“Do not rejoice, O Philistia, any of you,
Because the rod [of Judah] that struck you is broken;
For out of the serpent’s root will come a viper [King Hezekiah of Judah],
And its offspring will be a flying serpent.(A)
“The firstborn of the helpless [of Judah] will feed [on My meadows],
And the needy will lie down in safety;
But I will kill your root with famine,
And your survivors will be put to death.
“Howl, O gate; cry, O city!
Melt away, O Philistia, all of you;
For smoke comes out of the north,
And there is no straggler in his ranks and no one stands detached [in Hezekiah’s battalions].
15 ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Because the [a]Philistines have acted revengefully and have taken vengeance [contemptuously] with malice in their hearts to destroy with everlasting hostility and hatred,” 16 therefore thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I will stretch out My hand against the Philistines, and I will cut off the [b]Cherethites and destroy the remnant of the seacoast. 17 I will execute great vengeance on them with wrathful rebukes and chastisements and they will know [without any doubt] that I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance on them.”’”(A)Read full chapter
- Ezekiel 25:15 The name of this coastal people was derived from Philistia, the country bordering the Mediterranean where they settled. It is believed that they were originally from the island of Crete, home of the Minoan civilization.
- Ezekiel 25:16 Probably another name for the Philistines, or a reference to another closely related group from Crete also living in Philistia.
Thus says the Lord,
“For three transgressions of Gaza [in Philistia] and for four (multiplied delinquencies)
I will not reverse its punishment or revoke My word concerning it,
Because [as slave traders] they took captive the entire [Jewish] population [of defenseless Judean border villages, of which none was spared]
And deported them to Edom [for the slave trade].(A)
“So I will send a fire [of war, conquest, and destruction] on the wall of Gaza
And it shall consume her citadels.
“And I will cut off and destroy the inhabitants from Ashdod,
And the ruler who holds the scepter, from Ashkelon;
And I will unleash My power and turn My hand [in judgment] against Ekron,
And the rest of the Philistines [in Gath and the towns dependent on these four Philistine cities] shall die,”
Says the Lord God.(B)
For [this is the fate of the Philistines:] Gaza will be abandoned
And Ashkelon a desolation;
[The people of] Ashdod will be driven out at noon [in broad daylight]
And Ekron will be uprooted and destroyed.
Woe (judgment is coming) to the inhabitants of the seacoast,
The nation of the Cherethites [in Philistia]!
The word of the Lord is against you,
O Canaan, land of the Philistines;
I will destroy you
So that no inhabitant will be left.
So the [depopulated] seacoast shall be pastures,
With [deserted] meadows for shepherds and folds for flocks.
The [a]seacoast will belong
To the remnant of the house of Judah;
They will pasture [their flocks] on it.
In the [deserted] houses of Ashkelon [in Philistia] they [of Judah] will lie down and rest in the evening,
For the Lord their God will care for them;
And restore their fortune [permitting them to occupy the land].(A)
- Zephaniah 2:7 This is one of the more than twenty-five details of Bible prophecy about the promised land that has been literally fulfilled. See note Ezek 26:14 for information about a similar fulfillment of Bible prophecy with regard to Tyre.
[a]Ashkelon will see it and fear;
Gaza will writhe in pain,
And Ekron, for her hope and expectation, has been ruined.
The king will perish from Gaza,
And Ashkelon will not be inhabited.
And a mongrel race will live in Ashdod,
And I will put an end to the pride and arrogance of the Philistines.
I will take the blood from their mouths
And their detestable things from between their teeth [those repulsive, idolatrous sacrifices eaten with the blood].
Then they too will be a remnant for our God,
And be like a clan in Judah,
And Ekron will be like one of the [b]Jebusites.
- Zechariah 9:5 Ashkelon, one of the five major Philistine cities (Josh 13:3) was the birthplace of Herod the Great, and the home of his sister, Salome. Gath and Ashdod are the major Philistine cities not named in this verse. Zechariah’s prophecy about Ashkelon’s total destruction was fulfilled during the time of the Crusades, (about a.d. 1260-1270), when Sultan Baibars, who was fighting against the Crusaders, reduced the site of ancient Ashkelon to ruins and filled the harbor with stones.
- Zechariah 9:7 An ancient tribal people who lived in the area around Jerusalem before it was captured by King David. They were absorbed by other tribes and lost their identity in Israel.