When it comes to the ancient Philistines, one might say they’ve gotten quite a bad rap throughout the course of history. For example, the word “philistine” is actually defined as someone who is smug and lacking in culture. Ouch! That’s got to sting.
However, if you take a look through the history of the Philistines, you’ll find that their reputation has been somewhat skewed by forces beyond their control.
The Old Testament
One could say that the Old Testament (written by Jews and sworn enemies to the Philistines) paints the Philistines in quite a bad light. For example, the story of David and Goliath describes the sweet and innocent David taking down the large and nasty giant, Goliath with a simple sling shot.
Who are the bad guys? Well, the Old Testament surely doesn’t leave it up to interpretation.
The Wicked Delilah
Another Old Testament story is Samson and Delilah. Remember that one? The wicked and seductive Philistine, Delilah convinces the strong Samson to reveal his source of strength, which was is hair. So, what does she do? She promptly cuts it off and then the Philistines capture and blind the poor Samson before enslaving him.
This story isn’t biased at all!
Regardless of the Bible painting the Philistines in a not so pleasant light, what else do we really know about the Philistines? Well, according to historians, they lived in cities along the Mediterranean Sea, with many of them in what would be considered modern day Israel or Palestine.
One settlement, known as Ashkelon, actually still exists today along the Israeli coast.