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Jeremiah is here ordered to go to the Fachabites, who on the afifiroach of the Chaldeans took refuge in Jerusalem, and to try their obedience to the command of their father by offering them wine to drink i which they refused: hence occasion is taken to upbraid the Jews with their disobedience to the commands of Ood; and a blesisng is pronounced on the Rechabites.
I rT7,HE word which came unto Jeremiah from the Lord in
JL the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah,• 2. saying, Go unto the house of the Rechabites,t and speak unto them, and bring them into the house of the Lord, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink, which Jonadab had
3 forbidden them. See v. 8. Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habaziniah, and his brethren, and all his sons,
4 and the whole house of the Rechabites; 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 J above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the door, and near the place where the sanhedrim or council was held, te make the
5 affair more public and solemn: And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups,
6 and I said unto them, Drink ye wine. But they said, We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, about three hundred years before this time, (2 Kings yi. 15.) saying, Ye shall drink no wine, [neither] ye, nor your sons
7 forever: 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]
8 strangers.\ 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, r.or our
9 daughters ;- Nor to build houses for us to dwell in: neither have
10 we vineyard, nor field, nor seed: but we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our
11 father commanded us. 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
• This was' in hit fourth year, whrn Jerusalem was besieged, and many captive, taken, and in which Daniel and his companinn, were carried ro Babylon.
+ These people were a branch of the family of the Kenites, descended from Mmes's father in law Hobah. In Judrei i. 16. we read of Jonadab the Ron of Rechab, who was a mrm of considerable eminence, and whom Jehu took with him int a hi, charint to * itneis bis aeat for the honour of God.
i The design of this command was, that they sho'ild li,'e tpietlv runnrf, t«.« Israrlirts. and not be envied or ili usi-d. :»s they might hare'b^eri bad rhev bren tradesmen or husbandmen; it might also be intended to preserve thrm from the temptations of lnxurv and inremperanc", and the contaglon of ill examples: and that in troublesome tinu-s they minhr n-ore easily get away. Accordingly they were-never incorporated with the Jews, r.or cis'diaicised, but Mved among them as friends, and worshipped tho true God1.
Chaldeans, and for fear of the army of the Syrians :• so we dwell at Jerusalem ; being obliged for our ovm security to break through this rule in /¡art, and take shelter in this city.
12 Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah, saying,
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 Lord.
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 to you, rising early and speaking;
15 but ye hearkened not unto me. 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 ; they have showed greater regard to a man, than you have
16 done to God. 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:
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.
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 com
19 manded you: 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 forever; that is, they »hall continue to be a fteoftle a long time: or fierhafis the meaning may be, none of them shall be »lain in the assault u/ion the city ; according to the marginal reading, there thall not a man be cut of from Jonadab the »on of Rechab to stand before me for ever.\
1. /"OBSERVE how acceptable to God, obedience and sub\J jection to parents are. A reverence for the memory of a pious ancestor led these people to observe his ordinances; and God put a mark of honour upon them. How reasonable is it then, for children and young people to obey their parents, when they require «F them nothing but what is an evident and important duty? Let the solicitude which these people showed to keep up the customs of their ancestors, lead us to be concerned to keep i:p the entail of religion and the worship of God in our families, from generation to generation; remembering, that strict sobriety and moderation to this world, are the best means of preserving it: whereas pride and luxury are \¡.s bane and ruin. When young persons grow ashamed of the simplicity and the employments of their ancestors, and are aspiring to à higher rank and place in life, they too often lose the religion of their ancestors; and though they become more esteemed in the sight of men, are an abomination in the sight of God, and lose the greatest glory of the family.
• Nebuchadnezzar, having conquered the Syrians, recruited hit агщу with them, and brought them on this cxpcdiiinn.
t Tn i Chrm. 11. 5?, we find, that some of them returned with the Jews after tb* ••ptivitj, lud so had the. privilege of wor»bii>|>inj « God'i temple.
2. How much more reasonable and important is it to obey the commands of God! How forcible was the argument used in this chapter to the Jews? Jonadab was but a man, and had been long dead ; but God was their father and master, almighty, and eternal. He never tied them up to such severities as were enjoined upon the Rechabites. His favours to the Je\vs were incomparably gieater than Jonadab's to his children ; and he had reminded them of his commands and favours, by many prophets and for many succeeding years. How absurd and monstrous is it for young persons, though dutiful and affectionate'to earthly parents, to forget God! to cast oft' fear, and restrain prayer before him ! to be tractable and respectful to men, but disobedient and rebellious to God! Let us fear God our father in heaven; and kcefi Ida commandments, .for they ore. not grievou/i; and in keeping of them there is great reward.
3. What special obligations are Christians under, to celebrate the death of Christ at his table. Thô Rechabites thought the will of a dying ancestor sufficiently binding,' and they fulfilled it for many generations. How inexcusable then are those Christians, who will not fulfil the dying command of a Saviour, in showing forth his death till he come? That Saviour to whom they profess subjection, and owe all their privileges and hopes? His authority and love should engage their obedience ; and to refuse it, is such ingratitude *nd inconsistency, as may justly fill them with shame, and alarm their fears: while those who punctually, regularly, and seriously fulfil their master's will, and act consistently, may cheerfully expect his great and eternal salvation.
In which Raruch loriteth and ¡mblicli/ reads Jeremiah's ftrc/ihecy; Jehoiakim, hearing of this, orders the roll to be. fetched, and burns it i ufinn which Jeremiah denounces judgment against him ; and Baruch mrilee a new cofiy.
1 /\ ND it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the ХЛ. son of Josiah king of Judah, [that] this word came unto VoL.V. Ccc
2 Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, Take thee a roll of a book, or, a scroll offiarchment rolled upon a stick,* and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and
1 against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day; write a
3 summary of those things thou hast delivered from time to time. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them ; that they may returti every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.f
4 Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah; and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the Lord,
5 which he had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book. And Je. remiah commanded Baruch, saying, I [am] shut up: I cannot go into the house of the Lord; i/iat is, I am a prisoner ¡ or
6 rather, I am forbid to go thither: Therefore go thou, and read in the roll, which thou hast written from my mouth, the words of the Lord in the ears of the people in the Lord's house upon the fasting day, the day of atonement: and also thou shall read them
7 in the ears of all Judah that come out of their cities. It may be they will present their supplication before the Lord, and will return every one from his evil way: lor great [is] the anger and the fury that the Lord hath pronounced against this people.
8 And Baruch the son of Neriah did according to all that Jeremiah the prophet commanded him, reading in the book the words of
9 the Lord in the Lord's house. And it came to pass in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, in the ninth month, [that] they proclaimed a fast before the Lord to all the people in Jerusalem, and to all the people that came from the cities of Judah unto Jerusalem ; pcrltajinfor the removal
JO of that drought mentioned, chafi. xiv. 1, 2. Then read Baruch in the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the Lord,| in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe, in the higher court, at the entry of the new gate of the Lord's house, in the ears of all the people ; probably out of some window or balcony, that ihefieoftle in the courts of the tem/ile might the better hear him
\ \ When Michaiah the son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan,
12 had heard out of the book all the words of the Lord, Then he went down into the king's house into the scribe's chamber ; and, lo, all the princes sat there, [even] Elishama the scribe, and Delaiah the son of Shemaiah, and Elnathan the son of Achbor, and Gemariah the son of Shaphan, and Zedekiah the son of Hana
13 niah, and all the princes. Then Michaiah declared unto them all the words that he had heard, when Baruch read the book in
• These were the hook« tnen in use: this may account for the transposition оГ tbe chapters inthu prophecy, which were probably written on many sejiarate scrolls.
t This wa» a proper mram toeffect thin end, anil would leeve them inexcusable; though God knew that in fact they would not hearken.
} This wa» near a year after tbe former command; he had probably been reading it t» ce'cct compartí all this time.
14 the ears of the people.• Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi,urito Baruch, saying, Take. in thine hand the roll wherein thou hast read in the ears of the people, and come. So Baruch the son of Neriah took the roll in his hand, and catne unto them.
15 And they said unto him, Sit down now, and read it in our ears.
16 So Baruch read [it] in their ears. Now it came to pass, when they had heard all the words, they were afraid both one and another, and said unto Baruch, We will surely ttll the king of all these words: impressed with the predictions and threatenings, they resolved to tell them the king, as thai could do nothing without
17 him. And they asked Baruch, saying, Tell us now, How didst
18 thou write all these words at his mouth? Then Baruch answered them, He pronounced all these words unto me with his
19 mouth, and I wrote [them] with ink in the book. Then said the princes unto Baruch, Go, hide thee, thou and Jeremiah, and let no man know where ye be; thinking that the book would provoke the king, and having a regard for Jeremiah and Baruch, they advised them to hide themselves.
20 And they went in to the king into the court, but they laid tip the roll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe, and told all the
31 words in the ears of the king. So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the roll: and he took it out of Elishama the scribe's chamber.And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all
22 t|ie princes which stood beside the king. Now the king sat in the winter house, in the ninth month: and [there was a fire] on
23 the hearth burning before him. And it came to pass, [that] when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, or rather, columns or paragraphs, that he cut it with the penknife, and cast [it] into the fire that [was] on the hearth, until all the roll was consum-1 ed in the fire that [was] on the hearth ; ahigh affront id God, and a declaration that he despised his precepts, and defied his threaiev
5* ings. Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, [neither] the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words, as they ought to have done, and as Josiah did in the like case. In verse sixteenth it is said they were afraid; but, being under the - influence of the king, they began to think as he did, at Ieast to show
25 no fear before him. Nevertheless, Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah had made intercession to the king that he would not burn
26 the roll: but he would not heat them. But the king commanded Jerahmeel the son of Hammelech, and Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abcleel, to take Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet: but the Lord hid them; God so ordered matters that they were not discovered.
17 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, after that the king had burned the roll, and the words which Baruch wrote at. 23 the mouth of Jeremiah, saying, Take thee again another roll*
• MichaUh seemfi to have done this from a good principle, fls his fathrr had lent Barurb. the chamocr to read out of; he went to the secr,tariiV office, and tekl them of it \ thry ;err h»ps being too busy to attend rbn teuiae in vivv on a tint day.