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Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

("Jehovah makes freely willing"): JEHONADAB or Jonadab  2 Kings 10:15;  2 Kings 10:23;  Jeremiah 35:8;  Jeremiah 35:14;  Jeremiah 35:16;  Jeremiah 35:18;  1 Chronicles 2:55; "the (four) families of the scribes which dwelt at Jabez ... the Kenites that came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab" ("the rider".) (See Jabez .) Rechab, father of Jehonadab, belonged to the Kenites connected with Israel through Moses' marriage; these (Heber and Jael) with Israel entered Canaan, and shared their inheritance, though remaining nomads in tents, some in the far N. ( Judges 4:11), others made their "nest" in the rocks of Engedi ( Judges 1:16;  Numbers 24:21), others near their native desert in southern Judah ( 1 Samuel 15:6). (See Heber ; Jael; Engedi )

Jehonadab, the tribe father of the Rechabites, enjoined the rule of the clan on his children the more strictly because these were brought into close contact with the settled community, which would tempt them to neglect it, namely, to dwell in tents and not build houses, not to sow seed or plant vineyards. This rule they observed with such filial obedience as to secure the promise "that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee," fifth commandment. Jeremiah (Jeremiah 35) argues, a fortiori, if earthly sons so honour their father how much more ought Judah, to whom God hath commanded "Return ye now every man from his evil way" by His prophets, "rising early and speaking," hearken to the heavenly Father; yet Judah has not done so. Both therefore shall fare accordingly: Judah shall suffer all the evil pronounced against her; "Jehonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before Jehovah for ever." Compare  Malachi 1:6.

Jehonadab by his strict asceticism was held in high repute in Israel, as well as in his own tribe; Jehu desired his countenance, that so he might without any opposition carry out the slaughter of the Baal worshippers. Jehu "blessed" Jehonadab (margin  2 Kings 10:15) on meeting him, and asked, Is thy heart right (true) as my heart is with thy heart? Jehonadab gave his hand in token of pledged fellowship ( Ezra 10:19). Then Jehu took him up to him in his chariot and imparted his secret plan. Jehonadab's followers by his strict rule on the one hand avoided possible collision with the settled Israelites among whom they were; and Diodorus Siculus (19:94) gives a like picture of the Nabathaean Arabs, "it is a law with them neither to sow grain, nor to plant fruit-bearing plants, nor to use wine, nor to provide a house."

On the other hand, as a half religious sect, indirectly originating from Elijah's and Elisha's reforming efforts, and copying the Nazarite rule in part (compare  Amos 2:11), they maintained the true religion as far as they knew it by avoiding needless association with the degenerate people around. Such a sincere zealot as Jehonadab was just the ally whom the fiery self seeking (See Jehu wanted. The name Rechab, "rider," may also imply their unsettled pilgrim state, from which they deviated only when in fear of Nebuchadnezzar they took refuge within Jerusalem; but even there they would not for any consideration violate the law of their forefather. (See Rechab .) Jehonadab is last mentioned in accompanying Jehu into Baal's temple, to remove all Jehovah's secret worshippers ( 2 Kings 10:23), whom probably his previous knowledge of them in the desert would enable him to discern.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [2]

  • A son of Rechab, the founder of a tribe who bound themselves by a vow to abstain from wine ( Jeremiah 35:6-19 ). There were different settlements of Rechabites ( Judges 1:16;  4:11;  1 Chronicles 2:55 ). (See Rechabite .) His interview and alliance with Jehu are mentioned in   2 Kings 10:15-23 . He went with Jehu in his chariot to Samaria.

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Jehonadab'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. 1897.

  • Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [3]

    JEHONADAB or JONADAB. 1. Son of Shimeah, David’s brother, and the friend of Amnon the son of David. He is described as ‘a very subtil man.’ He aided Amnon to carry out his intrigue against his half-sister Tamar (  2 Samuel 13:3 ff.), and after the assassination of Amnon was the first to grasp the true state of affairs, and to allay the king’s distress by his prompt report of the safety of the royal princes (  2 Samuel 13:30 ff.). 2. Son of Rechab, of the clan of the Kenites (  1 Chronicles 2:55 ), and formulator of the rules imposed upon descendants, the Rechabites (  Jeremiah 35:1-19; see Rechabites). Jehonadab was thoroughly in sympathy with the measures adopted by Jehu for the vindication of the religion of J″ [Note: Jahweh.] (  2 Kings 10:15;   2 Kings 10:23 ).

    Smith's Bible Dictionary [4]

    Jehon'adab. (Whom Jehovah Impels). Jehon'adab and Jon'adab , the son of Rechab, founder of the Rechabites, an Arab chief. When Jehu was advancing, after the slaughter of Betheked, on the city of Samaria, he was suddenly met by Jehonadab, who joined with him in "slaying all that remained unto Ahab."  2 Kings 10:15-17.

    People's Dictionary of the Bible [5]

    Jehonadab ( Je-Hŏ N'A-Dăb ), or Jonadab , Whom Jehovah Incites. The son of Rechab, the founder of the Rechabites, which see. He joined Jehu in the slaughter of the Baalites.  2 Kings 10:15-23.

    Holman Bible Dictionary [6]

     2 Kings 10:15 Jeremiah 35:1 rechab RechabitesJehu

    Morrish Bible Dictionary [7]

    See JONADAB.

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [8]

    (Heb. Yehonadab', יְהוֹדָב , to whom Jehovah is Liberal ,  2 Samuel 13:5;  2 Kings 10:15;  2 Kings 10:23;  Jeremiah 35:8;  Jeremiah 35:14;  Jeremiah 35:16;  Jeremiah 35:18; Sept. Ι᾿Ωναδάβ , Auth. Version "Jonadab," except in  2 Kings 10:15;  2 Kings 10:23), also in the contracted form JONADAB ( יוֹדָב , Yonadab ',  2 Samuel 13:3;  2 Samuel 13:32;  2 Samuel 13:35;  Jeremiah 35:6;  Jeremiah 35:10;  Jeremiah 35:19; Sept. Ι᾿Ωναδάβ ), the name of two men.

    1. A son of Shimeah and nephew of David, a very crafty person ( מְאֹדחָכָם ; the word is that usually translated "wise," as in the case of Solomon,  2 Samuel 13:3), i.e. apparently one of those characters who, in the midst of great or royal families, pride themselves, and are renowned, for being acquainted with the secrets of the whole circle in which they move. His age naturally made him the friend of his cousin Amnon, heir to the throne ( 2 Samuel 13:3). He perceived from the prince's altered appearance that there was some unknown grief "Why art Thou , the king's son, so lean?" and, when he had wormed it out, he gave him the fatal advice for ensnaring his sister Tamar ( 2 Samuel 13:5-6). B.C. cir. 1033. (See Amnon).

    Again, when, in a later stage of the same tragedy, Amnon was murdered by Absalom, and the exaggerated report reached David that all the princes were slaughtered, Jonadab was already aware of the real state of the case. He was with the king and was able at once to reassure him ( 2 Samuel 13:32-33). (See Absalom).

    2. A son or descendant of Rechab, the progenitor of a peculiar tribe, who held themselves bound by a vow to abstain from wine and never to relinquish the nomadic life ( Jeremiah 35:6-19). (See Rechab).

    It appears from  1 Chronicles 2:55 that his father or ancestor Rechab ("the rider") belonged to a branch of the Kenites, the Arabian tribe which entered Palestine with the Israelites. One settlement of them was to be found in the extreme north, under the chieftainship of Heber ( Judges 4:11), retaining their Bedouin customs under the oak which derived its name from their nomadic habits. The main settlement was in the south. Of these, one branch had nestled in the cliffs of Engedi ( Judges 1:16;  Numbers 24:21). Another had returned to the frontier of their native wilderness on the south of Judah ( Judges 1:16). A third was established, under a fourfold division, at or near the town of Jabez, in Judah ( 1 Chronicles 2:55). (See Kenite).

    To which of these branches Rechab and his son Jehonadab belonged is uncertain; he was evidently, however, the chieftain of an important family, if not the generally acknowledged head of the entire clan. The Bedouin habits, which were kept up by the various branches of the Kenite tribe (see  Judges 1:16;  Judges 4:11), were inculcated by Jehonadab with the utmost minuteness on his descendants or retainers; the more so, perhaps, from their being brought into closer connection with the inhabitants of the settled districts. The vow or rule which he prescribed to them is preserved to us: "Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye nor your sons forever. Neither shall ye build houses, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any: but all your days ye shall dwell in tents; that ye may live many days in the land where ye be strangers" ( Jeremiah 35:6-7). This life, partly monastic, partly Bedouin, was observed with the tenacity with which, from generation to generation, such customs are continued in Arab tribes; and when, many years after the death of Jehonadab, the Rechabites (as they were called from his father) were forced to take refuge from the Chaldaean invasion within the walls of Jerusalem, nothing would induce them to transgress the rule of their ancestor, and, in consequence, a blessing was pronounced upon him and them by the prophet Jeremiah ( Jeremiah 35:19): "Jonadab, the son of Rechab, shall not want a man to stand before me forever." (See Rechabite).

    Bearing in mind this general character of Jehonadab as an Arab chief, and the founder of a half-religious sect, perhaps in connection with the austere Elijah, and the Nazarites mentioned in  Amos 2:11 (see Ewald, Alterth Ü Mer , p. 92, 93), we are the better able to understand the single occasion on which he appears before us in the historical narrative ( 2 Kings 10:15 sq.). B.C. 883. Jehu was advancing, after the slaughter of Betheked, on the city of Samaria, when he suddenly met the austere Bedouin coming towards him ( 2 Kings 10:15). It seems that they were already known to each other (Josephus, Ant. 9:6, 6). The king was in his chariot; the Arab was on foot. It is not altogether certain which was the first to speak. The Hebrew text followed by the A.V. implies that the king blessed (A. Vers. "saluted") Jehonadab. The Sept. and Josephus (Ant. 9, 6, 6) imply that Jehonadab blessed the king. Each would have its peculiar appropriateness. The king then proposed their close union. "Is thy heart right, as my heart is with thy heart?" The answer of Jehonadab is slightly varied. In the Hebrew text he vehemently replies, "It is, it is: give me thine hand." In the Sept. and in the A.V., he replies simply, "It is;" and Jehu then rejoins, "If it is, give me thine hand." The hand, whether of Jehonadab or Jehu was offered and grasped. The king lifted him up to the edge of the chariot, apparently that he might whisper his secret into his ear, and said, "Come with me and see my zeal for Jehovah." It was the first indication of Jehu's design upon the worship of Baal, for which he perceived that the stern zealot would be a fit coadjutor. Having intrusted him with the secret, he (Sept.) or his attendants (Heb. and A.V.) caused Jehonadab to proceed with him to Samaria in the royal chariot. Jehonadab was evidently held in great respect among the Israelites generally; and Jehu was alive to the importance of obtaining the countenance and sanction of such a man to his proceedings; and as it is expressly said that Jehonadab went out to meet Jehu, it seems probable that the people of Samaria, alarmed at the menacing letter which they had received from Jehu, had induced Jehonadab to go to meet and appease him on the road. His venerated character, his rank as the head of a tribe, and his neutral position, well qualified him for this mission; and it was quite as much the interest of Jehonadab to conciliate the new dynasty, in whose founder he beheld the minister of the divine decrees, as it was that of Jehu to obtain his concurrence and support in proceedings which he could not but know were likely to render him odious to the people. So completely had the worship of Baal become the national religion, that even Jehonadab was able to conceal his purpose under the mask of conformity. No doubt he acted in concert with Jehu throughout; but the only occasion on which he is expressly mentioned is when (probably from his previous knowledge of the secret worshippers of Jehovah) he went with Jehu through the temple of Baal to turn out any that there might happen to be in the mass of pagan worshippers ( 2 Kings 10:23). (See Jehu).

    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [9]

    jē̇ - hon´a - dab ( יהונדב , yehōnādhābh , either "Yahweh is noble" or "liberal," or "Yahweh has impelled") = Jonadab ( יונדב , yōnādhābh , same meaning):

    (1) Jehonadab in the Hebrew of  2 Samuel 13:5; but Jonadab in English Versions of the Bible, and in Hebrew and English Versions of the Bible of  2 Samuel 13:3 ,  2 Samuel 13:12 ,  2 Samuel 13:35; son of Shimeah, King David's brother. He was friendly with Amnon his cousin, and is said to be "a very shrewd (the Revised Version (British and American) "subtle") man." He planned to get Tamar to wait upon Amnon. Two years after, when Absalom had murdered Amnon, and David had heard that all the king's sons were assassinated, Jehonadab assured him that only Amnon was killed; and his reassuring tone is justified ( 2 Samuel 13:35 ); possibly he knew of Absalom's intentions. Septuagint, Lucian, has "Jonathan" in  2 Samuel 13:3; and in  2 Samuel 21:21 parallel   1 Chronicles 20:7 , there is mentioned a son of Shimei (= "Shimca,"  1 Chronicles 2:7 = "Shammah,"   1 Samuel 16:9 ), whose name is Jonathan. See Jonathan , (4).

    (2) Jehonadab in  2 Kings 10:15 ,  2 Kings 10:23; in Hebrew of  Jeremiah 35:8 ,  Jeremiah 35:14 ,  Jeremiah 35:16 ,  Jeremiah 35:18 = Jonadab in   Jeremiah 35:6 ,  Jeremiah 35:10 ,  Jeremiah 35:19 , and English Versions of the Bible of  Jeremiah 35:8 ,  Jeremiah 35:14 ,  Jeremiah 35:16 ,  Jeremiah 35:18 , "son" of Rechab, of the Kenite clan ( 1 Chronicles 2:55 ). Jehonadab is described in 2 Ki 10 as an ally of Jehu in the olition of Baal-worship in Samaria. Jehu met him after slaying the son of Ahab ( 2 Kings 10:15 ); the second part of the verse should probably be translated 'And he greeted him and said to him, Is thy heart upright (with me) as my heart is with thee? And Jehonadab answered, Yes. Then spake Jehu (so the Septuagint), If so, give me thy hand.' In Jer 35 (where English Versions of the Bible has Jonadab throughout), he is called the "father" of the Rechabites, who derived from him their ordinances for their nomadic life and abstention from wine. See Rechab; Rechabites .

    Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [10]

    Jehon´adab [JONADAB]