Philistines

<<hostile enemies of Israel>>

This fierce tribe of people living on the SW coast of Palestine were called “uncircumcised” inferring they had no relationship with God (Jdg 15:18; 1 Sam 14:6; 2 Sam 1:20).

The Philistines had contact with Abraham and Isaac (Gen 21:32,34, 26:1,8,18). When the Israelites came out Egypt, the Lord did not lead them through the land of the Philistines (Ex 13:17). The Israelites were unable to subdue them when they entered the Promised Land, and they continued to be Israel’s enemies during the time of Joshua, the Judges and King David, and were allowed by God to bring discipline because of sin (Jdg 13:1). Samson killed many and had numerous skirmishes with them (Jdg 14:19, 15:8,15, 16:30). The relationship between the Philistines and Israelites was stark – either allies or deadly enemies. During one battle, the Philistines captured the ark (1 Sam 4:1-11, 6:1). David killed the Philistine giant Goliath in battle, then later, when on the run from King Saul, lived for a time with the Philistines (1 Sam 17:1-53, 27:1-12). Eventually through the guidance of God, the Philistines were largely subdued, assimilating into Canaanite culture and today the name Palestine is the sole testimony to their existence (1 Sam 7:12-14; 2 Sam 5:22-25).

See also: David, Goliath, Palestine, Samson.



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