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THE word that came to Jeremias from the Lord in the days of Joakim the son of Josias king of Juda, saying:

Ver. 1.  Joakim, when Nabuchodonosor besieged him again in his 7th year.  The Rechabites then pitched their tents in Jerusalem.  v. 11.  C.

 

--- Here we behold a figure of religious orders in the Church, as well as in the Nazarites and disciples of the prophets.  Num. vi. and 4 K. i.  They observed certain rules for acquiring greater perfection, and refrained from many things which were otherwise lawful.  Thus various religious orders, both of men and of women, have flourished in the Church, and though they have different names and regulations, yet they are not sects, as heretics would pretend, but all follow the same faith, use the same sacraments, and are a great ornament to the Catholic Church by their profession of the three essential vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, in imitation of the apostles.  Mat. xix. 12.

 

--- Joakim.  This happened before the preceding prophecies.  W.




2 Go to the house of the Rechabites: and speak to them, and bring them into the house of the Lord, into one of the chambers of the treasures, and thou shalt give them wine to drink.

Ver. 2.  Rechabites.  These were of the race of Jethro, father-in-law to Moses.  Ch.

 

--- All the Heb. and Latin doctors agree that the Rechabites were strangers.  v. 7. 19.  W.

 

--- Treasures of corn, wine, &c.  Jeremias, as a priest, had free access.


3 And I took Jezonias the son of Jeremias the son of Habsanias, and his brethren, and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites. 4 And I brought them into the house of the Lord, to the treasure house of the sons of Hanan, the son of Jegedelias the man of God, which was by the treasure house of the princes, above the treasure of Maasias the son of Sellum, who was keeper of the entry.

Ver. 4.  Of God.  Prophets are generally thus designated.  4 K. iv. 7.  We know nothing more of this holy man.

 

--- Princes of the priests; or where princes made their offerings, or assembled to judge.  C. xxvi. 10.

 

--- Entry.  He was not removeable like the other Levites.  1 Par. ix. 19. 34.  C.


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

Ver. 5.  Wine.  This was not an exhortation, but a trial.  H.


6 And they answered: We will not drink wine: because Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, saying: You shall drink no wine, neither you, nor your children, for ever:

Ver. 6.  Jonadab.  A man much esteemed by Jehu.  4 K. x. 15.  W.



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7 Neither shall ye build houses, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyards, nor have any: but you shall dwell in tents all your days, that you may live many days upon the face of the earth, in which you are strangers.

Ver. 7.  Days.  The reward of dutiful children.  Ex. xx. 12.  These are models of those Christians who follow the rule of some virtuous person, in order to be at a greater distance from any transgression of the law, and to observe it with more perfection.  C.

 

--- "If a father could lay such an injunction on his descendants, and they receive commendation for observing it, why may not the fathers of the Church enjoin things which are not of themselves necessary, but...useful to avoid the occasions of evil, or to advance in virtue?" says Grotius, a Protestant, after S. Jerom, (ad Paulin.) S. Aug. in Ps. lxx. &c.  H.  Jonadab exhorted, and prescribed this rule, but it was not properly a command, being too arduous.  T.


8 Therefore we have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all things that he commanded us: so as to drink no wine all our days: neither we, nor our wives, nor our sons, nor our daughters: 9 Nor to build houses to dwell in, nor to have vineyard, or field, or seed: 10 But we have dwelt in tents, and have been obedient according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us. 11 But when Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon came up to our land, we said: Come, let us go into Jerusalem from the face of the army of the Chaldeans, and from the face of the army of Syria: and we have remained in Jerusalem.

Ver. 11.  Syria.  4 K. xxiv. 2.  The mention of these shews that this was the second siege, when Joakim was slain, and many led into captivity, (C. lii. 28.) with these Rechabites.  C.

 

--- They lived under tents, but in case of necessity entered the city.  v. 10.  If they observe works of supererogation, all must surely keep God's law.  W.




12 And the word of the Lord came to Jeremias, saying:
13 Thus saith the Lord of hosts the God of Israel: Go, and say to the men of Juda, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem: Will you not receive instruction, to obey my words, saith the Lord?


14 The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, by which he commanded his sons not to drink wine, have prevailed: and they have drunk none to this day, because they have obeyed the commandment of their father: but I have spoken to you, rising early and speaking, and you have not obeyed me.

Ver. 14.  Me.  What a contrast!  H.

 

--- This was only a counsel, mine a law!  T.


15 And I have sent to you all my servants the prophets, rising early, and sending and saying: Return ye every man from his wicked way, and make your ways good: and follow not strange gods, nor worship them, and you shall dwell in the land, which I gave you and your fathers: and you have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened to me.

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16 So the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have constantly kept the commandment of their father, which he commanded them: but this people hath not obeyed me. 17 Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts the God of Israel: Behold I will bring upon Juda, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them, because I have spoken to them, and they have not heard: I have called to them, and they have not answered me.


18 And Jeremias said to the house of the Rechabites: Thus saith the Lord of hosts the Cod of Israel: Because you have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and have kept all his precepts, and have done all that he commanded you: 19 Therefore thus saith the Lord of host the God of Israel: There shall not be wanting a man of the race of Jonadab the son of Rechab, standing before me for ever.

Ver. 19.  Before me, in an honourable situation (1 Par. ii. 55.) about the temple.  It was not requisite that they should be Levites.  C.

 

--- For ever.  Their reward shall be eternal bliss.  H.

 

--- This they sought for, as they were strangers of Madian in the country.  v. 7.  M.


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