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Jeremiah

Jeremiah 47 Summary

Jeremiah 47 Summary: Jeremiah chapter 47 is directed against the nation known as the Philistines – as we can see in verse 1.

KJV Jeremiah 47:1 ¶ The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet [against/concerning] the Philistines, before that Pharaoh [smote/struck down/attacked] Gaza.

And the date of this oracle was probably 609 BC. This was the same year as Josiah’s death at the hands of Pharaoh Necho. Further, this year – 609 BC – is about 4 years before the Battle of Carchemish, where Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon defeated Necho and Egypt.

Jeremiah 47 Summary
A Flood Coming (47:2)

Now, the Lord starts his oracle against the Philistines by putting in their minds a picture of a flood. That flood will turn out to be Babylon. Verse 2.

2 Thus saith the LORD;

[Behold/Look!], [waters/enemies that are like water in a river] [rise up/are rising] out of the north [the direction from which Babylon would come…],
and shall [be/become/be like] an overflowing [flood/torrent/stream],

and shall [overflow/overwhelm] the land,
and all that [is therein/fills it];

the city,
and them that dwell therein:

then the men shall [cry/cry out in alarm],
and all the inhabitants of the land shall [howl/wail/cry out in pain].

Jeremiah 47 Summary
Debilitating Terror (47:3)

And when Babylon comes – with all their horses and all their chariots – they will cause the Philistines terror that will be debilitating for them. Verse 3.

3 At the noise of the stamping of the hoofs of his strong horses,
at the rushing of his chariots,
and at the rumbling of his wheels,

the fathers shall not look back to their children for feebleness of hands;

So, the terror of this invasion would be so overwhelming that fathers – usually notable for their bravery and desire to protect their families and especially their little ones – will refuse to turn back and try to save those whom they would usually be very much inclined to protect from danger.

Jeremiah 47 Summary
Purpose Behind Invasion (47:4)

Now, why was the Lord going to bring Babylon to invade and conquer the Philistines? He lets us in on one aspect of the reason in verse 4.

4 Because of the day that [cometh/has come] [Why is God bringing that day?…]
to [spoil/destroy] all the Philistines, [What’s the purpose of that?…]
and to cut off from Tyrus and Zidon [every helper/all the help] that remaineth:

for the LORD [will spoil/is destroying/will destroy] the Philistines,
the remnant [of/that came from] the [country/coastland/island] of [Caphtor/Crete].

So, the purpose behind the Lord sending Babylon to destroy the Philistines was to break off support to Tyre and Sidon.

And that might strike us as a strange purpose that God seems to give out-of-the-blue here. Because we haven’t even heard of the judgement of Tyre and Sidon – nor will we hear of it in this section of Jeremiah.

So, why mention Tyre and Sidon and God’s desire to cut off support from those two cities here?

Let’s consider for a moment what the New Testament reveals as to why God judged Tyre and Sidon. Think of Jesus’ statements in the gospels when he is denouncing the cities that didn’t repent at his presence. He said, “It will be more tolerable for … Tyre and Sidon in the judgement than for you [unrepentant cities].” And the Lord uses another city in that denunciation formula. And that city is Sodom.

So, Jesus was comparing sinful unrepentant cities – Sodom, Tyre, and Sidon – with cities that were even worse because Jesus was among them and they still didn’t repent.

So, here’s what we need to catch from that. God the Son – Jesus Christ – considered Tyre and Sidon very sinful and unrepentant.

So, that much is established from the New Testament.

But do we have any more information about Tyre and Sidon and why God here in the book of Jeremiah is so concerned with cutting off their support? We do.

Ezekiel was a contemporary of the prophet Jeremiah. Ezekiel was perhaps a bit younger than Jeremiah. But a bigger difference between these two prophets is that Jeremiah ministered in Judah and was with those Jews in that nation until the bitter end. In contrast, Ezekiel was exiled to Babylon when Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah during Jehoiakim’s reign.

And — interestingly enough — in Ezekiel 28 we have the Lord pronouncing the following judgement against Tyre – one of these cities whose support God wants to cut off. Here it is.

KJV Ezekiel 28:5 [God speaking to Tyre…] By thy great [wisdom/skill] [and by thy/in] [traffick/trade] hast thou increased thy riches,
and thine heart is [lifted up/proud] because of thy riches:

6 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD;

Because [thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God/you think you are godlike];

7 Behold, therefore I will bring [strangers/foreigners] [upon/against] thee,
the [terrible/most terrifying] of the nations:

and they shall draw their swords against the beauty [of/made by] thy wisdom,
and they shall defile thy [brightness/splendor].

OK, so, we actually need to go to Ezekiel to see one of the reasons why God was going to cut off support for Tyre and Sidon by punishing the Philistines. Tyre – at least – started viewing themselves as gods. And the real and only God understandably had a problem with that.

So, since the Philistines were a help to these two cities, God was going to destroy them. That’s the one purpose that God gives in this chapter for sending Babylon against the Philistines…

Now, one more thing to address from this verse is this statement about where the Philistines originated from. The KJV says Caphtor. We have reason to believe this was the island that we know of as Crete. Crete is out in the Mediterranean Sea to this day. It’s south-east of Greece, south-west of Turkey, and north of both Libya and Egypt.

And interestingly Jeremiah chapter 47, verse 4 isn’t the only place that mentions that the Philistines were from this island of Caphtor or Crete. Amos 9:7 says the same thing.

KJV Amos 9:7 [Speaking to Israel, God says…] Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the LORD. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?

Jeremiah 47 Summary
Mourning (47:5)

Alright, well, moving on, because of God’s purposed destruction of the Philistines, now verse 5 says that there would be mourning throughout that nation.

5 Baldness [which indicates mourning…] is come upon Gaza;
[The people of…] Ashkelon [is cut off with/has perished/will be struck dumb]

[O/You…] [the remnant/who remain] of [their valley/Philistia’s power]:
how long wilt thou [cut/gash] thyself [to show your sorrow…]?

Jeremiah 47 Summary
God’s Punishment is Unstoppable (47:6-7)

And then verses 6 and 7 relate that God’s punishment that he intended to bring on the Philistines would be unstoppable.

6 [The Philistines are pictured saying…] [O/Ah!] thou sword of the LORD,
how long will it be ere thou [be quiet/stop killing]?

put up thyself into thy [scabbard/sheath],
[rest, and be still/stay there and rest].

7 [But here’s God’s response…] How can it [be quiet/rest], [seeing/when] [I…] the LORD hath given it [a charge/orders]
[against/to attack] Ashkelon, and against the sea shore? there hath he appointed it.

So, the Philistines would experience destruction at the hands of Babylon just like Judah and just like Egypt, as we’ve seen in the last few chapters of the book of Jeremiah.

And that ends chapter 47.

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