New European Commentary


About | PDFs | Mobile formats | Word formats | Other languages | Contact Us | What is the Gospel? | Support the work | Carelinks Ministries | | The Real Christ | The Real Devil | "Bible Companion" Daily Bible reading plan

Deeper Commentary

Jeremiah 47:1 The word of Yahweh that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the Philistines, before that Pharaoh struck Gaza- Judah were tempted to trust in the Philistines against Babylon. But this prophecy makes the point that they were to be struck by both Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar.

Jeremiah 47:2 Thus says Yahweh: Behold, waters rise up out of the north, and shall become an overflowing stream, and shall overflow the land and all that is therein, the city and those who dwell therein; and the men shall cry, and all the inhabitants of the land shall wail-
The overflowing river refers to the army from the north (Jer. 46:8; Is. 8:7). That overflowing stream of Babylon was going to overflow the entire eretz, and that included the territory of the Philistines. It was a useless to think that Babylon could be resisted through alliances with people within the eretz.

Jeremiah 47:3 At the noise of the stamping of the hoofs of his strong ones, at the rushing of his chariots, at the rumbling of his wheels, the fathers don’t look back to their children for feebleness of hands-
The word for the "rushing" noise of the cherubim wheels in Ezekiel is used elsewhere about the noise of the chariots of Israel's enemies and the Babylonian invasion (Jer. 10:22; 47:3; Nah. 3:2). The Angelic armies of Heaven were therefore revealed on earth in the chariots of Babylon; it was both Babylon and the Angelic cherubim behind them who took Judah captive, and who could also return them to their land. Hence the stress in Ezekiel's vision that the wheels of the cherubim were on the earth / land. Clearly enough, the things that go on in our lives, even those things which appear as brutal and tragic as the Babylonian chariots were to Judah and the nations in the land like the Philistines, are not random machinations of men; they are, in some unfathomable way, under the direct control of a God of love, who only means to do us good at our latter end.

Jeremiah 47:4 because of the day that comes to destroy all the Philistines, to cut off from Tyre and Sidon every helper who remains-
The connection with Tyre and Sidon is in that the Philistines were in league with them. Judah would be left without any helper (Lam. 1:7 s.w.). Yahweh alone was the helper of His people (Is. 50:7 s.w.).

For Yahweh will destroy the Philistines, the remnant of the isle of Caphtor- Crete, the origin of the Philistines (Dt. 2:23; Am. 9:7).

Jeremiah 47:5 Baldness has come on Gaza; Ashkelon is brought to nothing, the remnant of their valley: how long will you cut yourself?-
The cutting of themselves was in order to beg their idols to arise and help them (1 Kings 18:28). But they would not. Absolutely all human help was to be cut off; and therefore those who realized this would trust in Yahweh alone. "The remnant of their valley" is LXX "the remainder of the Anakim", or giants. Again, all human strength was to be brought to nothing; and we do well to live life in that belief today.

Jeremiah 47:6 You sword of Yahweh, how long will it be before you be quiet? Put up yourself into your scabbard; rest, and be still-
See on Jer. 46:5. Jeremiah responds to the prophecy he has to utter against the hated Philistines by begging the Father to limit these judgments, presumably on account of their repentance: “O thou sword of the Lord, how long will it be ere thou be quiet? Put up thyself into thy scabbard, rest, and be still” (Jer. 47:6). Think too of how he almost interrupts a prophecy he is giving to Israel about judgment to come by appealing for them therefore to repent (Jer. 4:13,14). Our handling of the prophecies of judgment to come should have a like effect upon us: they should inspire us to an inevitable witness. Each of our days cannot be just ‘the same old scene’ when we see the world in this way.

Jeremiah 47:7 How can you be quiet, since Yahweh has given you a command? Against Ashkelon, and against the seashore, there has He appointed it
- This may be Jeremiah's reply to himself. These windows into Jeremiah's struggles are profound; to preach the message of God's word may well involve our struggle with it. "Quiet" is the word just used in Jer. 46:27 of how Jacob shall be "at rest" when restored; and with the Philistines also, there is the implicit hope that there will be "rest" or "quiet" once the judgments of the sword have been carried out. For they too were intended to participate in the peace to come upon the entire eretz promised to Abraham.