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have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed: but we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.
But it came to pass, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, come, and let us go to Jerusalem, for fear of the army of the Chaldeans, and for fear of the army of the Syrians: so we dwell at Jerusalem."
Then came the word of Jehovah unto Jeremiah, saying, thus saith Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel ; go and tell the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words: saith Jehovah. The words of Jonadab, the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are performed; for unto this day they drink none, but obey their father's commandment: notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye hearkened not unto me. I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other Gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye hare not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me. Because the sons of Jonadab, the son of Rechab, have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded them; but this people hath not hearkened unto me: therefore, thus saith Jehovah the God of Hosts, the God of Israel; behold, I will bring upon Judah, and upon all the inbabitants of Jerusalem, all the evil 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.
And Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites, thus saith Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel ; because ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he hath
commanded you, therefore, thus saith Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab, the son of Rechab, shall not want a man to stand before me for ever."'*
That is, a scribe, whose business it was to occupy themselves in the study of the law. (1 Chron. ii. 55.)-Jer. xxxv. 2-19. The history of this branch of the family of Abraham affords almost as illustrious a fulfilment of prophecy, and consequently of the proof of the Old Testament Scriptures, as those relating to the Jews in general, or to the descendants of Ishmael in particular ; but the peculiar interest they are calculated to excite, arises from some late discoveries respecting them.
The house of Rechab descended from Hemath, who is said to have been the father of it, (1 Chron. ii. 55.); but respecting whom we have no other information. Rechab himself is not presented to us under a very favourable aspect, for we only know him, and his brother Baanah, as the assassins of Ishbosheth, the son of Saul, whom Abner placed upon the throne of Israel on his father's death, (2 Sam. iv. 2–8.). For this regicidal act, instead of rewarding them as they had anticipated, David ordered them both to be hanged as malefactors. (2 Sam. iv. 9—12.) Their father's name was Rimmon, a Beerothite, of the tribe of Benjainin.
The only mention we have of Jonadab, the son of this Rechab, (as we may suppose) is when he joined himself to Jehu, and united with him in executing the judgments of Go
upon the house of Alab, and the prophets of Baal. (2 Kings, x. 15. 17. 23.) And then follows the foregoing remarkable prophecy relating to this family, who were selected by Jehovah himself, as examples of obedience to the commands of a mere wordly progenitor, given almost 300 years before, contrasting it with the universal rebellion and ingratitude of the Jews in general, to the authority of Jehovah himself.
It is not mentioned before, that Jonadab gave any such command ; but it is worthy of notice, that he from whom no secrets are hid, and with whom all things are alike from the beginning to the end, not only was aware of the command itself, but of its rigid and conscientious observance ; “Go to the house of the Rechabites, and Take them into a chamber, and give them wine to drink." (Jer. XXXV. 2.) The prophet obeyed, and placed before them pots of wine and cups to drink out of, and invited them to drivk; and as the invitation came from a prophet of God, they might have rere
Besides which God commanded the prophet to take the roll of a book, and write therein all the prophecies that he had uttered from the days of Josiah, mercifully adding, It may be
sonably thought themselves justified in yielding; but they said, "we will drink no wine,” &c.
The ingenious Mr. Harmer* supposes, that the descendants of Abrabain had originally lived as the Bedouin Arabs do now; but that some disturbance having taken place between them and some of their kindred tribes, Jonadab had enjoined upon them the abstinence and practices mentioned in the prophecy ;-but has the prophecy been fulfilled ? the sneering infidel has often enquired—in what quarter of the world it is that Jonadab, the son of Rechab, has a man standing before Jehovah ?
Mr. Wolf, the Jewish missionary, thus answers the interesting question.“ The Beni-Khaibr (the Jews mentioned by Niebuhr) never came to Jerusalem: they remained in the desert, when Joshua brought the rest of the people of God into the land of promise ; and thus they dwell in the desert, near Mecca, without any knowledge of the law or the prophets ; wandering about as robbers and enemies of mankind. They call themselves Beni Moshe, the children of Moses.” (Journal i. 257) Rabbi Mose Secot, at Jerusalem, told him that these Beni-Khaibr came to Jerusalem, in the time of Jeremiah, and were the descendants of the Rechabites; that they still drink no wine, and have neither vineyard, nor field, nor seed, but dwell like Arabs. He considered them as descended from Jethro. Journal, i. 257. 260, 261. This account was further confirmed by Abraham Ben-Yahya, from Yerim, near Sanaa, in the land of Teman, viz: Yemen, with whom Mr. Wolff met at Ispahan, and who told him, The Jews Khaibr are the children of Rechab—these are mighty men and have not felt the yoke of the captivity, and then Abraham Ben-Yahya, joyfully lifted up his fingers, and moved them about, and said, They are the descendants of Jonadab, the son of Rechab, who said, ye shall drink no wino, neither ye nor your sons, for ever; neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, &c. And thus they do the children of Ishmael curse them, and we bless them—the sword of Muhammed has not brought them under his yoke. Soleiman Hadorame went among them, and they told him, that if the Jews shall begin to repent—if they shall pray with devo
• Observations, vol. 1. 206.
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
tion, then the Messiah will come. Soleiman Hadorame has seen them! Journal, ii. 17. Again, when at Moussul (the ancient Nineveh or thereabouts) he says, All the Jews in this country be. lieve that the Beni-Khaibr, near Mecca and Medinah, are the descendants of the ancient Rechabites. The Mufti from Merdeen, gave me a long description of the Beni-Khaibr, but as I have not yet seen them, I will not at present give you his description of them ; they are, however, worthy of notice. Those Jews of Khaibr gave infinite trouble to Muhammed, and he never was able to compel them to embrace his religion. (See Sale's note to chapter xlviii. in the Koran, and Herbelot’s Bibliotheque Orientale). Journal, iii. 276, 277. When at Bassora, a Jew, Mose-Yehuda, who was born at Sanaa, in Yemen, told him that the Jews of Sanaa are firmly convinced that the Beni-Khaibr are the descendants of the ancient Rechabites; their existence, therefore, is beyond all doubt. He told him that there were Jews at Hazarmaveth, (Genesis, x. 26.) which is called Hadramawth, in Arabic. The Jews at Sanaa speak Arabic, and biblical Hebrew. They do not read the Talmud much, but very frequently the Sohar of Rabbi Simeon Bar-Yvhai. They have three courts of law, called Beth-Din ; for the Jews in cases of dispute never appeal to the Turkish Governor, except an Arab is convened in it. He asked him whether it was true, that the Jews at Sanaa sometimes use the prayers contained in the Koran ? God forbid, such a thing never was done in Israel ! was his answer. He told him that the Jews at Sanaa might easily procure him access to the Rechabites, who were only eight days distant from them; he observed that the Jews would bring him thither with a subtlety like that with which Jacob deceived Isaac, his father. Journal, iii. 331. There are Jews at Atana, near the city of Mecca ; all the Jews in Yemen are dressed like Arabs, but of black colour: and the following fact was told him by the Jew called Mose Yehuda. Rabbi Gad, of Jerusalem, set off 39 years ago with a caravan, from Mokka to Sanaa ; the Arabs comprising the caravan were then at war with the Rechabites, (Beni-Khaibr.) The Rechabites attacked the caravan and destroyed them. Rabbi Gad in his anguish used the exclamation cominon among the Jews,
sin. Then Jeremiah called Baruch, the son of Neriah : and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah, all the words of Jehovah, which he had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book.
viz; “Hear 0 Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord." The chief of the Rechabites hearing it, gave orders to stop the massacre. Rabbi Gad was brought to their tents, and questioned; they asked him how matters stood at Jerusalem, whether Israel still sinned, and whether the temple was not yet built? They dismissed Gad with presents, and brought him in safety to Sanaa. Journal. iii. 333. ** Mose Yehudah, the Jew from Sanaa, called on me, and read the whole morning in the Gospel of St. John. He asked me the meaning of John iii. 7, 8. and observed that the Jews at Sanaa, know very little of the circumstances of the death of Jesus Christ."' Journal iji. 334. " As well the Jews, not only of Jerusalem, but likewise those of Yemen, told me that the Rechabites mentioned in Jer. xxxv. were still existing around Mecca; the Mussulmans who performed their pilgrimages to Mecca, confirmed that account ; the latter knew them by the names of Khaibaree. On my arrival at Jalooha, in Mesopotamia, I saw Jews wandering about among the Yezidi. I asked them, has never any one of you turned Yezidi or Mussulman? They replied, “ Oppression cannot bow us, and tyranny not shake, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one God!" I added " and Jesus of Nazareth is the son of God!” And believing them to be Rechabites, on account of their wandering about in the desert, I asked them the question, they replied " no, but here is one who came from Hajaz, viz; the deserts of Mecca !” I saw one before me standing, dressed and wild like an Arab, the bridle of his horse holding in his hand, I shewed to him the Bible in Hebrew, and Arabic; he read both languages and was rejoiced to see the Bible, he was not acquainted with the New Testament. After having proclaimed to him the tidings of salvation, and made him a present of the Hebrew and Arabic Bibles and Testaments, I asked him, whose descendants are you?
Mousa. (This was his name, with a loud voice.) Come I shew to you, and then he began to read Jeremiah xxxv. from verse 5 to 11.
W. Where do you reside.
Mousa. (Recurring to Gen. x. 27.) At Hadoram, now called Samar by the Arabs, at Usal, now called Sanaa by the Arabs, and (Genesis x. 30.) at Mesha, now called Mecca, in the deserts around