The Philistines

By Tim Lambert

The Philistines lived in the Southwest of the country we now call Israel. It is believed the Philistines originally came from the Agean or possibly from Crete. They invaded the coast of what is now Israel about 1200 BC. The Philistine realm was called Philistia and it included 5 cities Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gath, and Ekron. The main Philistine god was Dagon, who is shown as part man and part fish. The Philistines were great builders and craftsmen and they appreciated arts like music.

The Philistines were enemies of the Israelites and they fought many wars with them. The Philistines declined in importance and they were finally destroyed by Babylon in the 6th century BC. However, the Philistines gave their name to Palestine.

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