Jeremiah 35

The Rekabites

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD during the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah:
2 “Go to the Rekabite family and invite them to come to one of the side rooms of the house of the LORD and give them wine to drink.”
3 So I went to get Jaazaniah son of Jeremiah, the son of Habazziniah, and his brothers and all his sons—the whole family of the Rekabites.
4 I brought them into the house of the LORD, into the room of the sons of Hanan son of Igdaliah the man of God. It was next to the room of the officials, which was over that of Maaseiah son of Shallum the doorkeeper.
5 Then I set bowls full of wine and some cups before the Rekabites and said to them, “Drink some wine.”
6 But they replied, “We do not drink wine, because our forefather Jehonadab[a] son of Rekab gave us this command: ‘Neither you nor your descendants must ever drink wine.
7 Also you must never build houses, sow seed or plant vineyards; you must never have any of these things, but must always live in tents. Then you will live a long time in the land where you are nomads.’
8 We have obeyed everything our forefather Jehonadab son of Rekab commanded us. Neither we nor our wives nor our sons and daughters have ever drunk wine
9 or built houses to live in or had vineyards, fields or crops.
10 We have lived in tents and have fully obeyed everything our forefather Jehonadab commanded us.
11 But when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon invaded this land, we said, ‘Come, we must go to Jerusalem to escape the Babylonian[b] and Aramean armies.’ So we have remained in Jerusalem.”
12 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying:
13 “This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words?’ declares the LORD.
14 ‘Jehonadab son of Rekab ordered his descendants not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather’s command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me.
15 Again and again I sent all my servants the prophets to you. They said, “Each of you must turn from your wicked ways and reform your actions; do not follow other gods to serve them. Then you will live in the land I have given to you and your ancestors.” But you have not paid attention or listened to me.
16 The descendants of Jehonadab son of Rekab have carried out the command their forefather gave them, but these people have not obeyed me.’
17 “Therefore this is what the LORD God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Listen! I am going to bring on Judah and on everyone living in Jerusalem every disaster I pronounced against them. I spoke to them, but they did not listen; I called to them, but they did not answer.’ ”
18 Then Jeremiah said to the family of the Rekabites, “This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘You have obeyed the command of your forefather Jehonadab and have followed all his instructions and have done everything he ordered.’
19 Therefore this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Jehonadab son of Rekab will never fail to have a descendant to 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.

Cross References 32

  • 1. S 2 Chronicles 36:5
  • 2. S 2 Kings 10:15; 1 Chronicles 2:55
  • 3. S 1 Kings 6:5
  • 4. S Deuteronomy 33:1
  • 5. 1 Chronicles 9:19
  • 6. S 2 Kings 12:9; S 2 Kings 23:4
  • 7. S 2 Kings 10:15
  • 8. S Leviticus 10:9; Numbers 6:2-4; S Luke 1:15
  • 9. Hebrews 11:9
  • 10. S Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:2-3
  • 11. Proverbs 1:8; Colossians 3:20
  • 12. 1 Timothy 6:6
  • 13. 2 Kings 24:1
  • 14. S Joshua 10:20; Jeremiah 8:14
  • 15. Jeremiah 11:6
  • 16. Jeremiah 6:10; Jeremiah 32:33
  • 17. ver 6-10,16
  • 18. S Jeremiah 7:13; Jeremiah 25:3
  • 19. Isaiah 30:9
  • 20. S Jeremiah 7:25
  • 21. S 2 Kings 17:13; S Jeremiah 26:3
  • 22. S Isaiah 1:16-17; S Isaiah 59:20; Jeremiah 4:1; Jeremiah 18:11; Ezekiel 14:6; Ezekiel 18:30
  • 23. S Exodus 20:3
  • 24. S Deuteronomy 4:40; Jeremiah 25:5
  • 25. S Jeremiah 6:10; S Jeremiah 7:26; Jeremiah 44:4-5
  • 26. S Leviticus 20:9; Malachi 1:6
  • 27. S Joshua 23:15; S 1 Kings 13:34; Jeremiah 21:4-7
  • 28. S Proverbs 1:24; Romans 10:21
  • 29. Isaiah 65:12; Isaiah 66:4; Jeremiah 7:13
  • 30. S Genesis 31:35
  • 31. S Isaiah 48:19; Jeremiah 33:17
  • 32. Jeremiah 15:19

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Hebrew "Jonadab" , a variant of "Jehonadab" ; here and often in this chapter
  • [b]. Or "Chaldean"

Chapter Summary


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

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