The Philistines are known from the Bible as Israel’s toughest enemy back from the days of the tribes’ settlement and the First Empire. The stories of Samson, Saul and David are closely related to confronting the Philistines. The Philistines are actually one of the European groups which originated from the Aegean Sea region, they were called “Sea People” and invaded the Israeli territory during 12-13 centuries BC.
The Philistines brought marine and military technology to our region, which gave them advanced military superiority; they also introduced new ideas and beliefs directly from the ancient European world to this area. From the Bible’s perspective, the Philistines are of course the “bad guys”. We will try to understand the other side in depth and meet the Philistine heritage in and of itself. We will see the cities of the Philistines and learn of their current geographic location, especially Ashdod with the ancient Philistine port and ancient Gath.
We will recognize their organizational structure and get acquainted with the Philistine country. We will explore some of their well- known heroes such as Achish the king of Gath, Goliath the giant and some less well known. We will learn about their gods and the way they think and of their contribution to the area.
Where will we visit?
Tel Ashdod and Ashdod – Yam
The Ashdod Museum
Tel Beit Shemesh
For the tour that follows the Ark of the Covenant which was captured by the Philistines: The Ark Journey in the Judean lowlands