Ebed-melech

EBED-MELECH (ē'bĕd-mē-lĕk, Heb. ‘evedh melekh, servant of the king). An Ethiopian eunuch who, when he heard that Jeremiah had been cast into a muddy dungeon, was moved to go to the king and ask for permission to pull the prophet out. The king granted him thirty men, and with cords of rags and wornout garments they drew Jeremiah up out of that dungeon (Jer.38.7-Jer.38.13). The Lord gave Jeremiah a message for Ebed-Melech, assuring him of safety and protection in the coming destruction of the city (Jer.39.15-Jer.39.18).


EBED-MELECH ē’ bĭd mĕl’ ĭk (עֶֽבֶד־מֶ֨לֶכְ, LXX Αβδεμελεχ, servant of a king, royal servant). A common name, but in the OT specifically that of the Ethiopian eunuch in the court of Zedekiah who received permission to rescue Jeremiah from a miry dungeon (Jer 38:7-13), and as a reward his life was to be spared when Jerusalem was sacked (39:15-18).

The title of “’ebed” or “slave” was employed in Akkad. circles to designate a class of court official hired usually for a specific purpose, in contrast to the older patriarchal institution of elders or tribal heads. David apparently initiated the title in Israel, and it occurred also in Ammon and Edom. As a proper noun, “Ebedmelech” is known from Assyrian and Nabatean sources.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

e-bed-me’-lek, eb-ed-me’-lek (`ebhedh-mekekh, "servant of the king" or "of (god) Melek"):

An Ethiopian eunuch in the service of King Zedekiah, who interceded with the king for the prophet Jeremiah and rescued him from the dungeon into which he had been cast to die (Jer 38:7-13). For this, the word of Yahweh through Jeremiah promised Ebed-meleeh that his life should be spared in the fall of Jerusalem (Jer 39:15-18).