Jeremiah received the Lord’s word during the rule of Judah’s King Jehoiakim, Josiah’s son: Go to the Rechabite family and invite them to come to one of the rooms of the Lord’s temple. When they arrive, offer them some wine to drink. So I took Jaazaniah, Jeremiah’s son and Habazziniah’s grandson, and his brothers and all his sons, and the whole Rechabite family. I brought them to the room in the Lord’s temple assigned to the sons of Hanan, Igdaliah’s son, the man of God. The room was next to the one used by the chief officers and right above the room of Maaseiah, Shallum’s son, the temple doorkeeper.[a] Then I set bowls full of wine before the Rechabites, along with several cups, and I said to them, “Have some.”

But they refused: “We don’t drink wine because our ancestor Jonadab, Rechab’s son, commanded us, ‘You and your children are never to drink wine; nor are you to build or own houses or plant gardens and vineyards; rather, you are always to dwell in tents so you may live a long time in the fertile land you pass through.’ We have obeyed everything our ancestor Jonadab, Rechab’s son, commanded us. No one in our household, including our wives and children, has ever had wine. And we haven’t built houses to live in or had vineyards, fields, or crops. 10 We have lived in tents and done everything our ancestor Jonadab commanded us. 11 But when Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar invaded the country, we said, ‘We better go to Jerusalem to escape the Babylonian and Aramean armies.’ That’s why we’re here in Jerusalem.”

12 Then the Lord’s word came to Jeremiah: 13 The Lord of heavenly forces, the God of Israel, proclaims: Go and tell the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem: Can’t you learn a lesson about what it means to obey me? declares the Lord. 14 Jonadab, Rechab’s son, commanded his descendants not to drink wine, and to this very day they have not drunk wine, obeying their ancestor’s instruction. But I have spoken to you again and again, and you haven’t listened to me. 15 I have sent you all my servants, the prophets, time and again, saying, “Each of you, turn from your evil ways and reform your actions; don’t worship or serve other gods. Then you may live in the fertile land I gave to you and your ancestors.” But you haven’t paid attention or listened to me. 16 The descendants of Jonadab, Rechab’s son, have thoroughly obeyed their ancestor, but this people have not listened to me. 17 Therefore, this is what the Lord of heavenly forces, the God of Israel, says: I’m going to bring upon the people of Judah and all those who live in Jerusalem the disaster I pronounced against them, because they wouldn’t listen to me or respond when I called.

18 Then Jeremiah said to the Rechabite family: The Lord of heavenly forces, the God of Israel, proclaims: Because you have obeyed all Jonadab’s instructions and you have done everything he commanded you, 19 the Lord of heavenly forces, the God of Israel proclaims: Jonadab, Rechab’s son, will always have a descendant that stands before me.


  1. Jeremiah 35:4 Or keeper of the threshold