Amos 1:8
And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon, and I will turn mine hand against Ekron: and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord GOD.
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1:18-21 There shall be abundant Divine influences, and the gospel will spread speedily into the remotest corners of the earth. These events are predicted under significant emblems; there is a day coming, when every thing amiss shall be amended. The fountain of this plenty is in the house of God, whence the streams take rise. Christ is this Fountain; his sufferings, merit, and grace, cleanse, refresh, and make fruitful. Gospel grace, flowing from Christ, shall reach to the Gentile world, to the most remote regions, and make them abound in fruits of righteousness; and from the house of the Lord above, from his heavenly temple, flows all the good we daily taste, and hope to enjoy eternally.And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod - Ashdod, as well as Ekron, have their names from their strength; Ashdod, "the mighty," like Valentia; Ekron, "the firm-rooted." The title of Ashdod implied that it was powerful to inflict as to resist. It may have meant, "the waster." It too was eminent in its idolatry. The ark, when taken, was first placed in its Dagon-temple 1 Samuel 5:1-7; and, perhaps, in consequence, its lord is placed first of the five, in recounting the trespass-offerings which they sent to the Lord 1 Samuel 6:17. Ashdod (Azotus in the New Testament now a village, Esdud or Shdood ), lay 34 or 36 miles from Gaza , on the great route from Egypt northward, on that which now too is most used even to Jerusalem. Ashkelon lay to the left of the road, near the sea, rather more than halfway.

Ekron (Akir, now a village of 50 mud-houses ), lay a little to the right of the road northward from Gaza to Lydda (in the same latitude as Jamnia, Jabneel) on the road from Ramleh to Belt Jibrin (Eleutheropolis). Ekron, the furthest from the sea, lay only 15 miles from it. They were then a succession of fortresses, strong from their situation, which could molest any army, which should come along their coast. Transversely, in regard to Judah, they enclosed a space parallel to most of Judah and Benjamin. Ekron, which by God's gift was the northern line of Judah Joshua 15:11, is about the same latitude as Ramah in Benjamin; Gaza, the same as Carmel (Kurmul). From Gaza lay a straight road to Jerusalem; but Ashkelon too, Ashdod, and Ekron lay near the heads of valleys, which ran up to the hill-country near Jerusalem .

This system of rich valleys, in which, either by artificial irrigation or natural absorption, the streams which ran from the mountains of Judah westward fertilized the grainfields of Philistia, aforded equally a ready approach to Philistine marauders into the very heart of Judah. The Crusaders had to crown with castles the heights in a distant circle around Ashkelon , in order to restrain the incursions of the Muslims. (In such occasions doubtless, the same man-stealing was often practiced on lesser scales, which here, on a larger scale, draws down the sentence of God. Gath, much further inland, probably formed a center to which these maritime towns converged, and united their system of inroads on Judah.

These five cities of Philistia had each its own petty king (Seren, our "axle"). But all formed one whole; all debated and acted together on any great occasion; as in the plot against Samson Judges 16:5, Judges 16:8, Judges 16:18, the sacrifice to Dagon in triumph over him, where they perished Judges 16:23, Judges 16:27, Judges 16:30; the inflictions on account of the ark 1 Samuel 5:8, 1 Samuel 5:11; 1 Samuel 6:4, 1 Samuel 6:12, 1 Samuel 6:16, 1 Samuel 6:18; the great attack on Israel 1 Samuel 7:7, which God defeated the Mizpeh; the battle when Saul fell, and the dismissal of David 1 Samuel 31:2, 1 Samuel 31:6-7; 1 Chronicles 12:19. The cities divided their idolatry also, in a manner, between them, Ashdod being the chief seat of the worship of Dagon , Ashkelon, of the corresponding worship of Derceto , the fish-goddess, the symbol of the passive principle in re-production. Ekron was the seat of the worship of Baalzebub and his oracle, from where he is called "the god of Ekron" 2 Kings 1:2-3, 2 Kings 1:16.

Gaza, even after it had become an abode of Greek idolatry and had seven temples of Greek gods, still retained its worship of its god Marna ("our Lord") as the chief . It too was probably "nature" and to its worship they were devoted. All these cities were as one; all formed one state; all were one in their sin; all were to be one in their punishment. So then for greater vividness, one part of the common infliction is related of each, while in fact, according to the custom of prophetic diction, what is said of each is said of all. King and people were to be cut off from all; all were to be consumed with fire in war; on all God would, as it were, "turn" (literally, "bring back") His Hand, visiting them anew, and bringing again the same punishment upon them. In truth these destructions came upon them, again and again, through Sargon, Hezekiah, Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander, the Maccabees.

Ashdod - Uzziah about this time "brake down its walls and built cities about" 2 Chronicles 26:6 it, to protect his people from its inroads. It recovered, and was subsequently besieged and taken by Tartan, the Assyrian General under Sargon Isaiah 20:1 (about 716 b.c.). Somewhat later, it sustained the longest siege in man's knowlege, for 29 years, from Psammetichus king of Egypt (about 635 b.c.). Whence, probably Jeremiah, while he speaks of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, mentions "the remnant of Ashdod" Jeremiah 25:20 only. Yet, after the captivity, it seems to have been the first Philistine city, so that the Philistines were called Ashdodites Nehemiah 4:7, and their dialect Ashdodite Nehemiah 13:24. They were still hostile to the Jews Nehemiah 4:7. The war, in which Judas Maccabaeus spoiled Ashdod and other Philistine cities (1 Macc. 5:68), was a defensive war against a war of extermination. "The nations round about" (1 Macc. 5:1, 2), it is said at the beginning of the account of that year's campaign, "thought to destroy the generation of Jacob that was among them, and thereupon they began to slay and destroy the people." Jonathan, the brother of Judas, "set fire to Azotus and the cities round about it (1 Macc. 10:82, 84), after a battle under its walls, to which his enemies had challenged him. The temple of Dagon in it was a sort of citadel (1 Macc. 10:83).

Ashkelon is mentioned as a place of strength, taken by the great conqueror, Raamses II. Its resolute defense and capture are represented, with its name as a city of Canaanites, on a monument of Karnac . Its name most naturally signifies "hanging." This suits very well with the site of its present ruins, which "hang" on the side of the theater or arc of hills, whose base is the sea. This, however, probably was not its ancient site (see the note at Zephaniah 2:4). Its name occurs in the wars of the Maccabees, but rather as submitting readily (1 Macc. 10:86; 11:60). Perhaps the inhabitants had been changed in the intervening period. Antipater, the Edomite father of Herod, courted, we are told , "the Arabs and the Ascalonites and the Gazites." "Toward the Jews their neighbors, the inhabitants of the Holy land," Philo says to the Roman emperor, "the Ascalonites have an irreconcilable aversion, which will come to no terms." This abiding hatred burst out at the beginning of the war with the Romans, in which Jerusalem perished. The Ascalonites massacred 2500 Jews dwelling among them . The Jews "fired Ascalon and utterly destroyed Gaza" .

Ekron was apparently not important enough in itself to have any separate history. We hear of it only as given by Alexander Bales "with the borders thereof in possession" (1 Macc. 10:89) to Jonathan the Maccabee. The valley of Surar gave the Ekronites a readier entrance into the center of Judaea, than Ascalon or Ashdod had. In Jerome's time, it had sunk to "a very large village."

The residue of the Philistines shall perish - This has been thought to mean "the rest" (as in Jeremiah 39:3; Nehemiah 7:72) that is, Gath, (not mentioned by name anymore as having ceased to be of any account (see the note at Amos 6:3)) and the towns, dependent on those chief cities . The common (and, with a proper name, universal ) meaning of the idiom is, "the remnant," those who remain over after a first destruction. The words then, like those just before, "I will bring again my hand against Ekron," foretell a renewal of those first judgments. The political strength which should survive one desolation should be destroyed in those which should succeed it. In tacit contrast with the promises of mercy to the remnant of Judah (see above the note at Joel 2:32), Amos foretells that judgment after judgment should fall upon Philistia, until the Philistines ceased to be anymore a people; as they did.

8. Ashdod, &c.—Gath alone is not mentioned of the five chief Philistine cities. It had already been subdued by David; and it, as well as Ashdod, was taken by Uzziah (2Ch 26:6). Gath perhaps had lost its position as one of the five primary cities before Amos uttered this prophecy, whence arose his omission of it. So Zep 2:4, 5. Compare Jer 47:4; Eze 25:16. Subsequently to the subjugation of the Philistines by Uzziah, and then by Hezekiah, they were reduced by Psammetichus of Egypt, Nebuchadnezzar, the Persians, Alexander, and lastly the Asmoneans. The inhabitant: see Amos 1:5.

Ashdod: see Zephaniah 2:4 Zechariah 9:6. This was one of the five cities of the Philistines, and had its roitelet. it was afterwards called

Azotus, Acts 8:40. In this city was Dagon’s temple and statue, 1 Samuel 5:1-3. The like threat against Ashdod did Jeremiah denounce, Jeremiah 25:16, with Jeremiah 25:20.

Him that holdeth the sceptre: see Amos 1:5. Ashkelon; another city of the Palestine pentarchy, and a very strong one, of which see Zephaniah 2:7 Zechariah 9:5,6, which shall perish with the king and inhabitants thereof; which (besides what Shalmaneser, Sennacherib, or Sargon, kings of Assyria, did, and besides what Hezekiah did against Ashkelon) had some accomplishment in Nabopolassar’s and Nebuchadnezzar’s time, and in Alexander the Great, to whom this city, as well as Gaza and Ashdod, became subject.

I will turn mine hand against Ekron; having destroyed these, saith the Lord, I will proceed on to Ekron, another of the five cities of the Philistines, strong, but, as the rest, cruel to Israel, and very sinfully idolatrous, worshipping Baal-zebub, for which this shall be destroyed also: see Zephaniah 2:4 Zechariah 9:5.

The remnant of the Philistines; what remaineth either of cities, towns, or people, not already expressly mentioned and threatened.

Shall perish; be cut off, and wasted utterly.

Saith the Lord God; when all this shall be done, though perhaps ye may not know, yet know ye this, that assuredly it shall be done in its time, for the Lord hath said it.

I will cut off the inhabitants from Ashdod,.... The same with Azotus, Acts 8:40; another principal city of the Philistines: this perhaps was fulfilled when Tartan was sent against it by Sargon king of Assyria, and took it, Isaiah 20:1; or however in the times of the Maccabees, when Jonathan took it, and burnt it, and the cities round about it; and took their spoils, and burnt the temple of Dagon, and those that fled to it; and what with those that were burnt, and those that fell by the sword, there perished about eight thousand,

"84 But Jonathan set fire on Azotus, and the cities round about it, and took their spoils; and the temple of Dagon, with them that were fled into it, he burned with fire. 85 Thus there were burned and slain with the sword well nigh eight thousand men.'' (1 Maccabees 10)

this was so strong a place, that, according to Herodotus (t), it held out a siege of twenty nine years, under Psammitichus king of Egypt. It was, according to Diodorus Siculus (u), thirty four miles, from Gaza before mentioned; and it was about eight or nine from Ashkelon, and fourteen or fifteen from Ekron after mentioned:

and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon; another of the five lordships of the Philistines, whose king or governor should be cut off, with the inhabitants of it; this was done by Nebuchadnezzar, Jeremiah 47:5. This place was about fifteen miles from Gaza, Mr. Sandys (w) says ten, but it was eight or nine miles from Ashdod; and, as Josephus (x) says, was sixty five miles from Jerusalem. It was the birth place of Herod the great, who from thence is called an Ashkelonite; but the king or governor of it was cut off before his time. It was governed by kings formerly. Justin (y) makes mention of a king of Ashkelon; according to the Samaritan interpreter, Genesis 20:1; it is the same with Gerar, which had a king in the times of Abraham; hence a sceptre is here ascribed to it:

and I will turn mine hand against Ekron: to destroy that; another of the chief cities of the Philistines. It was about ten miles from Gath; four of the five lordships are here mentioned, but not Gath, which was the fifth; see 1 Samuel 6:17; because, as Kimchi says, it was in the hands of Judah. All these places were inhabited by Heathens, and guilty of gross idolatry, which must be one of the transgressions for which they were punished. Gaza was a place much given to idolatry, as it was even in later times; when other neighbouring cities embraced the Christian religion, the inhabitants of it were violent persecutors; hence that saying of Gregory Nazianzen (z),

"who knows not the madness of the inhabitants of Gaza?''

here stood the temple of the god Marnas (a), which with the Syrians signified the lord of men: at Ashdod or Azotus stood the temple of Dagon, where he was worshipped, 1 Samuel 5:2;

"But Jonathan set fire on Azotus, and the cities round about it, and took their spoils; and the temple of Dagon, with them that were fled into it, he burned with fire.'' (1 Maccabees 10:84)

Near Ashkelon, as Diodorus Siculus (b) relates, was a large and deep lake, full of fishes; and by it was a temple of a famous goddess, called by the Syrians Derceto, who had a woman's face, but the rest of her body in the form of a fish; being, as the fable goes, changed into one upon her casting herself into the above lake on a certain occasion; hence the Syrians abstained from fishes, and worshipped them as gods. Herodotus (c) calls this city a city of Syria, and speaks of a temple dedicated to Urania Venus; and in the Talmud (d) mention is made of the temple of Zeripha, or of a molten image at Ashkelon; and, besides idolatry, this place seems to have been famous for witchcraft; for it is said (e) that Simeon ben Shetach hung on one day at Ashkelon fourscore women for being witches; and, at Ekron, Baalzebub or the god of the fly was worshipped:

and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord God; all the other towns and cities belonging to them, besides those mentioned; which very likely had its accomplishment in the times of the Maccabees, when they fell into the hands of the Jews.

(t) Euterpe, sive l. 2. c. 157. (u) Bibliothec. l. 19. p. 723. (w) Travels, p. 151. (x) De Bello Jud. l. 3. c. 2. sect. 1.((y) E Trogo, l. 19. c. 3.((z) Orat. 3. adv. Julian. p. 87. (a) Hieronymul in lsa. xvii. fol. 39. K. (b) Bibliothec. l. 2. p. 92. (c) Clio, sive l. 1. c. 105. (d) T. Bab. Avoda Zara, fol. 11. 2.((e) T. Hieros. Sanhedrin, fol. 23. 3.

And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon, and I will turn mine hand against Ekron: and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord GOD.
8. the inhabitant] See on Amos 1:5.

from Ashdod] Another of the five chief Philistine cities (Joshua 13:3; 1 Samuel 6:17 f.) is here specified, Ashdod, about 21 miles N.N.E. of Gaza, and 3 miles from the sea-coast. It was a strong fortress, and served also as a half-way station on the great caravan-route between Gaza and Joppa. According to Herodotus (ii. 157), when attacked by Psammetichus king of Egypt (c. 650 b.c.), it sustained a siege of 29 years, the longest on record: how severely it suffered on this occasion may be inferred from the expression ‘remnant of Ashdod’ used shortly afterwards by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:20). But it recovered from this blow: it is alluded to as a place of some importance in the time of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 4:7); and it is mentioned frequently afterwards.

and him that holdeth the sceptre] as Amos 1:5. The independent kings of the different Philistine cities are often mentioned in the Assyrian Inscriptions (cf. below).

from Ashkelon] a third chief Philistine city, situated actually on the coast, in a rocky amphitheatre, about half-way between Gaza and Ashdod. In the Middle Ages it became the most considerable of all the Philistine fortresses, its position on the sea constituting it then the key to S.W. Palestine. In ancient times little that is distinctive is recorded of it; though it may be reasonably inferred to have been already important for purposes of marine communication with the West.

turn mine hand against] Isaiah 1:25; Zechariah 13:7; Psalm 81:14.

Ekron] a fourth chief city of the Philistines, situated inland, about 12 miles N.E. of Ashdod, and nearer the territory of Judah than any of the cities before mentioned. Ekron was the seat of a celebrated oracle, that of Baal-zebub (2 Kings 1:2); but otherwise it does not appear in the Old Testament as a place of great importance. Gath, the fifth chief Philistine city, is not named: either, as some suppose (see on Amos 6:2) it was already destroyed, or it is included implicitly in the expression ‘remnant of the Philistines,’ immediately following.

and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish] i.e. whatever among them escapes the destruction announced in the previous clauses shall perish by a subsequent one: ‘remnant’ (she’çrith), as Amos 5:15, Amos 9:12 &c. The rendering rest, i.e. those unmentioned in the previous enumeration (Jeremiah 39:3; Nehemiah 7:72), is less probable. The verse declares that the whole Philistine name will be blotted out.

saith the Lord God] the Lord Jehovah (אדני יהוה), Amos’ favourite title for God, occurring in his prophecy twenty times (Amos 1:8, Amos 3:7-8; Amos 3:11, Amos 4:2; Amos 4:5, Amos 5:3, Amos 6:8, Amos 7:1-2; Amos 7:4; Amos 7:4-6, Amos 8:1; Amos 8:3; Amos 8:9; Amos 8:11, Amos 9:8; and followed by God of hosts, Amos 3:13). It is likewise a standing title with Ezekiel, who uses it with great frequency. It is employed sometimes by Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Deutero-Isaiah, as well as here and there by other prophets; and also occurs occasionally in the historical books (as Genesis 15:2; Genesis 15:8; Joshua 7:7).

Successes, of at least a temporary character, gained against the Philistines by Uzziah and Hezekiah, are recorded in 2 Chronicles 26:6 f. and 2 Kings 18:8; but the foes from whom they suffered more severely were the Assyrians. Gaza was attacked by Tiglath-pileser (c. b.c. 734); its king Hanno was compelled to take refuge in Egypt; much spoil was taken, and a heavy tribute imposed (K.A.T[116][117] p. 256). In 711, Azuri, king of Ashdod, refused his accustomed tribute: the result was the siege by the Assyrian ‘Tartan,’ or general-in-chief, alluded to in Isaiah 20, which ended in the reduction of the city and exile of its inhabitants. Ten years later, in 701, Ashkelon and Ekron joined the Phoenician cities and Judah, in revolting from Sennacherib, and were both punished by the Assyrian king[118]. It seems, however, that though the power of the Philistines must have been seriously crippled by these blows, it was by no means destroyed: the kings of Gaza, Ashkelon, Ekron, and Ashdod are all named as tributary to Esarhaddon and Asshurbanipal (K.A.T[119][120] 356); oracles are uttered against the Philistines by several of the later prophets; their cities are mentioned as places of importance in the times of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 4:7, Nehemiah 13:23 f.) and the Maccabees. The passages in which other prophets foretell disaster for the Philistines—chiefly at the hands of the Assyrians or the Chaldaeans—should be compared: see Isaiah 11:14 (a picture of united Israel’s successes against them in the ideal future), Isaiah 14:29-32; Jeremiah 25:20; Jeremiah 47; Zephaniah 2:4-7; Ezekiel 25:15-17; Zechariah 9:5-7.

[116] .A.T. … Eb. Schrader, Die Keilinschriften und das A. T., ed. 2, 1883 (translated under the title The Cuneiform Inscriptions and the O. T. 1885, 1888). The references are to the pagination of the German, which is given on the margin of the English translation.

[117] … Eb. Schrader, Die Keilinschriften und das A. T., ed. 2, 1883 (translated under the title The Cuneiform Inscriptions and the O. T. 1885, 1888). The references are to the pagination of the German, which is given on the margin of the English translation.

[118] See K.A. T.2 pp. 397 ff., 291 ff.; or the writer’s Isaiah, pp. 45, 67 f., 73.

[119] .A.T. … Eb. Schrader, Die Keilinschriften und das A. T., ed. 2, 1883 (translated under the title The Cuneiform Inscriptions and the O. T. 1885, 1888). The references are to the pagination of the German, which is given on the margin of the English translation.

[120] … Eb. Schrader, Die Keilinschriften und das A. T., ed. 2, 1883 (translated under the title The Cuneiform Inscriptions and the O. T. 1885, 1888). The references are to the pagination of the German, which is given on the margin of the English translation.

Verse 8. - Ashdod, "the Waster," hod. Esdud, or Shdood (called Azotus in Acts 8:40), and still a large village, lay about thirty-five miles north of Gaza, three miles from the sea. Ashkelon was situated between the two. "Askelon differs from the other celebrated cities of the Philistines, being seated on the sea, while Ekron, Garb, Jamnia, Ashdod, and Gaza are in the interior. It never could have had a harbour of any considerable size, however.... The topography of the place is peculiar. An abrupt ridge begins near the shore, runs up eastward, bends round to the south, then to the west, and finally northwest to the sea again, forming an irregular amphitheatre. On the top of this ridge ran the wall, which was defended at its salient angles by strong towers. The specimens which still exist show that it was very high and thick, built, however, of small stones, and bound together by broken columns of granite and marble. This clearly proves that it is patchwork, and not Askelon's original rampart.... The position is one of the fairest along this part of the Mediterranean coast; and when the interior of the amphitheatre was adorned with splendid temples and palaces, ascending, rank above rank, from the shore to the summit, the appearance from the sea must have been very imposing. Now the whole area is planted over with orchards of the various kinds of fruit which flourish in this region" (Thomson, 'The Land and the Book,' Southern Palestine, p. 171). In spite of its bad harbour, it carried on a lucrative foreign commerce, which was the chief cause of its power and importance (Ewald, 'Hist. of Israel,' 1:247, Eng. transl.). It was about fifty Roman miles from Jerusalem. In mediaeval times there were two cities of the name, one on the coast (Jeremiah 47:7), the same as Herod's Ascalon, and one inland. In its palmiest days the former could never have had a real harbour ('Survey Memoirs,' 3, pp. 245, 246). Ekron, hod. Akir, was twelve miles northeast of Ashdod, and some nine from the coast. Ashdod was taken by Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:6), by the tartan, or commander-in-chief, of Sargon (Isaiah 20:1), and by Psammetichus King of Egypt (so. 635), when it sustained a siege of twenty-nine years (Herod., 2:157). Sennacherib, in a cuneiform inscription, records how he treated the two other cities: "Zedekiah King of Ashkelon," he says, "who had not submitted himself to my yoke, himself, the gods of the house of his fathers, his wife, his sons, his daughters, and his brothers, the seed of the house of his fathers, I removed, and I sent him to Assyria. I set over the men of Ashkelon, Sarludari, the son of Rukipti, their former king, and I imposed upon him the payment of tribute, and the homage due to my majesty, and he became a vassal.... I marched against the city of Ekron, and put to death the priests and the chief men who had committed the sin (of rebellion), and I hung up their bodies on stakes all round the city. The citizens who had done wrong and wickedness I counted as a spoil" (Professor Sayce, 'Fresh Light from the Monuments,' pp. 120, 121). I will turn mine hand; literally, will bring back my hand; visit again with punishment, or repeat the blow (Isaiah 1:25; Jeremiah 6:9; see note on Zechariah 13:7). The remnant. All the Philistines who had as yet escaped destruction (comp. Amos 9:12; Jeremiah 6:9). Amos 1:8Philistia. - Amos 1:6. "Thus saith Jehovah, For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I shall not reverse it, because they carried away captives in full number to deliver them up to Edom, Amos 1:7. I send fire into the wall of Gaza, and it will eat their palaces; Amos 1:8. And I exterminate the inhabitant from Ashdod, and the sceptre-holder from Askelon, and turn my hand against Ekron, and the remnant of the Philistines will perish, saith the Lord Jehovah." Instead of the Philistines generally, the prophet mentions Gaza in Amos 1:6. This is still a considerable town, bearing the old name Guzzeh (see the comm. on Joshua 13:3), and was the one of the five capitals of the Philistines which had taken the most active part as a great commercial town in handing over the Israelitish prisoners to the Edomites. For it is evident that Gaza is simply regarded as a representative of Philistia, from the fact that in the announcement of the punishment, the other capitals of Philistia are also mentioned. Gâlūth shelēmâh is correctly explained by Jerome thus: "a captivity so perfect and complete, that not a single captive remained who was not delivered to the Idumaeans." The reference is to captive Israelites, who were carried off by the Philistines, and disposed of by them to the Edomites, the arch-enemies of Israel. Amos no doubt had in his mind the invasion of Judah by the Philistines and tribes of Arabia Petraea in the time of Joram, which is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 21:16, and to which Joel had already alluded in Joel 3:3., where the Phoenicians and Philistines are threatened with divine retribution for having plundered the land, and sold the captive Judaeans to the Javanites (Ionians). But it by no means follows from this, that the "sons of Javan" mentioned in Joel 3:6 are not Greeks, but the inhabitants of the Arabian Javan noticed in Ezekiel 27:19. The fact was simply this: the Philistines sold one portion of the many prisoners, taken at that time, to the Edomites, and the rest to the Phoenicians, who disposed of them again to the Greeks. Joel simply mentions the latter circumstance, because, in accordance with the object of his prophecy, his design was to show the wide dispersion of the Jews, and their future gathering out of all the lands of their banishment. Amos, on the other hand, simply condemns the delivering of the captives to Edom, the arch-foe of Israel, to indicate the greatness of the sin involved in this treatment of the covenant nation, or the hatred which the Philistines had displayed thereby. As a punishment for this, the cities of Philistia would be burned by their enemies, the inhabitants would be exterminated, and the remnant perish. Here again, as in Amos 1:4, Amos 1:5, the threat is rhetorically individualized, so that in the case of one city the burning of the city itself is predicted, and in that of another the destruction of its inhabitants. (On Ashdod, Askelon, and Ekron, see the comm. on Joshua 13:3.) השׁיב יד, to return the hand, i.e., to turn or stretch it out again (see comm. on 2 Samuel 8:3). The use of this expression may be explained on the ground, that the destruction of the inhabitants of Ashdod and Askelon has already been thought of as a stretching out of the hand. The fifth of the Philistian capitals, Gath, is not mentioned, though not for the reason assigned by Kimchi, viz., that it belonged to the kings of Judah, or had been conquered by Uzziah, for Uzziah had not only conquered Gath and Jabneh, but had taken Ashdod as well, and thrown down the walls (2 Chronicles 26:6), and yet Amos mentions Ashdod; nor because Gath had been taken by the Syrians (2 Kings 12:18), for this Syrian conquest was not a lasting one, and in the prophet's time (cf. Amos 6:2), and even later (cf. Micah 1:10), it still maintained its independence, and was a very distinguished city; but for the simple reason that the individualizing description given by the prophet did not require the complete enumeration of all the capitals, and the idea of been named, but all that was still in existence, and had escaped destruction" (Amos 9:12 and Jeremiah 6:9), it nevertheless includes not merely the four states just named, but every part of Philistia that had hitherto escaped destruction, so that Gath must be included.
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