Ashkelon shall see [it], and fear
That is, as Kimchi explains it, when Ashkelon shall see that Tyre humbles herself and submits, she shall humble herself and submit also: and the sense may be, that the inhabitants of Ashkelon, seeing that Tyre, with all her wisdom and strong reasoning, could not stand before the power of the Gospel, but submitted and embraced the Christian religion, were induced, through the efficacy of divine grace, to do the same; and certain it is that this place became Christian; we read F8 of a bishop of Ashkelon, in the synod of Nice, and of other bishops of this place in later councils: it belonged to Palestine, and was one of the five lordships of the Philistines, ( Joshua 13:3 ) . Gaza also [shall see it], and be very sorrowful;
this was a city of Palestine, near to Ashkelon; they are mentioned together, ( Judges 1:18 ) the Gentile inhabitants of this place, when they saw the progress the Gospel made in Tyre, Zidon, and Ashkelon, were grieved at it, but many among them submitted to it: very likely Philip the evangelist first preached the Gospel here; see ( Acts 8:26 ) there was a Christian bishop of this place in the Nicene council, and others in after ones F9. And Ekron; for her expectation shall be ashamed;
this was also one of the five lordships of the Philistines, ( Joshua 13:3 ) ( 1 Samuel 6:16 1 Samuel 6:17 ) which, being near to Tyre, had its dependence on that, expecting it could never be taken; but when they saw that it was taken by Alexander, it was ashamed of its vain expectation, hope, and confidence: and so the inhabitants of this place, when the Gospel came to it, were "ashamed of the house of [their] confidence", as the Targum paraphrases the words; the confidence they had in their idols, and in the works of their own hands; and were also "ashamed because of their iniquities", as the Arabic version renders them; being convinced of them, and humbled for them, and betaking themselves to Christ for salvation from them. It is probable, that Philip preached the Gospel here, seeing it was not far from Azotus or Ashdod, next mentioned, where Philip is heard of after the baptism of the eunuch: and if Ekron is the same with Caesarea, that was called Strato's tower, as say the Jews F11; and which also Jerom F12 observes, some say are the same it is certain that Philip was there, ( Acts 8:40 ) there were several Christian bishops of this place in later times F13. And the king shall perish from Gaza;
some understand this of Batis, who was governor of Gaza, when it was taken by Alexander; who was fastened to a chariot, and dragged about the city, as Curtius F14 relates; but this man was not a king, but governor of the city under one: I rather think the idol Marnes, which signifies "the lord of man", and was worshipped in this place, is here meant; which when it became Christian was destroyed, and a Christian church built in the room of it, as is reported by Jerom F15. And Ashkelon shall not be inhabited;
by Heathens, but by Christians.
F8 Reland. Palestina Illustrata, l. 3. p. 594.
F9 Ib. p. 795.
F11 T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 6. 1.
F12 De locis Hebraicis, fol. 88. D.
F13 Reland. ib. p. 676
F14 Hist. l. 4. c. 6.
F15 Comment in Isa. xvii. tom. 5. fol. 39. H. Epist. ad Laetam, tom. 1. fol. 19. E.