The philistines in the bible: A late-monarchic perspective

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The biblical references to the Philistines do not contain any memory of early Iron I events or cultural behaviour. A few texts, such as the Ark Narrative and stories reflecting the importance of Gath, seem to portray late Iron I and early Iron II memories. Most of the Philistine material, even if historically stratified and containing seeds of early tales as well as evidence for more than one redaction, is based on the geographical, historical and ideological background of late-monarchic times. Especially important are the allusions to Greek and west Anatolian mercenaries who served in the Saite army and were probably stationed, among other places, in Philistia. Chief among them were Carian, Ionian, Lydian and apparently also Cretan hoplites. This article highlights the following issues: the Philistine seranim, the pentapolis, Goliath' s armour, the Cherethites and the Pelethites and the origin of the Philistines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-167
Number of pages37
JournalJournal for the Study of the Old Testament
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


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