Jeremiah 35

1 The LORD spoke his word to Jeremiah during the reign of Jehoiakim, son of King Josiah of Judah. He said,
2 "Go to the family of Rechab and talk to them. Take them into one of the side rooms in the LORD's temple, and offer them a drink of wine."
3 I took Jaazaniah, who was the son of Jeremiah and the grandson of Habazziniah, and I took Jaazaniah's brothers and all his sons--the whole family of Rechab.
4 I brought them into the LORD's temple, into the side room of the sons of Hanan. (He was Igdaliah's son, the man of God.) It was next to the room of the officials and above the side room of Maaseiah, Shallum's son, the doorkeeper.
5 Then I set cups and pitchers filled with wine in front of the family of Rechab. I said to them, "Drink some wine."
6 They answered, "We don't drink wine, because our ancestor Jonadab, Rechab's son, gave us this order: 'You and your descendants must never drink wine.
7 Never build any houses or plant any fields or vineyards. You must never have any of these things. You must always live in tents so that you may live for a long time in the land where you are staying.'
8 We, along with our wives, sons, and daughters, have obeyed our ancestor Jonadab, Rechab's son, in everything he ordered us to do. We have never drunk wine,
9 built houses to live in, or owned vineyards, pastures, or grainfields.
10 We live in tents, and we have obeyed everything our ancestor Jonadab ordered us to do.
11 But when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon invaded this land, we said, 'Let's go to Jerusalem [to escape] the Babylonian and Aramean armies.' That's why we are living in Jerusalem."
12 Then the LORD spoke his word to Jeremiah. He said,
13 "This is what the LORD of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Tell the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem, 'Won't you ever learn your lesson and obey my words? declares the LORD.
14 Jonadab, Rechab's son, ordered his descendants not to drink wine. This order has been carried out. His descendants have not drunk any wine to this day, because they have obeyed their ancestor's order. I have spoken to you again and again, but you have refused to listen to me.
15 I have sent all my servants the prophets to you again and again. They said, "Turn from your evil ways, do what is right, and don't follow other gods in order to serve them. Then you will live in the land that I gave you and your ancestors." However, you refused to listen to me or obey me.
16 The descendants of Jonadab, Rechab's son, have carried out the orders of their ancestor, but you refuse to listen to me.
17 "'This is what the LORD God of Armies, the God of Israel, says: I am going to bring on Judah and on all those who live in Jerusalem all the disasters that I threatened. I have spoken to them, but they didn't listen. I called to them, but they didn't answer.'"
18 Then Jeremiah said to the family of Rechab, "This is what the LORD of Armies, the God of Israel, says: You obeyed the order of your ancestor Jonadab, followed all his instructions, and did exactly what he told you to do.
19 So this is what the LORD of Armies, the God of Israel, says: A descendant of Jonadab, Rechab's son, will always serve me."

Jeremiah 35 Commentary

Chapter 35

The obedience of the Rechabites. (1-11) The Jews' disobedience to the Lord. (12-19)

Verses 1-11 Jonadab was famous for wisdom and piety. He lived nearly ( 2 Kings. 10:15 ) to drink wine. He also appointed them to dwell in tents, or movable dwelling: this would teach them not to think of settling any where in this world. To keep low, would be the way to continue long in the land where they were strangers. Humility and contentment are always the best policy, and men's surest protection. Also, that they might not run into unlawful pleasures, they were to deny themselves even lawful delights. The consideration that we are strangers and pilgrims should oblige us to abstain from all fleshly lusts. Let them have little to lose, and then losing times would be the less dreadful: let them sit loose to what they had, and then they might with less pain be stript of it. Those are in the best frame to meet sufferings who live a life of self-denial, and who despise the vanities of the world. Jonadab's posterity observed these rules strictly, only using proper means for their safety in a time of general suffering.

Verses 12-19 The trial of the Rechabites' constancy was for a sign; it made the disobedience of the Jews to God the more marked. The Rechabites were obedient to one who was but a man like themselves, and Jonadab never did for his seed what God has done for his people. Mercy is promised to the Rechabites. We are not told respecting the performance of this promise; but doubtless it was performed, and travellers say the Rechabites may be found a separate people to this day. Let us follow the counsels of our pious forefathers, and we shall find good in so doing.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH 35

In this chapter the disobedience of the people of the Jews unto God is aggravated by the obedience of the Rechabites to their father; and the one are threatened with the judgments of God upon them, and the other have a promise of the divine blessing. The time of this prophecy is observed; Jer 35:1; an order to bring the Rechabites into one of the chambers of the temple, which was done accordingly, Jer 35:2-4; wine is set before them to drink; which they refuse; alleging the command of their father to the contrary, Jer 35:5-7; which they had carefully and constantly obeyed in every part of it, excepting that which respects their dwelling in tents; for which they give a reason, Jer 35:8-11; by this instance of filial obedience to parents, the disobedience of the Jews towards their Father, which is in heaven, is aggravated; who, though he gave them laws and commandments, and sent his prophets to put them in mind of them, and exhort them to obedience, yet hearkened not to them, Jer 35:12-15; wherefore the Lord threatens to bring all the evil on them he had pronounced, Jer 35:16,17; and promises the sons of Rechab that there should be always some of them that should minister unto him, Jer 35:18,19.

Jeremiah 35 Commentaries