New English Translation
4 For the time has come
to destroy all the Philistines.
The time has come to destroy all the help
that remains for Tyre and Sidon.
For I, the Lord, will[a] destroy the Philistines,
that remnant that came from the island of Crete.[b]
5 The people of Gaza will shave their heads in mourning.
The people of Ashkelon will be struck dumb.
How long will you gash yourselves to show your sorrow,[c]
you who remain of Philistia’s power?[d]
6 How long will you cry out,[e] ‘Oh, sword of the Lord,
how long will it be before you stop killing?[f]
Go back into your sheath;
stay there and rest!’[g]
- Jeremiah 47:4 tn Heb “For the Lord will.” The first person style has been adopted because the Lord is speaking (cf. v. 2).
- Jeremiah 47:4 sn All the help that remains for Tyre and Sidon and that remnant that came from the island of Crete appear to be two qualifying phrases that refer to the Philistines, the last pertaining to their origin and the first to their vital alliance with Tyre and Sidon. “Crete” is literally “Caphtor,” which is generally identified with the island of Crete. The Philistines had come from there (Amos 9:7) in the wave of migration from the Aegean Islands during the twelfth and eleventh centuries. They had settled on the Philistine plain after having been repulsed from trying to enter Egypt.
- Jeremiah 47:5 sn Shaving one’s head and gashing one’s body were customs to show mourning or sadness for the dead (cf. Deut 14:1; Mic 1:16; Ezek 27:31; Jer 16:6; 48:37).
- Jeremiah 47:5 tn Or “you who are left alive on the Philistine plain.” Or “you who remain of the Anakim.” The translation follows the suggestion of several of the modern commentaries that the word עֵמֶק (ʿemeq) means “strength” or “power” here (see J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 698; J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 310; and see also HALOT 803 s.v. II עֵמֶק). It is a rare homonym of the word that normally means “valley,” which seems to be an inappropriate designation of the Philistine plain. Many of the modern English versions and commentaries follow the Greek version, which reads here “remnant of the Anakim” (עֲנָקִים [ʿanaqim] instead of עִמְקָם [ʿimqam], a confusion of basically one letter). This emendation is followed by both BDB 771 s.v. עֵמֶק and KBL 716 s.v. עֵמֶק. The Anakim were generally associated with the southern region around Hebron, but an enclave of them was known to have settled in Gaza, Gath, and Ekron, three of the Philistine cities (cf. Josh 11:22). However, the facts that this judgment is directed against the Philistines, not the Anakim, and that this homonym apparently appears also in Jer 49:4 make the reading of “power” more likely here.
- Jeremiah 47:6 tn The words “How long will you cry out” are not in the text, but some such introduction seems necessary because the rest of the speech assumes a personal subject.
- Jeremiah 47:6 tn Heb “before you are quiet/at rest.”
- Jeremiah 47:6 sn The passage is highly figurative. The sword of the Lord, which is itself a figure of the destructive agency of the enemy armies, is here addressed as a person and is encouraged by rhetorical questions (questions designed to dissuade) and commands to “be quiet,” “be at rest,” and “be silent,” all of which aim to get the Lord to call off the destruction against the Philistines.