PHILISTINES
(There are 250 texts in the Bible that refer to the Philistines or Philistia)

THE PENTATEUCH
GENESIS

The subject of ultimate Philistine origins is introduced in the table of nations (Genesis10:13-14) by linking them to the Egyptians (Mizraim).

The story of the Philistines in Genesis is a story of mutual trechery and covenant making and breaking.  The treachery of Abraham and Isaac stemmed from their fear of the Philistines with both lying to Abimelech1 that their wives were their sisters.  After the birth of the child of promise Abimelech seeks to make peace with Abraham because of the obvious blessing of God in the latter's life.  With this the promise to Abraham that he would become a blessing to the nations began to come true.  The true treachery began with the Philistines in which they violated the covenant by stopping the wells of Abraham, but Isaac redug and restored the names of the wells without retaliation.

EXODUS

When Israel left Egypt they are not allowed to go by the way of the sea through the land of the Philistines because if war broke out the people would return to Egypt (13:17).  Here is the problem with this text: Why would Israel have to fear the Philistines  when their God had just defeated with such a great victory that the Philistines were terrified (15:14)?  The answer seems simple, Abraham had a non-aggression treaty bound by the name of God to not fight the Philistines.  Could it be that God was honoring this treaty and would refuse to fight on behalf of Israel because of it?


THE DEUTERONOMISTIC HISTORY
In this section the Philistines repeatedly break the covenant and become Israel's enemies.  In the period of the Judges they are the great recurring threat.  Their aggression climaxes with the slaughter of Saul's army and desecration of the bodies of Saul and his sons.  David defeats them and takes control of their territory and main cities.  After David they are only a sporadic threat.
JOSHUA
JUDGES
I SAMUEL
II SAMUEL
I KINGS
II KINGS
THE CHRONICLER
The Chronicler draws from both the Pentateuchal material and the work of the Deuteronomistic historian.  Nothing of any significance seems to be added.
I CHRONICLES
II CHRONICLES

LITURGICAL TEXTS
PSALMS

PROPHETIC TEXTS
ISAIAH
JEREMIAH
EZEKIEL
JOEL
AMOS
OBADIAH
ZEPHANIAH
ZECHARIAH
 
FOOTNOTES
1It is possible that Abimelech is a throne name or else the man was extremely old when Isaac retold his father's lie.