Judgment on the Philistine Cities
1 The Lord spoke to the prophet Jeremiah about the Philistines before Pharaoh attacked Gaza.
2 “Look! Enemies are gathering in the north like water rising in a river.
They will be like an overflowing stream.
They will overwhelm the whole country and everything in it like a flood.
They will overwhelm the cities and their inhabitants.
People will cry out in alarm.
Everyone living in the country will cry out in pain.
3 Fathers will hear the hoof-beats of the enemies’ horses,
the clatter of their chariots and the rumbling of their wheels.
They will not turn back to save their children
because they will be paralysed with fear.
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 destroy the Philistines,
that remnant that came from the island of Crete.
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,
you who remain of Philistia’s power?
6 How long will you cry out, ‘Oh, sword of the Lord,
how long will it be before you stop killing?
Go back into your sheath!
Stay there and rest!’
7 But how can it rest
when I, the Lord, have given it orders?
I have ordered it to attack
the people of Ashkelon and the sea-coast.