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Jeremiah 35:8-10

8. 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 daughters;

8. Et audivimus in voce (hoc est, obedivimus voci) Jenadab, filii Rechab, patris nostri, secundum omnia qute mandavit nobis, ne biberemus vinum cunctus diebus nostris, nos, uxores nostrae, filii nostri, et filiae nostrae;

9. Nor to build houses for us to dwell in: neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed:

9. Et ne, aedificaremus domes in quibus habitaremus, et ne vitis vel ager vel semen nobis esset (ad verbum, et vitis et ager et semen non erunt nobis)

10. But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.

10. Et habitavimus (quin potius, est enim copula resolvenda in adversativam particulam, quin potius habitavimus) in tabernaculis, et obedivimus, et fecimus secundum omnia quae praecepit nobis Jonadab pater noster.


Jeremiah explains at large what might have been expressed in few words, in order to amplify the constancy of the Rechabites. For one may obey his father, and yet be not so fixed in his purpose, but that he might on some slight occasion fail in his duty. Jeremiah here shews that such was the prompt perseverance of the Rechabites, that they could not be enticed by having wine set before them; but that as though no temptation had been presented to them, they kept the commandment of their father, who, at the same time, had been dead, as it has already appeared, some ages before.

They then said, that they hearkened to the voice of Jonabab the son of Rechab, their father; and also added, according to all the things which he has commanded us tle again relates what Jonadab had commanded, and to this belongs the sentence, According to all things, etc. For had he ordered them only to be abstemious, to obey would not have been difficult or hard; he designed to bind them to a wandering life, that they might be covered only by tents, and that they might not possess anything. As then Jonadab did not in one thing only try the obedience of his family, it appears more clearly how great was their promptitude and perseverance in obeying.

They then said, first, that they were not to drink wine; and also added, all their days We indeed know that the Nazarites were forbidden to drink wine, but it was only for a time, until they had performed their vow; we also know, that when the priest was discharging his duty, he was not allowed, for that time, to take wine. But afterwards the priests as well as the Nazarites, resumed their common mode of living. But to taste no wine throughout life was a thing far more difficult. The Prophet, no doubt, detailed these particulars, that he might load the Jews with greater disgrace, who, in a matter the most just, and by no means hard, were not, as we shall see, obedient to God. They said, We, our wives, our sons, our daughters, as though they had said, “This precept has ever been observed in our family; and what has been delivered to us, by our fathers, we have followed to this day, as also our fathers, who obeyed the command of a dead man, because his will had been explained to them.”

They added, that they were not to build houses, literally, to inhabit them, that is, to dwell in them. It was then lawful for the Rechabites to construct houses, that is, to build them for others; but they were to be contented with tents, and to live in them. They might then assist others in building splendid palaces, and thus by their labor gain a livelihood; but they were not allowed to inhabit them, as this was one of their precepts. They farther added, And a vineyard and a field and a seed we have not If we duly consider how hard was their condition, we shall see reason to commend the constancy of the Rechabites, for they were not frightened from their purpose when they saw that they were brought into miserable straits. But, however, we ought especially to attend to the object the Prophet had in view, even to shew how shameful was the perverseness of the Jews, who dared to despise and regard as nothing the precepts of God, when yet the authority of a mortal man, and one that was dead, was so great with his posterity. They then said, that they dwelt in tents, and did according to all the things which Jonadab their father had commanded them It follows —

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