The phrase “daughters of the Philistines” is mentioned several times in Old Testament Scripture. It generally refers to all Philistine women. 2 Samuel 1:20 reads:
“Tell it not in Gath, proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines be glad, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised rejoice.
So I stretched out my hand against you and reduced your territory; I gave you over to the greed of your enemies, the daughters of the Philistines, who were shocked by your lewd conduct.
Before your wickedness was uncovered. Even so, you are now scorned by the daughters of Edom and all her neighbors and the daughters of the Philistines—all those around you who despise you.
The Philistines were the enemies of Israel. They often clashed in battle, and when the Philistines were victorious, the Philistine women were glad and rejoiced over the Israelites. Likewise, when the Israelites were victorious in battle, the Israelite women were glad and rejoiced over the Philistines. The 2 Samuel 1:20 passage follows the tragic story of King Saul and his son, Jonathan, being killed in battle by the Philistines. Even though Saul was David’s arch-enemy, David still mourned his death and most of all mourned the death of Jonathan, who was a dear and close friend to him. David did not want their deaths to be proclaimed in Gath and Ashkelon (Philistine cities). He did not want the daughters of the Philistines to be able to rejoice over the passing of King Saul and Jonathan.
The Ezekiel passages refer to when the nation of Israel was being punished for their disobedience toward God. Instead of their territory being multiplied, it was reduced. Instead of being preserved, they were given over to their enemies who scorned and despised them. The behavior of Israel was so lewd, that even the ungodly daughters of the Philistines were shocked.
1. The daughters of the Philistines were glad and rejoiced over the deaths and failures of their enemies. Proverbs 24:17 says, “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice.” It isn’t that far-fetched to imagine ourselves doing what the daughters of the Philistines did to the Israelites. Are we glad when a person we despise trips up? Do we rejoice when the person we like the least stumbles? Rejoicing in the failures of others is not pleasing to God. He sees this kind of behavior and disapproves of it. When this happens, He will turn His wrath away from them and perhaps onto us.
Being glad when someone dies, no matter how evil they may have been while they were living, is also wrong. Death is something that was never meant to be. Death was not a part of God’s original plan for humankind. God did not make death. We should not rejoice in something that He takes no pleasure in. God created everything that it might live, and that it might live forever. Only the devil exults in dying, demise, and destruction. God hates death, which is why He gave His Son to conquer it.