Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, and Gath

Unexpectedly, the Philistines first appear in the Table of Nations in Genesis 10:13-14: “Mizraim [a son of Ham] begot Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, Pathrusim, and Casluhim (from whom came the Philistines [Philistim, KJV] and Caphtorim).”1 Mizraim is the Hebrew word that is commonly translated as “Egypt,” thus the Philistines are ethnically related to the Egyptians.

Several tribes composed the Sea Peoples: the Peleset, Tjekker, Shekelesh, Denyen, and Weshesh, among others. The Egyptians called the Peleset prst (in Egyptian hieroglyphs, r is often interchanged with l), which is very similar to their Hebrew name, pelist?m. The Tjekker settled in and around the northern Canaanite city of Dor, while the Denyen may have eventually settled in Cyprus. The Shekelesh and the Weshesh were probably absorbed into Egypt, although some scholars believe some of the Shekelesh found their way to Sicily.

Interestingly, Gaza’s original name was Minoah, very similar to that of the ancient Aegean civilization. The Aegean area is comprised of Crete and Greece.

How did these Aegean people end up settling in southwestern Canaan? The story is a long one, beginning in the days of Abraham. Being a restless, warlike, trading people, the Philistines frequently attempted to expand their influence, first through setting up trading colonies in distant lands and then by force of arms, if necessary. Genesis 21:34 records, “Abraham sojourned in the land of the Philistines many days,” referring to the area around the town of Gerar, where Abimelech was king (see Genesis 20). This means that by the early nineteenth century bc, at least a small colony of Philistines had already gained a foothold in the land of Canaan.

After Isaac’s similar experience with them, they are next mentioned in passing in Exodus 13:17:

Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, “Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.”

Joshua 20:7-9 lists six cities of refuge – Kadesh, Shechem, Hebron, Bezer, Ramoth, and

1 Kings 4:21 Now Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the [Euphrates] River to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt; they brought tribute and served

So it is simply apostate theology to say that God did not give Israel all the land promised to Abraham. All three promises God made to Abraham were fulfilled over 2000 years ago. Israel became a great nation in Egypt, possessed the land under Joshua and Solomon and through Jesus all the nations of the earth were blessed.

Exodus 13:5 (KJV) And it shall be when the Lord shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee, a land flowing with milk and honey, that thou shalt keep this service in this month.

Exodus 23:31 (KJV) And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee.

NOTE: Red Sea is the the coast of the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba and the point of the former Sinai Peninsula. Sea of the Philistines is just north of Gaza. The desert is the Negev Desert. Unto the river, implies north from the Negev Desert to the Jordan River.

April 25, 1936: The Arab Higher Committee or the Higher National Committee was the central political organ of the Arab community of Mandate Palestine.


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