“Ashkelon shall see it.
They shall be afraid.
Shall writhe in anguish.
Because its hopes are withered.
The king shall perish
Ashkelon shall be uninhabited.
A mongrel people
Shall dwell in Ashdod.
I will make an end
Of the pride of Philistia.
I will take away
From its mouth.
I will take away
From between its teeth.
It too shall be a remnant
For our God.
It shall be
Like a clan in Judah.
Ekron shall be
Like the Jebusites.”
Once again, there is a diatribe against the Philistine cities on the Mediterranean coast. Only 3 of the 5 cities are mentioned here. Ashkelon and Gaza would be afraid. Ekron would have its hope crushed. There would no longer be a king in Gaza. No one would live in Ashkelon. Only a mongrel or mixed race would live in Ashdod. The pride of the Philistines would be crushed. Yahweh was going to end their unclean practices of eating their meat with blood in their mouths, since they would follow the Israelite dietary laws. These Philistines would become a small remnant just like Judah had become. Ekron would become like the decimated Canaanite Jebusites, who had formerly inhabited Jerusalem, before the time of David.
Your sister Sodom
In your mouth
In the day
Of your pride?
This was before
Now you are
To the daughters
With all her neighbors.
Of the Philistines,
Those all around you,
You must bear
Of your lewdness
With your abominations.’
Yahweh said that Jerusalem had become an object of reproach. Her sister Sodom had been a byword for evil in her day of pride. Then the wickedness of Jerusalem was uncovered. Now Jerusalem was a mockery to those around her, especially the daughters of Edom and the daughters of the Philistines, as they despised her. Jerusalem was going to bear the penalty for all her lewdness and abominations.
“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
Their hands are so feeble.
The day is coming
All the Philistines.
They will be cut off
From Tyre and Sidon,
From every helper
Yahweh is destroying
Of the coastland
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.
“We heard of the Ark in Ephrathah.
We found it in the fields of Jaar.
‘Let us go to his dwelling place.
Let us worship at his footstool!’”
David had heard of the Ark of the Covenant while he was in Ephrathah, which was Bethlehem, the home of David. However, the Ark was in Jaar, Kiriath-jearim. The Philistines had captured the Ark of the Covenant in 1 Samuel, chapters 6-7. David wanted to go there and worship at the foot of the Ark of the Covenant.
“God has promised in his sanctuary.
I will divide up Shechem.
I will portion out the Vale of Succoth.
Gilead is mine.
Manasseh is mine.
Ephraim is my helmet.
Judah is my scepter.
Moab is my washbasin.
I hurl my shoe.
I shout in triumph.’”
This section is a repeat almost word for word of the same victories mentioned in Psalm 60. God directly promised or spoke in his sanctuary to David. This is one of the few times that this phraseology is used, assuming that the sanctuary of the Temple was completed. This probably was a prophet speaking in the name of God, but there is no specific indication here. He rattled off a series of Israelite victories. Shechem was a former Canaanite city that was now divided up and part of the territory of Manasseh. Succoth was conquered during the time of the Judges. Gilead was on the eastern side of the Jordan River where the tribes of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh lived. Only 3 Israelite tribes are mentioned here, Manasseh, Ephraim, and Judah. Judah would become the favorite when the split between the north and the south took place as the north became known as Israel. Moab was a mere washbasin on the east side of the Dead Sea. Edom was in the north. The phrase “hurl a shoe” seemed obsolete until some Iraqi journalist hurled his shoe at President George W. Bush to show his contempt. Philistines were on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Thus this is a list of the various victorious Israelite battles.
“He abandoned his dwelling at Shiloh,
The tent where he dwelt among mortals.
He delivered his power to captivity.
He delivered his glory to the hand of the foe.
He gave his people to the sword.
He vented his wrath on his heritage.
Fire devoured their young men.
Their girls had no marriage song.
Their priests fell by the sword.
Their widows made no lamentation.
Then Yahweh awoke as from sleep,
Like a warrior shouting because of wine.
He put his adversaries to rout.
He put them to everlasting shame.”
This is a reference to 1 Samuel, chapter 4, about the Ark of the Covenant at Shiloh. This was when the Philistines defeated the Israelites. Things were looking bad for Israel. God was angry at them. People died by the sword. Fire destroyed their young men so that the young girls had no marriage songs. The priests died by the sword, but somehow the widows were not able to mourn. Finally Yahweh woke up as if he were asleep. He then shouted like a warrior full of wine. God then put the adversaries of Yahweh to rout in everlasting shame.
“God promised in his sanctuary.
I will divide up Shechem.
I will portion out the Vale of Succoth.
Gilead is mine!
Manasseh is mine!
Ephraim is my helmet!
Judah is my scepter!
Moab is my washbasin!
On Edom I hurl my shoe!
Over Philistia I shout in triumph.’”
The prayer was answered. God directly promised or spoke. This is one of the few times that this phraseology is used. It also assumes the sanctuary of the Temple is completed. This probably was a prophet speaking in the name of God, but there is no specific indication here. He listed off the Israelite victories. Shechem was a former Canaanite city that was now divided up and part of the territory of Manasseh. Succoth was conquered during the time of the Judges. Gilead was on the eastern side of the Jordan River where the tribes of Gad and half tribe of Manasseh lived. Only 3 Israelite tribes are mentions, Manasseh, Ephraim, and Judah. Judah would become the favorite with the split between the north and the south, when the north became known as Israel. Moab was a mere washbasin, the east side of the Dead Sea. Edom was in the north. The phrase “hurl a shoe” seemed obsolete until some Iraqis journalist hurled his shoe at President George W. Bush to show his contempt. Philistines were on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Thus this is a victorious Israel, so why are they complaining?
“When Judas saw that their army was strong, he prayed, saying.
‘Blessed are you!
O Savior of Israel,
You crushed the attack of the mighty warrior
By the hand of your servant David.
You gave the camp of the Philistines
Into the hands of Jonathan, the son of King Saul,
To the man who carried his armor.
Hem in this army
By the hand of your people Israel!
Let them be ashamed of their troops and their cavalry!
Fill them with cowardice!
Melt the boldness of their strength!
Let them tremble in their destruction!
Strike them down with the sword of those who love you!
Let all who know your name praise you with hymns!’”
Judas Maccabeus saw that they had a strong army, so he prayed to the Savior of Israel, God. He reminded God of how he had saved David against the Philistines in 1 Samuel, chapter 14. Now he was asking God to hem in the army of his enemy. He wanted them to become ashamed and cowardly so that their strength would melt. He hoped that they would be destroyed by the sword. He wanted the name of the Lord known and praised. He was praying for God’s help by reminding God what he had done in the past. He was comparing himself to the men at the time of King Saul.
“Just as Judas was finishing this speech, a detachment appeared, coming out of the hills. They saw that their army had been put to flight. The Jews were burning the camp. The smoke that was seen showed what had happened. When they perceived this, they were greatly frightened. When they also saw the army of Judas drawn up in the plain for battle, they all fled into the land of the Philistines. Then Judas returned to plunder the camp. They seized a great amount of gold and silver, cloth dyed blue and sea purple, as well as great riches. On their return they sang hymns and praises to heaven.
‘For he is good,
For his mercy endures forever.’
Thus Israel had a great deliverance that day.”
Just as Judas stopped speaking, a detachment of the gentiles appeared out of the hills. They saw that their army had been defeated as the Jews were burning up the camp. When they saw the smoke they were frightened. They then fled to the Philistine territory, always a good place for the enemies of Israel. Then Judas began to plunder the camp. They seized silver and gold, blue and purple cloth, and great wealth. On their return they sang hymns and praises. They had a great day of deliverance for Israel. They said that God was good and that his mercy endures forever.
“Lysias chose Ptolemy son of Dorymenes, Nicanor, and Gorgias, able men among the friends of the king, as leaders. He sent them with forty thousand infantry and seven thousand cavalry into the land of Judah to destroy it, as the king had commanded. Thus they set out with their entire force. When they arrived, they encamped near Emmaus in the plain. When the traders of the region heard what was said to them, they took silver and gold in immense amounts. They went to the camp to get the Israelites for slaves. Forces from Syria and the land of the Philistines joined with them.”
Lysias, who was in charge now that the king had left for Persia, named 3 people to lead the charge in Judah, Ptolemy, not the king of Egypt, Nicanor, and Gorgias. These 3 friends of the king had 40,000 infantry and 7,000 cavalry to destroy Judah. They camped near Emmaus, about 25 miles west of Jerusalem. Somehow the traders wanted to get Israelite slaves. This Syrian force had other Syrians and those pesky Philistines with them also.