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The seven verses of chap. 47 are devoted to this subject. The date when first uttered is not definitely stated, but ver. 1 informs us that it was "before that Pharaoh smote Gaza," (Jeremiah 47:1) which would place it about the time of the first prophecy regarding Egypt.
From the north "waters should rise up;" (Jeremiah 47:2)that is, the Babylonian armies should overwhelm them; while the power of Egypt in the south was also to be turned against them. Even the world hates a hypocrite.
Fear and anguish should take hold upon them; fathers and sons should be overwhelmed in the dreadful carnage. Tyrus and Zidon, Phoenician cities of Philistine origin, would have no power to help. It was the Lord who was about to destroy Philistia. The cup of the iniquity of this warlike and aggressive people was full. They must know the power of the Lord's anger. "The country of Caphtor" (Jeremiah 47:4) is a general name for the entire strip of country which they had occupied since the days of Abraham and Lot. Caphtor is an Egyptian word, and plainly indicates the ancient home and lineage of these intruders in the land of promise.
"Baldness is come upon Gaza" (Jeremiah 47:5) indicates that this ancient city, for long in possession of Judah (Joshua 10:41; Judges 1:18; 1 Kings 4:24), had again fallen into the hands of its original occupants. It was devoted to destruction - so complete that it could be described as shaving city and people off the face of the ground; a figure frequently used by the prophets to signify utter desolation (Isaiah 7:20; Ezekiel 5:1-2; Amos 8:10, etc).
As hair symbolizes the strength of dependence upon GOD (as in the example of Samson), and glory (as in the woman's case), baldness indicates the absence of both. Philistia should be weak and helpless before her foes; her glory a mere memory, and her power departed.
Ashkelon, likewise, was to be cut off "with the remnant of their valley" (Jeremiah 47:5). This, too, was one of the five cities of the lords of the Philistines in the days of Joshua. For location and the fertility of the surrounding country it was unexcelled. No doubt the desolations of Judah had permitted the Philistines once more to occupy it, but their season of repose should be brief. They must be broken and fall before the might of the armies sent against them by the Lord whom they had defied.
"The sword of the Lord" (Jeremiah 47:6) could not be quiet until its charge against Ashkelon had been fulfilled. That accomplished, it should be put into its scabbard. It is not that GOD authorized the numberless cruelties perpetrated by the armies of Pharaoh and Nebuchadrezzar, but He used them, in spite of all that was contrary to His mind, to wreak summary vengeance upon those who had so long been the oppressors and the enemies of His people. He is the Governor of the world, ruling among the nations; and it was true then, and it is true now, that "righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." (Proverbs 14:34)
The burden of Philistia ended, the prophet abruptly turns to
The somewhat lengthy forty-eighth chapter is taken up with the Word of the Lord to these descendants of inglorious Lot and his wretched first-born daughter; as the next chapter deals in part with the woes to come upon the children of the younger.
Typically, these Moabites picture that large and careless class today who "have a name that they live, and are dead," called in Hebrews 12:8 "bastards, and not sons." illegitimately born, Moab was without claim to an inheritance in Israel, yet a near neighbor, dwelling upon the eastern shores of the Dead Sea. Lifeless, easy going profession is thus set forth. Such may glide on carelessly throughout life, partaking not of the chastisement of the Lord, which is for His own children; but judgment must come eventually.
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Ironside, H. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 47". Ironside's Notes on Selected Books. https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26