Jeremiah 47:7
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
How can it be quiet when the LORD has given it a charge? Against Ashkelon and against the seashore he has appointed it.”

King James Bible
How can it be quiet, seeing the LORD hath given it a charge against Ashkelon, and against the sea shore? there hath he appointed it.

American Standard Version
How canst thou be quiet, seeing Jehovah hath given thee a charge? Against Ashkelon, and against the sea-shore, there hath he appointed it.

Douay-Rheims Bible
How shall it be quiet, when the Lord hath given it a charge against Ascalon, and against the countries thereof by the sea side, and there hath made an appointment for it?

English Revised Version
How canst thou be quiet, seeing the LORD hath given thee a charge? against Ashkelon, and against the sea shore, there hath he appointed it.

Webster's Bible Translation
How can it be quiet, seeing the LORD hath given it a charge against Ashkelon, and against the sea shore? there hath he appointed it.

Jeremiah 47:7 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The word of the Lord against the Philistines came to Jeremiah "before Pharaoh smote Gaza." If we understand this time-definition in such a way that "the prophecy would refer to the conquest of Gaza by Pharaoh," as Graf thinks, and as Hitzig also is inclined to suppose, then this portion of the title does not accord with the contents of the following prophecy; for, according to Jeremiah 47:2, the devastator of Philistia approaches from the north, and the desolation comes not merely on Gaza, but on all Philistia, and even Tyre and Sidon (Jeremiah 47:4, Jeremiah 47:5). Hence Graf thinks that, if any one is inclined to consider the title as utterly incorrect, only two hypotheses are possible: either the author of the title overlooked the statement in Jeremiah 47:2, that the hostile army was to come from the north; in which case this conquest might have taken place at any time during the wearisome struggles, fraught with such changes of fortune, between the Chaldeans and the Egyptians for the possession of the border fortresses, during the reign of Jehoiakim (which is Ewald's opinion): or he may possibly have noticed the statement, but found no difficulty in it; in which case, in spite of all opposing considerations (see M. von Niebuhr, Gesch. Assyr. und Bab. p. 369), it must be assumed that the conquest was effected by the defeated army as it was returning from the Euphrates, when Necho, on his march home, reduced Gaza (Hitzig), and by taking this fortress from the enemy, barred the way to Egypt. Of these two alternatives, we can accept neither as probable. The neglect, on the part of the author of the title, to observe the statement that the enemy is to come from the north, would show too great carelessness for us to trust him. But if he did notice the remark, then it merely follows that Pharaoh must have reduced Gaza on his return, after being defeated at Carchemish. Nor is it legitimate to conclude, as Ewald does, from the statement in 2 Kings 24:7 ("The king of Egypt went no more out of his land; for the king of Babylon had taken all that had belonged to the king of Egypt, from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates"), that the wars between the Chaldeans and the Egyptians for the possession of the border fortresses, such as Gaza, were tedious, and attended with frequent changes of fortune. In the connection in which it stands, this statement merely shows that, after Nebuchadnezzar had made Jehoiakim his vassal, the latter could not receive any help from Egypt in his rebellion, after he had ruled three years, because Pharaoh did not venture to march out of his own territory any more. But it plainly follows from this, that Pharaoh cannot have taken the fortress of Gaza while retreating before Nebuchadnezzar. For, in this case, Nebuchadnezzar would have been obliged to drive him thence before ever he could have reduced King Jehoiakim again to subjection. The assumption is difficult to reconcile with what Berosus says regarding the campaign of Nebuchadnezzar, viz., that the continued in the field till he heard of the death of his father. Add to this, that, as M. von Niebuhr very rightly says, "there is every military probability against it" (i.e., against the assumption that Gaza was reduced by Necho on his retreat). "If this fortress had stood out till the battle of Carchemish, then it is inconceivable that a routed eastern army should have taken the city during its retreat, even though there were, on the line of march, the strongest positions on the Orontes, in Lebanon, etc., where it might have taken its stand." Hence Niebuhr thinks it "infinitely more improbable either that Gaza was conquered before the battle of Carchemish, about the same time as Ashdod, and that Jeremiah, in Jeremiah 47:1-7, predicts the approach of the army which was still engaged in the neighbourhood of Nineveh; or that the capture of the fortress did not take place till later, when Nebuchadnezzar was again engaged in Babylon, and that the prophet announces his return, not his first approach."

Rosenmller and Ngelsbach have declared in favour of the first of these suppositions. Both of them place the capture of Gaza in the time of Necho's march against the Assyrians under Josiah; Rosenmller before the battle of Megiddo; Ngelsbach after that engagement, because he assumes, with all modern expositors, that Necho had landed with his army at the Bay of Acre. He endeavours to support this view by the observation that Necho, before marching farther north, sought to keep the way clear for a retreat to Egypt, since he would otherwise have been lost after the battle of Carchemish, if he did not previously reduce Gaza, the key of the high road to Egypt. In this, Ngelsbach rightly assumes that the heading, "before Pharaoh smote Gaza," was not intended to show the fulfilment of the prophecy in the conquest of Gaza by Necho soon afterwards, but merely states that Jeremiah predicts to the Philistines that they will be destroyed by a foe from the north, at a time when conquest by a foe from the north was impending over them. Rightly, too, does Niebuhr remark that, in support of the view that Gaza was taken after the battle at Carchemish, there is nothing more than the announcement of the attack from the north, and the arrangement of the prophecies in Jeremiah, in which that against the Philistines is placed after that about the battle of Carchemish. Hitzig and Graf lay great weight upon this order and arrangement, and thence conclude that all the prophecies against the nations in Jeremiah 46-49, with the exception of that regarding Elam, were uttered in the fourth year of Jehoiakim. There are no sufficient grounds for this conclusion. The agreement between this prophecy now before us and that in Jeremiah 46, as regards particular figures and expressions (Graf), is too insignificant to afford a proof that the two belong to the same time; nor is much to be made out of the point so strongly insisted on by Hitzig, that after the Egyptians, as the chief nation, had been treated of, the author properly brings forward those who, from the situation of their country, must be visited by war immediately before it is sent on the Egyptians. The main foundation for this view is taken from the notice by Herodotus (ii. 159), that Necho, after the battle at Magdolos, took the large Syrian city Κάδυτις. Magdolos is here taken as a variation of Megiddo, and Kadytis of Gaza. But neither Hitzig nor Stark have proved the identity of Kadytis with Gaza, as we have already remarked on 2 Kings 23:33; so that we cannot safely draw any conclusion, regarding the time when Gaza was taken, from that statement of Herodotus. In consequence of the want of evidence from other sources, the date of this event cannot be more exactly determined.

From the contents of this prophecy and its position among the oracles against the nations, we can draw no more than a very probable inference that it was not published before the fourth year of Jehoiakim, inasmuch as it is evidently but a further amplification of the sentence pronounced in that year against all the nations, and recorded in Jeremiah 25. Thus all conjectures as to the capture of Gaza by Necho on his march to the Euphrates, before the battle at Carchemish, become very precarious. But the assumption is utterly improbable also, that Necho at a later period, whether in his flight before the Chaldeans, or afterwards, while Nebuchadnezzar was occupied in Babylon, undertook an expedition against Philistia: such a hypothesis is irreconcilable with the statement given in 2 Kings 24; 7. There is thus no course left open for us, but to understand, by the Pharaoh of the title here, not Necho, but his successor Hophra: this has been suggested by Rashi, who refers to Jeremiah 37:5, Jeremiah 37:11, and by Perizonius, in his Origg. Aegypt. p. 459, who founds on the notices of Herodotus (ii. 261) and of Diodorus Siculus, i. 68, regarding the naval battle between Apries on the one hand and the Cyprians and Phoenicians on the other. From these notices, it appears pretty certain that Pharaoh-Hophra sought to avenge the defeat of Necho on the Chaldeans, and to extend the power of Egypt in Asia. Hence it is also very probable that he took Gaza, with the view of getting into his hands this key of the highway to Egypt. This assumption we regard as the most probable, since nothing has been made out against it; there are no sufficient grounds for the opinion that this prophecy belongs to the same time as that in Jeremiah 46.

Contents of the Prophecy. - From the north there pours forth a river, inundating fields and cities, whereupon lamentation begins. Every one flees in haste before the sound of the hostile army, for the day of desolation is come on all Philistia and Phoenicia (Jeremiah 47:2-4). The cities of Philistia mourn, for the sword of the Lord is incessantly active among them (Jeremiah 47:5-7). This brief prophecy thus falls into two strophes: in the first (Jeremiah 47:2-4), the ruin that is breaking over Philistia is described; in the second (Jeremiah 47:5-7), its operation on the country and on the people.

Jeremiah 47:7 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

can it [heb] canst not
the Lord

1 Samuel 15:3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling...

Isaiah 10:6 I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil...

Isaiah 13:3 I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for my anger, even them that rejoice in my highness.

Isaiah 37:26 Have you not heard long ago, how I have done it; and of ancient times, that I have formed it? now have I brought it to pass...

Isaiah 45:1-3 Thus said the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held, to subdue nations before him...

Isaiah 46:10,11 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand...

Ezekiel 14:17 Or if I bring a sword on that land, and say, Sword, go through the land; so that I cut off man and beast from it:

Amos 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD has not done it?

the sea

Ezekiel 25:16 Therefore thus said the Lord GOD; Behold, I will stretch out my hand on the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethims...

Zephaniah 2:6,7 And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks...

hath he

Micah 6:9 The LORD's voice cries to the city, and the man of wisdom shall see your name: hear you the rod, and who has appointed it.

Cross References
Isaiah 10:6
Against a godless nation I send him, and against the people of my wrath I command him, to take spoil and seize plunder, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.

Jeremiah 48:10
"Cursed is he who does the work of the LORD with slackness, and cursed is he who keeps back his sword from bloodshed.

Ezekiel 14:17
"Or if I bring a sword upon that land and say, Let a sword pass through the land, and I cut off from it man and beast,

Ezekiel 21:30
Return it to its sheath. In the place where you were created, in the land of your origin, I will judge you.

Micah 6:9
The voice of the LORD cries to the city-- and it is sound wisdom to fear your name: "Hear of the rod and of him who appointed it!

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