The Obedience of the Rechabites
1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah: 2 “Go to the house of the Rechabites, speak to them, and bring them to one of the chambers of the house of the LORD to offer them a drink of wine.”
3 So I took Jaazaniah son of Jeremiah, the son of Habazziniah, and his brothers and all his sons—the entire house of the Rechabites— 4 and I brought them into the house of the LORD, to a chamber occupied by the sons of Hanan son of Igdaliah, a man of God. This room was near the chamber of the officials, which was above the chamber of Maaseiah son of Shallum the doorkeeper.
5 Then I set pitchers full of wine and some cups before the men of the house of the Rechabites, and I said to them, “Drink some wine.”
6 “We do not drink wine,” they replied, “for our forefather Jonadab a son of Rechab commanded us, ‘Neither you nor your descendants are ever to drink wine. 7 Nor are you ever to build a house or sow seed or plant a vineyard. Those things are not for you. Instead, you must live in tents all your lives, so that you may live a long time in the land where you wander.’
8 And we have obeyed the voice of our forefather Jonadab son of Rechab in all he commanded us. So we have not drunk wine all our lives—neither we nor our wives nor our sons and daughters. 9 Nor have we built houses in which to live, and we have not owned any vineyards or fields or crops. 10 But we have lived in tents and have obeyed and done exactly as our forefather Jonadab commanded us.
12 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: 13 “This is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell the men of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem: ‘Will you not accept discipline and obey My words?’ declares the LORD.
14 The words of Jonadab son of Rechab have been carried out. He commanded his sons not to drink wine, and they have not drunk it to this very day because they have obeyed the command of their forefather. But I have spoken to you again and again, c and you have not obeyed Me!
15 Again and again I have sent you d all My servants the prophets, proclaiming: ‘Turn now, each of you, from your wicked ways, and correct your actions. Do not go after other gods to serve them. Live in the land that I have given to you and your fathers.’ But you have not inclined your ear or listened to Me. 16 Yes, the sons of Jonadab son of Rechab carried out the command their forefather gave them, but these people have not listened to Me.
17 Therefore this is what the LORD God of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: ‘Behold, I will bring to Judah and to all the residents of Jerusalem all the disaster I have pronounced against them, because I have spoken to them but they have not obeyed, and I have called to them but they have not answered.’ ”
18 Then Jeremiah said to the house of the Rechabites: “This is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: ‘Because you have obeyed the command of your forefather Jonadab and have kept all his commandments and have done all that he charged you to do, 19 this is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: Jonadab son of Rechab will never fail to have a man to stand before Me.’ ”
6 a Jonadab is a variant of Jehonadab ; here and throughout this chapter; see 2 Kings 10:15.
11 b That is, the Babylonians
14 c Literally But I have spoken to you, rising up early and speaking,
15 d Literally Rising up early and sending (you), I have sent you