3 answers: Are Palestine and Philistine the same?

No. The Philistines were an Iron Age people who settled (primarily) on the coastal strip of what is today Israel after fleeing the collapse of the Mycenaean palace states at the end of the Late Bronze Age. Their five cities were conquered by Nebuchadnezzar II around 604/3 BCE and their populations were dispersed and deported as per Babylonian policy. There was no return from Exile and their coastal cities were granted to the Tyrians and Sidonians by the Achaemenid Persians. The remaining ethnic Philistines appear to have assimilated into the other local societies including the Phoenicians and Judahites and quite likely the Egyptians and possibly Edomites.

After the Judean Revolt against Rome of 132–136 CE, the Romans renamed Judea Syria-Palaestina in an attempt to destroy any connection between the region and its previous Judean inhabitants. Previous to this, the term Palaestina had only been used as a geographical term in much the way that today the region is referred to sometimes as the Southern Levant. The term Palestinian was generally not used to describe a people until the modern era. During the British Mandate of Palestine it was used to describe any inhabitant of the region including Jews, Christians, and Muslims. During that period the term was used more often to describe Jews living in Palestine than it was to describe the Arab population. The term only gains common use to describe the local Arab population after 1968 with the creation of the Palestinian National Charter.

Since it is likely that some modern Palestinians could theoretically trace their roots back to the Iron Age Southern Levant, it is likely that some modern Palestinians might have their roots in the ultimately Mycenean Philistines. Given, however, that there were far more ethnically Judean inhabitants of the region after the Babylonian conquest than Philistines, it is statistically far more likely that, if their ancestors were not part of the invasive Arab population, and that they indeed have roots in the region, they are the descendants of former Judeans just as modern Jews are.

ANSWERS: No, not even close. Mind the names!

Historic Palestine and Philistine (Philistia) as countries do not have the same boarders. Philistine states were comprising Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, Gath, and Gaza only, a small portion of historic Palestine.

If we’re talking about Palestinians and Philistines as peoples, the origins of Philistines is a disputed topic and Palestinians are diverse.

Are the words related? Sure. Palestine is derived from Philistia, it was first recorded by the ancient Egyptians as a member of the invading sea peoples or Pelese, and in the 5th century BC, Herodotus called the whole area Palestine.


“The Philistines were an aggressive, warmongering people who occupied territory southwest of Israel between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. ..“Who were the Philistines?

Whereas the Palestinians are… totally different.

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