Ebed-Melech sees Jeremiah in the cistern. (Jim Padgett, 1984)

Ebed-Melech (Hebrew: עֶבֶד-מֶלֶךְ‘Eḇeḏmeleḵ; Latin: Abdemelech; Ge'ez: አቤሜሌክ) is mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah chapter 38 as an Ethiopian official at the palace of king Zedekiah of Judah during the Siege of Jerusalem (597 BCE). The name is translated as Servant of the King, and as such may not be his proper name but a royal title. The text relates that he was a Cushite[Jeremiah 38:7] and was possibly an adviser/counsel-at-court to the king given his ability to convince the king to release Jeremiah.[Jeremiah 38:8]

Ebed-Melech is notable for rescuing the prophet Jeremiah from the cistern into which he had been cast to his death.[Jeremiah 38:4–13] Later Jeremiah relayed God's message to him saying that he, Ebed-Melech, would "not fall by the sword" during the Fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians[Jer 39:15–18] because he had put his trust in Him (God). According to some extra-biblical legends this extended to Ebed-Melech never dying, instead joining the small group of holy people who enter Heaven while still alive.

Also related to the mention of Ebed-melech is the mention of Jehudi whose great-grandfather is identified as a Cushite. Jehudi was entrusted with relaying difficult messages between the royal court and the prophetic class.[Jeremiah 36:14]

See also [ edit ]

References [ edit ]

  • Estigarribia, Juan Vicente (1992). "Commentaries on the Historicity of Acts of the Apostles 8, 26–39,". Beiträge zur Sudanforschung. 5: 39–46.
  •  Hirsch, Emil G.; Levi, Gerson B.; Kohler, Kaufmann; Schechter, Solomon; Seligsohn, M. (1901–1906). "Ebed-Melech". In Singer, Isidore; et al. (eds.). The Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls.
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