The Philistines Adversaries of Israel

Origin of the Philistines from Genesis 10

The Philistines originated from Ham through Mizraim (Egypt) especially through Caphtorim who were the early people of the Greek island of Crete. Although the genealogy in Genesis 10 says the Philistim came from Casluhim, still almost nothing is known about them while the Caphtorim are quite well known from some monuments still standing or at least standing until recent times. Besides this in Jeremiah 47:4 and Amos 9:7 the Philistines are definitely said to come from Caphtor from the cuneiform work Kaptara which means Crete. The reference of Philistim or the Philistines coming from Casluhim is probably an error of one of the scribes. In one of these monuments the Philistines are said to come with other "sea peoples" to the coast of the holy land in what is now called the Gaza Strip and what came to be known in Bible days as Philistia or the land of the Philistines. The initial migration would have to be by about 1800 to 2000 BC or earlier as their are some Philistines mentioned in what we would call the Gaza Strip by the time of Abraham in Genesis but their might have been a further migration in the days of the Eyptian Pharaoh Ramses III in the early 12th century BC. The scripture reference from Genesis 10 of the Philistines coming from Caphtor or Crete to the holy land is as follows:

Scripture Reference from Genesis 10 of the Origin of the Philistines

And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, and Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of who came Philistim,) and Caphtorim. Genesis 10:13-14

Abraham's Son Isaac Instructed to Dwell Among the Philistines and God Promises Him That He Will Give Isaac's Descendants the Land of the Nations in the Holy Land from Genesis 26

In Isaac's days there was a famine in the land of Israel and surrounding lands. As a result Isaac went to Abimelech the king of the Philistines to a Philistine city named Gerar. This would be near what we currently call the Gaza Strip. The LORD (God the Father) then appeared to Isaac and instructed him not to go into Egypt but to a land He would show Isaac. God told Isaac to sojourn or stay temporarily in that land and that God would bless him and give the descendants (seed) of Isaac the land of all these nations that God promised to Isaac's father Abraham. This is an indication that the land of Israel is covenanted to the Jews who are descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob not to the Arabs who are descendants of Abraham through Ishmael. God has already made the Arabs a great country in other places in the Middle East including the Arabian peninsula but the land of Israel was not given to them but to the Jews. God also extended the blessing of his covenant with Abraham to Isaac of being a means of blessing to the nations. This was because Abraham obeyed God's call and his commandments when God called him to come out of universal idolatry and follow the one true and living God the God of the Bible and Creator God. The promise of God to extend his covenant blessing with Abraham with his son Isaac when Isaac went down to the land of the Philistines in Genesis 26 is as follows:

Scripture Reference from Genesis 26 of God Extending His Covenant Blessings With Abraham with His Son Isaac When Isaac Was to Go to the Land of the Philistines

And there was a famine in the land, beside the famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: Sojourn in the land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. Genesis 26:1-5

Mention of Arrival of the Philistines in the Holy Land from Deuteronomy 2

In this part of Deuteronomy Moses gives some history of how the people of his day and for much of Old Testament history became the dominant people of their areas and displaced earlier peoples. The Avims are mentioned as an earlier people that inhabited the area of Gaza (Azzah) and Hazerim which was probably also in the area of the present Gaza Strip. These Avim were destroyed and replaced by the people of Caphtor which is a Hebrew name for the Mediterranean island of Crete. Other scripture in the Old Testament make clear that this is where the Philistines came from. This verse mentions how the Philistines became established in the holy land. The initial part of this would have had to occur very early in history as there were already some Philistines in the area of Gaza by the time Abraham reached the holy land or land of Israel as mentioned in Genesis. The scripture reference in Deuteronomy 2 of the origin of the Philistines in the holy land and the name of the people they displaced is as follows:

Scripture Reference from Deuteronomy 2 of the Origins of the Philistines in the Holy Land or Land of Israel or Land of Canaan

And the Avims which dwelt in Hazerim, even unto Azzah, the Caphtorims, which came forth out of Caphtor, destroyed them, and dwelt in their stead.) Deuteronomy 2:23

1451 BC God Instructs Joshua to Take the Land of the Philistines from Joshua 13

In Joshua 13 God instructs his leader Joshua to take over the land of the Philistines around what we now call the Gaza Strip. This was part of the land God alotted to the Jews or Israelites going to the River of Egypt because of some of the idolatrous and immoral practices of the nations in the Holy Land. Up to the return of the Israelites to the holy land the Philistines weren't too hostile as they made peace with the Jews with Isaac before the Israelites went to Egypt. However a major factor in the Philistines becoming more hostile to the Israelites was God's authorization to the Israelites to give the land of the Philistines to the Israelites. The scripture referencee to God giving authorization to the Israelites to take the land of the Philistines and the Philistines' hostile response and beginning of their general hostility to the Israelites in Joshua 13 is as follows:

1451 BC Scripture REference from Joshua 13 of God Authorizing Joshua and the Israelites to Take the Land of the PHilistines and Beginning of Hostility of the Philistines

Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the LORD said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed. This is the land that yet remaineth: all the borders of the Philistines, and all Geshuri, From Sihor, whick is before Egypt, even unto the borders of Ekron northward, which is counted to the Canaanite: five lords of the Philistines; the Gazathites, and the Ashdothites, the Eshkalonites, the Gittites, and the Ekronites; also the Avites Joshua 13:1-3

1143 BC The Judge Samson Given the Task of Delivering the Israelites from the Philistines from Judges 13

An angel of the LORD which could have been a pre-incarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to the mother of Samson to announce the mission that God would have for her son. Besides saying that he would be a Nazarite the angel announced that his task would be to deliver the Israelites from the Philistines. There was a similiar mandate given to Israel's first king Saul and to its next king David later on in Israel's history when the Jews also had trouble with the encroachment of the Philistines. The Philistines were based in what is now the Gaza Strip but at times went quite deep into other parts of the land of Israel. When God had mercy on the Israelites sometimes because they called out on God for deliverance God raised up leaders to deliver the Israelites from enemies from surrounding nations including the Philistines. The account in Judges 13 of God raising up the judge Samson to deliver Israel from the Philistines is as follows:

1143 BC Scripture Reference from Judges 13 of God Raising Up the Judge Samson to Deliver the Israelites from the Philistines

For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nararite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. Judges 13:5

BC 1095 Saul Chosen as King of Israel Partly to Deliver Israel Out of the Hand of the Philistines from 1 Samuel 9

After the Jews or nation of Israel cried out earnestly for a king to rule them instead letting God to more directly rule them through the judges God gave them their first king. This was Saul from the tribe of Benjamin. God instructed Samuel who was a great prophet and himself one of the greatest judges of Israel and a very godly man to annoint Saul to be Israel's first king. God said that a main mission of Saul would be to deliver the children of Israel out of the hand or out from under control or threat of the Philistines as a result of hearing the cry of distress of the Israelites to God of the oppression or threat of the Philistines. The scripture reference from 1 Samuel 9 of God annointing Saul to be the first king of Israel particularly to deliver the Israelites from the control of the Philistines is as follows:

1095 BC Scripture Reference from 1 Samuel 9 of Saul Chosen to be Israel's First King to Deliver Them from the Philistines

Now the LORD had told Samuel in his ear a day before Saul came, saying, To morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt annoint him to be captain over my people Israel, that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for a have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me. 1 Samuel 9:15-16

In Reign of King Saul and Early Time of King David the Philistines Had Military Superiority Over Israel Because Then Only They Had Iron Smelting Ability from 1 Samuel 13 in 1093 BC

Up to the early part of the reign of King David of Israel the Philistines, the adversaries of Israel, only had iron making or smelting ability and not the Israelites. Of course because iron is sturdy, hard and strong and heavy it was good for weapons. Iron at that time was used for swords and spears such as the great spear mentioned a little later that Goliath the champion of the Philistines threatened the Israelites with. The Philistines therefore maintained a monopoly of iron smelting so the Hebrews or Jews couldn't make things including weapons out of iron including to use against the Philistines. However the Philistines seemed to let the Israelites go to Philistine territory to sharpen their iron agricultural instruments that the Philistines could have sold them. (Later in David's reign King David was able to secure iron making ability for the armies of Israel perhaps when he got victory over the Philistines.) The scripture reference of the Philistines having a monopoly in the holy land against the Israelites over iron smelting and the control of iron weapons in 1 Samuel 13 is as follows:

Scripture Reference from 1 Samuel 13 of the Philistines Having a Monopoly in the Holy Land of Iron Smelting and the Trade of Iron Weapons in the Reign of King Saul in 1093 BC

Now there was no (iron or black) smith found throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears: But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share, and his coulter, and his axe, and his mattock. Yet they had a file for the mattocks, and for the coulters, and for the forks, and for the axes, and to sharpen the goads. So it came to pass in the day of battle, that there was neitherl sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people that were with Saul and Jonathan: but with Saul and with Jonathan his son was there found. And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the passage of Michmash. 1 Samuel 13:19-23

David's Faith in the LORD and the LORD Delivering Goliath Into David's Hand From 1 Samuel 17 in 1063 BC

Although Goliath, the champion of the Philistines, had despised David and talked contempuously of him and his ability to fight David stayed steadfast in His faith in the LORD and that the LORD would give him the victory over Goliath even though Goliath had superior fighting experience, equipment and ability. David said that although Goliath came to him with his material weapons David came against Goliath in the name of the LORD of hosts and all God's armies or angels. David spoke in faith that the LORD had delivered Goliath, the champion of the Philistines into his hand that day and that he would leave Goliath's body in the field for the beasts of the earth and fowls of the air and that this would result in all the earth or peoples of the earth knowing there was a God in Israel (who fights for His people). David went on to say that the battle most basically didn't depend on physical weapons like spear and sword but in trusting the LORD to fight our battles. This is something that God's people today both Christians and Jews would do well to learn and take to heart. Even when the Philistine (Goliath) approaches and got quite close to David, David didn't retreat or panic or fear but David ran forward to meet Goliath. Then David boldly and in faith took a stone and used his slingshot and by God's grace scored a perfect hit in the middle of Goliath's forehead and killed him. David's getting the victory over Goliath, the champion of the Philistines without sword or spear even though Goliath probably had both and David's prevailing over Goliath with only a slingshot and stone showed that the LORD was with David and helped him get the victory even though he was extremely outmatched physically in strength. This is a lesson for Christians (both Jewish and Gentile) and Jewish people not to trust in outward conditions but in the LORD who can spiritually or supernaturally give us victories even when facing odds heavily against us. The scripture reference from 1 Samuel of David placing his faith in the LORD and coming against Goliath the champion of the Philistines with inferior weapons or strength but in the name of the LORD and getting the victory is as follows:

Scripture Reference from 1 Samuel 17 of David Coming Against Goliath the Champion of the Philistines With Inferior Resources By With Faith in and In the Name of the LORD and Getting the Victory in 1063 BC

Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give you into our hands. And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. 1 Samuel 17:45-50

1053 BC God Promised David that He Would Use Him to Deliver the Israelites from the Philistines

As I mentioned in the section about Samson, God promised three Israelite leaders that he would use them to deliver the Israelites from the power of their enemies the Philistines. These were Samson, King Saul and King David. The example of King David is mentioned after he became king. This was mentioned by Abner who temporarily was a general under King David. He recounts what must have been a commission by the LORD to King David at the beginning of David's reign that David would be used of God to deliver the Israelites from the control or oppression of the Philistines. In this statement Abner mentions that David would be used of God to deliver the Israelites from their enemies especially the Philistines. King David later went on to do this. The statement in 2 Samuel 3 reflecting on King David's charge from the LORD to deliver the Israelites from control of the Philistines is as follows:

1053 BC Scripture Reference from 2 Samuel 3 of Abner Reflecting on God's Charge to King David to Deliver the Israelites from Control of the Philistines

And Abner had communication with the elders of Israel, saying, Ye sought for David in times past to be king over you: Now then do it: for the LORD hath spoken of David, saying, By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies. 2 Samuel 3:17-18

Defeat of the Philistines By the Babylonians Under Nebuchadnezzar in Jeremiah 25 About 607 BC

God's Word - the Holy Bible says that he allowed the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar to not only defeat his people in Jerusalem and Judah but also the Gentile nations surrounding Judah and Israel. ONe of these nations was the Philistines mostly in what is today called the Gaza Strip. At that time of course nobody knew about Mohammed or Islam and the religion of the Philistines was mostly the pagan god Dagon and other pagan gods and idols. Probably a main reason God allowed them to be judged was their unbelief in him and persecution of his earthly people Israel or the Jews. Ashkelon, Ekron, Ashdod and probably Azzah were all then cities of the Philistines. Although this would have at least temporarily taken away the sovereignty of the Philistines and put them under the control and influence of the Babylonians, I don't know exactly when they became more assimiliated with the other Gentiles of that area or of foreign powers such as the Greeks or Romans later on but this defeat by the Babylonians would contribute in that way. This is the last historical reference to the Philistines I could find so far in the Old Testament or Hebrew scriptures. Of course the modern so-called Palestinians sometimes claim to be descendants of the ancient Philistines but they are at least as likely to be of Arab background since the time shortly after Mohammed and for most of them since the Jews started to go back to the land in the late 1800s as there were descriptions by Mark Twain and others in the 1800s as the holy land as almost empty of Jews, Arabs, or anyone else. The scriptue reference of this defeat of the Philistines by the Babylonians under King Nebuchadnezzar in Jeremiah 25 is as follows:

Scripture Reference from Jeremiah 25 of the Defeat of the Philistines by the Babylonians Under Nebuchadnezzar Around 607 BC

For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it. And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them. Then took I the cup at the LORD's hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the LORD had sent me: To wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof, and the princes thereof, to make them a desolation, and astonishment, an hissing, and a curse; as it is this day; Pharoah king of Egypt, and his servants, and his princes, and all his people; And all the mingled people, and all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the PHilistines, and Ashkelon, and Azzah, and Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod, Jeremiah 25:15-20

Fate Of the Philistines (From Whom the Present Palestinians Are Partly Derived) in the Messianic Kingdom From Zecheriah 9

Although I used to personally discount that the present Palestinians were or are significantly derived from the Philistines, I now think they are partly derived from the Philistines although also partly derived from the Arabs, Canaanites, Greeks and other people. I believe this passage in Zecheriah tells part of the fate of the Philistines (which will be at least part of the so-called Palestinians). The Greeks were masters of assmilation and were even more successful in changing the names of places and religious customs to incorporate that of Greece for the Philistines and some other people of the Holy Land than they were for the Jews. This process is called Hellinization. In this passage in Zecheriah the prophet of God says that God will intimidate the Philistines (Palestinians) with His judgment of Tyre (Lebanon) in the last days although this prophecy has already had a past fulfillment as well. The LORD also says Gaza will no longer have a ruler then such as she has now with the leaders of Hamas such Ishmail Haniya or Khaled Mashal and that Ashkelon will not be inhabited. Ashkelon is presently part of Israel but is now under fire by Kassam rockets by Hamas and other terrorist groups and it could suffer much more devastation in the tribulation. God also says that there will probably be lower moral standards with the Philistines or part of the Palestinians leading up to the Messianic Kingdom with mentioning a bastard or illegetimate child dwelling in Ashdod that was one of the cities of the Philistines before. God also says he will cut off the pride of the Philistines which probably means when looking forward to the Messianic or Millennial Kingdom that the Philistine or Palestinians territory will be rule by the Jews as part of land God promised them as the land of Israel for which they will have their full allotment in the Messianic Kingdom. This portion of the Jews promised land of Israel will go to the river of Egypt that will certainly take up all the present Gaza Strip and West Bank as even in the limited interpretation this is the Wadi Al-arish that is towards Egypt from the present GAza Strip. This cutting off the pride of the Philistines probably also refers to God judging and cutting off Philistine and Palestinian militant such as in Hamas and Islamic Jihad that don't repent of their hatred of Jews and a Jewish state and probably the God of Israel and Jesus as the Jewish Messiah as well as Saviour of the world and Son of God. God also says he will take away the violence from the Philistines (or some of the Palestinians) and his abominations or customs not consistant with worship of the God of Israel and those of the Philistines that remain will be for the LORD or the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and will help rule the Holy Land under Messiah Jesus and the Jews and Ekron which was another city of the Philistines as a Jebusite probably means that the remaining Philistines or Palestinians will be able to live in the Holy Land or Land of Israel in the Messianic Kingdom. These will be those Philistines or Palestinians that trust in the God of Israel in the tribulation or by the second coming of the LOrd Jesus the Messiah and that trust in the Lord Jesus Christ (Messiah) as their personal Lord and Savioiur in that time. God saying no oppressor shall pass through the Holy Land or Land of Israel at that time or in the Messianic Kingdom would not refer to Philistines or Palestinians or other Gentiles or peoples of the nations that have trusted in the God of Israel and His Annointed ONe Jesus of Nazareth before the end of the tribulation and the second coming of the Lord JEsus Christ (Messiah). The scripture reference from Zechariah 9 of God's burden through the prophet Zechariah for the Philistines (ultimately part of the Palestinians) in the Messianic Kingdom is as follows:

Scripture Reference From Zechariah 9 of Fate According to God's Burden Through the Prophet Zechariah for the Philistines (Some of the Palestinians) in the Messianic Kingdom

Ashkelon shall see it, and fear; Gaza also shall see it, and be very sorrowful, and Ekron; for her expectation shall be ashamed; and the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited. And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines. And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth: but he that remaineth, even he, shall be for our God, and he shall be as a governor in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite. Zechariah 9:5-7

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