|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
35:1-11 Jonadab was famous for wisdom and piety. He lived nearly 300 years before, 2Ki 10:15. Jonadab charged his posterity not to drink wine. He also appointed them to dwell in tents, or movable dwelling: this would teach them not to think of settling any where in this world. To keep low, would be the way to continue long in the land where they were strangers. Humility and contentment are always the best policy, and men's surest protection. Also, that they might not run into unlawful pleasures, they were to deny themselves even lawful delights. The consideration that we are strangers and pilgrims should oblige us to abstain from all fleshly lusts. Let them have little to lose, and then losing times would be the less dreadful: let them sit loose to what they had, and then they might with less pain be stript of it. Those are in the best frame to meet sufferings who live a life of self-denial, and who despise the vanities of the world. Jonadab's posterity observed these rules strictly, only using proper means for their safety in a time of general suffering.
Verse 2. - The house of the Rechabites ("house" equivalent to "family"). From a notice in 1 Chronicles 2:55 it appears that the Rechabites were a subdivision of the Kenites, the nomad tribe so closely connected with the Israelites (Judges 1:16; Judges 4:18-22; comp. Numbers 10:29), especially with the tribe of Judah (1 Samuel 27:10; 1 Samuel 30:29). The names of Jonadab and of Jaazaniah and his progenitors (which include the sacred Name), together with the zeal of Jonadab for the worship of Jehovah (2 Kings 10:15, 23), seem to indicate that the religion of the Rechabites approximated closely to that of the Israelites. There seem, in fact, to have been two branches of the Kenites - one having Edomitish, the other Israelitish, affinities. Records of the former still exist in the Sinaitic inscriptions, and in the Arabian histories; indeed, there is still a tribe called Benu-l-Qain (often contracted into Belqein) in the Belqa (the ancient land of Ammon); and it would seem that there is an Arab tribe in Arabia Petraea, eastward of Kerak, which traces itself to Heber the Kenite. and goes by the name of Yehud Chebr, though it now denies any connection with Jews. There were also Jews of Khaibar, near Mecca, who played an important part in the early history of Islam (see further 'Zeitschr. der deutschen morgenland. Gesellschaft,' 8:706; 14:438; 28:568, 571). Into one of the chambers. There were many "chambers" of different sizes attached to the temple, and employed partly for stores, partly for councils and assemblies, partly for guard chambers, and other official purposes (comp. 1 Chronicles 28:12; Ezekiel 40:17). In Jeremiah 36:10 we even find a private person occupying one of the "chambers." That into which Jeremiah conducted the Rechabites was, no doubt, one of the largest size; it was appropriated to the use of a single priestly family - the "sons of Hanan" (ver. 4).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Go unto the house of the Rechabites,.... Or "family" (c); these are the same with the Kenites, who descended from Hobab or Jethro, Moses's father in law, Judges 1:16; these, as their ancestors, became proselytes to Israel, and always continued with them, though a distinct people from them; these here had their name from Rechab, a famous man in his time among those people:
and speak unto them, and bring them into the house of the Lord; into the temple; for they were worshippers of the true God, though foreigners and uncircumcised persons; and so might be admitted into places belonging to the temple:
into one of the chambers; of the temple, where there were many; some for the sanhedrim to sit in; others for the priests to lay up their garments and the vessels of the sanctuary in; and others for the prophets and their disciples to converse in together about religious matters:
and give them wine to drink; set it before them, and invite them to drink of it, and thereby try their steady obedience to their father's commands. Now this family was brought to the temple either in vision, as it seemed to the prophet; or really, which latter is most probable; and that for this reason, that this affair might be transacted publicly, and many might he witnesses of it, and take the rebuke given by it; and, as some think, to reproach the priests for their intemperance.
(c) "ad familiam", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. Rechabites—a nomadic tribe belonging to the Kenites of Hemath (1Ch 2:55), of the family of Jethro, or Hobab, Moses' father-in-law (Ex 18:9, &c.; Nu 10:29-32; Jud 1:16). They came into Canaan with the Israelites, but, in order to preserve their independence, chose a life in tents without a fixed habitation (1Sa 15:6). 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 God (2Ki 10:15-23). The Nabatheans of Arabia observed the same rules [Diodorus Siculus, 19.94].
bring … into … house of … Lord—because there were suitable witnesses at hand there from among the priests and chief men, as also because he had the power immediately to address the people assembled there (Jer 35:13). It may have been also as a reproof of the priests, who drank wine freely, though commanded to refrain from it when in the discharge of their duties [Calvin].
chambers—which were round about the temple, applied to various uses, for example, to contain the vestments, sacred vessels, &c.
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