The Rechabites served the LORD God by preserving the nomadic lifestyle of their ancestors. Without sharing their convictions, Jeremiah applauds their faith.
VERSE 1. The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying,
in the days of Jehoiakim. The reign of Jehoiakim was from 609 to 598 BC. This is much earlier than the previous chapter.
VERSE 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.”
the Rechabites. They were a nomadic clan. They believed they could only serve the LORD God if they preserved the nomadic lifestyle of their ancient ancestors.
VERSE 3. Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habazziniah, with his brothers, all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites;
VERSE 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.
I brought them into the LORD’s house. Jeremiah brought the nomadic Rechabites into the temple.
into the room of the sons of Hanan. They went into one of the side rooms. The side rooms surrounded the temple court. They were used for meetings, for storage, and as priests’ residences.
the man of God. This expression is usually used for prophets.
VERSE 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!”
Drink wine! Why does Jeremiah offer wine to the Rechabites? He had to have known they would refuse. We find the answer in verse 14 below.
VERSE 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.
VERSE 7. You shall not build a house, sow seed, plant a vineyard, or have any; but all your days you shall dwell in tents, that you may live many days in the land in which you live as nomads.’
all your days you shall dwell in tents. Jonadab called his people to be lifelong nomads.
VERSE 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;
VERSE 9. and not to build houses for ourselves to dwell in. We have no vineyard, field, or seed;
VERSE 10. but we have lived in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.
VERSE 11. But when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, we said, ‘Come! Let’s go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Kasdim, and for fear of the army of the Syrians; so we will dwell at Jerusalem.’ ”
VERSE 12. Then the LORD’s word came to Jeremiah, saying,
VERSE 13. “The LORD of Hosts, 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.
VERSE 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.
to this day they drink none. The Recabites obeyed Jonadab’s command. They stood in sharp contrast with the people of Judah, who had not obeyed the LORD God.
VERSE 15. I have sent also to you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, ‘Every one of you must return now from his evil way, amend your doings, and don’t go after other gods to serve them, then you will 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.
VERSE 16. 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.” ’
VERSE 17. “Therefore the LORD, the God of Hosts, 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.’ ”
VERSE 18. Jeremiah said to the house of the Rechabites, “The LORD of Hosts, 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;’
VERSE 19. therefore the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: ‘Jonadab the son of Rechab will not lack a man to stand before me forever.’ ”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.