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The name in Hebrew is "Peleshet" and means "land of immigrants or invaders". It comes from the Semitic word "plisha", meaning "invader". Philistia was the coastal plain where the Philistines lived after invading from Caphtor (Crete). In old Assyrian inscriptions it was called Palastu and Pilista. Philistia was in the southwest corner of Canaan, along the Mediterranean coast, and contained 5 cities - Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, and Gath. The area under Philistine control at times extended up the coast to Joppa. The modern names Palestine and Palestinian come from the Biblical names Philistia and Philistine. The term "Palestine" was never applied to the whole land of Israel until 135 AD. At that time, after Rome had crushed the second Jewish revolt, the Roman Emperor Hadrian began using the term "Palestine" for the whole land of Israel. His motivation for doing this was his anti-Semitism, to negate the connection between the Jews and their Promised Land. He was very successful in this. Down through the centuries the whole land has been called Palestine, even though Philistia was originally just a small corner of the land.
The peoples have heard.
Pangs have taken hold on the inhabitants of Philistia.
I will set your border from the Red Sea even to the sea, Philistia, and from the wilderness to the River; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you. *
Moab is my wash basin.
I will throw my shoe on Edom.
I shout in triumph over Philistia.”
Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek;
Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
I will record Rahab and Babylon among those who acknowledge me.
Behold, Philistia, Tyre, and also Ethiopia:
“This one was born there.”
Moab is my wash pot.
I will toss my sandal on Edom.
I will shout over Philistia.”
29 Don’t rejoice, O Philistia, all of you, because the rod that struck you is broken; for out of the serpent’s root an adder will emerge, and his fruit will be a fiery flying serpent.
31 Howl, gate! Cry, city! You are melted away, Philistia, all of you; for smoke comes out of the north, and there is no straggler in his ranks.
“Yes, and what are you to me, Tyre, and Sidon,
and all the regions of Philistia?
Those of the South will possess the mountain of Esau, and those of the lowland shall possess Philistia. They will possess the field of Ephraim, and the field of Samaria. Benjamin will possess Gilead. *
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Topographic map created at www.marine-geo.org with labels added at BiblicalZionist.com