Jeremiah 47 (NLT)
A Message about Philistia
Jeremiah 46, the previous chapter, began the section of Jeremiah’s prophecies against the nations surrounding Judah. Jeremiah 47, this chapter, is the record of his prophecy against the Philistines, the ancient enemies and rivals of Israel.
This is the Lord’s message to the prophet Jeremiah concerning the Philistines of Gaza, before it was captured by the Egyptian army. 2 This is what the Lord says:
“A flood is coming from the north
to overflow the land.
The Babylonians would come from the north to overwhelm the Philistines as flood waters overwhelm a land.
It will destroy the land and everything in it—
cities and people alike.
People will scream in terror,
and everyone in the land will wail.
Jeremiah describes the vivid sounds of conquest. The people are wailing, the horses with stamping hooves, the sound of rushing chariots with rumbling wheels. These were the sounds of judgment upon the Philistines.
3 Hear the clatter of stallions’ hooves
and the rumble of wheels as the chariots rush by.
Terrified fathers run madly,
without a backward glance at their helpless children.
4 “The time has come for the Philistines to be destroyed,
along with their allies from Tyre and Sidon.
Yes, the Lord is destroying the remnant of the Philistines,
those colonists from the island of Crete.
5 Gaza will be humiliated, its head shaved bald;
Ashkelon will lie silent.
You remnant from the Mediterranean coast,
how long will you lament and mourn?
The Anthedon, Gaza’s ancient port, dates back to the eighth century B.C., when Gaza was a major Philistine city. For thousands of years, trade and travel between Canaan and Egypt passed through this port and Gaza thrived. Today the Anthedon’s ruins stretch for several miles under the northern part of what is now Gaza’s beach refugee camp.
6 “Now, O sword of the Lord,
when will you be at rest again?
“This is a most grand prosopopoeia [a figure of speech in which an abstract thing is represented as speaking] – a dialogue between the sword of the Lord and the prophet. Nothing can be imagined more sublime.”
Go back into your sheath;
rest and be still.
7 “But how can it be still
when the Lord has sent it on a mission?
For the city of Ashkelon
and the people living along the sea
must be destroyed.”
The immediate fulfillment of this prophecy took place under Nebuchadnezzar in 604 B.C. (The Archaeological Study Bible)
Oh, for courage in the hard times! Like Peter, climbing out of the boat onto the waves of the sea. Like David, going forward towards the giant. Is there something facing you now that is just too daunting? Relationship issues? Children or grandchildren wandering away from the Lord? Financial woes? Jesus is with you to help you and Scripture is close at hand to encourage you. HERE is Casting Crowns and “The Voice of Truth.”
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.