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A Commentary, Critical, Practical, and Explanatory on the Old and New Testaments, by Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset and David Brown [1882] at

Jeremiah Chapter 35

Jeremiah 35:2

jer 35:2


Rechabites--a nomadic tribe belonging to the Kenites of Hemath (Ch1 2:55), of the family of Jethro, or Hobab, Moses' father-in-law (Exo 18:9, &c.; Num 10:29-32; Jdg 1:16). They came into Canaan with the Israelites, but, in order to preserve their independence, chose a life in tents without a fixed habitation (Sa1 15:6). Besides the branch of them associated with Judah and extending to Amalek, there was another section at Kadesh, in Naphtali (Jdg 4:11, Jdg 4:17). They seem to have been proselytes of the gate, Jonadab, son of Rechab, whose charge not to drink wine they so strictly obeyed, was zealous for God (Kg2 10:15-23). The Nabatheans of Arabia observed the same rules [DIODORUS SICULUS, 19.94].

bring . . . into . . . house of . . . Lord--because there were suitable witnesses at hand there from among the priests and chief men, as also because he had the power immediately to address the people assembled there (Jer 35:13). It may have been also as a reproof of the priests, who drank wine freely, though commanded to refrain from it when in the discharge of their duties [CALVIN].

chambers--which were round about the temple, applied to various uses, for example, to contain the vestments, sacred vessels, &c.

Jeremiah 35:3

jer 35:3

Jaazaniah--the elder and chief of the clan.

Jeremiah 35:4

jer 35:4

man of God--a prophet (Deu 33:1; Sa1 2:27; Kg1 12:22; Kg2 4:7), also "a servant of God" in general (Ti1 6:11), one not his own, but God's; one who has parted with all right in himself to give himself wholly to God (Ti2 3:17). He was so reverenced that none would call in question what was transacted in his chamber.

keeper of the door--Hebrew, "of the vessel." Probably the office meant is that of the priest who kept in charge the capitation money paid for the use of the temple and the votive offerings, such as silver vessels, &c. There were seven such keepers [GROTIUS]. Compare Kg2 12:9; Kg2 25:18; Ch1 9:18-19, which support English Version.

I said . . . Drink--Jeremiah does not say, The Lord saith, Drink: for then they would have been bound to obey. Contrast the case in 1Ki. 13:7-26.

Jeremiah 35:6

jer 35:6

Jonadab . . . our father--that is, forefather and director, three hundred years before (Kg2 10:15). They were called Rechabites, not Jonadabites, having received their name from Rechab the father, previously to their adopting the injunctions of Jonadab his son. This case affords no justification for slavish deference to the religious opinions of the Christian fathers: for Jonadab's injunction only affected matters of the present life; moreover, it was not binding on their consciences, for they deemed it not unlawful to go to Jerusalem in the invasion (Jer 35:11). What is praised here is not the father's injunction, but the obedience of the sons [CALVIN].

Jeremiah 35:7

jer 35:7

tents-- (Jdg 4:17).

live many days--according to the promise connected with the fifth commandment (Exo 20:12; Eph 6:2-3).

strangers--They were not of the stock of Jacob, but sojourners in Israel. Types of the children of God, pilgrims on earth, looking for heaven as their home: having little to lose, so that losing times cost them little alarm; sitting loose to what they have (Heb 10:34; Heb 11:9-10, Heb 11:13-16).

Jeremiah 35:8

jer 35:8

all that he . . . charged us . . . all our days, we . . . wives . . . sons . . . daughters--unreserved obedience in all particulars, at all times, and on the part of all, without exception: in these respects Israel's obedience to God was wanting. Contrast Sa1 15:20-21; Psa 78:34-37, Psa 78:41, Psa 78:56-57.

Jeremiah 35:11

jer 35:11

Chaldeans . . . Syrians--when Jehoiakim revolted from Nebuchadnezzar (Kg2 24:1-2). Necessity sets aside all other laws. This is the Rechabites' excuse for their seeming disobedience to Jonadab in temporarily settling in a city. Herein was seen the prescient wisdom of Jonadab's commands; they could at a moment's notice migrate, having no land possessions to tie them.

Jeremiah 35:14

jer 35:14

obey . . . father's commandment: notwithstanding I-- (Mal 1:6).

rising early and speaking--God Himself speaking late and early by His various ways of providence and grace.

Jeremiah 35:15

jer 35:15

In Jer 35:15 and in Ch2 36:15, a distinct mode of address is alluded to, namely, God sending His servants. (Jer 18:11; Jer 25:5-6). I enjoined nothing unreasonable, but simply to serve Me, and I attached to the command a gracious promise, but in vain. If Jonadab's commands, which were arbitrary and not moral obligations in themselves, were obeyed, much more ought Mine, which are in themselves right.

Jeremiah 35:17

jer 35:17

because I have spoken . . . not heard . . . I . . . called . . . not answered-- (Pro 1:24; Isa 65:12).

Jeremiah 35:19

jer 35:19

not want a man to stand before me--There shall always be left representatives of the clan to worship Me (Jer 15:1, Jer 15:19); or, "before Me" means simple existence, for all things in existence are in God's sight (Psa 89:36). The Rechabites returned from the captivity. WOLFF found traces of them in Arabia.

Next: Jeremiah Chapter 36