Jeremiah 47


אֲשֶׁר הָיָה דְבַר־יְהוָה אֶל־יִרְמְיָהוּ הַנָּבִיא אֶל־פְּלִשְׁתִּים בְּטֶרֶם יַכֶּה פַרְעֹה אֶת־עַזָּה׃   47:1

Jere. 47:1   Such was the word of the Lord to Jeremiah, the prophet, about the Philistines before Pharoah would smite Gaza:

כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה הִנֵּה־מַיִם עֹלִים מִצָּפֹון וְהָיוּ לְנַחַל שֹׁוטֵף וְיִשְׁטְפוּ אֶרֶץ וּמְלֹואָהּ עִיר וְיֹשְׁבֵי בָהּ   47:2          וְזָעֲקוּ הָאָדָם וְהֵילִל כֹּל יֹושֵׁב הָאָרֶץ׃

Jere. 47:2   Thus says the Lord:

                               “Behold, waters are rising up from the north

                      that will be for a scouring torrent

                               that will engulf the land

                      and whatever fills it,

                               the city and the inhabitants in it.

                      Then the men shall cry out

                               and every inhabitant of the land shall wail,

מִקֹּול שַׁעֲטַת פַּרְסֹות אַבִּירָיו מֵרַעַשׁ לְרִכְבֹּו הֲמֹון גַּלְגִּלָּיו לֹא־הִפְנוּ אָבֹות אֶל־בָּנִים מֵרִפְיֹון יָדָיִם׃   47:3

Jere. 47:3   because of the noise

                              of the stomping of hooves

                      of his mighty animals,

                              because of the shaking due to his chariot,

                       the tumult of its wheels,

                              the fathers do not turn back to their children

                      due to weakness of hands,

עַל־הַיֹּום הַבָּא לִשְׁדֹוד אֶת־כָּל־פְּלִשְׁתִּים לְהַכְרִית לְצֹר וּלְצִידֹון כֹּל שָׂרִיד עֹזֵר כִּי־שֹׁדֵד יְהוָה   47:4

 אֶת־פְּלִשְׁתִּים שְׁאֵרִית אִי כַפְתֹּור׃

Jere. 47:4   because of the day that is coming

                              for spoiling all the Philistines

                     and for cutting off any helper

                              that is left to Tyre and to Zidon.

                     For the Lord is spoiling the Philistines,

                              the remnant of the isle of Caphtor.”

בָּאָה קָרְחָה אֶל־עַזָּה נִדְמְתָה אַשְׁקְלֹון שְׁאֵרִית עִמְקָם עַד־מָתַי תִּתְגֹּודָדִי׃   47:5

Jere. 47:5   Baldness is coming to Gaza,

                              Ashkelon is undone.

                     Remnant of their valley,

                              how long will you be cutting yourself?

Here again Jeremiah employs a rhetorical and facetious, almost whimsical, question, with an interesting twist.  He connects baldness with pagan mourning, and asks them how long they will be cutting themselves, another pagan ritual for mourning.

הֹוי חֶרֶב לַיהוָה עַד־אָנָה לֹא תִשְׁקֹטִי הֵאָסְפִי אַל־תַּעְרֵךְ הֵרָגְעִי וָדֹמִּי׃   47:6

Jere. 47:6   Ah, sword of the Lord's!

                               Until when will you be not quiet?

                     Return to your sheath;

                                rest and be still.

אֵיךְ תִּשְׁקֹטִי וַיהוָה צִוָּה־לָהּ אֶל־אַשְׁקְלֹון וְאֶל־חֹוף הַיָּם שָׁם יְעָדָהּ׃   47:7

Jere. 47:7   How can you be still,

                               when the Lord commands it to Ashkelon

                      and to the shore of the sea?

                               There He assigns it.

Here in these last two verses Jeremiah once again exhibits a clever poetic strategy.  In the previous verse, he tells the sword, that is -- Nebuchadrezzar -- to rest and be still; but in this verse, he replies that the Lord has commanded it not to be still.


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