New International Reader's Version

Jeremiah 35

The Family Line of Rekab

1A message from the Lord came to Jeremiah. It came during the time Jehoiakim was king over Judah. Jehoiakim was the son of Josiah. The message said, “Go to the members of the family line of Rekab. Invite them to come to one of the side rooms in my house. Then give them wine to drink.”

So I went to get Jaazaniah. He was the son of Jeremiah. Jeremiah was the son of Habazziniah. I also went to get Jaazaniah’s brothers and all his sons. That included all the members of the family line of Rekab. I brought them into the Lord’s house. I took them into the room of the sons of Hanan. He was the son of Igdaliah. He was also a man of God. His room was next to the room of the officials. Their room was above the room of Maaseiah. He was the son of Shallum. He also was one of those who guarded the temple doors. Then I got bowls full of wine and some cups. I set them down in front of the men from the family line of Rekab. I said to them, “Drink some wine.”

But they replied, “We don’t drink wine. That’s because Jehonadab gave us a command. He was the son of Rekab. He was also one of our own people from long ago. He commanded, ‘You and your children after you must never drink wine. Also you must never build houses. You must never plant crops or vineyards. You must never have any of these things. Instead, you must always live in tents. Then you will live a long time in the land where you are wandering around.’ We have done everything Jehonadab, the son of Rekab, commanded us to do. So we and our wives and our children have never drunk wine. We have never built houses to live in. We’ve never had vineyards, fields or crops. 10 We’ve always lived in tents. We’ve completely obeyed everything Jehonadab commanded our people of long ago. 11 But Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, marched into this land. Then we said, ‘Come. We must go to Jerusalem. There we can escape the armies of Babylon and Aram.’ So we have remained in Jerusalem.”

12 Then a message from the Lord came to Jeremiah. It said, 13 “The Lord who rules over all is the God of Israel. He says, ‘Go. Speak to the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Tell them, “Won’t you ever learn a lesson? Won’t you ever obey my words?” announces the Lord. 14 “Jehonadab, the son of Rekab, ordered his children not to drink wine. And they have kept his command. To this day they do not drink wine. They obey the command Jehonadab gave their people long ago. But I have spoken to you again and again. In spite of that, you have not obeyed me. 15 Again and again I sent all my servants the prophets to you. They said, ‘Each of you must turn from your evil ways. You must change the way you act. Do not worship other gods. Do not serve them. Then you will live in the land. I gave it to you and your people of long ago.’ But you have not paid any attention. You have not listened to me. 16 The children of Jehonadab, the son of Rekab, have obeyed the command Jehonadab gave them long ago. But the people of Judah have not obeyed me.” ’ ”

17 So the Lord God who rules over all speaks. The God of Israel says, “Listen! I am going to bring horrible trouble on Judah. I will also bring it on everyone who lives in Jerusalem. I will bring on them every trouble I said I would. I spoke to them. But they did not listen. I called out to them. But they did not answer.”

18 Then Jeremiah spoke to the members of the family line of Rekab. Jeremiah said, “The Lord who rules over all is the God of Israel. He says, ‘You have obeyed the command Jehonadab gave your people of long ago. You have followed all his directions. You have done everything he ordered.’ 19 So the Lord who rules over all speaks. The God of Israel says, ‘Jehonadab, the son of Rekab, will always have someone from his family line to serve me.’ ”