For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4



A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2003 James Melough

47:1.  “The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet against the Philistines, before that Pharaoh smote Gaza.”


The Wycliffe Bible Commentary supplies the following instructive facts relative to the Philistines, “The many campaigns fought in the Philistine Plain from the Assyrian period through the time of Alexander the Great caused the gradual attrition of the Philistines.  Those who were left were conquered by the Maccabees (second half of the second century BC) and absorbed into the Hebrew people.”


The Egyptians’ destruction of Gaza is generally believed to have occurred in 609 BC, so that Jeremiah received this communication before then.


47:2.  “Thus saith the Lord; Behold, waters rise up out of the north, and shall be an overflowing flood, and shall overflow the land, and all that is therein; the city, and them, that dwell therein: then the men shall cry, and all the inhabitants of the land shall howl.”


It was the Babylonians who were described as the flood waters from the north overflowing all the land and destroying everything in their path, the devastation being so great that the men would cry like women, and the whole land would mourn.


47:3.  “At the noise of the stamping of the hoofs of his strong horses, at the rushing of his chariots, and at the rumbling of his wheels, the fathers shall not look back to their children for feebleness of hands.”


The confusion and terror would be so great that fathers trying to escape wouldn’t even look back to see what was happening to their children.  The feebleness of hands speaks of their utter helplessness against the invading Babylonians.


47:4.  “Because of the day that cometh to spoil all the Philistines, and to cut off from Tyrus and Zidon every helper that remaineth; for the Lord will spoil the Philistines, the remnant of the country of Caphtor.”


It was God Who had appointed the day of the Philistines’ destruction, as well as that of Tyre and Zidon, so there was no possibility of escape.


Caphtor was the ancient name of Crete from which the Philistines are believed to have come originally.


47:5.  “Baldness is come upon Gaza; Ashkelon is cut off with the remnant of their valley: how long wilt thou cut thyself?”


“... remnant of their valley” is also translated, “O descendants of the Anakim,” - Taylor.  The Anakim were a race of giants, note, for example, the Philistine giant slain by David.


“... how long wilt thou cut thyself?” implies that their time of mourning would be long, so great would be the slaughter.


47:6.  “O thou sword of the Lord, how long will it be ere thou be quiet? put up thyself into thy scabbard, rest, and be still.”


This continues to indicate the terrible nature of the judgment that would fall upon the Philistines.


47:7.  “How can it be quiet, seeing the Lord hath given it a charge against Ashkelon, and against the sea shore? there hath he appointed it.”


It is impossible to escape the judgment of God.  He had decreed the destruction of Ashkelon and the coastal towns, nor would His judgment cease until that decree had been carried out.


Inasmuch as the Philistines represent apostate Christianity, the lesson being taught in their destruction is that the great harlot travesty masquerading as the true Church, will also be destroyed, her destruction occurring in the Great Tribulation.

[Jeremiah 48]


     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
© 2000-2005 James Melough