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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 47

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-7

Jeremiah 47:1 . Before that Pharaoh smote Gaza. This is thought to be Pharaoh- necho; but critics are not agreed as to the time of the war, whether it was after the defeat of Josiah, when he was returning to Egypt, or in the tenth year of Zedekiah, when the Chaldeans went to meet him, and gave him a defeat. Their final overthrow was by the Assyrians.

Jeremiah 47:2 . Behold waters rise up out of the north. Waters, overflowing rivers, hail and tempests, are common figures to describe invading armies. Isaiah 28:17.

Jeremiah 47:4 . To cut off from Tyrus and Zidon every helper. This was illustrated in Isaiah 23:0. Caphtor is of uncertain import, whether it signifies the sea-coast, or a colony of the Philistines who took refuge in Crete, or Cappadocia. Lowth, after Vitringa, thinks the Cherethims who inhabited Crete to be the same with the Philistines.

Jeremiah 47:5 . Baldness is come upon Gaza. The fine tresses of hair were cut off, because their relatives were slain, and their national glory for ever gone.

Jeremiah 47:6 . Oh thou sword of the Lord, how long ere thou be quiet? The tender eyes of the prophet, on viewing the wars of the bloody Assyrians, wept again. War is horrible to the feelings of a virtuous mind.

The gods from heaven survey the fatal strife, And mourn the miseries of human life.

Jeremiah 47:7 . How can it be quiet? When the harvest is ripe, the corn must be reaped; and so it is with nations, when their iniquities are full. Cursed be the man that doeth the administration of justice deceitfully. Saul lost his crown for not avenging innocent blood on Amalek. What a question to teach us justice, mercy and truth; and that our children may revere the God of heaven and earth.


We now enter on a new scene of visitations on the surrounding nations of Judea. Their joy was unbounded when Jerusalem fell, for with her they had often been at war. But their joy was of short duration. In the course of five years the king of Babylon, overflowing the west with countless armies, overthrew all the nations, as the holy prophets had foretold, and left their cities and countries in the utmost desolation.

While all nations drank of the cup of divine displeasure, it was handed to the daughter of Philistia in turn; and in an age of peace when they expected no trouble. But the apostrophe which the tender-hearted prophet makes to the sword of the Lord, is extremely fine; and it shows that he desired not the calamities which came upon the gentile nations. Let us in like manner pray that the Lord would shorten the days of visitation, and that our sins may be purged by repentance rather than with vengeance.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Jeremiah 47". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/jeremiah-47.html. 1835.
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