The Obedient Example of the Family of Rechab
1 The Lord spoke his word to Jeremiah during the reign of Jehoiakim, son of King Josiah of Judah. He said, 2 “Go to the family of Rechab and talk to them. Take them into one of the side rooms in the Lord’s temple, and offer them a drink of wine.”
3 I took Jaazaniah, who was the son of Jeremiah and the grandson of Habazziniah, and I took Jaazaniah’s brothers and all his sons—the whole family of Rechab. 4 I brought them into the Lord’s temple, into the side room of the sons of Hanan. (He was Igdaliah’s son, the man of God.) It was next to the room of the officials and above the side room of Maaseiah, Shallum’s son, the doorkeeper. 5 Then I set cups and pitchers filled with wine in front of the family of Rechab. I said to them, “Drink some wine.”
6 They answered, “We don’t drink wine, because our ancestor Jonadab, Rechab’s son, gave us this order: ‘You and your descendants must never drink wine. 7 Never build any houses or plant any fields or vineyards. You must never have any of these things. You must always live in tents so that you may live for a long time in the land where you are staying.’ 8 We, along with our wives, sons, and daughters, have obeyed our ancestor Jonadab, Rechab’s son, in everything he ordered us to do. We have never drunk wine, 9 built houses to live in, or owned vineyards, pastures, or grainfields. 10 We live in tents, and we have obeyed everything our ancestor Jonadab ordered us to do. 11 But when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon invaded this land, we said, ‘Let’s go to Jerusalem ⌊to escape⌋ the Babylonian and Aramean armies.’ That’s why we are living in Jerusalem.”
12 Then the Lord spoke his word to Jeremiah. He said, 13 “This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Tell the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem, ‘Won’t you ever learn your lesson and obey my words? declares the Lord. 14 Jonadab, Rechab’s son, ordered his descendants not to drink wine. This order has been carried out. His descendants have not drunk any wine to this day, because they have obeyed their ancestor’s order. I have spoken to you again and again, but you have refused to listen to me. 15 I have sent all my servants the prophets to you again and again. They said, “Turn from your evil ways, do what is right, and don’t follow other gods in order to serve them. Then you will live in the land that I gave you and your ancestors.” However, you refused to listen to me or obey me. 16 The descendants of Jonadab, Rechab’s son, have carried out the orders of their ancestor, but you refuse to listen to me.
17 “‘This is what the Lord God of Armies, the God of Israel, says: I am going to bring on Judah and on all those who live in Jerusalem all the disasters that I threatened. I have spoken to them, but they didn’t listen. I called to them, but they didn’t answer.’ ”
18 Then Jeremiah said to the family of Rechab, “This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: You obeyed the order of your ancestor Jonadab, followed all his instructions, and did exactly what he told you to do. 19 So this is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: A descendant of Jonadab, Rechab’s son, will always serve me.”