Prophecy against the Philistines.
1. Pharaoh-necho probably smote Gaza on
his return after defeating Josiah at Megiddo (2Ch 35:20) [Grotius]. Or, Pharaoh-hophra (Jer 37:5, 7) is intended: probably on his
return from his fruitless attempt to save Jerusalem from the Chaldeans,
he smote Gaza in order that his expedition might not be thought
altogether in vain [Calvin] (Am 1:6, 7).
2. waters—(Isa 8:7). The Chaldeans from the north are
compared to the overwhelming waters of their own Euphrates. The smiting
of Gaza was to be only the prelude of a greater disaster to the
Philistines. Nebuzara-dan was left by Nebuchadnezzar, after he had
taken Jerusalem, to subdue the rest of the adjoining cities and
3. (Compare Jer 4:29).
fathers … not look back to …
children—Each shall think only of his own safety, not even
the fathers regarding their own children. So desperate shall be the
calamity that men shall divest themselves of the natural
for feebleness of hands—The hands, the
principal instruments of action, shall have lost all power; their whole
hope shall be in their feet.
4. every helper—The Philistines, being
neighbors to the Phœnicians of Tyre and Sidon, would naturally
make common cause with them in the case of invasion. These cities would
have no helper left when the Philistines should be
Caphtor—the Caphtorim and Philistines
both came from Mizraim (Ge 10:13, 14). The Philistines are said to have been
delivered by God from Caphtor (Am 9:7). Perhaps before the time of Moses they
dwelt near and were subjugated by the Caphtorim (De 2:23) and subsequently delivered. "The
remnant" means here those still left after the Egyptians had attacked
Gaza and Palestine; or rather, those left of the Caphtorim after the
Chaldeans had attacked them previous to their attack on the
Philistines. Some identify Caphtor with Cappadocia; Gesenius, with Crete (Eze 25:16, Cherethims); Kitto, Cyprus. Between Palestine and Idumea there
was a city Caparorsa; and their close connection with Palestine on the
one hand, and Egypt (Mizraim, Ge 10:13, 14) on the other hand, makes this locality
the most likely.
5. Baldness … cut
thyself—Palestine is represented as a female who has torn off
her hair and cut her flesh, the heathenish (Le 19:28) token of mourning (Jer 48:37).
their valley—the long strip of low
plain occupied by the Philistines along the Mediterranean, west of the
mountains of Judea. The Septuagint reads Anakim, the
remains of whom were settled in those regions (Nu 13:28). Joshua dislodged them so that none
were left but in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod (Jos 11:21, 22). But the parallel (Jer 47:7), "Ashkelon … the
sea-shore," established English Version here, "Ashkelon
… their valley."
6. Jeremiah, in the person of the Philistines
afflicting themselves (Jer 47:5),
apostrophizes the "sword of the Lord," entreating mercy (compare De 32:41; Eze 21:3-5, 9, 10).
up thyself—Hebrew, "Gather
thyself," that is, retire or return.
7. Jeremiah, from addressing the sword in the
second person, turns to his hearers and speaks of it in the third
Lord … given it a charge—(Eze 14:17).
the sea-shore—the strip of land
between the mountains and Mediterranean, held by the Philistines:
"their valley" (see on Jer 47:5).
there hath he appointed it—(Mic 6:9). There hath He ordered it to