The Recabite Family Obeys God
1When Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king of Judah, the Lord spoke his word to Jeremiah, saying: 2 “Go to the family of Recab. Invite them to come to one of the side rooms of the Temple of the Lord, and offer them wine to drink.”
3So I went to get Jaazaniah son of Jeremiah, the son of Habazziniah. And I gathered all of Jaazaniah’s brothers and sons and the whole family of the Recabites together. 4Then I brought them into the Temple of the Lord. We went into the room of the sons of Hanan son of Igdaliah, who was a man of God. The room was next to the one where the officers stay and above the room of Maaseiah son of Shallum, the doorkeeper in the Temple. 5Then I put some bowls full of wine and some cups before the men of the Recabite family. And I said to them, “Drink some wine.”
6But the Recabite men answered, “We never drink wine. Our ancestor Jonadab son of Recab gave us this command: ‘You and your descendants must never drink wine. 7Also you must never build houses, plant seeds, or plant vineyards, or do any of those things. You must live only in tents. Then you will live a long time in the land where you are wanderers.’ 8So we Recabites have obeyed everything Jonadab our ancestor commanded us. Neither we nor our wives, sons, or daughters ever drink wine. 9We never build houses in which to live, or own fields or vineyards, or plant crops. 10We have lived in tents and have obeyed everything our ancestor Jonadab commanded us. 11But when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon attacked Judah, we said to each other, ‘Come, we must enter Jerusalem so we can escape the Babylonian army and the Aramean army.’ So we have stayed in Jerusalem.”
12Then the Lord spoke his word to Jeremiah: 13“This is what the Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: Jeremiah, go and tell the men of Judah and the people of Jerusalem: ‘You should learn a lesson and obey my message,’ says the Lord. 14‘Jonadab son of Recab ordered his descendants not to drink wine, and that command has been obeyed. Until today they have obeyed their ancestor’s command; they do not drink wine. But I, the Lord, have given you messages again and again, but you did not obey me. 15I sent all my servants the prophets to you again and again, saying, “Each of you must stop doing evil. You must change and be good. Do not follow other gods to serve them. If you obey me, you will live in the land I have given to you and your ancestors.” But you have not listened to me or paid attention to my message. 16The descendants of Jonadab son of Recab obeyed the commands their ancestor gave them, but the people of Judah have not obeyed me.’
17“So the Lord God All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: ‘I will soon bring every disaster I said would come to Judah and to everyone living in Jerusalem. I spoke to those people, but they refused to listen. I called out to them, but they did not answer me.’ ”
18Then Jeremiah said to the Recabites, “This is what the Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: ‘You have obeyed the commands of your ancestor Jonadab and have followed all of his teachings; you have done everything he commanded.’ 19So this is what the Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: ‘There will always be a descendant of Jonadab son of Recab to serve me.’ ”
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