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Verse 7

But - Literally, “and.” Thus had Gaza done, and thus would God do; “I will send a fire upon Gaza.” The sentence on Gaza stands out, probably in that it was first in power and in sin. It was the merchant-city of the five; the caravans parted from it or passed through it; and so this sale of the Jewish captives was ultimately effected through them. First in sin, first in punishment. Gaza was strong by nature and by art. “The access to it also,” Arrian notices , “lay through deep sand.” We do not hear of its being taken, except in the first times of Israel under the special protection of God Judges 1:1-2, Judges 1:18, or by great conquerors. All Philistia, probably, submitted to David; we hear of no special conquest of its towns 2 Samuel 8:1. Its siege cost Alexander 2 months , with all the aid of the engines with which he had taken Tyre, and the experience which he had there gained. The Egyptian accounts state, that when besieged by Tothmosis III it capitulated . Thenceforth, it had submitted neither to Egypt nor Assyria. Yet Amos declared absolutely, that Gaza should be destroyed by fire, and it was so. Sennacherib first, then, after Jeremiah had foretold anew the destruction of Gaza, Ashkelon, and the Philistines, Pharaoh Necho “smote Gaza” Jeremiah 47:1. Yet who, with human foresight only, would undertake to pronounce the destruction of a city so strong?

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