5. Ashkelon shall see it, and fear; Gaza also shall see it, and be very sorrowful, and Ekron; for her expectation shall be ashamed; and the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.
5. Videbit Ascalon et timebit; et Aza, et dolebit valde; et Ekron, quia confusus erit (aut, pudefactus) aspectus ejus; et peribit rex ab Aza (hoc est, Gaza) et Ascalon non habitabitur.
In this verse also is described the devastation of those cities which the Prophet names; as though he had said, that all those cities which had risen up against God's people were devoted to extreme vengeance. Zechariah says that none would be exempt from punishment, since the hand of God would be stretched forth, and extend everywhere, so that it might be easily concluded, that all those who had unjustly harassed the Church would be thus rewarded for their cruelty. This is the import of what is here said.
He says that Ascalon would see and fear; for at that time the Ascalonites were hostile to the Jews. He speaks the same of Aza, which the Greeks called Gaza; but they were deceived in thinking it was a name given to it by Cambyses, for the reason that Gaza means a treasure in the Persian language. This is childish. It is indeed certain that it has been owing to a change in the pronunciation of one letter; for , oin, is guttural among the Hebrews, and was formerly so pronounced, like our g: as they called Amorrah, Gomorrah, so Aza is Gaza. We have spoken of this elsewhere.
Now it appears from geography that these cities were near the sea, or not far from the sea, and having this advantage they gathered much wealth. But as wealth commonly generates pride and cruelty, all these nations were very troublesome to the Jews. This is the reason why the Prophet says that grief would come on Gaza, and then on Ekron and on other cities. He adds, Because ashamed shall be her expectation. There is no doubt but they had placed their trust in Tyrus, which was thought to be impregnable; for though enemies might have subdued the whole land, there a secure station remained. Since they all looked to Tyrus, the Prophet says that their hope would be confounded, when Tyrus was overthrown and destroyed. The sum of the whole is, that the beginning of the vengeance would be at Tyrus, which was situated as it were beyond the world, so as not to be exposed to any evils. He says then that the beginning of the calamity would be in that city, to which no misfortunes, as it was thought, could find an access. And then he mentions that other cities, on seeing Tyrus visited with ruin, would be terrified, as their confidence would be thus subverted. He afterwards adds, Perish shall the king from Gaza, and Ascalon shall not be inhabited; that is, such a change will take place as will almost obliterate the appearance of these cities. It follows --