Philistines probably were called "Kaftor" (noted in Jeremiah 47:4 of the Old Testament). They also
were the Sea Peoples who attacked ancient
Egypt in the Nile Delta.
Reportedly, Pharaoh Ramesses III allowed the
Casluhite Philistines (a group of Sea Peoples) to settle the southern coastal region of
Canaan. The northern coast was occupied with the
These wanderers eventually built a coalition of five cities in modern Gaza
and Israel. They were: Ashdod;
A second phase of expansion took place circa 1150 BC at Aphek, Tel Gerisa and Tel Qasile of the Yarko region
Philistine troops defeated Israelites in battle at Eben-Ezer (probably at modern
Beit Iksa) and captured their
Ark of the Covenant.
It was housed briefly in succession at Ashdod, Gath and Ekron. At each location the people suffered from a
plague until the Philistines returned the Ark to Israel. Circa 1010 BC,
Philistine troops defeated and killed King Saul in the
Battle of Mount Gilboa.