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Jeremiah 47:1

Context
Judgment on the Philistine Cities

47:1 The Lord spoke to the prophet Jeremiah 1  about the Philistines before Pharaoh attacked Gaza. 2 

Jeremiah 47:5

Context

47:5 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, 3 

you who remain of Philistia’s power? 4 

1 tn Heb “That which came [as] the word of the Lord to Jeremiah.” For this same construction see 14:1; 46:1 and see the translator’s note at 14:1 for explanation.

2 sn The precise dating of this prophecy is uncertain. Several proposals have been suggested, the most likely of which is that the prophecy was delivered in 609 b.c. in conjunction with Pharaoh Necho’s advance into Palestine to aid the Assyrians. That was the same year that Josiah was killed by Necho at the battle of Megiddo and four years before Necho was defeated by Nebuchadnezzar, the foe from the north. The prophecy presupposes that Ashkelon is still in existence (v. 5) hence it must be before 604 b.c. For a fairly complete discussion of the options see G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 (WBC), 299-300.

3 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).

4 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 (’emeq) 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” that 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 [’anaqim] instead of עִמְקָם [’imqam], 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 fact that this judgment is directed against the Philistines not the Anakim and that this homonym apparently appears also in Jer 49:4 makes the reading of “power” more likely here.



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