Jeremiah 35:1-19

Rekab's descendants

1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah when Josiah's son Jehoiakim ruled Judah as king. 2 He said, ‘Go to the place where Rekab's descendants live. Ask them to come to the Lord's temple. Take them into one of the temple's small rooms. Give to them some wine to drink.’

3 So I went to meet with Rekab's descendants. They were Jaazaniah, son of Jeremiah and grandson of Habazziniah. I also met with Jaazaniah's brothers and all his sons. Those were all the descendants of Rekab. 4 I took them to the Lord's temple. I took them into the room where the disciples of the prophet Hanan lived. He was the son of Igdaliah. That room was next to the room where the temple officers lived. It was also above the room where Shallum's son Maaseiah lived. He was one of the guards for the doors of the temple. 5 I put some jars of wine and some cups in front of Rekab's descendants. I said to them, ‘Drink some wine.’

35:3This was a different man who was called Jeremiah. He was not the prophet Jeremiah.

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 You must not build houses. You must not plant seed in fields to grow crops. You must not plant vines or have a vineyard. Instead, you must always live in tents. If you live in that way, you will live for a long time as you travel around in the land.”

8 We have obeyed all the rules that our ancestor Jonadab gave to us. Our wives and our children have also obeyed them. We have never drunk wine. 9 We have never built houses to be our homes. We have no fields or vineyards and we grow no crops. 10 We have always lived in tents. So we have completely obeyed our ancestor Jonadab. We have done everything that he commanded us to do. 11 But when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked our land, we decided to come to Jerusalem. We said, “We must leave here and go to Jerusalem. We must escape from the armies of Babylon and Syria.” That is why we are now living in Jerusalem.’

12 Then the Lord gave this message to Jeremiah. 13 The Lord Almighty, Israel's God, said to him, ‘Go and speak to the people of Judah, including those who live in Jerusalem. Tell them that I, the Lord, say this: “Learn a lesson about how you should obey me! 14 Rekab's son Jonadab commanded his descendants that they must not drink wine. They have obeyed his command. Even now, they have never drunk wine because their ancestor told them not to do that. But as for you, I have spoken to you very many times and you have not obeyed me! 15 I have sent my servants the prophets to warn you many times. They told you, ‘You must all stop doing wicked things. Instead, start doing the things that are right. Do not serve other gods and worship them. Then you will continue to live in this land that I gave to you and to your ancestors.’ But you did not listen to my message. You did not obey me. 16 The descendants of Rekab's son Jonadab obeyed the commands that their ancestor gave to them. But as for you, my people, you have not obeyed me.”

17 So the Lord Almighty, Israel's God, says, “Listen to me! I will soon punish the people of Judah and Jerusalem with all the things that I warned them about. I spoke to them, but they did not listen. I called out to them, but they did not answer. So now I will punish them.” ’

18 Then Jeremiah said to Rekab's descendants, ‘The Lord Almighty, Israel's God, says, “You have completely obeyed the commands of your ancestor Jonadab. You have done everything that he told you to do.” 19 So the Lord Almighty, Israel's God, also says, “There will always be a male descendant of Rekab's son Jonadab who will live to serve me.” ’