A while back some may have noticed an announcement about an upcoming message preached at the Ebenézer congregation entitled “The Gospel According to the Philistines”. Some have asked for a summary of that message, which I might just do sometime…just not now.
Rather, I want to quickly review two books that were very helpful as I did background research on the Philistine civilization for the message.
The Philistines, their History and Civilization by R.A.S. Macalister
Published in 1914, this still appears to be the go-to work on the Philistines. It is rather long, and I found myself skimming through it to get to the parts that were of interest to me.
The Philistines: The History of the Ancient Israelites’ Most Notorious Enemy by Charles River Editors
This book was shorter and easier reading, yet I found it to contain all the relevant information. I finished it in a day.
Both books are written from a secular standpoint, yet both give surprising credence to the Old Testament narrative, the latter more than the former.
From both of them I gleaned new information as to the origins of the Philistines, their culture, government, and ultimate fate. When God picked Israel to be His chosen people, it was not because the surrounding nations were devoid of culture and achievements.