Jeremiah 35:12
Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying,
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(12) Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah.—Up to this time the prophet had acted on the thought which came into his mind as an inspiration, without apparently more than a partial insight into its meaning. Now, as the words indicate, he passes at once into the prophetic state and speaks the prophetic words. It follows from Jeremiah 35:18 that it was uttered in the presence of the Rechabites and formed, we may believe, the conclusion of this strange dramatic scene.

Jeremiah 35:12-16. Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah — As the trial of the constancy of the Rechabites was only intended for a sign, so now we have the application of it made by God himself. Tell the men of Judah, Will ye not receive instruction? &c. — Will nothing enlighten or affect you? Will nothing prevail to make you sensible of your sin and duty? You see how obedient the Rechabites are to their father’s commandment; but you have not hearkened unto me — Though it might have been more reasonably expected that my people should have obeyed me, than that the sons of Jonadab should have obeyed him. Thus the Rechabites’ observance of their father’s charge to them is made use of by God as an aggravation of the disobedience of the Jews to him: and the aggravation was certainly very high. For, 1st, The Rechabites were obedient to one that was but a man like themselves, and had only the wisdom and power of a man, and was only the father of their flesh; but the Jews were disobedient to the infinite and eternal God, that had an absolute authority over them, as the father of their spirits. 2d, Jonadab was long since dead, and was ignorant of his posterity, and could neither take cognizance of their disobedience to his orders, nor give any correction for it; but God lives for ever to see how his laws are observed, and is in readiness to punish all disobedience. 3d, The Rechabites were probably seldom or never put in mind of their obligations to their progenitor; but God often sent his prophets to his people, to remind them of, and excite to, their duty to him, yet they would not comply with it. This is insisted on here as a great aggravation of their disobedience, Jeremiah 35:14; Jeremiah 15:4 th, Jonadab had not conferred, nor could confer, any such favours on his seed as God had bestowed on his people, nor had laid them under any such obligations, from duty and interest, to obey him, as God had laid Israel and Judah under to observe his laws. 5th, God did not oblige his people to so much hardship, and to such instances of self-denial and mortification, as Jonadab enjoined to his seed, and yet Jonadab’s orders, were obeyed, and God’s were not.

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.The Syrians - The Septuagint substitutes Assyrians for Syrians, but marauding bands of the Aramaeans are probably meant. 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.

Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah,.... After the Rechabites had been tried whether they would break the command of their father, respecting drinking of wine; and steadfastly persisted in their resolution not to drink, urging the reason of it, and vindicating their conduct in another respect:

saying; as follows:

Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying,
12. unto Jeremiah] LXX, better, unto me. It is more natural to retain the 1st person in accordance with the previous context, thus taking the proper name as a gloss.

12–19. See introd. summary to the section. This portion, which forms the application of the preceding narrative, seems to have received considerable later additions. The LXX seem to present it in practically its original form.

Verse 12. - Then came the word of the Lord, etc. The substance of the severe address which follows must have been delivered in one of the outer courts of the temple, when Jeremiah had left the Rechabites. Jeremiah 35:12The example of the Rechabites is one for Judah. - Jeremiah is to proclaim the word of the Lord to the people of Judah, as follows: Jeremiah 35:13. "Thus saith Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel: Go and say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will ye not receive instruction by listening to my words? saith Jahveh. Jeremiah 35:14. The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, who commanded this sons not to drink wine, are performed, and they have drunk no wine to this day, but have obeyed the command of their father. But I have spoken unto you, rising up early and speaking, yet ye have not listened unto me. Jeremiah 35:15. And I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, Turn ye, now, every one from his evil way, and do good deeds, and do not go after other gods, to serve them; then shall ye dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers. But ye did not incline your ear, nor hearken unto me. Jeremiah 35:16. Yea, the children of Jonadab the son of Rechab have observed the commandment of their father which he commanded them, while this people have not hearkened unto me. Jeremiah 35:17. Therefore, thus saith Jahveh, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will bring upon Judah and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil which I have uttered regarding them, because I spake unto them and they did not hear, and I called unto them, but they did not answer. Jeremiah 35:18. And to the house of the Rechabites Jeremiah said: Thus saith Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel, Because ye have listened to the command of Jonadab your father, and have kept all his commandments, and have done according to all that he commanded you, Jeremiah 35:19. Therefore, thus saith Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel, Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever."

The command, "Go and speak to the men of Judah," etc., shows that it was not in the chamber of the temple, in presence of the Rechabites, but probably in one of the temple fore-courts, that Jeremiah addressed the following word of the Lord to the people assembled there. In order to shame the Jews thoroughly, he shows them the faithfulness with which the Rechabites observe the ordinances of their ancestor Jonadab. The character of the address, as one intended to rouse feelings of shame, is indicated even at the beginning of Jeremiah 35:13 : "Will ye not receive instruction by hearkening to the words of the Lord?" The Hoph. הוּקם is construed as a passive with the accus.; in the older writers we frequently find this construction, in which the passive is used impersonally, hence the sing. is here employed: cf. Ges. 143, 1, Ew. 295, b. "To this day" - now for nearly 300 years without interruption; for Jonadab was already held in high esteem when Jehu ascended the throne, 883 b.c. (2 Kings 10:15). Judah, on the contrary, does not listen to the commandments which his God unceasingly inculcates on him, but rather wanders after other gods, to serve them. On Jeremiah 35:15 cf. Jeremiah 25:4-5. אל־האדמה stands for על־האדמה , Jeremiah 25:5. - In Jeremiah 35:16, where the introductory כּי, imo, indicates a culmination, the idea is once more briefly expressed. Ngelsbach incorrectly renders כּי "because," and makes Jeremiah 35:16 the protasis to Jeremiah 35:17. "Such a protasis with because (quia), without any connection with what precedes, is contrary to the use of language" (Hitzig). On the threat of punishment in Jeremiah 35:17, see Jeremiah 11:11.

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