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The Destruction of the Philistines and the Egyptians foretold.
The destruction of the Philistines.

1 The word of the Lo RD that came to Jeremiah the prophet against the Philistines, before that Pharaoh smote * Gaza 19.

* As no history, either sacred or profane, has mentioned the capture of Gaza,
by the king of Egypt, there is no means of ascertaining the precise date of the
delivery of this prophecy. Lightfoot has placed it in this ninth year of Zede-
kiah; on the supposition that Gaza was taken by Pharaoh's army soon after
this time. In the fourth verse the Philistines are called the remnant of the
country of Caphtor. This expression perhaps will serve as a clue to the right
understanding of the history. On consulting the map of Palestine, we find that
Gaza was a city of the tribe of Judah, and that it was near the sea coast. The
circumstances related concerning it in the Old Testament prove the great im-
portance attached to it, both by the Israelites and the surrounding nations. It
was given to Judah, in the division of the country by Joshua; and it was one
of the five principalities of the Philistines towards the southern extremity of
Canaan. It was frequently taken and retaken by the Philistines and Hebrews;
and, after having been lost by Ahaz, it was finally conquered by Hezekiah,
(2 Kings xviii. 8.)
These contests for the possession of Gaza are supposed, by Calmet, to have
been occasioned by its favourable situation for commerce. The revolutions of
preceding ages, however, furnish us with more powerful reasons for these con-
In Gen. x. 13, 14. we read Misraim begat Ludim, and Ananim, and Leha-
bim, and Naphtuhim, and Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Phi-
listim) and Caphtorim. And in Deut. ii. 23. Moses, in commanding the Is.
raelites not to interfere with the possessions of the Ammonites, leaves his imme-
diate subject, and gives a short history of the conquest of the Zamzummins by
the Ammonites, in a prior age. This conquest leads us to allude to the defeat
of the Horim by the Edomites, and in ver, 23. to the overthrow of the Avims by
the Caphtorim; his words are, “the Avims which dwelt in Hazerim, even unto
Azzah, the Caphtorims, which came out of Caphtor destroyed them, and dwelt
in their stead.” Azza is the same as Gaza: the y, which commences the He-
brew name, being by the Septuagint pronounced as a G.
From comparing these expressions, it evidently appears that the Philistim,
who may be considered the same as the Egyptians, invaded Palestine, (to which
they gave their name) by the south-west; and leaving the country of the Caph-
torim, took possession of the sea coast as far as Gaza; before the Israelites en-
tered the Holy Land on the eastern side over the river Jordan. Bishop Cum-
berland, in his Dissertation on Deut. ii. 23. has plainly shewn that Caphtor was
the same as Pelusium; and, on referring to the map, it will be seen that the
Pelusiac mouth of the Nile is the nearest branch of that river to the country

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2 Thus saith the Lond; Behold, "waters rise up out of the north, and shall be an overflowing flood, and shall overflow the land, and * all that is therein; the city, and them that dwell therein: then the men shall cry, and all the inhabitants of the land shall howl. 3 At the noise of the stamping of the hoofs of his strong horses, at the rushing of his j. and at the rumbling of his wheels, the fathers shall not look back to their children 1or feebleness of hands;

A.C. 589.

b is. viii. 7.

* Heb. the

Julness thereof.

thus invaded. By keeping possession of Gaza, or of Ashkelon, on one side, and
Pelusium on the other, the Egyptians and Philistines maintained under their
dominion the whole of this part of the sea coast; a territory eminently valuable
to them. Besides which, it was the conquest of their ancestors, and a sure pro-
tection to their own territory: it was a certain source of revenue, and afforded
an easy admission into the country of the Israelites, whenever the distresses of
the Jews, or their own ambition prompted them to make an invasion. The
Egyptians and the Philistines therefore, who were the remnant of the country of
Caphtor, seeing at this juncture the distress of Judea, most probably attempted
to regain possession from the Jews, or Assyrians, of the sea coast, from Pelu-
sium to Ashkelon. Egypt and Assyria were the two powerful nations who
were contending for empire: the impoverished and crumbling dominion of Judea
was divided between them at their pleasure. The king of Assyria invaded it
from the east and north, had taken all its fortified towns, except Jerusalem,
Lachish, and Azekah, which two last places were not far distant from Gaza.
I have supposed, therefore, that on Nebuchadnezzar's rapid success in Pales-
tine, the king of Egypt, in union with the Philistines, was making an attempt
to recover possession of the much desired territory from Pelusium to Ashkelon.
In his progress through the country “he smote Gaza," and this conquest, with
the proximity of the Egyptian army, to those divisions of Nebuchadnezzar's
army which were besieging Lachish and Azekah, occasioned the raising of the
siege of Jerusalem by the larger part of the Chaldean army; on seeing which,
the Egyptians retreated to their own country, and left Zedekiah and the Jews
to their fate.
Dr. Blayney suggests the idea, that Gaza might have been taken by the
Egyptians on their retiring before the army of Nebuchadnezzar; but it is not
probable that an army, which was hastily retreating to its own territory for safety,
would stop before a strongly fortified town, besiege, and capture it. Others have
supposed that it was taken by Pharoah Necho, on his return from the battle of
Megiddo, where Josiah was killed, and when all the country submitted to his
victorious arms. But we have no authority, either for supposing that the whole
country submitted to Pharaoh, or that Jeremiah should predict the destruction
of the Philistines, on the capture of that town, more than on the capture of any
other. On considering the various authorities, it seems most probable, that the
capture of Gaza must either have been the cause of Nebuchadnezzar's raising
the siege of Jerusalem; or, that it was taken about the time when Lachish and
Azekah were besieged by the Chaldean army—Wide Bishop Cumberland's Ori-
gines Gentium, Tract 2nd ; Faber's Pag. Idol. vol. iii. p. 567; Lightfoot in
Joe: ; Dr. Blayney in loc.; Calmet's Dictionary, art. Gaza.

* o li

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4 Because of the day that cometh to spoil all the Philis- A.C. 580. times, and to cut off from Tyrus and Zidon every helper that remaineth: for the Lord will spoil the Philistines, the remnant of * the country of Caphtor. * Heb, the

5 Baldness is come upon Gaza; Ashkelon is cut off with the remnant of their valley: how long wilt thou cut thyself?

60 thou sword of the Lost D, how long will it be ere o: quiet? t put up thyself into thy scabbard, rest, and floor

7 f How can it be quiet, seeing the Lord hath given it a to charge against Ashkelon, and against the sea shore? there hath he appointed it.

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6 * Then came the word of the Lord unto the prophet Jeremiah, saying, 7 Thus saith the LoRD, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say to the king of Judah, that sent you unto me to enquire of me; Behold, Pharaoh's army, which is come forth . you, shall return to Egypt into their own land. 8 And the Chaldeans shall come again, and fight against this city, and take it, and burn it with fire. 9 Thus saith the LoRo; Deceive not $ yourselves, say- Heb soul. ing. The Chaldeans shall surely depart from us: for they shall not depart. 10 For though ye had smitten the whole army of the Chaldeans that fight against you, and there remained but lwounded men among them, yet should they rise up every J.Hon. man in his tent, and burn this city with fire. through.

Section XV.
On the Departure of the Chaldeans the Hebrew Slaves are
Jer EMIAH xxxiv. v ER. 11, To THE END.

11. But afterward they turned, and caused the servants and the handmaids, whom they had let go free, to return,

and brought them into subjection for servants and for hand-
maids 16.

"The prophet, in this part of chap. xxxiv. reproaches the people of Judah * the utter hollowness of their pretended reformation; and for their perfidious *nduct to their Hebrew slaves; whom they again reduced, in despite of their *enant, to their former unlawful bondage, as soon as the danger that threat‘med them from the Chaldeans appeared to be past. God threatens to punish

A.C. 589. 12 | Therefore the word of the Load came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 13 Thus saith the Lok D, the God of Israel; I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bond. men, saying, for xxi.; , 14 At the end of “seven years let ye go every man his o, at brother an Hebrew, which * hath been sold unto thee; and when he hath served thee six years, thou shalt let him go free from thee: but your fathers hearkened not unto me, neither inclined their ear. **** 15 And ye were now it turned, and had done right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbour; :*::::: and ye had made a covenant before me in the house twhich ** is called by my name: 16 But }. turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom he had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids. 17 Therefore thus saith the Lord ; Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbour: behold, I proclaima liberty for you, saith the Lord, to the sword, to the pesti* Hoor a lence, and to the famine; and I will make you Şto be "re§§vil moved into all the kingdoms of the earth. fo. 18 And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covevenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts thereof, 19 The princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land, which passed between the parts of the calf; 20 I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life: and their solo s' dead bodies shall be for meat unto the fowls of the heaven, xvi. and to the beasts of the earth. 21, And Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes will I give into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life, and into the hand of the king of Babylon's army, which are gone up from you.

them by giving liberty to the sword, to the pestilence, and the famine. He assures them he will deliver them into the hands of those enemies “who are gone up from you,” that he will cause them to return, and make Judah “adesolation without an inhabitant.”—See note on the first part of chapter xxxiv.

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22 Behold, I will command, saith the LoRD, and cause A.C. 589. them to return to this city ; and they shall fight against it, and take it, and burn it with fire: and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without an inhabitant.


Jeremiah, attempting to make his Escape from Jerusalem, is
again imprisoned.

JEREMIAH xxxvii. v ER. 11, To THE END.

11 * T And it came to pass, that when the army of the 588. Chaldeans was * broken up from Jerusalem for fear of Pha- ? Heb made raoh's army, to ascend. 12 Then Jeremiah went forth out of Jerusalem to go into the land of Benjamin, t to separate himself thence in the for midst of the people. o 13 And when he was in the gate of Benjamin, a captain ofton. of the ward was there, whose name was Irijah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah; and he took Jeremiah the prophet, saying, Thou fallest away to the Chaldeans. 14 Then said Jeremiah, It is f false; I fall not away to i.i. the Chaldeans. But he hearkened not to him: so Irijah took """ Jeremiah, and brought him to the princes. 15 Wherefore the princes were wroth with Jeremiah, and smote him, and put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe: for they had made that the prison. 16 M When Jeremiah was entered into the dungeon, and . the Ś cabins, and Jeremiah had remained there many or, als. ays; 17. Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took him out: and the king asked him secretly in his house, and said, Is there any word from the Lo RD ! And Jeremiah said, There is: for, said he, thou shalt be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon. 18 Moreover Jeremiah said unto king Zedekiah, What have I offended against thee, or against thy servants, or against this people, that ye have put me in prison? 19 Where are now your prophets which prophesied unto You, saying, The king of #. shall not come against You, nor against this land? 20 Therefore hear now, I pray thee, O my lord the king: let my supplication, I pray thee, be accepted before thee; He low that thou cause me not to return to the house of Jonathan ##" the scribe, lest I die there.

"The place and date of this part of Jeremiah xxxvii. are assigned in ver, 11.

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