Jeremiah 47:5

Baldness is come upon Gaza; Ashkelon is cut off with the remnant of their valley: how long wilt thou cut thyself?

Baldness is come upon Gaza,.... The Targum is,

"vengeance is come to the inhabitants of Gaza.''

It is become like a man whose hair is fallen from his head, or is clean shaved off; its houses were demolished; its inhabitants slain, and their wealth plundered; a pillaged and depopulated place. Some understand this of shaving or tearing off the hair for grief, and mourning because of their calamities; which agrees with the latter clause of the verse:

Ashkelon is cut off with the remnant of their valley; this was one of the live cities of the Philistines; it lay north of Gaza. Herodotus {x} calls Ashkelon a city of Syria, in which was the temple of Urania Venus, destroyed by the Scythians; said to be built by Lydus Ascalus, and called so after his name {y}. Of this city was Herod the king, and therefore called an Ashkelonite; it was now destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, but afterwards rebuilt and inhabited; and with it were destroyed the remainder of the cities, towns, and villages, in the valley, adjoining to that and Gaza; or Ashkelon and Gaza, now destroyed, were all that remained of the cities of the valley, and shared the same fate with them. The Targum is,

"the remnant of their strength;''

so Kimchi, who interprets it of the multitude of their wealth and power;

how long wilt thou cut thyself? their faces, arms, and other parts of their body, mourning and lamenting their sad condition; the words of the prophet signifying hereby the dreadfulness of it, and its long continuance.

{x} Clio, sive l. 1. c. 105.
{y} Vid. Bochart. Phaleg l. 2. c. 12. p. 88.