New American Bible (Revised Edition)
Against the Philistines. 1 The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the Philistines, before Pharaoh attacked Gaza:(A)
2 Thus says the Lord:
[a] See: waters are rising from the north,
to become a torrent in flood;
They shall flood the land and all it contains,
the cities and their inhabitants.
People will howl and wail,
every inhabitant of the land.
3 At the noise of the pounding hooves of his steeds,
the clanking chariots, the rumbling wheels,
Parents do not turn back for their children;
their hands hang helpless,
4 Because of the day that is coming
to destroy all the Philistines
And cut off from Tyre and Sidon[b]
the last of their allies.
Yes, the Lord is destroying the Philistines,
the remnant from the coasts of Caphtor.(B)
5 Baldness is visited upon Gaza,(C)
Ashkelon is reduced to silence;
Ashdod, remnant of their strength,
how long will you gash yourself?[c]
6 Ah! Sword of the Lord!
When will you find rest?
Return to your scabbard;
stop, be still!
7 How can it find rest
when the Lord has commanded it?
Against Ashkelon and the seacoast,
there he has appointed it.(D)
- 47:2–7 Nebuchadnezzar’s military campaign against Ashkelon in 604 B.C. may provide some historical background for this poem.
- 47:4 Tyre and Sidon: Phoenician seaports allied commercially with the Philistines and often rebelling against Nebuchadnezzar; cf. 27:1–4. After the capture of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar carried out a partially successful thirteen-year siege of Tyre. Caphtor: Crete and other Aegean islands, points of origin for the Philistines and other sea peoples; cf. Am 9:7.
- 47:5 Baldness…gash yourself: close-cropped hair, silence, and ritual slashing of the body express mourning and grief and here represent the mourner’s awareness that chaos has overcome order (cf. 41:5).