1 The word [Davar] which came unto Jeremiah [Yirmeyah] from Yahweh in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah [Y'hoyakim Ben Yoshiyah Melech Yehudah], saying,

2 Go unto the house of the Rechabites [Bais of the Rechavim], and speak unto them, and bring them into the house [Beis] of Yahweh, into one of the chambers [leshakhot (side rooms)], and give them wine [yayin] to drink.

The Rechabites were a faithful community when the ecclesia in Jerusalem at the time of Jeremiah were unfaithful. The Rechabites were not true Israelites according to the flesh, but descendants of Heber the Kenite father in law to Moses. Their record is one of service to Yahweh (Jdgs. 4:11; 5:24; 2Kgs. 10:15; 1Chr 2:55; Num. 10:28-32; Exo. 2:16-22; 18:1-27).

Though of Gentile extraction, they honoured their father when Israel did not honour its heavenly Father. They would have been taken captive with Daniel into Babylon. Thus, they had retired to Jerusalem on the approach of the Babylonians (v. 11).

Jeremiah records the testimony of this diligent remnant in ch. 35: [1] The Rechabites tried: vv. 1-5. [2] The Rechabites remain true to their charge: vv. 6-11. [3] Israel contrasted with the Rechabites: vv. 12-15. [4] Israel condemned, and the Rechabites commended: vv. 16-19. •

There are true Rechabites today in those Gentiles who seek the things of Yahweh in spirit and in truth. The term "stand before Me" implies attendance upon royalty as a follower which requires the presence of the Prince when, at last, the fulfilment of the parable will be completed.

- GEM, Logos.

6 But they said, We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever:

Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever:

In 1 Chronicles 2:55 we have the identification of Jehonadab, as father of the Rechabites, with the Kenites. This is in the midst of the genealogy of Judah, just before going into detail about David-

"And the families of the scribes which dwelt at Jabez: the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and Suchathites. These are the Kenites that came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab."

It is very interesting that they are spoken of as "scribes." Throughout their history we find them a pastoral people, choosing the open country and tent life, but this is no indication that they were rustic and ignorant. The shepherd David was the world's greatest poet. Scribes were usually associated with study and teaching of God's law.

In Jeremiah 35 we learn more of this house of Rechab of the Kenites, and of Jehonadab's relation to it. He is there called Jonadab, so we will use that form hereafter. This is the most detailed and intimate picture we get of this unusual people, and the most significant.

It is now two hundred and fifty years after the time of Jonadab, in the reign of wicked Jehoiakim, near the end of the kingdom of Judah. The armies of Nebuchadnezzar are, or already have been, in the land. A group of Kenites of the family of Rechab has taken temporary refuge in Jerusalem, because of the Babylonian invasion.

Whether or not this was a wise move we do not know, but it fitted in with God's purpose at the time. They would be encamped in tents in some open place in the city, and would be an object of public interest because of the strangeness of their ways. Thus they were an ideal subject for God to use as a lesson to Israel.

God told Jeremiah to bring them to the Temple, and set wine before them, and invite them to drink. They refused the wine, saying-

"We will drink no wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye nor your sons for ever. Neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any."

"But all your days ye shall dwell in tents; that ye may live many days in the land where ye be strangers" (Jer. 35:6-7).

For two hundred and fifty years this family of the Kenites had been faithful and obedient to the instructions of their father Jonadab. For two hundred and fifty years they had been a sign and a warning to Israel, for any who had eyes and ears to perceive. Clearly Jonadab's purpose was to keep their lives simple and separate from the settled inhabitants of the land, who were so easily given to idolatry and corruption.

No vineyards, no agriculture, a movable tent life such as faithful Abraham followed. No self-indulgence, few worldly possessions, no comfortable house or fixed abode: strangers and pilgrims in the earth.

We live in very different times, but very similar in so many ways. It behoves us in these last corrupt and luxurious days of the Gentiles to examine ourselves in the light of these things, and take account of our stewardship. How much of God's goods, entrusted to us for His service, do we unfaithfully squander on ourselves and our families?

Bro Growcott - BYT 2. 4

7 Neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any: but all your days ye shall dwell in tents; that ye may live many days in the land where ye be strangers.

No vineyards: no wine. The Nazarite condition was the ideal in Israel of complete separation and self-abnegation from the things of the world, and devotion to God. In all probability, this was the foundation of Jonadab's regulations concerning wine. The end of verse 7-

"that ye may live many days in the land where ye be strangers"

(repeated from the fifth Commandment)-shows Jonadab's recognition of the relation between righteousness and possessing the land.

He could see Israel itself, the chosen people, both north and south, sinking deeper and deeper into those conditions of wickedness that God from the beginning-through Moses and later through the prophets-had warned would bring their expulsion and dispersion.

Jonadab wanted to preserve his own Kenite people from corruption and punishment, and also to make them a wholesome element of preservation for the nation, and an example that might prolong God's mercy and forebearance toward them all.

It seems certain, too, in the light of Kenite history, that these were not on the whole new regulations, but were rather a calling back to, and making more firm and secure, a general way of life to which this people had always held, but which-with the passage of time and dangerous associations-was in danger of being lost, especially in the evil period in which Jonadab lived.

The addition of the Nazarite wine vow may have been Jonadab's way of reinforcing and adding spiritual depth to the testimony of the Kenites' separated way of life. There is much more power and dignity in the whole story if we can discern more in the Rechabite way of life than just blind, servile submission to arbitrary, man-made regulations. Certainly Jonadab had a purpose, and certainly his faithful descendants recognized that purpose.

Bro Growcott - BYT 2. 4

8 Thus have we obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he hath charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, nor our daughters;

Yahweh regarded with such favour the fidelity of the Rechabites to the paternal traditions of their house, that He decrees the continuance of their posterity amid all the circumstances tending to their obliteration.

There is little to be known accurately of the state of the tribes and families in the east, but, doubtless, if we could know matters as they are known to God, we should discover the descendants of Rechab, intact somewhere among the peoples of the east.

They will, doubtless, be revealed in their ancestral identity in the great day of manifestation that comes with Christ, and will as doubtless occupy an honourable place in the mortal arrangements of the Kingdom of God. But, however this may be, we cannot mistake the emphasis of the divine endorsement in the case of a virtue which is little to be found in our day in these countries of the west; a virtue, not only of obedience, but of obedience to parents.

This is a very unpopular virtue in our day. It had become so in the days of Jesus, who condemned the Rabbinical traditions by which a man was absolved from all obligations towards his parents on the payment of a sum to the temple. It remains the fact (however men may disregard, or may have forgotten the fact), that to the Lord God of Israel, who is the Creator, Upholder, and Proprietor of all things, it is well pleasing, and a matter of command from Him to us, that,

"children obey their parents,"

and honour the hoar head, and be respectful and merciful to the aged and infirm.

Seasons 1.97.

10 But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.

When we think of this matter of cities, we are reminded of the Rechabites, whose father commanded them not to drink wine, build houses, sow seed, nor plant vineyards, -- but to dwell all their days in tents. Not that there was anything wrong in these things as such, but they were to remain perpetually pilgrims, and be constantly reminded of their difference and separation from the surrounding people and their evil ways.

There is much of deep significance in these Rechabites. In the midst of general corruption, Jeremiah found that they had remained true to their covenant of separation, and because of this God pronounced a solemn blessing on their family for ever.

Bro Growcott - Not ashamed to be called their God

19 Therefore thus saith Yahweh [Tzva'os], the Elohim of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab [Elohei Yisroel: Yonadav Ben Rechav]shall not want a man [ lack an ish] to stand before Me for ever [kol hayamim].

Usually, to "stand before God" means more than just to be under His care. It usually means to hold a position of responsibility before Him in His work. It was used frequently of the tribe of Levi as the especial ministers of God.

Bro Growcott - BYT 2.4.