Prophecies Against Philistia
Verse 1 – The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet, against the Philistines, before Pharaoh attacked Gaza.
Verse 2 – Thus says the Lord. “Behold, waters rise out of the north, and shall be an overflowing flood; they shall overflow the land and all that is in it, the city and those who dwell within it; then the men shall cry, and all the inhabitants of the land shall wail.
The rising waters is referring to the Babylonians. Isaiah used the same figure of speech for the Assyrians.
Verse 3 – At the noise of the stamping hooves of his strong horses, at the rushing of his chariots, at the rumbling of his wheels, the fathers will not look back for their children, lacking courage,
So powerful will the attack be against the Philistines, that the fathers won’t turn back for their children.
Verse 4 – Because of the day that comes to plunder all the Philistines, to cut off from Tyre and Sidon every helper who remains; for the Lord shall plunder the Philistines, the remnant of the country of Caphtor.
Tyre and Sidon were neighbors to the Philistines and so were often called to their help. The Philistines and Caphtorim were both the sons of Mizriam the son of Ham, one of the sons of Noah.
Verse 5 – Baldness has come to Gaza, Ashkelon is cut off with the remnant of their valley. How long will you cut yourself?
There were three signs of mourning; shaving the head, being silent, and inflicting gashes on oneself. Anakim, which links the people of Gaza and Ashkelon with the race of giants that were in the land before the Israelites invaded it. Joshua 11:22 notes remnants of the race still lived in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod.
Verse 6 – “O you sword of the Lord, how long until you are quiet? Put yourself up into your scabbard, rest and be still!
Verse 7 – Now can it be quiet, seeing the Lord has given it a charge against Ashkelon and against the seashore? There He has appointed it.”
Attempts to quiet the Lord’s sword would be futile. What had been decreed by the Lord was finished when Nebuchadnezzar overran Ashkelon after a siege in 604-603 B.C. The attack against Ashkelon prompted King Jehoiakim to proclaim a fast in Jerusalem (chapter 36). This fast gave Baruch the opportunity to read Jeremiah’s scroll.