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NIV Jeremiah 35:19

Therefore this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: 'Jehonadab son of Rekab will never fail to have a descendant to serve me.'"

Is this literally true today?

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What is the significance of Jeremiah 35:19?

The Rechabites were known for their devotion and commitment to God, a very commendable clan of people (Jer. 35:14, 16). From the OP:

Jeremiah 35:18: Then Jeremiah said to the house of the Rechabites, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Because you have obeyed the command of Jonadab your father, kept all his commands and done according to all that he commanded you; 19therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before Me always.”’”

Dr. James Coffman had this to say about this separated, holy group:

Payne Smith declared that, "Professor Plumptre proved that the prophecy here was literally fulfilled when the Rechabites were incorporated into the tribe of Levi, whose office it was `to stand before Jehovah' (Deuteronomy 10:8)."1

It is also possible that the firm rejection of alcoholic drinks in the Arab countries today may have come about, in part, because of the influence of the Rechabites. "Even today in Syria and Arabia, there are groups that claim to be Rechabites and that follow the Rechabite rule."2

1 Scribner's Bible Commentary, 1898, p. 497.
2 Wycliffe Old Testament Commentary, p. 681.

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Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers:

Benjamin of Tudela, in the twelfth century, reports that he found 100,000 Jews who were named Rechabites, and who lived after their fashion near El Jubar, and that they were governed by a prince of the house of David. More recent travellers, Dr. Wolff (Journal, 1829, ii. 334; 1839, p. 389) and Signor Pierotti (Transactions of British Association, 1862), report that they have met tribes near Mecca, on the Dead Sea, or in Yemen and Senaar, who observed the rule of Jonadab, claimed to be his descendants, referred to Jeremiah 35:19 as fulfilled in them, and led the life of devout Jews. It is probable, however, that in these later instances we may trace the effect of the Wahabee ascetic movement among the Mahomedan Arabs, identifying its rule with the old practice of the son of Rechab (Burckhardt: Bedouins and Wahabys, p. 283).

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