Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
Bible History Online

Sub Categories

    Back to Categories

    August 13    Scripture



    More Bible History
    Gath in Easton's Bible Dictionary a wine-vat, one of the five royal cities of the Philistines (Josh. 13:3) on which the ark brought calamity (1 Sam. 5:8, 9; 6:17). It was famous also as being the birthplace or residence of Goliath (1 Sam. 17:4). David fled from Saul to Achish, king of Gath (1 Sam. 21:10; 27:2-4; Ps. 56), and his connection with it will account for the words in 2 Sam. 1:20. It was afterwards conquered by David (2 Sam. 8:1). It occupied a strong position on the borders of Judah and Philistia (1 Sam. 21:10; 1 Chr. 18:1). Its site has been identified with the hill called Tell esSafieh, the Alba Specula of the Middle Ages, which rises 695 feet above the plain on its east edge. It is noticed on monuments about B.C. 1500. (See METHEGAMMAH -T0002516.)

    Gath in Fausset's Bible Dictionary ("a winepress"), Gath being in a vine-abounding country. One of the five great Philistine cities (Joshua 13:3; 1 Samuel 6:17). Goliath's abode (1 Samuel 17). Its people were the "Gittites," of whom was David's devotedly loyal friend Ittai (2 Samuel 15:19-22). In undesigned coincidence with the presence of giants in Gath, according to 1 Samuel 17; 2 Samuel 21:19-22, is Joshua 11:22; "only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod there remained Anakims." Gath was one of the five cities to which the Philistines carried about the ark of God (the five formed one political unity), and thereby brought on the people God's heavy visitation with emerods. It was' represented by one of the five golden emerods and five golden inlet sent to propitiate Jehovah (1 Samuel 5:9; 1 Samuel 6:4-5; 1 Samuel 6:10-18). David there reigned madness to save his life; a second time he visited king Achish, and had Ziklag assigned to him as a residence (1 Samuel 21:10-15; 1 Samuel 27:28). Thence he attached and drew after him 600 Gittite followers, with Ittai their chief (2 Samuel 15:18); probably some at the time of his sojourn in Gath, and most when he smote and subdued the Philistines (2 Samuel 8:1). Though tributary to Israel, Gath still retained its own king (1 Kings 2:89). Hazael fought against it and took it (2 Kings 12:17). Uzziah gave a heavy blow to Gath, breaking down its wall (2 Chronicles 26:6; Amos 6:2). "Hamath ... Gath, be they better than these kingdoms?" Gath, once "better (stronger) than" Israel and Judah, fell; how vain then is your confidence in the strength of mounts Zion and Samaria! In Amos 1:6, etc., Zephaniah 2:4-5; Zechariah 9:5-6, Gath is omitted; probably it had lost by that time its place among the five primary cities. Hezekiah, after Uzziah, conquered Philistia (2 Kings 18:8; Isaiah 14:29-81). Tell es Safieh occupies the site of Gath, which lay on the border between Judah and Philistia, between Shocoh and Ekron (1 Samuel 17:1; 1 Samuel 17:52). Saul came down from the hills by the road from Jerusalem to Gaza, which passes near Shocoh, and encountered the Philistines near the bend in the valley. Saul was on the E. of the valley, the Philistines on the W., as they came from the W. Gath was from its strength often alternately in the hands of Judah and of Philistia (2 Chronicles 11:8). It lay on a hill at the foot of Judah's mountains, ten miles E. of Ashdod, and ten S.E. of Ekron

    Gath in Hitchcock's Bible Names a wine-press

    Gath in Naves Topical Bible One of the five chief cities of the Philistines Jos 13:3; 1Sa 6:17; Am 6:2; Mic 1:10 -Anakim, a race of giants, inhabitants of Jos 11:22 -Goliath lived in 1Sa 17:4; 1Ch 20:5-8 -Obed-edom belonged to 2Sa 6:10 -The ark of the covenant taken to 1Sa 5:8 -Inhabitants of, called GITTITES Jos 13:3 -David takes refuge at 1Sa 21:10-15; 27:2-7 -Band of Gittites, attached to David 2Sa 15:18-22 -Captured by David 1Ch 18:1 -Shimei's servants escape to 1Ki 2:39-41 -Fortified by Rehoboam 2Ch 11:8 -Captured by Hazael 2Ki 12:17 -Recovered by Jehoash 2Ki 13:25 -Besieged by Uzziah 2Ch 26:6 -Called METHEGAMMAH in 2Sa 8:1

    Gath in Smiths Bible Dictionary (a wine press), one of the five royal cities of the Philistines; Jos 13:3; 1Sa 6:17 and the native place of the giant Goliath. 1Sa 17:4,23 It probably stood upon the conspicuous hill now called Tell-es-Safieh, upon the side of the plain of Philistia, at the foot of the mountains of Judah; 10 miles east of Ashdod, and about the same distance south by east of Ekron. It is irregular in form, and about 200 feet high. Gath occupied a strong position, 2Ch 11:8 on the border of Judah and Philistia, 1Sa 21:10; 1Ch 18:1 and from its strength and resources forming the key of both countries, it was the scene of frequent struggles, and was often captured and recaptured. 2Ki 12:17; 2Ch 11:8; 26:6; Am 6:2 The ravages of war to which Gath was exposed appear to have destroyed it at a comparatively early period, as it is not mentioned among the other royal cities by the later prophets. Zep 2:4; Zec 9:5,6 It is familiar to the Bible student as the scene of one of the most romantic incidents in the life of King David. 1Sa 21:10-15

    Gath in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE gath (gath; Septuagint Geth, "winepress"): One of the five chief cities of the Philistines (Josh 13:3; 1 Sam 6:17). It was a walled town (2 Ch 26:6) and was not taken by Joshua, and, although many conflicts took place between the Israelites and its people, it does not seem to have been captured until the time of David (1 Ch 18:1). It was rendered famous as the abode of the giant Goliath whom David slew (1 Sam 17:4), and other giants of the same race (2 Sam 21:18-22). It was to Gath that the Ashdodites conveyed the ark when smitten with the plague, and Gath was also smitten (1 Sam 5:8,9). It was Gath where David took refuge twice when persecuted by Saul (21:10; 27:2-4). It seems to have been destroyed after being taken by David, for we find Rehoboam restoring it (2 Ch 11:8). It was after this reoccupied by the Philistines, for we read that Uzziah took it and razed its walls (2 Ch 26:6), but it must have been restored again, for we find Hazael of Damascus capturing it (2 Ki 12:17). It seems to have been destroyed before the time of Amos (Am 6:2), and is not further mentioned in the Old Testament or Macc, except in Mic 1:10, where it is referred to in the proverb, "Tell it not in Gath" (compare 2 Sam 1:20). Since its destruction occurred, probably, in the middle of the 8th century BC, it is easy to understand why the site has been lost so that it can be fixed only conjecturally. Several sites have been suggested by different explorers and writers, such as: Tell es Safi, Beit Jibrin, Khurbet Jeladiyeh, Khurbet Abu Geith, Jennata and Yebna (see PEFS, 1871, 91; 1875, 42, 144, 194; 1880, 170-71, 211-23; 1886, 200-202). Tradition in the early centuries AD fixed it at 5 Roman miles North of Eleutheropolis (Beit Jibrin, toward Lydda, which would indicate Tell es Safi as the site, but the Crusaders thought it was at Jamnia (Yebna), where they erected the castle of Ibelin, but the consensus of opinion in modern times fixes upon Tell es Safi as the site, as is to be gathered from the references cited in PEFS above. The Biblical notices of Gath would indicate a place in the Philistine plain or the Shephelah, which was fortified, presumably in a strong position on the border of the Philistine country toward the territory of Judah or Dan. Tell es Safi fits into these conditions fairly well, but without other proof this is not decisive. It is described in SWP, II, 240, as a position of strength on a narrow ridge, with precipitous cliffs on the North and West, connected with the hills by a narrow neck, so that it is thrust out like a bastion, a position easily fortified. In 1144 Fulke of Anjou erected here a castle called Blanchegarde (Alba Specula). The writer on "Gath and Its Worthies" in PEFS, 1886, 200-204, connects the name Safi with that of the giant Saph (2 Sam 21:18), regarding him as a native of Gath, but the most direct evidence from early tradition connecting Tell es Safi with Gath is found in a manuscript said to be in the library of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which informs us that Catherocastrum was situated on a mountain called Telesaphion or Telesaphy, which is clearly Tell es Safi. Catherocastrum must be the Latin for "camp of Gath" (PEFS, 1906, 305).

    Gath Scripture - 1 Samuel 17:52 And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until thou come to the valley, and to the gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, even unto Gath, and unto Ekron.

    Gath Scripture - 1 Samuel 27:11 And David saved neither man nor woman alive, to bring [tidings] to Gath, saying, Lest they should tell on us, saying, So did David, and so [will be] his manner all the while he dwelleth in the country of the Philistines.

    Gath Scripture - 1 Samuel 27:3 And David dwelt with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, [even] David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal's wife.

    Gath Scripture - 1 Samuel 5:8 They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines unto them, and said, What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? And they answered, Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about unto Gath. And they carried the ark of the God of Israel about [thither].

    Gath Scripture - 1 Samuel 7:14 And the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even unto Gath; and the coasts thereof did Israel deliver out of the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.

    Gath Scripture - 2 Chronicles 26:6 And he went forth and warred against the Philistines, and brake down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines.

    Gath Scripture - 2 Kings 12:17 Then Hazael king of Syria went up, and fought against Gath, and took it: and Hazael set his face to go up to Jerusalem.

    Gath Scripture - 2 Samuel 1:20 Tell [it] not in Gath, publish [it] not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.

    Gath Scripture - 2 Samuel 21:22 These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.

    Gath Scripture - Amos 6:2 Pass ye unto Calneh, and see; and from thence go ye to Hamath the great: then go down to Gath of the Philistines: [be they] better than these kingdoms? or their border greater than your border?