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Why did it take thirty men to lift out one man? (Jeremiah 38:10)

6 So they took Jeremiah and put him into the cistern of Malkijah, the king’s son, which was in the courtyard of the guard. They lowered Jeremiah by ropes into the cistern; it had no water in it, only mud, and Jeremiah sank down into the mud.

7 But Ebed-Melek, a Cushite,[c] an official[d] in the royal palace, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern. While the king was sitting in the Benjamin Gate, 8 Ebed-Melek went out of the palace and said to him, 9 “My lord the king, these men have acted wickedly in all they have done to Jeremiah the prophet. They have thrown him into a cistern, where he will starve to death when there is no longer any bread in the city.”

10 Then the king commanded Ebed-Melek the Cushite, “Take thirty men from here with you and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies.”

Jeremiah 38:10

ESV - 10 Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, "Take thirty men with you from here, and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies.

Clarify Share Report Asked July 07 2019 Mini Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say, first, that the cited passage does not indicate the depth of the cistern, or how many men were involved in lowering Jeremiah into it to begin with. However many there were, drawing him out would require even more effort due to the additional depth to which Jeremiah might have sunk, the suctioning power of the mud and other material in the cistern, and the added weight of however much of that mud and other material might still cling to Jeremiah in the process of being lifted out. Under those circumstances (including in light of the information not specifically stated in the passage), the number of men that the king ordered was apparently how many he felt were required to accomplish the task.

July 08 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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