Gentleness of the prophetⅠ The powerful hostile ethnic / PhilistinesJeremiah 47:1-7
In the Chapter 46-51, the messages to the seven ethnics (or eight?) which are spread to Palestine and Egypt (Philistines, Moab, Ammon, Edom, Damascus, Kedar and Hazor, and Elam), and the messages to Babylon have been talked. I talked as for Egypt last week, but I do not treat of all information about ethnic the rest. This morning, I want to only look at the divine revelation of Babylon and Philistines. For Palestinian nations, because those are all hostile nations of Israel for a long time, even if expressed differently, the divine revelation of threat to them is not different. The Philistine is a race which became the etymology of Palestine pointing to Canaan, (After the Bar Kokhba revolt-132 years, it was renamed Syria Palace Royalty Nen system by Rome), originally, Philistine seems to have been maritime people somewhere in the Aegean Sea. They were proud of advanced civilization; for example, they used the iron weapon ahead than other ethnic groups. They moved to Canaan for some reason, and had built their own country on the Mediterranean coast plains. As a hostile nation to Israel, its name often comes out from the times of Abraham. In the famous place, it is in "the story of Samson and Delilah" of Judges, and giant Goliath that boy David challenged a fight is also the Philistines. It was the strongest ethnic against Israel. However, after David, in the most era, it was yielding to Israel.
In the title of Verse 1, there is it, "That which came as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the Philistines, before Pharaoh conquered Gaza.", but originally, it seems to have been the simple title, "for the Philistines". A part of "before Pharaoh conquered Gaza", it is not in Septuagint; probably, it would have been retouched by the editor of the Babylonian captivity. Gaza, it was located in southern Philistines, and it was one of the five largest cities, but it became a rule land of Israel, and it fell into the hands of Assyria; such transition had been repeated. Gaza attack by Necho of Egypt has been mentioned in "History" of Herodotus (BC605 years?), it is considered it would have been a fact. Although there is a time width, but a time that various crisis attacked Judah and a time that stern warning was issued to the Philistines, those will overlap. Why such severe judgement has been given to the Philistines?, however, God and Jeremiah and Baruch are silent for some reason. It seems there was something related to the kingdom of Judah.
Ⅱ Like a flood
"Behold, waters are going to rise from the north and become an overflowing torrent, and overflow the land and all its fullness, the city and those who live in to; and the men will cry out, and every inhabitant of the land will wail. Because of the noise of the galloping hoofs of his stallions, the tumult of his chariots, and the rumbling of his wheels, the fathers have not turned back for their children, because of the limpness of their hands, on account of the day that is coming to destroy all the Philistines, to cut off from Tyre and Sidon every ally that is left;" (2-4a) "From the north", it is Babylon. The invasion to Philistines has been likened to a flood, but, invasion of Babironiya army which comes while raising horses' hooves and the sound of tanks etc., for the people of this region, it would have been felt similar to flooding of the rainy season, which has been experienced every year. This district is a tropical climate of two stage system called the dry season and the rainy season. Recently, Japan seems to be showing signs similar to it. Although there is a riverbed which called Wadi also in the dry season; but there is not even of one drop of water. In the rainy season, water becomes full in the Wadi, and it builds other rivers separately, and it will swept away everything. The Philistines knew its fear by experience. When they have overwhelmed Israel, they did not have surprised in a flood of little, but it has passed 400 years since the days of David; there is no vestige of that now. "Fathers have not turned back for their children,"; it would be saying that because they were dominated by Israel which was under the umbrella of them once, as well as the weak ethnic of neighborhoods, they would have become lethargic. However, because the time of this oracle has been spoken in the early reign of Jehoiakim king, it was only the divine revelation of Yahweh still. But, it is thought that its severity would have been the same that Babironiya army came to attack actually. But, it is unknown about the time when its invasion of Babylon military was done.
"On account of the day that is coming to destroy all the Philistines, to cut off from Tyre and Sidon every ally that is left; for the Lord is going to destroy the Philistines, the remnant of the coastland of Caphtor." (4) The port city / Tyre and Sidon of Fenikiya which were located in a little north, they seem to have been in relationship of alliance city with the Philistines under the threat of Babylon. However, because those cities were attacked by Babylon ahead, no longer they can send reinforcements in the Philistines. Caphtor seems to be Crete. There would also have been the Philistines who did not settle in Canaan. Because they were a maritime people, it seemed not only Crete but it had survived the same ethnic group becomes a small group here and there; however probably, Babylon would have attacked and destroyed such people. "Baldness has come upon Gaza; Ashkelon has been ruined. O remnant of their valley, how long will you gash yourself?" (5) Cities of the Philistines were captured one after another.
Ⅲ Gentleness of the prophet
Nebuchadnezzar king who defeated the army of Necho of Egypt in Carchemish sent Babironiya army to Canaan; but preceding it, he captured the various nation-state of Canaan in sequence, and Aram, Moab, and Ammonites were sent as a vanguard to attack Judah (12:12, see Jeremiah 15). That was BC601, but will it overlap with that time? But at this time, the name of Tyre, the Philistines, and Sidon are not found there. Such tactics of Babylon which involve the Philistines, it must have repeated many times until the era of Zedekiah from Jehoiakim. A little later, messengers of such countries came to Zedekiah king. It was invitation to bind a military alliance together for a menace of Babylon (27:2-4). "And send word to the king of Edom, to the king of Moab, to the king of the sons of Ammon, to the king of Tyre, and to the king of Sidon by the messengers who come to Jerusalem to Zedekia kig of Judah."; there come out the names of Sidon and Tyre. Jeremiah has prevented the military alliance at this time; but it seems that there were many times such a things (27:4-11). In Cannan, the fact of to stick and to leave away, it was normal from old days. Not only Canaan, the war would have been such a thing. So, various events were interlaced to the editor of the Babylonian captivity at this time, it is not possible to determine the approximate date this divine revelation was realized. I do not know about when it was done, but if various nation-state of Canaan, Edom, Moab, Tyre, and Sidon, has betrayed after yielding to Babylon, maybe, such destruction and retaliation was natural. And, also the Philistines were contained in them.
Verse 6-7, it is a grief of Jeremiah. "Ah, sword of the Lord, how long will you not be quiet? Withdraw into you sheath; be at rest and stay still. How can it be quiet, when the Lord has given it an order? Against Ashkelon and against seacoast--- there He has assigned it." Even today, this grief of Jeremiah seems to be heard. The complete works called "the history of the war" were published by Heibonsha Publishers Ltd., before, but most of the contents were the same as the general history. History of war and human history are overlapping. It has been pointed out that global overall war is no longer able because weapon became a giant; but it does not necessarily mean that the trigger is also not removed when and what kind of opportunity. Not only a bullet of iron flies, but also, including economic warfare, the human action that has forgotten God is highlighted. However, in this threat prophecy, the question of Jeremiah, "Why God has ordered to the sword?", seems to be oozing. For foreign people and the Philistines which was enemy to Israel, the eyes of Jeremiah are very kind. No, is it good to say for humans? Even if they are a gentile or a foreigner, for God, they all are the people of God. But they were addicted to Baal and Ishtar goddess, and have forgotten Yahweh. Israel was chosen as a country of the Rabbi, to remind them of Yahweh. Yet, Israel is ...! Tenderness of Jeremiah, it would have been that Israel should remember. We also desire to want to have such gentleness. As Paul said, "... that formerly you, the Gentile in the flesh, who are called 'Uncircumcission' by the so-called 'Cercumcision' who are called in the flesh by human hands--- ..." (Ephesians 2:11-22), ... as those who seek the Lord's people.