JEREMIAH LESSON 38
We will begin this lesson in Jeremiah 35:1 "The word which came
unto Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah
king of Judah, saying,"
This is a totally different prophecy from the one in the last
chapter. This prophecy is not addressed to Zedekiah.
Jeremiah 35:2 Go unto the house of the Rechabites, and speak unto
them, and bring them into the house of the LORD, into one of the
chambers, and give them wine to drink.
Who were the Rechabites, you might ask? It seems, they were a
group of very simple living people, who lived above the sinful
lifestyle of the cities. They were nomads. They did not even settle
down to one spot, when they were in the city. They were constantly on
the move. They were people of very high morals. Many believe them to
be associated with the Kenites. Others believe they ministered as the
Levites. Their daughters were said to marry men from the Levitical
tribe, and their children ministered. Their lifestyle depicts the fact
that all believers are strangers in this land. This is not our home.
We are headed for our home in heaven. They were not materialistic
people, they lived a very simple lifestyle. We might learn from that,
too. Many of the problems in our society today come from the cravings
for the material things of life. Their religious convictions were much
like the Israelites, but the difference being, they lived more holy
lives than the Israelites. The fact they met in one of the rooms
attached to the temple, is what is meant by "chambers". They were
offered wine to drink. It was believed however, they were teetotalers.
The wine, then, had some religious significance.
Jeremiah 35:3 "Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son
of Habaziniah, and his brethren, and all his sons, and the whole house
of the Rechabites;"
The Jeremiah, in the verse above, is not Jeremiah who penned the
book of Jeremiah. He is mentioned in the word "I". The Jeremiah
mentioned was part of the family of Rechabites.
Jeremiah 35:4 "And I brought them into the house of the LORD,
into the chamber of the sons of Hanan, the son of Igdaliah, a man of
God, which [was] by the chamber of the princes, which [was] above the
chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the door:"
The Scripture, here, is explaining where Jeremiah took them. This
area was the area of Hanan. Hanan was an officer in the temple area.
He was believed by many to be a prophet. Notice, there was someone who
kept the door, to keep all out who were not invited.
Jeremiah 35:5 "And I set before the sons of the house of the
Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, and I said unto them, Drink ye
This is like a test for the Rechabites. They did not drink wine.
This was a temptation to see, just exactly what they would do, if they
were offered the wine in private. Will their morals withstand such
temptation? We will see in the next verse.
Jeremiah 35:6 "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:"
We see from this, their morals they had been taught will not
allow them to drink. Jonadab was spoken of as the father of the
Rechabites, here. The one thing that set them aside from others, was
their desire to live holy before God.
Jeremiah 35:7 "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]
We can see in this, that their lifestyle was very different from
the Hebrews, especially in the cities. They wanted no permanent roots.
It reminds me a little of Abraham, who left Ur of the Chaldees and
lived in tents the rest of his life. He was looking for a city whose
maker was God. The permanence of a house was what they were trying to
avoid. They were strangers in the land. They were not controlled by
such stable things as vineyards, or crops.
Jeremiah 35:8 "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;"
Their obedience to the holy life that Jonadab had set for them is
admirable. This abstinence from wine was for the entire family.
Jeremiah 35:9 "Nor to build houses for us to dwell in: neither
have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed:" Jeremiah 35:10 "But we have
dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that
Jonadab our father commanded us."
Many times the best way to keep away from sin, is to separate
yourself from the temptations. This they have done. Their friends are
those of their family, who believe the same thing they do. They have
separated themselves from the world and its sins.
Jeremiah 35:11 "But it came to pass, when Nebuchadrezzar king of
Babylon came up into the land, that we said, Come, and let us go to
Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans, and for fear of the
army of the Syrians: so we dwell at Jerusalem."
This explains what they are doing in the city of Jerusalem. They
have come here for safety from the Chaldean army. They felt there
would be safety in Jerusalem, believing God would preserve His holy
Jeremiah 35:12 "Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah,
saying," Jeremiah 35:13 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of
Israel; Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the
This is a break from the Rechabites. Perhaps, Jeremiah stopped
while he was at the temple, and gave them a warning from God. God is
fast losing patience with the inhabitants of Jerusalem, because they
will not heed His warnings.
Jeremiah 35:14 "The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he
commanded his sons not to drink wine, are performed; for unto this day
they drink none, but obey their father's commandment: notwithstanding
I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye hearkened
not unto me."
The Rechabites had no problem keeping the commandments of their
earthly father, but the Israelites would not keep the commandments of
their heavenly Father. The Rechabites made these Israelites look bad,
because Israel was not keeping God's commandments. The Rechabites were
not constantly being warned by prophets to repent. They just lived the
holy life from the beginning. The Israelites had been warned, over
and over by prophets that God sent, to repent and live for God.
Jeremiah 35:15 "I have sent also unto you all my servants the
prophets, rising up early and sending [them], saying, Return ye now
every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after
other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have
given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear,
nor hearkened unto me."
God's people had been taught from the time of Abraham that they
would be blessed, if they kept God's commandments. They, also, had
been taught to be disobedient to God, brought curses. They ignored all
of that and lived to please their flesh. They were unfaithful to God,
and started worshipping false gods. They were a stiff-necked people,
who would not listen to God's warnings.
Jeremiah 35:16 "Because the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab
have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded
them; but this people hath not hearkened unto me:"
Jonadab and Rechab were but men, and yet their people obeyed the
commandments they had laid down. God's people will not even listen to
the commandments of the God that made them.
Jeremiah 35:17 "Therefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, the
God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all the
inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against
them: because I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I
have called unto them, but they have not answered."
God explains, one more time, why He is going to carry out all of
the punishment against them. They have been unfaithful, worshipping
false gods and have not repented.
Jeremiah 35:18 "And Jeremiah said unto the house of the
Rechabites, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Because
ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all
his precepts, and done according unto all that he hath commanded you:"
These Rechabites will be rewarded for living a holy life by
obeying the commandments of Jonadab. God never overlooks even one
person who is living upright before Him. It appears, the teachings of
Jonadab were pleasing to God. They had made a stand, and had not
backslidden from that stand. God respects this type of loyalty.
Jeremiah 35:19 "Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God
of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand
before me for ever."
The following Scripture connects these Rechabites to the Levites.
Deuteronomy 10:8 "At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi,
to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD
to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day."
Deuteronomy 18:5 "For the LORD thy God hath chosen him out of all thy
tribes, to stand to minister in the name of the LORD, him and his sons
for ever." Deuteronomy 18:7 "Then he shall minister in the name of
the LORD his God, as all his brethren the Levites [do], which stand
there before the LORD." The type of life that God wanted the Levites
to live is the type of life these Rechabites were living. God will
honor their holiness by always having a Rechabite stand before Him.
These Rechabites have pleased God, but the Israelites have greatly
Jeremiah 38 Questions
1. In verse 2, where did God send Jeremiah to prophesy?
2. Who were the Rechabites?
3. They were a people of very high _________.
4. Some believe they were associated with the __________.
5. Others believe they ministered like the ___________.
6. What do many of the problems in our society today come from?
7. Their lifestyle depicts that all believers are ____________ in
8. What is meant by "chambers"?
9. They were _____________, so the wine had some religious
10. What chambers did they meet in?
11. How much wine was set before them?
12. Did their morals withstand this much temptation?
13. Why did they not drink the wine?
14. What were some of the other things he had commanded them not to
15. Who does this remind the author of?
16. Who, in their families, drank no wine?
17. Who were their friends?
18. Why had they come to Jerusalem?
19. What was Jeremiah to tell the men of Judah?
20. Who had commanded the Rechabites to not drink wine?
21. The Rechabites had no problem keeping the commandments of their
earthly father, but the Israelites would not keep the commandments
of their ___________ Father.
22. Who had God sent to warn them?
23. How long had God's people been taught to keep the commandments of
God, if they wanted to be blessed?
24. What did disobedience to God bring?
25. Why will God bring the evil on Judah and Jerusalem?
26. What will the Rechabites be rewarded for?
27. What promise does God make the Rechabites?
28. What two things does this lesson show?