King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

Jeremiah > Old Testament > Home

Jeremiah 35

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

Jeremiah 35 Audio:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The obedience of the Rechabites

1 The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying,

2 Go unto the house of the Rechabites, and speak unto them, and bring them into the house of the LORD, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink.

3 Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habaziniah, and his brethren, and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites;

4 And I brought them into the house of the LORD, into the chamber of the sons of Hanan, the son of Igdaliah, a man of God, which was by the chamber of the princes, which was above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the door:

5 And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, and I said unto them, Drink ye wine.

6 But they said, We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever:

7 Neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any: but all your days ye shall dwell in tents; that ye may live many days in the land where ye be strangers.

8 Thus have we obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he hath charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, nor our daughters;

9 Nor to build houses for us to dwell in: neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed:

10 But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.

11 But it came to pass, when Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that 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 dwell at Jerusalem.

The Jews’ disobedience to the Lord

12 Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying,

13 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the LORD.

14 The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are performed; for unto this day they drink none, but obey their father’s commandment: notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye hearkened not unto me.

15 I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto 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 hath not hearkened unto me:

17 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them: because I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto them, but they have not answered.

18 And Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Because ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he hath commanded you:

19 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever.

« »

G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Joakim, when Nabuchodonosor besieged him again in his 7th year. The Rechabites then pitched their tents in Jerusalem. v. 11. C. — Here we behold a figure of religious orders in the Church, as well as in the Nazarites and disciples of the prophets. Num. vi. and 4 K. i. They observed certain rules for acquiring greater perfection, and refrained from many things which were otherwise lawful. Thus various religious orders, both of men and of women, have flourished in the Church, and though they have different names and regulations, yet they are not sects, as heretics would pretend, but all follow the same faith, use the same sacraments, and are a great ornament to the Catholic Church by their profession of the three essential vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, in imitation of the apostles. Mat. xix. 12. — Joakim. This happened before the preceding prophecies. W.

Ver. 2. Rechabites. These were of the race of Jethro, father-in-law to Moses. Ch. — All the Heb. and Latin doctors agree that the Rechabites were strangers. v. 7. 19. W. — Treasures of corn, wine, &c. Jeremias, as a priest, had free access.

Ver. 4. Of God. Prophets are generally thus designated. 4 K. iv. 7. We know nothing more of this holy man. — Princes of the priests; or where princes made their offerings, or assembled to judge. C. xxvi. 10. — Entry. He was not removeable like the other Levites. 1 Par. ix. 19. 34. C.

Ver. 5. Wine. This was not an exhortation, but a trial. H.

Ver. 6. Jonadab. A man much esteemed by Jehu. 4 K. x. 15. W.

Ver. 7. Days. The reward of dutiful children. Ex. xx. 12. These are models of those Christians who follow the rule of some virtuous person, in order to be at a greater distance from any transgression of the law, and to observe it with more perfection. C. — “If a father could lay such an injunction on his descendants, and they receive commendation for observing it, why may not the fathers of the Church enjoin things which are not of themselves necessary, but…useful to avoid the occasions of evil, or to advance in virtue?” says Grotius, a Protestant, after S. Jerom, (ad Paulin.) S. Aug. in Ps. lxx. &c. H. Jonadab exhorted, and prescribed this rule, but it was not properly a command, being too arduous. T.

Ver. 11. Syria. 4 K. xxiv. 2. The mention of these shews that this was the second siege, when Joakim was slain, and many led into captivity, (C. lii. 28.) with these Rechabites. C. — They lived under tents, but in case of necessity entered the city. v. 10. If they observe works of supererogation, all must surely keep God’s law. W.

Ver. 14. Me. What a contrast! H. — This was only a counsel, mine a law! T.

Ver. 19. Before me, in an honourable situation (1 Par. ii. 55.) about the temple. It was not requisite that they should be Levites. C. — For ever. Their reward shall be eternal bliss. H. — This they sought for, as they were strangers of Madian in the country. v. 7. M.