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2 definitions found

From: Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

    (Gen. 10:14, R.V.; but in A.V., "Philistim"), a tribe allied to
    the Phoenicians. They were a branch of the primitive race which
    spread over the whole district of the Lebanon and the valley of
    the Jordan, and Crete and other Mediterranean islands. Some
    suppose them to have been a branch of the Rephaim (2 Sam.
    21:16-22). In the time of Abraham they inhabited the south-west
    of Judea, Abimelech of Gerar being their king (Gen. 21:32, 34;
    26:1). They are, however, not noticed among the Canaanitish
    tribes mentioned in the Pentateuch. They are spoken of by Amos
    (9:7) and Jeremiah (47:4) as from Caphtor, i.e., probably Crete,
    or, as some think, the Delta of Egypt. In the whole record from
    Exodus to Samuel they are represented as inhabiting the tract of
    country which lay between Judea and Egypt (Ex. 13:17; 15:14, 15;
    Josh. 13:3; 1 Sam. 4).
      This powerful tribe made frequent incursions against the
    Hebrews. There was almost perpetual war between them. They
    sometimes held the tribes, especially the southern tribes, in
    degrading servitude (Judg. 15:11; 1 Sam. 13:19-22); at other
    times they were defeated with great slaughter (1 Sam. 14:1-47;
    17). These hostilities did not cease till the time of Hezekiah
    (2 Kings 18:8), when they were entirely subdued. They still,
    however, occupied their territory, and always showed their old
    hatred to Israel (Ezek. 25:15-17). They were finally conquered
    by the Romans.
      The Philistines are called Pulsata or Pulista on the Egyptian
    monuments; the land of the Philistines (Philistia) being termed
    Palastu and Pilista in the Assyrian inscriptions. They occupied
    the five cities of Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, and Gath, in
    the south-western corner of Canaan, which belonged to Egypt up
    to the closing days of the Nineteenth Dynasty. The occupation
    took place during the reign of Rameses III. of the Twentieth
    Dynasty. The Philistines had formed part of the great naval
    confederacy which attacked Egypt, but were eventually repulsed
    by that Pharaoh, who, however, could not dislodge them from
    their settlements in Palestine. As they did not enter Palestine
    till the time of the Exodus, the use of the name Philistines in
    Gen. 26:1 must be proleptic. Indeed the country was properly
    Gerar, as in ch. 20.
      They are called Allophyli, "foreigners," in the Septuagint,
    and in the Books of Samuel they are spoken of as uncircumcised.
    It would therefore appear that they were not of the Semitic
    race, though after their establishment in Canaan they adopted
    the Semitic language of the country. We learn from the Old
    Testament that they came from Caphtor, usually supposed to be
    Crete. From Philistia the name of the land of the Philistines
    came to be extended to the whole of "Palestine." Many scholars
    identify the Philistines with the Pelethites of 2 Sam. 8:18.

From: Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary (late 1800's)

 Philistines, those who dwell in villages