Nor build houses for us to dwell in
This explains that part of the charge more fully, which respects building of houses; which did not restrain them from building houses for others, if any of them were masters of that art; which is not very likely, since they were wholly brought up in the field as shepherds; but it forbad them building any for themselves, and making use of them by dwelling in them: neither have we vineyard, nor field, or seed;
any piece of ground planted with vines, or field sown with corn, or any seed to sow with; so exactly conformable were they to the prescriptions of their ancestor. Diodorus Siculus F7 reports of the Nabatheans, a people of Arabia, descended from Nebaioth, see ( Isaiah 60:7 ) ; that they have several laws which are much the same with those enjoined the Rechabites; for he says,
``it is a law with them not to sow corn, nor to plant any plant that bears fruit, nor to make use of wine, nor to build houses; and whosoever is found doing any of these things is, reckoned worthy of death; and the reason of their having such a law is, because they think that those who possess such things are easily compelled by men in power to do whatever is commanded them, for the sake of the enjoyment of them.''
F7 Bibliothec. l. 19. p. 730. Ed. Rhod.