Philistia

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Philistia

1175 BC–604 BC
Philistia in red, and neighbouring polities, circa 830 BC, after the Hebrew conquest of Jaffa, and before its recapture by the Philistines circa 730 BC.
Philistia in red, and neighbouring polities, circa 830 BC, after the Hebrew conquest of Jaffa, and before its recapture by the Philistines circa 730 BC.
Common languagesPhilistine language, Canaanite language, Hebrew language
Religion
Canaanite religion
Demonym(s)Philistine
GovernmentFederation
Historical eraIron Age
1175 BC
• Assyrian conquest of the Levant
604 BC
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Canaanites
Neo-Assyrian Empire
Today part ofEgypt
Israel
Palestine

Philistia (Hebrew: פְּלֶשֶׁת‎, Pəlešeṯ, Greek (LXX): Φυλιστιιμ Phulistiim) was a confederation of cities of Sea Peoples in the Southwest Levant, which included the cities of Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ekron, Gath, Gaza and for a time Jaffa.[1] It was populated by the Peleset or Philistines, who are believed to have been an Indo-European people who settled in Canaan around the year 1200 BC.[2] At its maximum territorial expansion, its territory may have stretched along the Canaanite coast from Arish in the Sinai (today's Egypt) to the Yarkon River (today's Tel Aviv), and as far inland as Ekron and Gath. Nebuchadnezzar II invaded Philistia in 604 BC, burned Ashkelon, and incorporated the territory in the Neo-Babylonian Empire; Philistia and its native population the Philistines disappear from the historic record after that year.

History[edit]

Its first appearance follows the invasion of Egypt by the Sea Peoples, which started in the mid-XIII century BC. The Peleset (or Philistines) were part of the Sea Peoples. About a century later, pharaoh Ramesses III boasted of having defeated the Peleset, allegedly relocated them to the southern abandoned coast of Canaan[3] and recorded this victory on a Medinet Habu temple inscription dated c. 1150 BC. This became the earliest record of the Philistines.[4][5] The Great Harris Papyrus, a chronicle of Ramesses' reign written no later than 1149 BC, also records this Egyptian defeat of the Philistines.[6][7]

Philistia's northern boundary was the Yarkon River with the Mediterranean Sea on the west, the Kingdom of Judah to the east and the Wadi El-Arish to the south.[8][9] Philistia consisted of the five city-states of the [Philistines, as the Philistine pentapolis, described in the Book of Joshua (Joshua 13:3) and the Books of Samuel (1 Samuel 6:17), comprising Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, Gath, and Gaza, in the south-western Levant.

Philistia included Jaffa (in today's Tel Aviv), but it was lost to the Hebrews during Solomon's time. Nonetheless, the Philistine king of Ashkelon conquered Jaffa again circa 730 BC. Following Sennacherib's third campaign in the Levant, the Assyrians re-assigned Jaffa to the Canaanites of Sidonia, and Philistia never got it back.[10]

The Five Lords[11] of the Philistines are described in the Hebrew Bible as being in constant struggle and interaction with the neighbouring Israelites, Canaanites and Egyptians, being gradually absorbed into the Canaanite culture.[12]

The Philistines disappear from written records following the conquest of the Levant by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II towards the end of the 6th century, when Ashkelon and many other cities from the region were destroyed.[13]

East of Gaza[edit]

The area east of Gaza, particularly around Nahal Besor that reaches into the hills as far as Beersheva, had a very substantial Philistine presence. This area is a part of the Negev desert. It also includes Nahal Gerar to the north that joins Nahal Besor before flowing into the Mediterranean Sea.[14]

This was a heavily populated area during the early Iron Age. It includes archaeological sites such as Tell Beit Mirsim, Tel Haror, Tel Sera (Ziklag) along Nahal Gerar, and Tell Jemmeh and Tell el-Farah (South) along Nahal Besor.[15] All these sites and others in the area had Philistine settlements.[16]

When the Neo-Assyrian Empire first invaded this area, the Philistine cities were given considerable autonomy in exchange for tribute. But having responded to various revolts, this policy hardened.[17]

Pleshet[edit]

Pleshet is the Hebrew name for what might otherwise be called the "land of the Philistines" according to the Hebrew Bible (see Book of Genesis 21:32, Exodus 13:17, 1 Samuel 27:1, Joel 3:4).[18]

The term refers to the coastal region that stretches roughly from Gaza in the south to Ashdod in the north. The five main cities of the Philistines during the time of the Kings of Israel were Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, and Gath.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Anson F. Rainey (February 2001). "Herodotus' Description of the East Mediterranean Coast". Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research. The University of Chicago Press on behalf of The American Schools of Oriental Research (321): 58–59. doi:10.2307/1357657. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  2. ^ John Noble Wilford (29 September 1992). "Philistines Were Cultured After All, Say Archeologists". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 May 2021. I am willing to state flatly that the Sea Peoples, including the Philistines, were Mycenaean Greeks
  3. ^ Carl S. Ehrlich, The Philistines in Transition: A History of the Philistines from Ca. 1000-730 B. C. E., Brill 1996, p.7
  4. ^ Masalha 2018, p. 56: The 3200‑year‑old documents from Ramesses III, including an inscription dated c. 1150 BC, at the Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III at the Medinat Habu Temple in Luxor – one of the best‑preserved temples of Egypt – refers to the Peleset among those who fought against Ramesses III (Breasted 2001: 24; also Bruyère 1929‒1930), who reigned from 1186 to 1155 BC.
  5. ^ Killebrew 2005, p. 202.
  6. ^ "Text of the Papyrus Harris". Specialtyinterests.net. Archived from the original on 2013-02-01. Retrieved 2011-12-11.
  7. ^ Killebrew 2005, p. 204.
  8. ^ Ehrlich, Carl S. (1996). The Philistines in Transition: A History from Ca. 1000-730 B.C.E. BRILL. p. 3. ISBN 9789004104266. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  9. ^ Ben-Shlomo, David (2010). Philistine Iconography: A Wealth of Style and Symbolism (PDF). Saint-Paul. p. 14. ISBN 9783525543603. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  10. ^ Anson F. Rainey (February 2001). "Herodotus' Description of the East Mediterranean Coast". Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research. The University of Chicago Press on behalf of The American Schools of Oriental Research (321): 58–59. doi:10.2307/1357657. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  11. ^ Note - the "Lords" is a translation of seren or ceren (סַרְנֵ֣י) in Hebrew, or satrap (σατραπείαις) in the Greek of the Septuagint
  12. ^ Library, National Public. "Philistia | National Public Library - eBooks | Read eBooks online". nationalpubliclibrary.info. Retrieved 2016-11-01.
  13. ^ Jarus, Owen (16 July 2016). "Who Were the Philistines?". Live Science. Retrieved 9 December 2020.
  14. ^ Ben-Shlomo, David (2014). "Tell Jemmeh, Philistia and the Neo-Assyrian Empire during the Late Iron Age". Levant. 46: 58–88. doi:10.1179/0075891413Z.00000000031. S2CID 161673835.
  15. ^ Gunnar Lehmann, Steven A. Rosen, Angelika Berlejung, Bat-Ami Neumeier and Hermann M. Niemann, Excavations at Qubur al-Walaydah, 2007–2009 academia.edu
  16. ^ "Tell el-Far'ah, South -- Israel Excavation Project Website". Farahsouth.cgu.edu. Retrieved 12 Jan 2016.
  17. ^ Ben-Shlomo, David (2014). "Tell Jemmeh, Philistia and the Neo-Assyrian Empire during the Late Iron Age". Levant. 46: 58–88. doi:10.1179/0075891413Z.00000000031. S2CID 161673835.
  18. ^ Vilnai, Ze'ev (1979). "Pleshet". Ariel Encyclopedia (in Hebrew). Volume 7. Tel Aviv, Israel: Am Oved. p. 6108. |volume= has extra text (help)

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]