PROPHECY AGAINST THE
1. Pharaoh-necho probably smote Gaza on his return after
defeating Josiah at Megiddo
[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).
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 country.
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
for feebleness of hands--The hands, the principal instruments of
action, shall have lost all power; their whole hope shall be in their
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 destroyed.
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
Perhaps before the time of Moses they dwelt near and were subjugated by
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
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
token of mourning
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
Joshua dislodged them so that none were left but in Gaza, Gath, and
(Jos 11:21, 22).
But the parallel
"Ashkelon . . . the sea-shore," established English
Version here, "Ashkelon . . . their valley."
6. Jeremiah, in the person of the Philistines afflicting themselves
apostrophizes the "sword of the Lord," entreating mercy (compare
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 person.
Lord . . . given it a charge--
the sea-shore--the strip of land between the mountains and
Mediterranean, held by the Philistines: "their valley"
there hath he appointed it--
There hath He ordered it to rage.