The Family of Recab
1A message came to me from the Lord. It came during the time Jehoiakim was king over Judah. He was the son of Josiah. The message said, 2"Go to the members of the family line of Recab. Invite them to come to one of the side rooms in my house. Then give them wine to drink."
3So I went to get Jaazaniah. He was the son of Jeremiah. Jeremiah was the son of Habazziniah. I also went to get Jaazaniah's brothers and all of his sons. That included all of the members of the family line of Recab. 4I brought them into the Lord's house. I took them into the room of the sons of Hanan. He was the son of Igdaliah. He was also a man of God. His room was next to the room of the officials. Their room was above the room of Maaseiah. He was the son of Shallum. He also was one of those who guarded the temple doors. 5Then I got bowls full of wine and some cups. I set them down in front of the men from the family line of Recab. I said to them, "Drink some wine."
6But they replied, "We don't drink wine. That's because Jonadab gave us a command. He was the son of Recab. He was also one of our own people from long ago. He commanded, 'You and your children after you must never drink wine. 7Also you must never build houses. You must never plant crops or vineyards. You must never have any of those things. Instead, you must always live in tents. Then you will live a long time in the land where you are wandering around.'
8"We have done everything Jonadab, the son of Recab, commanded us to do. So we and our wives and our children have never drunk wine. 9We have never built houses to live in. We've never had vineyards, fields or crops. 10We've always lived in tents. We've completely obeyed everything Jonadab commanded our people of long ago.
11"But Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylonia, marched into this land. Then we said, 'Come. We must go to Jerusalem. There we can escape the armies of Babylonia and Aram.' So we have remained in Jerusalem."
12Then a message came to me from the Lord. It said, 13"The Lord who rules over all is the God of Israel. He says, 'Go. Speak to the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Tell them, "Won't you ever learn a lesson? Won't you ever obey my words?" announces the Lord.
14" ' "Jonadab, the son of Recab, ordered his children not to drink wine. And they have kept his command. To this very day they do not drink wine. They obey the command Jonadab gave their people long ago. But I have spoken to you again and again. In spite of that, you have not obeyed me.
15" ' "Again and again I sent all of my servants the prophets to you. They said, 'Each of you must turn from your evil ways. You must change the way you act. Do not worship other gods. Do not serve them. Then you will live in the land. I gave it to you and your people long ago.' But you have not paid any attention. You have not listened to me.
16" ' "The children of Jonadab, the son of Recab, have obeyed the command Jonadab gave them long ago. But the people of Judah have not obeyed me." ' "
17So the Lord God who rules over all speaks. The God of Israel says, "Listen! I am going to bring horrible trouble on Judah. I will also bring it on everyone who lives in Jerusalem. I will bring on them every trouble I said I would. I spoke to them. But they did not listen. I called out to them. But they did not answer."
18Then I spoke to the members of the family line of Recab. I said, "The Lord who rules over all is the God of Israel. He says, 'You have obeyed the command Jonadab gave your people long ago. You have followed all of his directions. You have done everything he ordered.' 19So the Lord who rules over all speaks. The God of Israel says, 'Jonadab, the son of Recab, will always have a man from his family to serve me.' "