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(Text by Duane R. Hurst © 2013)

Click on a link to view its information and pictures.
Significant Event:
    Philistine Soldiers

Cities: Ashdod; Ashkelon;
     Ekron; Gath; Gaza
Time: 1175-675 BC
Language: Canaanite; Philistine
Personage: Goliath
Religion: Philistines Gods
Related Country: Gaza Strip; Israel

Brief History:
      I have included only a few items concerning the history of these kingdoms. A good source for more details can be found on Wikipedia or in history books.

Map of Philistines Region
Click Map to Enlarge
      Philistines probably were called "Kaftor" (noted in Jeremiah 47:4 of the Old Testament). They also were the Sea Peoples who attacked ancient Egypt in the Nile Delta. Reportedly, Pharaoh Ramesses III allowed the Casluhite Philistines (a group of Sea Peoples) to settle the southern coastal region of Canaan. The northern coast was occupied with the seafaring Phoenicians.

      These wanderers eventually built a coalition of five cities in modern Gaza and Israel. They were: Ashdod; Ashkelon; Ekron; Gath; Gaza. A second phase of expansion took place circa 1150 BC at Aphek, Tel Gerisa and Tel Qasile of the Yarko region (modern Jaffa).

      Philistine Soldiers often clashed with inexperienced troops of early Israel during the 10th through 7th centuries BC, such as the Battle of Shephelah. The two most famous combatants against Philistine soldiers were: 1) Samson killing 1,000 men and destroying a temple; 2) David killing Goliath.

      Philistine troops defeated Israelites in battle at Eben-Ezer (probably at modern Beit Iksa) and captured their Ark of the Covenant. It was housed briefly in succession at Ashdod, Gath and Ekron. At each location the people suffered from a plague until the Philistines returned the Ark to Israel. Circa 1010 BC, Philistine troops defeated and killed King Saul in the Battle of Mount Gilboa.

      In 806 BC, king Adad-Nirari III of Assyria conquered the Philistines and other people of the Levant, including Arameans, Edomites, Moabites and Phoenicians. Babylon and Persia later conquered the five cities.

© Page Publisher: Duane R. Hurst