Jeremiah 35:13
Thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will you not receive instruction to listen to my words? said the LORD.
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(13) Will ye not receive instruction . . .—The argument of the prophet is naturally an à fortiori one. The words of Jonadab had been kept faithfully as a rule of life for 300 years by his descendants or his order. The words of Jehovah, “rising early and speaking” through His prophets (we note the repetition of the characteristic phrase of Jeremiah 7:13; Jeremiah 25:3), were neglected by the people whom He had adopted as His children. They, too, had the same promise that by obeying they should dwell in the land which He had given them, but they had turned a deaf ear both to the promise and the warning which it implied.

35:12-19 The trial of the Rechabites' constancy was for a sign; it made the disobedience of the Jews to God the more marked. The Rechabites were obedient to one who was but a man like themselves, and Jonadab never did for his seed what God has done for his people. Mercy is promised to the Rechabites. We are not told respecting the performance of this promise; but doubtless it was performed, and travellers say the Rechabites may be found a separate people to this day. Let us follow the counsels of our pious forefathers, and we shall find good in so doing.Jeremiah, accompanied by the main body of the Rechabites, went into one of the courts of the temple, and there addressed to the people the rebuke following. 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. No text from Poole on this verse. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel,.... The Lord of armies in heaven and earth; the Creator of Israel; their benefactor, covenant God and Father and whom they professed to worship; God and not man; infinitely greater than Jonadab, whose precepts had been observed by his posterity:

go and tell the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; this is an order to the prophet to remove from the chamber where he was with the Rechabites, and go to the court of the people, where they were assembled for worship; or into the city of Jerusalem, and gather the heads of them together, and declare the following things to them:

will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the Lord; from this instance and case of the Rechabites, who had so constantly obeyed their father, and hearkened to his words, though but a man; a father of their flesh; an earthly father; and who had been dead long ago; and therefore much more ought they to hearken to the Father of their spirits; their Father which is in heaven, and who lives for ever.

Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will {i} ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the LORD.

(i) Whom I have chosen to be my children seeing these who were the children of a heathen, obeyed the commandment of their father.

13. instruction] or, correction. See on Jeremiah 17:23.There, Jeremiah caused bowls filled with wine to be set before the Rechabites, and commanded them to drink. (גּביעים are large goblets, bowls, out of which drinking-cups [כּסות] were filled.) But they explained that they did not drink wine, because their father, i.e., their ancestor, Jonadab had forbidden them and their posterity to drink wine for ever, as also to build houses, to sow seed, and to plant vineyards, i.e., to settle themselves down in permanent dwellings and to pursue agriculture. ולא יהיה לכם, "And there shall not be to you," sc. what has just been named, i.e., ye must not possess houses, growing-crops, or vineyards (cf. Jeremiah 35:9),

(Note: These injunctions, given by Jonadab to his posterity, that he might make them always lead a nomad life, are quoted by Diodorus Siculus, xix. 94, as a law among the Nabateans: Νόμος ἐστὶν αὐτοῖς μήτε σίτον σπείρειν, μήτε φυτεύειν μηδὲν φυτὸν καρποφόρον, μήτε οἴνῳ χρῆσθαι, μήτε οἰκίαν κατασεκυάζειν; while the object of the law is stated to have been the maintenance of their freedom against the more powerful who sought to bring them into subjection. And even at the present day the Bedouins imagine that they are prevented, by the nobility of their descent from Ishmael, from engaging in agriculture, handicraft, or the arts; cf. Arvieux, Sitten der Beduinen-Araber, 5f.)

but ye are to dwell in tents all your life, that ye may live long, etc. This promise is an imitation of that found in Exodus 20:12.

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