistern that was called Malchiah, after the name of some king’s son. There is no indication that it was the son of King Zedekiah. However, this well was in the court of the guard, or where this royal prison was. They then let Jeremiah down into the cistern with ropes, instead of throwing him down. This indicates that there were no steps or ladder to get up. They probably meant for him to starve to death. This is somewhat reminiscent of the brothers of Joseph who wanted to throw him into a well in Genesis, chapter 37, so that they would not have his blood on their hands. This well, however, had very little if any water. It really was a mud hole that Jeremiah sank into.