Posted on 19 Comments


The Philistines were an ancient people that lived in the Middle Eastern region.  They are found on the Bible Timeline around 1200 B.C. Biblical and historical sources claim that the Philistines were a part of the Canaanite culture. These people have existed in Canaan before the arrival of the Israelites. The Philistines were also known as seamen and people who established cities close to the Mediterranean Sea.

[This article continues after a message from the authors]
These Articles are Written by the Publishers of The Amazing Bible Timeline with World History

Click to find out more about this comprehensive Bible study tool now! >

Even though the Philistines are not portrayed in the Bible as traders and seafarers, they were closely identified with the Phoenicians who were known for these characteristics. They were at times referred to as the people of the sea. The Philistines were mentioned in the Bible as far back as the time when God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. The Philistines were the mortal enemies of the nation of Israel for hundreds of years. When the Israelites had finally settled into Canaan, they had to contend with the Philistines.

These two nations constantly fought against one another. The major reason that the Philistines and the Israelites constantly had strife was because of their differing religious beliefs. The Philistines primarily believed in Dagon and the Israelites believed in Yahweh or God. These two gods were nothing alike and this religious difference played out in the lives of the Philistines and the Israelites in forming their cultures and shaping their lives.

Another major reason as to why the Philistines resented the Israelites is because they had conquered so many people when they entered into Canaan under Joshua’s leadership. The Philistines were a powerful and warlike people, and they disliked the idea of the Israelites gaining more power. They constantly challenged the strength of Israel. God also let the Philistines remain in the land to test and punish the Israelites whenever they strayed away from worshiping him. The Philistines defeated the Israelite armies on many occasions and they even managed to get some of the people to turn away from worshiping Yahweh.

Procession of Philistine Captives At Medinet-Habu.

The Philistines most notable mention in the Bible was during the era of the Judges and the reign of Kings Saul and David. Samson, the famed strongman, fought against the Philistines and was even overcome by a Philistine woman named Delilah. King Saul had to battle against the tyranny of the Philistines when they used the giants from Gath as a part of their armies. One Philistine giant named Goliath helped to mark the beginning of King David’s reign. The Philistines contended with Israel up until the time the Assyrians conquered the whole region during the 8th century B.C. After the Assyrians had taken over the area, the Philistines were no longer relevant and were absorbed by other cultures.

Philistines In the Bible

  • Genesis 21:34 Abraham stays in the land of the Philistines for a long time.
  • Genesis 26:1 a famine occurs in the land and Isaac looks for refuge in the land of the Philistines
  • .Genesis 6:14 the Philistines envy Isaac because of his wife and many great possessions.
  • Exodus 13:17 God doesn’t allow the Israelites to travel through the lands of the Philistines because they might have turned back to Egypt when they saw how warlike they were.
  • Judges 3:31 a judge named Shamgar kills six hundred Philistines with an ox goad.
  • Judges 10:7 God is angry with Israel, and he forces them to serve the Philistines.
  • Judges 13:5 God brings Samson into existence to free the Israelites from the Philistines.
  • Judges 14:2-4 Samson lusts after a Philistine woman named Delilah.
  • Judges 15 and 16 Delilah deceives Samson and he captured by the Philistines. Samson loses his strength but manages to get it back to destroy the Philistine rulers before he dies.
  • 1 Samuel 17 David slays Goliath
  • Zephaniah 2:5 God finally judges the Philistines, and they no longer are a relevant people in history.
These Articles are Written by the Publishers of The Amazing Bible Timeline with World History. Quickly See Over 6000 Years of Bible and World History Togetherbible timeline
  • Unique circular format - over 1,000 references at your fingertips on this wonderful study companion
  • Discover interesting facts - Biblical events with scripture references plotted alongside world history showcase fun chronological relationships
  • Attractive, easy to use design - People will stop to look at and talk about this beautifully laid out Jesus history timeline poster ideal for your home, office, church ...
  • Click here to find out more about this unique and fun Bible study tool!

Gift yourself, your family and Bible studying friends this amazing study companion for an exciting journey of discovery.

19 thoughts on “Philistines

  1. 2 Samuel 21:15-22 talks about 4 more giants slain by David and his men. Since they were all sons of “the Giant” , and one of them was Goliath’s brother, it may be reasonable to conclude that all 4 were brothers of Goliath. The genetics for this Philistine giantism would come through Noah’s children, possibly through a wife of one of the three sons. There may have been a mutation also, as one of the 4 giants had 6 digits on each hand and foot. Genesis 10:14 also mentions Ham’s descendants through Mizraim as “Casluhim and Philistim”. Frank Peretti has a fictional tale of giantism occurring in a modern-day Palestinian.

  2. The Philistines is like the majority of today. But, their God is money and forceful voice tone used in their courts. But, since God is the Power. And, the, Glory. We Win .each.battle. And, they now know, Whose side God is on. So, we win every battle. In Jesus Name. Amen.

    1. What the hell are you talking about? You Christians have really lost your minds. The god of the Philistines today is Allah, Jesus, or Hashem but mostly Allah. I know because my great grandparents were Philistine Jews during the time of the Zionist invasion. And just in case you didnt know, Palestinian is English for Philistine. Where has your head been stuck all these years?

      1. The Philistines were totally annihilated by the Babylonian and disappeared from history. Palestinian is a fake name invented by the Syrian-Arab in 1964. These details are true events in modern history. You cannot make it up.

        1. Werent they absorbed by other cultures after the Assyrians conquered that whole region including the 10-tribe northern kingdom? They are not referred to or heard of after that?

        2. It was Rome Emperor Hadrain Publius Aelinus who changed that region’s name. No one else. Jerusalem was also renamed to Aelia Capitolina. Folks who continue to call that region Palestine are just being ignorant or just to insult the jewish people.

      2. The philistine’s god Was never Jesus. philistines are Old Testament. Jesus hadn’t come yet. The philistines were pagan. The philistines were conquered by the babylonians and their culture was absorbed then the Persians Which by that time they lost their ethnic identity. so what are you talking about?

      3. There is only one GOD, not Jesus, just one GOD

      4. Allah means god the word god is a title not a name research before you talk

  3. Just another example of what happens when we disobey God. The Israelites were supposed to destroy the inhabitants of the promised land and they did not, Saul was supposed to do the same. And he did not. All these centuries later and there is still strife.

  4. This page states that in Gen. 26:1 Abraham seeks refuge in The land of the Philistines. That is incorrect. Abraham was dead by then. It was Isaac who did this. Please correct your page. Thanks.

    1. Nice eye, we made the correction. Thank you!

    2. Abraham is cited on Genesis 21:34 not in Genesis 26:1.

  5. You have some good information on here for me my study. But I believe your last Verse is incorrect. Look up Zephaniah vs Zechariah.

    1. Agreed and thank you! We made the change.

  6. 1Samuel 5 and The Ark of the Covenant isn’t mentioned at all ???

  7. Very informative read. Thanks!

  8. On the third line, the correct Bible citation is Genesis 26:14 instead of Genesis 6:14.

  9. It makes me wonder how so many seem to be able to justify the death of innocent children, women and men in the name of a God, a God that that you worship yet you are able to vindicate those who murder, rape and torture. Sleep well

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *