The Recabite Family’s Good Example
During the time when Jehoiakim, son of King Josiah, was king of Judah, the LORD spoke this message to Jeremiah: Go to the Recabite family* and invite them to come to one of the side rooms of the LORD’S Temple. Offer them wine to drink.”
So I went to get Jaazaniah son of Jeremiah, who was the son of Habazziniah. And I got all of Jaazaniah’s brothers and sons and the whole family of the Recabites together. Then I brought them into the Temple of the LORD. We went into the room of the sons of Hanan, the son of Igdaliah. Hanan was a man of God.§ The room was next to the room where the princes of Judah stay. It was over the room of Maaseiah son of Shallum. Maaseiah was the doorkeeper in the Temple. Then I put some bowls full of wine and some cups in front of the Recabite family. And I said to them, “Drink some wine.”
But the Recabite family answered, “We never drink wine. We never drink it because our ancestor Jonadab son of Recab gave us this command: ‘You and your descendants must never drink wine. Also you must never build houses, plant seeds, or plant vineyards. You must never do any of those things. You must live only in tents. If you do that, you will live a long time in the land where you move from place to place.’ So we have obeyed everything our ancestor Jonadab commanded us. None of us ever drinks wine, and neither do our wives, sons, or daughters. We never build houses to live in, we never own vineyards or fields, and we never plant crops. 10 We have lived in tents and have obeyed everything our ancestor Jonadab commanded us. 11 But when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked the country of Judah, we did go into Jerusalem. We said to each other, ‘Come, we must enter the city of Jerusalem so that we can escape the Babylonian army and the Aramean army.’ So we have stayed in Jerusalem.”
12 Then this message from the LORD came to Jeremiah: 13 The LORD All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says to go to the people of Judah and Jerusalem and tell them this message: ‘You should learn a lesson and obey my message.’ This message is from the LORD. 14 Jonadab son of Recab ordered his sons not to drink wine, and that command has been obeyed. To this day the descendants of Jonadab have obeyed their ancestor’s command. They do not drink wine. But I have given commands to you people of Judah again and again, and you have not obeyed me. 15 Time after time I have sent my servants the prophets to you. They said, “You must each stop doing evil things and do what is right. Don’t follow other gods. Don’t worship or serve them. If you obey me, you will live in the land I have given to you and your ancestors.” But you have not paid attention to my message. 16 The descendants of Jonadab obeyed the commands that their ancestor gave them, but the people of Judah have not obeyed me.’
17 So this is what the LORD God All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: ‘I said that many bad things would happen to Judah and Jerusalem. I will soon make all those bad things happen. I spoke to the people, but they refused to listen. I called out to them, but they didn’t answer me.’ ”
18 Then Jeremiah said to the Recabite family, “This is what the LORD All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: ‘You have obeyed the commands of your ancestor Jonadab. You have followed all of his teachings. You have done everything he commanded.’ 19 So the LORD All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: ‘There will always be a descendant of Jonadab son of Recab to serve me.’ ”
* 35:2 Recabite family A group of people descended from Jonadab son of Recab. The family was very loyal to the Lord. See 2 Kings 10:15-28 for the story of Jonadab. Also in verses 6, 18. 35:3 Jaazaniah He was the head of the Recabite family at that time. 35:3 Jeremiah This is not the prophet Jeremiah, but a different man with the same name. § 35:4 man of God This is usually an honorable title for a prophet. We know nothing else about Hanan.