Ebed-Melek (Ebed-Melech) was a Cushite (Ethiopian) who served Zedekiah, King of Judah. When the princes of the king had the prophet Jeremiah thrown into a cistern, Ebed-Melek learned of it, and went to the king to plead for Jeremiah's life. The king ordered Ebed-Melek to take 30 men with him and draw the prophet out of the cistern before he should die.
Ebed-Melek lowered some old tattered rags and rope down to Jeremiah in the cistern, and told him "put the old tattered rags between your armpits and the ropes." Jeremiah was then pulled out of the cistern. (Jeremiah 38:4-13). Later, Jeremiah informed Ebed-Melek that his life would be spared when the Babylonians took over Jerusalem, because of his trust in the Lord (Jeremiah 39:15-18).
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