Jeremiah 35

1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying, 2 Go to the house of the Rechabites, and speak to them, and bring them into the LORD’s house, into one of the rooms, and give them wine to drink. 3 Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habazziniah, and his brothers, and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites; 4 and I brought them into the LORD’s house, into the room of the sons of Hanan the son of Igdaliah, the man of God, which was by the room of the princes, which was above the room of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the threshold. 5 I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites bowls full of wine, and cups; and I said to them, Drink wine! 6 But they said, We will drink no wine; for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, saying, You shall drink no wine, neither you, nor your sons, forever: 7 neither shall you build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any; but all your days you shall dwell in tents; that you may live many days in the land in which you live. 8 We have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he commanded us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, or our daughters; 9 nor to build houses for us to dwell in; neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed: 10 but we have lived in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us. 11 But when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, we said, “Come, and let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans, and for fear of the army of the Syrians; so we will dwell at Jerusalem.” 12 Then the LORD’s word came to Jeremiah, saying, 13 the LORD of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Go, and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will you not receive instruction to listen to my words? says the LORD. 14 The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons, not to drink wine, are performed; and to this day they drink none, for they obey their father’s commandment: but I have spoken to you, rising up early and speaking; and you have not listened to me. 15 I have sent also to you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and don’t go after other gods to serve them, and you shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but you have not inclined your ear, nor listened to me. 16 Because the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father which he commanded them, but this people has not listened to me; 17 therefore the LORD, the God of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Behold, I will bring on Judah and on all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them; because I have spoken to them, but they have not heard; and I have called to them, but they have not answered. 18 Jeremiah said to the house of the Rechabites, the LORD of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Because you have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according to all that he commanded you; 19 therefore the LORD of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me forever.

(Previous Chapter)    •    (Next Chapter)

Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-11

Jonadab was famous for wisdom and piety. He lived nearly 300 years before, II Kin. 10:15. Jonadab charged his posterity not 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.

Back to Top