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Philistines Rule In Canaan

The Philistines were an ancient people that existed in the Mesopotamian region nearly 4000 years ago. Their importance to Bible History has a note for them on the Bible Timeline Chart with World History during their rule of Israel when Saul, David and Samson lived.

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Map of the Philistine Pentapolis

Their land was known as Philistia, and they were supposed to have been one of the groups of Sea People that settled into the region after the Flood. Other historical records indicate that the Philistines were connected to Mycenaean and Greek culture.

Some scholars and historians have even speculated that the Philistines name was derived from the Pelasgen, which were a group of people who once inhabited southeastern Greece in ancient times. Historians are not able to accurately figure out the origins of the Philistines. If they were a part of the Sea People that invaded ancient Canaan, then they could have come from any of the groups of people that existed throughout southeastern Europe and the Middle East. The Philistines were also mentioned in the Bible during the period that the patriarch Abraham existed. The Bible states that Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for a long period (Genesis 21:34). Genesis 26:1 records Isaac‘s visit with King Abimelech of the Philistines during a famine. These scriptures coincide with Genesis 12:5 and 16:3 where Abraham had lived in Canaan for at least 10 years. God had formed a covenant with Abraham and as a part of this pact God said that he would give the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession to him and the Hebrew people (Genesis 17:8). The land of Canaan was (and is) an important part of the covenant and inheritance that God has established for the people of Israel. God sometimes referred to the land of Canaan as the “land of promise” or the “land that flows with milk and honey.” Even though God was going to give this particular piece of land to the Israelites, there were other people who already lived in this area of the world.

The Jebusites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hittites, Ammonites and the Moabites were some of the inhabitants of Canaan. The Philistines were also included within this group of people that inhabited Canaan. So the Israelites had to fight against them as well as the other inhabitants of Canaan to secure the land. The Philistines occupied the southwestern coastal parts of Canaan. They had established five major cities that probably started off as strongholds or fortresses. The cities of Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ekron and Gath, were five cities that were a part of the Philistine Empire.

The Philistines never completely conquered the whole entire land of Canaan they seemed content to rule in the section that they had occupied. History records the Philistines attacking Egypt, but the Egyptians had apparently subdued and controlled them for a period as a result of this action. Since Israel seemed to be the arch enemies of the Philistines they were in constant strife with God’s chosen people. Scripture also points out that the Philistines sided with other Canaanite nations in their effort to wipe out Israel. The Philistines had defeated the Israelites and a few other cultures but they never completely controlled Canaan. Around 750 B.C., the Philistines were completely defeated by the Assyrians and after this point they never rose again to power or importance.

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3 thoughts on “Philistines Rule In Canaan

  1. It is surprising that information from the Bible has not been considered! Genesis 10:13,14. Philistines are descendants of Mizraim (Hebrew name for Egypt) through Casluhite. Casluhite was the brother of Pathrusite who lived in upper Egypt.

  2. According to the final chapter of the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses ascended Mount Nebo to view the Land of Canaan, which God had said he would not enter; he died in Moab. According to Christian tradition, Moses was buried on the mountain, although his place of burial is not specified (Deuteronomy 34:6).
    Mount Nebo – Wikipedia They are not chosen. You have taken some truth and integrated it with a hypothesis. When the is Israelites did enter the land of philistine throughout the Millennium they did So at their own Peril and not with the blessings of the heavens fore it is also contrary to God’s ten commandments” what they have done.

  3. The land belongs to GOD (Psalm 24:1). So all land belongs to GOD to give to whom He wills. GOD gave the land to Abraham, Isaac, and Israel by an everlasting covenant (Gen. 17:8,19. Gen. 35:12, Psalm 105:8-10). It was GOD that chose Israel (Deut. 7:6-8). The LORD gave Israel and his children the land for their inheritance not because they were righteous, but rather because the nations that inhabited Canaan were wicked before GOD (Deut. 9:3-6). Numbers 34 details the boundaries of the land that was given unto Israel. The Israelites could not have destroyed any of the nations in Canaan on their own. It was the LORD that gave over these nations to Israel to destroy and commanded Israel to “consume all the people which the LORD thy GOD shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them:” (Deut.7:16-26). A statement was made that because of GOD’S Ten Commandments, Israel did not enter the land with GOD’S blessings, it is supposed that the reference is made to the commandment “thou shalt not kill.” The aforementioned scriptures cited provide a different story. The Book of Joshua details just some of the victories that GOD gave Israel when they went in to possess the land of Canaan. GOD loved and separated Israel as a people unto Himself. It was because he did not want Israel to learn the ways of the people that inhabited the land of Canaan, that He commanded the people of Canaan to be destroyed. Israel was not to serve the idols of the Canaanites, nor inter-marry with them (Deut. 7:1-6). GOD wanted Israel to be rid of snares to loving and worshiping Him. GOD loves people and His creation (1st John 4:8). But Israel sinned against GOD, as all people do (Romans 3:23). In those days, under the Old Testament, GOD provided a way for Israel and “the stranger” that wanted to be under the care of GOD to be cleansed of sin. All the male children of nation of Israel and the stranger (foreigner) would enter into covenant of GOD by circumcision of their flesh. Then when any sinned, the appropriate animal sacrifice was made (Levi. 4). It was necessary that blood be shed in order that sin(s) may be forgiven (Heb. 9:22), both under the Old Testament and the New Testament. GOD saw that people, on their own, could not conquer sin. Therefore, GOD sent forth His Son to be the sacrifice for sin, shedding His blood, not just for Israel, but for whole world (John 3:16-18). Jesus, only, is now the acceptable sacrifice for sin (John 14:6). This promise of the forgiveness of confessed sin (1st John 1:9) and eternal life (John 3:36, John 5:24) is offered to all. No one can earn eternal life by doing or giving anything to GOD or anyone (Ephesians 2:8-9): eternal life is the Gift of GOD to us (Romans 6:23). If anyone wants to be forgiven of GOD for his/her sins and to receive eternal life through Christ Jesus, the LORD, they need to ask the LORD. The prayer to the LORD for salvation should be your own heart-felt, simple prayer. (It could include something like this . . . LORD, please forgive me of my sins I’ve committed against You. I ask that you take control of my life and help me to be what You want me to be. . . in Jesus name . . . amen.)

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