Jeremiah 35

Rekab's descendants

1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah in the time that Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, ruled Judah. He said, 2 ‘Go to Rekab's descendants and ask them to come to the temple. Take them into a little room at the side of the temple and give to them wine to drink.’

3 So I went to get all Rekab's descendants. They were Jaazaniah, son of Jeremiah, son of Habazziniah, and his relatives and all his sons. 4 I took them into a room in the Lord's temple. It was the room where the disciples of Hanan lived. He was the son of Igdaliah, the man of God. It was next to the room where the temple officers lived. It was also above the room where Shallum' son Maaseiah lived. He was one of the guards for the doors of the temple. 5 Then I took some bowls of wine and some cups. I put them in front of the men from Rekab's descendants and I said, ‘Drink some wine.’

6 They replied, ‘We do not drink wine. Our ancestor Jonadab, son of Rekab, said to us, “You and your descendants must never drink wine. 7 And you must not build houses, or plant seed or vines. You must never have any of those things, but you must always live in tents. Then you will live for a long time while you move through the country.” 8-9 We have obeyed all the rules that our ancestor Jonadab, son of Rekab, gave to us. We have never drunk wine. And we have never built houses. And we have never planted seeds. And our wives and children have never done any of those things. 10 We have obeyed completely all our ancestor Jonadab's rules. 11 But, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came into this country, we came to Jerusalem. We said, “We must go to Jerusalem. We must save ourselves from the armies of Babylon and Syria.” So we stayed in Jerusalem.’

12 Then the Lord said to Jeremiah, 13 ‘The great, powerful Lord, Israel's God, says this: Go and speak to the people in Judah and in Jerusalem. Ask them to learn a lesson from the descendants of Rekab. 14 Jonadab, Rekab's son, said that his descendants must not drink wine. And they have always obeyed him. They have not drunk wine even to this day. They have always obeyed their ancestor's rules. But I have spoken to you again and again and you have not obeyed me. 15 I have sent my servants the prophets to you again and again, but you have not obeyed me. The prophets said, “Each of you must stop doing wrong things. You must change the things that you do. Start doing the things that are right. Do not be servants of other gods. Then you will live in the country that I have given to you and to your ancestors.” But you did not think that this was important. You did not listen to me. 16 The descendants of Jonadab, Rekab's son, obeyed the rules that their ancestor gave to them. But these people have not obeyed me.

17 So the great and powerful Lord says, “Listen! I will send all the bad things that I told you about. I am sending them to all those people who live in Judah and in Jerusalem. I spoke to them, but they did not listen. I called to them but they did not answer.” ’

18 Then Jeremiah spoke to the descendants of Rekab. ‘The great and powerful Lord, Israel's God, says, “You have obeyed the rules of your ancestor Jonadab. You have done everything that he asked you to do.” 19 So the great and powerful Lord, Israel's God, says to you, “Jonadab, son of Rekab, will always have a male descendant to be my servant. This promise is for all time.” ’