The island of Rhodes (Ezek 27:15-27:15)

“The men of Rhodes

Traded with you.

Many coastlands

Were your own

Special markets.

They brought you

In payment

Ivory tusks

With ebony.”

Ezekiel continued with his tour of the trading partners of Tyre.  Rhodes was another Mediterranean island northeast of Crete. They traded with Tyre. Many of the coastland towns were specialty markets for Tyre. Some even traded ivory and ebony with Tyre.

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The punishment of the Philistines (Ezek 25:16-25:17)

“Therefore,

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I will stretch out

My hand

Against the Philistines.

I will cut off

The Cherethites.

I will destroy

The rest of the seacoast.

I will execute

Great vengeance

Upon them

With wrathful punishments.

Then they will know

That I am Yahweh,

When I lay

My vengeance

Upon them.’”

There will be no intermediary to punish the Philistines. Yahweh was going to stretch out his hand against the Philistines. He was going to cut down these Cherethites, another name for the Philistines. The use of this term has led to the supposition that the Philistines may have been from Crete. Yahweh was going to destroy the whole seacoast, since that is where the Philistines lived. Yahweh, himself, was going to bring these vengeful punishments without any outside help. Once again, the hope was that these Philistines would recognize that Yahweh was God.

Against the Philistines (Ezek 25:15-25:15)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘With unending hostilities,

The Philistines

Acted in vengeance

With malice of heart.

They took revenge

In destruction.’”

The Philistines were often mentioned in the biblical literature, especially as the enemies of King David. They were perhaps originally from the island of Crete. They were the five main Philistine coastal cities mentioned from the time of Joshua, chapter 13, Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, Gath, and Ashdod, all on the Mediterranean coast line of present day Israel. Thus the mention of unending hostilities with the Philistines did not seem out of place. Jeremiah, chapter 47, had also spoken against them. These Philistines acted with vengeance and malice, as they brought revenge on the Israelites with their destruction.

The day of destruction for the Philistines (Jer 47:3-47:4)

“At the noise

Of the stamping

Of the hoofs

Of his stallions,

At the clatter

Of his chariots,

At the rumbling

Of their wheels,

The parents do not

Look back

For children.

Their hands are so feeble.

The day is coming

To destroy

All the Philistines.

They will be cut off

From Tyre and Sidon,

From every helper

That remains.

Yahweh is destroying

The Philistines,

The remnant

Of the coastland

Of Caphtor.”

The Philistines were going to hear the hoofs of the stallions of these invaders. They would hear the noise of the rumbling chariot wheels. Parents would not turn back to save their children, because their own hands would be too weak. The Philistines would be destroyed, since they were cut off from any help from the Phoenician cities of Tyre and Sidon. Yahweh was going to destroy the remnant of the coastal people, who may have come from the island of Caphtor or Crete.

The Philistines (Jer 47:1-47:1)

“The word of Yahweh

Came

To the prophet Jeremiah

Concerning the Philistines,

Before Pharaoh attacked Gaza.”

The Philistines, perhaps from Crete, had been the enemies of King David with many mentions in the biblical literature. They were, of course, the five main Philistine cities mentioned from the time of Joshua, chapter 13. Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, Gath, and Ashdod, all on the Mediterranean coast line of present day Israel. Gath and Ashdod were almost completely destroyed by the Egyptians in the 7th century. Here there is a mention of Pharaoh Neco invading Gaza. In the Septuagint Greek translation, this is chapter 29, not chapter 47 as here.

Demetrius II appears on the scene (1 Macc 10:67-10:69)

“In the one hundred sixty-fifth year, Demetrius son of Demetrius came from Crete to the land of his ancestors. When King Alexander heard of it, he was greatly distressed. He returned to Antioch. Demetrius appointed Apollonius the governor of Coele-syria. He assembled a large force and encamped against Jamnia.”

About 3 year later in 147 BCE, the son of Demetrius I called Demetrius II, the grandson of King Seleucus IV, came from the island of Crete. King Alexander I was upset and returned to Antioch in Syria. Demetrius II assembled a large army force in Jamnia.   He named the Philistine Apollonius the governor of this area.   Coele-syria means Hollow Syria, the area around Palestine with the sea coast town of Jamnia.