Jeremiah 35:5
And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, and I said unto them, Drink ye wine.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Jeremiah 35:5-7. I set before the sons of the Rechabites pots full of wine, &c. — In obedience to God’s command, (Jeremiah 35:2,) and that the prophet might have full proof of their fixed resolution to adhere to the injunction of their progenitor Jonadab, which no temptation could prevail with them to violate. But they said, We will drink no wine — They peremptorily refused, and all agreed in the refusal. The prophet knew very well they would refuse, and therefore when they did so, urged them no further. For Jonadab, our father, commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink, no wine — Concerning the probable reasons of this command, and of those in the following verse, see note on Jeremiah 35:2.

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.Pots - "Bowls," to fill the cups. 4. man of God—a prophet (De 33:1; 1Sa 2:27; 1Ki 12:22; 2Ki 4:7), also "a servant of God" in general (1Ti 6:11), one not his own, but God's; one who has parted with all right in himself to give himself wholly to God (2Ti 3:17). He was so reverenced that none would call in question what was transacted in his chamber.

keeper of the door—Hebrew, "of the vessel." Probably the office meant is that of the priest who kept in charge the capitation money paid for the use of the temple and the votive offerings, such as silver vessels, &c. There were seven such keepers [Grotius]. Compare 2Ki 12:9; 25:18; 1Ch 9:18, 19, which support English Version.

I said … Drink—Jeremiah does not say, The Lord saith, Drink: for then they would have been bound to obey. Contrast the case in 1Ki 13:7-26.

No text from Poole on this verse.

And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups,.... Which the prophet might have out of the chambers where these vessels were, and particularly from Maaseiah, if he was a keeper of them, as before observed. The number of men gathered together was probably very large; and therefore pots, or large vessels of wine, were prepared, and set before them, and cups, lesser vessels, to drink out of:

and I said unto them, drink ye wine; he invited them to it, and bid them welcome; nay, more, he might not only encourage, but enjoin them to drink it; though, as Gataker observes, he does not say unto them, "thus saith the Lord, drink wine"; for then they must have done it, and doubtless would; since it is right to obey God rather than man, even parents.

And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, and I {d} said to them, Drink ye wine.

(d) The prophet says not. The Lord says thus, for then they ought to have obeyed, but he tends to another end: that is, to declare their obedience to man, seeing the Jews would not obey God himself.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. bowls] large vessels, from which drinking cups were filled.

Verse 5. - Pots full of wine; rather, bowls, large round vessels (crateres), out of which the drinking cups were filled. Jeremiah 35:5There, 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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