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Jer 35:1-19. PROPHECY IN THE REIGN OF JEHOIAKIM, WHEN THE CHALDEANS, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE SYRIANS AND MOABITES, INVADED JUDEA.
By the obedience of the Rechabites to their father, Jeremiah condemns the disobedience of the Jews to God their Father. The Holy Spirit has arranged Jeremiah's prophecies by the moral rather than the chronological connection. From the history of an event fifteen years before, the Jews, who had brought back their manumitted servants into bondage, are taught how much God loves and rewards obedience, and hates and punishes disobedience.
2. Rechabites--a nomadic tribe belonging to the Kenites of Hemath
of the family of Jethro, or Hobab, Moses' father-in-law
&c.; Nu 10:29-32;
They came into Canaan with the Israelites, but, in order to preserve
their independence, chose a life in tents without a fixed habitation
Besides the branch of them associated with Judah and extending to
Amalek, there was another section at Kadesh, in Naphtali
(Jud 4:11, 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
The Nabatheans of Arabia observed the same rules
[DIODORUS SICULUS, 19.94].
3. Jaazaniah--the elder and chief of the clan.
4. man of God--a prophet
also "a servant of God" in general
one not his own, but God's; one who has parted with all right in
himself to give himself wholly to God
He was so reverenced that none would call in question what was
transacted in his chamber.
6. Jonadab . . . our father--that is, forefather and director, three hundred years before (2Ki 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].
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 1Sa 15:20, 21; Ps 78:34-37, 41, 56, 57.
11. Chaldeans . . . Syrians--when Jehoiakim revolted from Nebuchadnezzar (2Ki 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.
15. In Jer 35:15 and in 2Ch 36:15, a distinct mode of address is alluded to, namely, God sending His servants. (Jer 18:11; 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.
17. because I have spoken . . . not heard . . . I . . . called . . . not answered-- (Pr 1:24; Isa 65:12).
19. not want a man to stand before me--There shall always be left representatives of the clan to worship Me (Jer 15:1, 19); or, "before Me" means simple existence, for all things in existence are in God's sight (Ps 89:36). The Rechabites returned from the captivity. WOLFF found traces of them in Arabia.