Words Of Truth

"That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth..." (Proverbs 22:21).


An Overview Of The Old Testament

Part 319 – To The Rechabites Through Jonadab’s Commendation  (Jeremiah 35:1-19)   

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1.  What did God command Jeremiah to do concerning the house of the Rechabites?

Go speak to them, bring them to the house of the Lord, and given them wine to drink: “(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” (Jeremiah 35:1-2).


·      The time period (II Kings 23:36-24:1, Jeremiah 25:1-2, Jeremiah 26:1-2, and Jeremiah 36:1).

·      The house of the Rechabites (I Chronicles 2:55).

·      There were chambers in the house of the Lord (I Kings 6:10) and these were to be brought into one of those chambers.

·      Jeremiah was to set wine before these men.  We know this is not God approving of drinking alcohol (Proverbs 20:1, Proverbs 21:17, Proverbs 23:29-35, Isaiah 5:11, Isaiah 5:22, Hosea 4:11, and Luke 21:33-34).

·      The context will bear out that this is God setting something wrong before men that He knew (Psalms 44:21 and I John 3:20) would NOT drink thereof.  It will be for a lesson in itself.


2. Why didn’t the house of the Rechabites drink the wine Jeremiah offered them?

They were obeying the instructions of their father not to drink wine: “(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” (Jeremiah 35:3-6).


·      The command of their father was obeyed (Deuteronomy 21:18-21, Proverbs 1:8, Proverbs 6:20-21, and Proverbs 23:22; cf. Ephesians 6:1).

·      Parental instructions should be to avoid wine (Proverbs 31:1-5).

·      Jonadab the son of Rechab (II Kings 10:15-28).


3. What other things did the house of the Rechabites abstain from?

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” (Jeremiah 35:7).


·      For whatever reason, they were taught not to have a permanent dwelling place.

·      What this tells us about these people is that they had no investments in this world (Proverbs 30:8-9 and I Timothy 6:6-10).

·      A spiritual application – I Peter 2:11

·      Consider also though, this did not mean they would come and go as they pleased if they dwelt in Israel (which verse 11 infers they had not always done).  They could be put to work, etc. (II Chronicles 2:17-18). 


4. Did the house of the Rechabites ever violate the instructions of Jonadab?

No according to their words: “(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” (Jeremiah 35:8-10).


·      Proverbs 4:1-7, Proverbs 13:1, and Proverbs 15:5.


5. What caused the house of the Rechabites to come to Jerusalem?

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” (Jeremiah 35:11).


·      When Chaldeans and Syrians came at Nebuchadrezzar’s will (II Kings 24:1-2).

·      Dwelling at Jerusalem at this time wasn’t the answer though (Jeremiah 9:14-22).


6. How did God have Jeremiah use the Rechabites as a lesson to Israel?

In contrast of how they obeyed the father, but Israel has not obeyed their Father: “(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” (Jeremiah 35:12-17).


·      The point – God wanted obedience out of His people (Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Isaiah 1:18-20, and Isaiah 55:1-3).

·      He wanted the Father/child relationship (Jeremiah 3:16-19 and Hosea 1:10).

·      He has that now in Christians (II Corinthians 6:14-18 and I John 3:1-2).

·      However, He wanted Israel to obey Him as the Rechabites obeyed the fathers.  That didn’t happen (II Chronicles 36:14-16, Proverbs 1:24-25, and Hosea 4:1-6).


7. How did God reward the Rechabites for their obedience to their father?

By giving the sons of Jonadab a place before God forever: “(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” (Jeremiah 35:18-19).


·      Forever should be understood in the sense of a lasting promise under the Old Law (i.e. Exodus 12:17; cf. Colossians 2:14-17 and Ecclesiastes 1:4; cf. Matthew 24:35 and II Peter 3:10-14).



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