Jeremiah 47

CHAPTER XLVII

Among the nations doomed to suffer from the hostilities of

Nebuchadnezzar are the Philistines, (see Jer 25:20.)

And the calamities predicted in this chapter befell them

probably during the long siege of Tyre, when their country was

desolated to prevent their giving Tyre or Sidon any assistance,

1-5.

The whole of this chapter is remarkably elegant. The address to

the sword of Jehovah, at the close of it, is particularly a

very beautiful and bold personification, 6, 7.

NOTES ON CHAP. XLVII

Verse 1. The word of the Lord-against the Philistines] The date

of this prophecy cannot be easily ascertained. Dr. Blayney thinks

it was delivered about the fourth year of Zedekiah, while Dahler

assigns it some time in the reign of Josiah.

Before that Pharaoh smote Gaza.] We have no historical relation

of any Egyptian king smiting Gaza. It was no doubt smitten by some

of them; but when, and by whom, does not appear either from sacred

or profane history.

Verse 2. Waters rise up out of the north] Waters is a common

prophetic image for a multitude of people. The north here, as in

other places of this prophecy, means Chaldea.

Verse 3. The stamping of the hoofs] At the galloping sound,-

Quadrupedante putrem sonitu quatit ungula campum,

is a line of Virgil, (AEn. viii. 596,) much celebrated; and

quoted here by Blayney, where the galloping sound of the horses'

hoofs is heard. In the stamping of the horses, the rushing

of the chariots, and the rumbling of the wheels, our translators

intended to convey the sense by the sound of the words; and they

have not been unsuccessful. Their translation of the original is

at the same time sufficiently literal.

The fathers shall not look back] Though their children are left

behind, they have neither strength nor courage to go back to bring

them off.

Verse 4. To spoil all the Philistines] These people, of whom

there were five seignories, occupied the coast of the

Mediterranean Sea, to the south of the Phoenicians.

Tyrus and Zidon] Places sufficiently remarkable both in the Old

and New Testament, and in profane history. They belonged to the

Phoenicians; and at this time were depending on the succour of

their allies, the Philistines. But their expectation was cut off.

The remnant of the country of Caphtor.] Crete, or Cyprus. Some

think it was a district along the coast of the Mediterranean,

belonging to the Philistines; others, that the Cappadocians are

meant.

Verse 5. Baldness is come upon Gaza] They have cut off their

hair in token of deep sorrow and distress.

Ashkelon is cut off] Or put to silence; another mark of the

deepest sorrow. Ashkelon was one of the five seignories of the

Philistines, Gaza was another.

The remnant of their valley] Or plain; for the whole land of the

Philistines was a vast plain, which extended along the coast of

the Mediterranean Sea from Phoenicia to the frontiers of Egypt.

The whole of this plain, the territory of the Philistines, shall

be desolated.

Verse 6. O thou sword of the Lord] This is a most grand

prosopopoeia-a dialogue between the sword of the Lord and the

prophet. Nothing can be imagined more sublime.

Put up thyself into thy scabbard, rest, and be still.] Shed no

more blood, destroy no more lives, erase no more cities, desolate

no more countries. Rest:-hast thou not been long enough at this

work of judgment? O be still:-let wars and desolations cease for

ever.

Verse 7. How can it be quiet] This is the answer of the Sword.

I am the officer of God's judgments, and he has given me a

commission against Ashkelon, and against the sea shore; all the

coast where the Philistines have their territories. The measure of

their iniquities is full; and these God hath appointed this sword

to ravage. The Philistines were ever the implacable enemies of the

Jews, and the basest and worst of all idolaters. On these accounts

the sword of the Lord had its commission against them; and it did

its office most fearfully and effectually by the hand of the

Chaldeans.

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