CLICK HERE to read Jeremiah 47.
The Lord also speaks to Jeremiah about the Philistines (verse 1). The Philistines in the Old Testament show up in the time of Judges, and are in many famous stories. When Joshua and the people have escaped Egypt with Moses, and leave Moses to enter the promise land, the Philistines are there on the Western border by the Sea in what is now called the Gaza Strip. When David fights Goliath with his slingshot, it says that Goliath was a Philistine. The great Samson, so strong until Delilah cuts his hair, was often fighting the Philistines. Most texts refer to the Philistines being left as a test for Israel, to see whether they would trust Him and obey Him or not. The Philistines themselves were actually descendants of Greeks who had sailed over to open ports in the Mediterranean. In history, the Philistines simply “disappear”, assimilated into other peoples until they are no longer a nation.
That’s exactly what the Lord says will happen. He tells Jeremiah that as the “waters rise up out of the north”, which in the previous chapter was defined as the Babylonian war, so will the Philistines be destroyed (verse 2). As Babylon attacks, the Philistines will be one of the peoples that fall and are taken into captivity (verse 3). They will be cut off, with no one to help them, not leaving even a remnant of the people (verse 4).
The Lord says that the area of Gaza will be stripped, “bald” as if old and abandoned, cut off from the rest of the country (verse 5). He says it will feel like a long time before the Lord removes their punishment (verse 6) because it will be a long time before the people are quiet enough to submit to the Lord’s will (verse 7).