29 “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. 30 “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. 31 “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].
47 The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the Philistines before Pharaoh attacked and conquered [the Philistine city of] Gaza.2 Thus says the Lord:
“Behold, waters are going to rise out of the north (Babylonia) And become an overflowing stream And overflow the land and all that is in it, The city and those who live in it. Then the people will cry out, And all the inhabitants of the land [of Philistia] will wail. 3 “Because of the noise of the stamping of the hoofs of the war-horses [of the Babylonian king], The rattling of his chariots, and the rumbling of his wheels, The fathers have not looked and turned back for their children, So weak are their hands [with terror] 4 Because of the day that is coming To destroy all the Philistines And to cut off from Tyre and Sidon Every ally who remains. For the Lord is going to destroy the Philistines, The remnant [still surviving] of the coastland of [a]Caphtor. 5 “Baldness [as a sign of mourning] will come on Gaza; Ashkelon will be cut off and ruined. O remnant of their valley, How long will you gash yourselves [as a sign of mourning]? 6 “O you sword of the Lord, How long will it be before you are quiet? Put yourself into your sheath; Rest and be still. 7 “How can His sword be quiet When the Lord has given it an order? Against Ashkelon and against the [whole Philistine] seashore There He has assigned it.”
Jeremiah 47:4A reference to the island of Crete, believed to be the original homeland of the Philistines.
6 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]. 7 “So I will send a fire [of war, conquest, and destruction] on the wall of Gaza And it shall consume her citadels. 8 “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.
4 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. 5 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. 6 So the [depopulated] seacoast shall be pastures, With [deserted] meadows for shepherds and folds for flocks. 7 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].
Zephaniah 2:7This 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.
5 [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. 6 And a mongrel race will live in Ashdod, And I will put an end to the pride and arrogance of the Philistines. 7 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 9:5Ashkelon, 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 9:7An 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.
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