Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
Bible History Online

Easton's Bible Dictionary

A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O    P    Q    R    S    T    U    V    W    X    Y    Z   

        (Gen. 10:14, R.V.; but in A.V., "Philistim"), a tribe allied to
        the Phoenicians. They were a branch of the primitive race which
        spread over the whole district of the Lebanon and the valley of
        the Jordan, and Crete and other Mediterranean islands. Some
        suppose them to have been a branch of the Rephaim (2 Sam.
        21:16-22). In the time of Abraham they inhabited the south-west
        of Judea, Abimelech of Gerar being their king (Gen. 21:32, 34;
        26:1). They are, however, not noticed among the Canaanite
        tribes mentioned in the Pentateuch. They are spoken of by Amos
        (9:7) and Jeremiah (47:4) as from Caphtor, i.e., probably Crete,
        or, as some think, the Delta of Egypt. In the whole record from
        Exodus to Samuel they are represented as inhabiting the tract of
        country which lay between Judea and Egypt (Ex. 13:17; 15:14, 15;
        Josh. 13:3; 1 Sam. 4).
        This powerful tribe made frequent incursions against the
        Hebrews. There was almost perpetual war between them. They
        sometimes held the tribes, especially the southern tribes, in
        degrading servitude (Judg. 15:11; 1 Sam. 13:19-22); at other
        times they were defeated with great slaughter (1 Sam. 14:1-47;
        17). These hostilities did not cease till the time of Hezekiah
        (2 Kings 18:8), when they were entirely subdued. They still,
        however, occupied their territory, and always showed their old
        hatred to Israel (Ezek. 25:15-17). They were finally conquered
        by the Romans.
        The Philistines are called Pulsata or Pulista on the Egyptian
        monuments; the land of the Philistines (Philistia) being termed
        Palastu and Pilista in the Assyrian inscriptions. They occupied
        the five cities of Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, and Gath, in
        the south-western corner of Canaan, which belonged to Egypt up
        to the closing days of the Nineteenth Dynasty. The occupation
        took place during the reign of Rameses III. of the Twentieth
        Dynasty. The Philistines had formed part of the great naval
        confederacy which attacked Egypt, but were eventually repulsed
        by that Pharaoh, who, however, could not dislodge them from
        their settlements in Israel. As they did not enter Israel
        till the time of the Exodus, the use of the name Philistines in
        Gen. 26:1 must be proleptic. Indeed the country was properly
        Gerar, as in ch. 20.
        They are called Allophyli, "foreigners," in the Septuagint,
        and in the Books of Samuel they are spoken of as uncircumcised.
        It would therefore appear that they were not of the Semitic
        race, though after their establishment in Canaan they adopted
        the Semitic language of the country. We learn from the Old
        Testament that they came from Caphtor, usually supposed to be
        Crete. From Philistia the name of the land of the Philistines
        came to be extended to the whole of "Israel." Many scholars
        identify the Philistines with the Pelethites of 2 Sam. 8:18.
Bibliography Information
Easton, Matthew George. M.A., D.D., "Biblical Meaning for 'Philistines' Eastons Bible Dictionary". - Eastons; 1897.

Copyright Information
Easton's Bible Dictionary

Easton's Bible Dictionary Home
Bible History Online Home


Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE)
Online Bible (KJV)
Naves Topical Bible
Smith's Bible Dictionary
Easton's Bible Dictionary
Fausset's Bible Dictionary
Matthew Henry Bible Commentary
Hitchcock's Bible Dictionary

Related Bible History