Jeremiah and the Rechabites
1 # 2 Kgs 23.36—24.62 Chr 36.5–7 When Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king of Judah, the Lord said to me, 2“Go to the members of the Rechabite clan and talk to them. Then bring them into one of the rooms in the Temple and offer them some wine.” 3So I took the entire Rechabite clan — Jaazaniah (the son of another Jeremiah, who was Habazziniah's son) and all his brothers and sons — 4and brought them to the Temple. I took them into the room of the disciples of the prophet Hanan son of Igdaliah. This room was above the room of Maaseiah son of Shallum, an important official in the Temple, and near the rooms of the other officials. 5Then I placed cups and bowls full of wine before the Rechabites, and I said to them, “Have some wine.”
6But they answered, “We do not drink wine. Our ancestor Jonadab son of Rechab told us that neither we nor our descendants were ever to drink any wine. 7He also told us not to build houses or farm the land, and not to plant vineyards or buy them. He commanded us always to live in tents, so that we might remain in this land where we live like strangers. 8We have obeyed all the instructions that Jonadab gave us. We ourselves never drink wine, and neither do our wives, our sons, or our daughters. 9-10We do not build houses for homes — we live in tents — and we own no vineyards, fields, or corn. We have fully obeyed everything that our ancestor Jonadab commanded us. 11But when King Nebuchadnezzar invaded the country, we decided to come to Jerusalem to get away from the Babylonian and Syrian armies. That is why we are living in Jerusalem.”
12-13Then the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, told me to go and say to the people of Judah and Jerusalem, “I, the Lord, ask you why you refuse to listen to me and to obey my instructions. 14Jonadab's descendants have obeyed his command not to drink wine, and to this very day none of them drink any. But I have kept on speaking to you, and you have not obeyed me. 15I have continued to send you all my servants the prophets, and they have told you to give up your evil ways and to do what is right. They warned you not to worship and serve other gods, so that you could go on living in the land that I gave you and your ancestors. But you would not listen to me or pay attention to me. 16Jonadab's descendants have obeyed the command that their ancestor gave them, but you people have not obeyed me. 17So now, I, the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, will bring on you people of Judah and of Jerusalem all the destruction that I promised. I will do this because you would not listen when I spoke to you, and you would not answer when I called you.”
18Then I told the Rechabite clan that the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, had said, “You have obeyed the command that your ancestor Jonadab gave you; you have followed all his instructions, and you have done everything he commanded you. 19So I, the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, promise that Jonadab son of Rechab will always have a male descendant to serve me.”
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