In this article it is argued that the phrase ‘before Pharaoh seized Gaza’ in Jer 47:1 is not a mere chronological precision, pointing at the (ultimate) fulfilment of the prophecy against Philistia, but a heading with its own proper function and purpose. The superscription of Jer. 47:1 refers to Pharaoh Neco’s capture of that city in 601/0 BCE, whereas the oracle of 47:2-7 itself is to be dated ca. 604. Neco was able to take Gaza after he had beaten the Babylonian army at the Egyptian border, so that the Babylonians had to withdraw to their homeland. In this time of political upheaval, the heading was added to the oracle of Jer 47 in order to warn the people of Judah that YHWH’s judgment through the sword of Babylon was still to be expected, notwithstanding Pharaoh’s recent success.
The Meaning of the Root NQM and the Function of the NQM-Texts in the Context of Divine Revelation in the Old Testament
After an exploration of the Umwelt use of the root NQM (vengeance/avenge), in the main part of the study all relevant Old Testament texts are dealt with in a thorough exegetical investigation. This leads to a theological outline which stresses the important place and positive function of God's vengeance in the Old Testament revelation.
The theories of G.E. Mendenhall, P. Volz and K. Koch with regard to the theme of vengeance are criticized. Of special interest are the additional sections on the issues of blood vengeance and the imprecatory prayers.