The House of the Rechabites, a Righteous Remnant

“The lesson is clear: God honors the Covenant”

Jeremiah 35 and 36

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

Taught by:  Carolyn Sissom

August 30, 2021; January 20, 2009






The word of God has not eclipsed its power.  Are there too few preachers who will risk preaching the full scroll of Jeremiah for fear their congregation will spit it out?  Let the Baruchs arise and present the powerful utterance of God’s words phrased so that it takes wings and flies over every scheme and agenda of the enemy and pulls it out into the open and bores into every hidden secret of the enemy.  


Jeremiah 35 is totally fascinating to me. The Lord speaks an eternal covenant to a group of devout Jews called the Rechabites.  I researched the Rechabites and find evidence of them throughout biblical history.  According to this promise made to them in Jeremiah 35:19, there will be perpetual Godly, righteous men of this tribe who have a relationship with the Lord whereby they “stand” before Him.  This privilege means many things, one of which the son of a Rechab will not want. 


 The example of the Rechabites is an example of a righteous remnant.  The lesson is clear:  God honors the covenant!  This is the principle of loyalty.   The Rechabites were a tribe descended from the time of Moses. (1 Chron. 2:55; Num. 10:29-32; Judg. 1:16; 11 Kg. 10:15, 23). 


When we are faithful to deliver the hard words of the LORD, He is faithful go give us a message of encouragement. 


 Chapters 34-38 are presented as Jeremiah telling the story of his experiences during the siege of Jerusalem ten years prior to the fall of Jerusalem. The story is how God used him to test the Rechab-ites.    In the days of Jehoiachim he had been charged to bring the Rechabites into the house of Jehovah to a wine social to test them in their vow to never drink wine.


Jus’ sayin,’ I would never volunteer to test a fellow Christian, and hope I never get asked by God to do so.  Jesus tested the disciples (Jn. 6:6).


In this life journey, we will all be tested, 1 Co. 3:13: Each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work of what sort it is. 


We also have the glorious promise of Revelation 3:10: Because you have kept my command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.


The Rechabites through the centuries had adhered to their ascetic life. This was a religious order inculcating the simplicity and purity of Bed-ou-in life.  The Rechabites were founded by Jonadab, son of Rechab, during Jehu’s reign.  They assisted in the eradication of Baalism from Israel.  Because of the purity of their life, they would have had authority over that demonic power. 


City life with its corrupting influences was avoided, and they lived simply in tents as shepherds, drinking no wine (like the Nazarite of Num. 6: 1-21).


Jeremiah used them as a lesson to Judah in the principle of obedience to covenant.


I find this very interesting and certainly worthy of contemplation.  I would be stretched to not be provoked if a Man of God should test me in such a way.  Yet, the Lord told Jeremiah to do it.  This is much the same way that Satan was allowed to test Job to prove him. 


35: 1-4: The word which came unto Jeremiah from the Lord in the days of Jehoiachim the son of Josiah King of Judah, saying, go unto the house of the Rechab-ites, and speak to them, and bring them into the house of the Lord, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink.  Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habaziniah, and his brethren, and all his sons, and the whole house of the Re-chab-ites; And I brought them into the house of the Lord, into the chamber of the… man of God, which was by the chamber of the princes which was above the chamber of the keeper of the door.


The wine supper took place in the Temple, a holy place.  To strengthen the witness of the event, Jeremiah made sure the banquet and area was in the quarters of a “man of God.”  Great expense was made to provide the place, the settings and the retinue of servants to carry it out.  Here was the problem:  The Rechabites ancestors had made a covenant with one another that none of them would drink wine FOREVER!   Remember making a vow before God is a very serious matter and we will be held to account for that vow.  Because of their righteous life, they would reap the blessing promised in Jeremiah 31: 23-25. 


I made a vow to God when Kelly was born, if he would heal my baby, I would give Him the rest of my life.  One day He came for the vow.  Also, the day I had a visitation in the nursery when Kelly was a baby and Shanna was five years old, the LORD asked me for both daughters.  I made a vow.  Then one day when Shanna was 15 years old, the LORD visited me again and told me He had come for that vow. 


The Rechabites made a vow to God.  The LORD came for the vow.  Jeremiah was the “master of ceremonies” and it was he who commanded them to “drink wine.”  He had the authority of God.  He was the true prophet of God.  Both these elements were compelling factors in this equation.  Their flesh could have reasoned surely it was okay on this special occasion or perhaps it must be the end of our covenant; or perhaps their excuse could be “we are about to be captured by a foreign power, what difference does it make?” 


To their eternal blessing, that is not what they did:  They stood their ground.


35:5-10: 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.  But they said, “We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, ‘Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons forever; neither shall you build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any; but all your days you shall dwell in tents; that you may live many days in the land where you are strangers.  Thus, have we obeyed the voice of Jonadab…in all that he has charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, nor our daughters; Nor to build houses for us to dwell in; neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed; But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that our father commanded us.’”


This is the law of vows in Numbers 30:2:  If a man vows a vow to the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word.  He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.


The fear of the invading army of Babylon brought the Rechabites to the city (35:11) where their obedience to this pledge (Covenant) made 200 years before put the people of Judah to shame.  They were an object lesson (show and tell) in that they obeyed their father, whereas Judah did not and had not obeyed their God!


Show and Tell: 


35: 12-17:  Then came the word of the LORD to Jeremiah saying, Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, will you not receive instruction to hearken to my words? Says the LORD.  The words of Jonadab, the son of Rechab, which he commanded his sons, not to drink wine, are performed to this day they drink none and obey their father’s commandment; notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking, you did not obey me.  I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them saying, return now everyone from his evil way, amend your doings, and do not go after other gods to serve them; then you will dwell in the land which I have given you and your father.  But you have not inclined your ear to obey me…This people have not harkened unto Me.


The Rechabites faithfulness was greatly rewarded by the LORD.  If there is an identifiable blood line from this family, one should try and claim it.  There are eternal aspects of covenant with them.


35: 18-19: Jeremiah said unto the House of the Rechabites.  Thus says the LORD, because you have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he has commanded you, therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want for a man to “stand” before me forever. 


This would mean there will always be Godly men/women in that tribe and that it still exists today.  Awesome!!!


Hosea had a symbolic family to show the mercy of God.  The Rechabites had a symbolic family to show how a covenant family operated.  The Rechabites honored their sacred trust and remained faithful in the face of social and personal pressure.  Israel did not regard the sacredness of their covenant and failed.


35:17: Therefore, thus says the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel, Behold, I will bring upon Judah and all its inhabitants all the doom that I have pronounced against them; because I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto them, but they have not answered.


This verse was spoken to the socially elite, the religious hierarchy, the priests and church leadership, as well as to the common man.  These words should be spoken today from our pulpits to the government officials, clergy, Christians, backsliders, and the lost.



Chapter 36 Jeremiah’s Book:


The word of God has not eclipsed its power.  Are there too few preachers who will risk preaching the full scroll of Jeremiah for fear their congregation will spit it out?  Let the Baruchs arise and present the powerful utterance of God’s words phrased so that it takes wings and flies over every scheme and agenda of the enemy and pulls it out into the open and bores into every hidden secret of the enemy.  


Remember when God told Jeremiah to collect the prophecies, He had given him through the years (Jeremiah 30)?  This was a formidable task.  Jeremiah again tells us the story of the writing of the scroll/book and his persecution under King Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah.


The principle of Jeremiah telling this story would be similar to us studying David’s Wilkerson’s prophecies 47 years after the prophecies were spoken and printed.  We know the fulfillment of those prophecies.  Jeremiah is preaching God’s story of Israel’s road to captivity.    


Jeremiah 36:1b-3: This word came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying:  Take a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto you against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spoke unto you, from the days of Josiah even unto this day.  It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.


By the fourth year of Jehoiakim, Jeremiah had been prophesying for 23-years.  The LORD commanded him to gather these prophecies into a book so that they could be read to the people.  At the time, Jeremiah was barred from speaking in the temple.


36:5-6: Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, I am shut up; I cannot go into the house of the Lord; Therefore, go you, and read in the roll which you have written from my mouth, the words of the Lord in the ears of the people in the Lord’s house upon the fasting day: and also, you shall read them in the ears of all Judah that come out of their cities.


According to verse 9, it took a year to complete the book before the reading.   The writing of the scroll was commanded about 605 B.C.  The purpose was to set before the people the evil coming upon them so that they might turn from their sin.  Baruch read the scroll as instructed by Jeremiah. 


The occasion was a fast ordered by the king because of Nebuchadnezzar’s advance against Ashkelon.  The fasting day was selected to read the book because there would be a great many people gathered from all over the land who would hear and could spread the message upon their return.


7-8: It may be that they will present their supplication before the Lord, and will return everyone from his evil way; for great is the anger and the fury that the Lord has pronounced against this people.  And Baruch the son of Neriah did according to all that Jeremiah the prophet commanded him, reading in the book the words of the Lord in the Lord’s house.


It was read to the common folks first, then it found its way to the Scribes and finally those princes in charge of government.  Great concern ensued from the people, as alarm spread through their ranks.  The fear of the LORD came upon the scribes and princes, but rage foamed from the king. 


36: 9-10: It came to pass in the fifth year of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, in the ninth month, that they proclaimed a fast before the LORD to all the people in Jerusalem, and to all the people that came from the cities of Judah unto Jerusalem.  Then read Baruch in the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the LORD, the chamber of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan the scribe, in the higher court, at the entry of the new gate of the LORD’S house, in the ears of all the people.


It is somewhat easy to remain passive when one hears piecemeal prophetic words over a number of years. One might not be present when certain prophetic words were given.  However, if they are all put together in a Book and read aloud to the multitude, it is hard to ignore them.  Again, we can align this with our reading of David Wilkerson’s prophecies.  Or, we can align this with our line-upon-line commission to preach the Book of Jeremiah in 2021.  Like Baruch, we are decreeing to a sinful nation and nations.  God is not a man that he should lie or the son of man, that he should repent.  Has he said, and will He not do?  Or has He spoken, and will he not make it good? (Num. 23:19).


“This scroll was and is the composite, uncompromising, consummate word of God.  It is a written word, much like Moses’ tablets and the flying scroll of Zechariah.  Its words once spoken becomes a consuming fire to the hearer and an ultimate opponent of all which is deceitful, unrighteousness and untruthful.  It is a corrective force, slaying every aspect of aberrant behavior in its path.  It is light that penetrates dark minds and dark deeds and the darkness of man’s witless indiscretions.  It is called, with its own voice, for repentance and becomes the voice of God rather than the voice of the reader.  It is “unsilenced-able” once it is read.  Forever it rings in the ears of man’s spirit and churns man’s soul until some action has to be taken.  It challenges the hearer to make a decision either to obey it or reject it.  It cannot be surrounded with a middle stance, avoidance, and no excusable explanation.  It is li the “flying scroll.” (Dr. C. R. Oliver, The Road to Captivity)


Zech. 5:1-4:  I turned and raised my eyes, and saw there a flying scroll.  He said to me, “What do you see?”  So, I answered, ‘I see a flying scroll.  Its length is twenty cubits and its width ten cubits.  Then he said to me.  This is the curses that goes out over the face of the earth.  “Every thief will be expelled, according to this die of it.’  I will send out the curse, says the LORD of hosts; it shall enter the house of the thief and the house of the one who swears falsely by My name.  It shall remain in the midst of his house and consume it, with its timber and stones.


Let the prophets not be afraid to call forth the scroll.  Let the flying scroll of Jeremiah be read in the streets, pulpits and government state houses as did Baruch.  America say “Yes” to God and “No” to ravages of sin and egotism. 









36: 11:18…V.15:  They said unto him sit down now, and read it in our ears.  So, Baruch read it in their ears.  Now it came to pass, when they had heard all the words, they were afraid both one and other, and said unto Bruch, we will surely tell the king of all these words.  And they asked Baruch, saying, tell us now, how did you write all these words at his mouth?


They asked Jeremiah and Baruch to hide because they expected King Jehoiakim to endanger their lives. (V.19) “then said the princes unto Baruch, you and Jeremiah go hide, and let no man know where you are.”


The princes took the roll into the King and the scribe read it to him (vs 20).  The king demonstrated disdain and utter disregard for the contents of the roll.  He brazenly and defiantly burned the book.  The same satanic spirit that energizes unbelieving critics and opposers of God’s word in every age moved upon Jehoiakim as he cut and burned the scroll (21-25).


36:26: The king commanded Jarahmeel the son of Hammelech, and Seraiah, the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah, the son of Abdeel to take Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet; but the LORD hid them. 


But the word moves on while doom is pronounced upon its rejecters and would be destroyers.  It is possible to mutilate and even destroy a sacred writing, but it is not possible to make of none effect the Word of Jehovah.  God’s word is indestructible,

(1 Peter. 1:23b): “by the Word of God which lives and abides forever.”


So, Jeremiah wrote it over again.


36:27-31: Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after that the king had burned the roll, and the words which Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah, saying take again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah has burned.  You shall say to Jehoiakim, king of Judah, thus says the LORD, you have burned this roll, saying, why have you written therein, saying, the king of Babylon shall certainly come and destroy this land, and shall cause to cease from here man and beast.


Unlike the blessing on the Re-chab-ites, the Lord pronounced a judgment on Jehoiachim.


36:30-31: He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David: and his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost.  And I will punish him and his seed and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring upon them, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and upon the men of Judah, all the evil that I have pronounced against them; but they hearkened not.


36:32: Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiachim king of Judah had burned in the fire; and they were added besides unto them many like words.” 


These many words make up the present Book of Jeremiah.


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries, Inc.

Scripture from K.J.V. and NKJV; I entered into the labors of Principles of Present Truth by:  Kelly Varner and The Road to Captivity by Dr. C. R. Oliver.

Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I entered into their labors.


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