Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Rechab and the Rechabites

From volume 12 of the work.

Rechab was the father of Jonadab who in II Kings, x, 15-28, appears as a fervent supporter of Jehu's attack on the House of Achab in his endeavour to root out the idolatrous worship which that dynasty had encouraged. The characteristic principles which actuated his descendants, the Rechabites, we gather from Jeremias, xxxv, where the Rechabites, being invited to drink wine, 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: 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" (Jer., xxxv, 6, 7). It was evidently the belief of Jonadab and the Rechabites that settled life with its forms of civilization led to apostasy from the Jewish religion. In I Par., ii, 55, the clan of the Rechabites is connected with the Cinites (Kenites).

VIGOUROUX, Dict. de la Bible, s. v.

James F. Driscoll.