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Jeremiah is here ordered to go to the Rachabites, who on the approach
of the Chaldeans took refuge in Jerusalem, and to try their obedience to the command of their father by offering them wine to drink : which they refused : hence occasion is taken to upbraid the Jews with their disobedience to the commands of God; and a blesisng is pironounced on the Rechabites.
IMPHE word which came unto Jeremiah from the Lord in
1 the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah,* 3. 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 Je
remiah, 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] 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, to 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 Rechad our father commanded us, about three hundred years before this time, (2 Kings x.
15.) saying, Ye shall drink no wide, (neither) ye, nor your sons 7 for ever : Neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant
vineyard, nor have [any :) but all your days ve 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, nor 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 father commanded us. But it came to pass, when Nebuchad. rezzar 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 his fourth year, when Jerusalem was besieged, and many captives taken, and in which Daniel and his companions were carried to Babylon.
+ These people were a branch of the family of the Kenites, descended from Moses's father in law Hobab. In Fudges i. 16. we read of fonadab the son of Rechab, who was a man of considerable eminence, and whom Jehu took with him into his chariot to witness bis zeul for the honour of God.
The design of this command was, that they should livre quietly among the Israelites. and not be envied or it used, as they might have been had they been tradesman or husband men ; it might also be intended to preserve them from the temptations of luxury and intemparanc, and the contagion of ill examples; and that in troublesome times the v mixhr more easily get away. Accordingly they were never incorporated with the Jews, l.or curcumcised, bur lived among them as friends, and worshipped the true God.
Chaldeans, and for fear of the army of the Syrians :* so we dwell at Jerusalem ; being obliged for our own security to break
through this rule in part, 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 : pot.
withstanding 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 Recbab
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 com19 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 shall continue to be a people a long time : or perhaps the meaning may be, none of them shall be slain in the assault upon the city ; according 10 the marginal reading, there shall not a man be cut off from Jonadab the son of Re. chab to stand before me for ever.t
1. BSERVE how acceptable to God, obedience and sub
U 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
• Nebuchadnezzar, having conquered the Syrians, recruited his army with them, and brought them on this expedition.
+ in i Chron. ii. 55, we find, that some of them returned with the Jews after the baptivity, and so had the privilege of worshipping at God's temple.
of 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 up the entail of religion and the worship of God in our families, from generation to generation ; remembering, that strict sobriety and moderatiun to this world, are the best means of preserving it : whereas pride and luxury are its bane and ruin. When young persons grow ashamed of the simplicity and the employments of their ancestors, and are aspiring to å 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.
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 Jews were incomparably greater 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 off fear, and restrain prayer before him ! to be tractable and respectful to men, but disobedient and rebellious to God! I et us fear God our father in heaven ; and keep his commandmenis, for they are not grievous ; 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. The 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 and 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, inay cheerfully expect his great and eternal salvation.
In which Baruch writeth and publicly reads Jeremiah's firophecy ;
Jehoiakim, hearing of this, orders the roll to be fetched, and burns
1 son of Josiah king of Judah, [that] this word came unto Vol. V.
2 Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Take thee a roll of a book,
or, a scroll of parchment rolled upon a stick,* and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake
unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day; write e 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 return every man from
his evil way ; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin. 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 ; that is, I am a prisoner ; of 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 shalt 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 : for 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 ; perhaps for the removal 10 of that drought mentioned, chap. 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 the people in the courts of the temple might the better hear him, 11 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 De. laiah 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 upto them
all the words that he had heard, when Baruch read the book in
• These were the books then in use; this may account for the transposition of the chap ters in this prophecy, which were probably written on many separate scrolls.
+ This was a proper means to effect this end, and would leave them inexcusable; though God knew that in fact they would not hearken.
This was near a year after the former command; he had probably been reading it select companies 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, unito Baruch, saying, Take in thine hand the roll wherein thou bast read in the ears of the people, and come. So Baruch the
son of Neriah took the roll in his hand, and came 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 tell the king of all these words : impressed with the predictions and threatenings,
they resolved to tell them the king, as they 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 answer
ed 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 ad
vised them to hide themselves. 20 And they went in to the king into the court, but they laid úp
the roll in ihe chamber of Elishama the scribe, and told all the 21 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 the 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 consumed in the fire that (was) on the hearth ; a high affront 10 God, and
a declararion that he despised his precepts, and defied his threaten24 inge. Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, [nei
ther) the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words, as they ought 19 have done, and as Josiah did in the like case. In verse si.rteenth it is said they were afraid ; but, being under the
influence of the king, they began to think as he did, at least to shoru 25 no fear before him. Nevertheless, Elnathan and Delaiah and Geo
mariah had made intercession to the king that he would not burn 26 the roll : but he would not heat them. But the king command
ed Jerahmeel the son of Hammelech, and Seraial the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, 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 al 28 the mouth of Jeremiah, saying, Take thee again another roll,
* Michaiah seems to have done this from a good principle, as his father had lent Baruch the chamber to read out of; he went to the secretaries' office, and told them of it ; they rer haps being too busy to attend the temple ser vive on a fast day.