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Commentary On Jeremiah And Lamentations Volume 4 by Jean Calvin

Jeremiah 47:4

4. Because of the day that cometh to spoil all the Philistines, and to cut off from Tyrus and Zidon every helper that remaineth: for the LORD will spoil the Philistines, the remnant of the country of Caphtor.

4. Propter diem qui venit ad perdendum omnes Philistinos (vel, totam terram Philistinorum, loquitur de terra et populo,) ad excidendum Tyrum et Sidonem, totas reliquias fortitudinis; quia devastat Jehova Philistinos, reliquias insuliae Caphthor.

Jeremiah shews now more clearly, and without a figure, his meaning, even that destruction would come on the Philistines when their time was completed. And he mentions Tyre and Sidon, neighboring cities, and. formerly under their own jurisdiction. But Tyre in the time of Isaiah had its own king; yet afterwards in the time of Alexander the Great the city was free, as it is well known. These, however, were cities of Palestine, and the people called then Philistines were contiguous to these cities, so that the Prophet rightly includes them as it were in the same bundle. Coming, he says, is the day to destroy all the Philistines, and also to cut off the most opulent cities, even Tyre and Sidon

Sidon was more ancient than Tyre; but the daughter devoured the mother, according to the common proverb. For Tyre in time flourished, and Sidon became almost forsaken. It, however, always retained a name and also some wealth on account of its commodious harbor. But Tyre was an island in the time of Alexander the Great; and was therefore more commodious for ships, as it had many harbors. But the Prophet connects them both together, because they formed then a part of the land of the Philistines. There is no doubt but that the destruction was especially denounced on these cities, that the Jews might know that nothing would be safe throughout the whole land, inasmuch as these cities, the defenses, as it were, of the whole country, were destined to perish.

He farther adds, on account of the day which is coming against all the helping remnants, for Jehovah will destroy, that is, he will destroy the Philistines, who are the remnants (it is indeed another word, but means the same) of the island of Oaphtor He confirms here the same thing in other words, even that God's hand would be on these cities and the whole land, though external aids might come; and these he calls all the remnants of courage, or auxiliaries. Though they might have many friends alive, ready to bring them help, yet the Lord would demolish them all, as it follows, for Jehovah will destroy the Philistines, the remnants of the island of Caphtor

By the island of Caphtor he no doubt means Palestine; but it is doubtful for what reason the Hebrews called the Cappadocians Caphtorim. As it is hardly credible that they who inhabited this land had come from so far a country, interpreters have supposed that others, and not Cappadocians, are here called Caphtorim. Yet Moses intimates (Deuteronomy 2:23) that those who inhabited the land from Gaza to Jordan, were not natives, that is, were not born in those places, but that they were a wandering people; for he says, that

|The Caphtorim went forth and dwelt there
in the place of the natives.|

We may hence conclude that the Caphtorim were foreigners, who, wandering from their own country, sought an habitation elsewhere, and took possession of this land. Whether they were Cappadocians, I leave undecided; nor ought we to toil much on a subject of this kind. But as the Caphtorim had emigrated into Palestine, Jeremiah calls that region the remnants of the island of Caphtor It follows, --

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