What you are about to read may be shocking. Gaza is not even in the ancient land of Israel. It is located in Philistia – land of the Philistines, the mortal enemies of Israel. You know, where David fought the giant Goliath (a Philistine)? Yes, that Philistia.
Think about it.
Yes, the Palestinians are physically located NOT in the ancient land of Israel, and not even in Judah, but in the ancient land of the Philistines. Gaza is literally Philistia, land of the Philistines.
Palestinians in Gaza are literally Philistines.
Gaza was one of the 4 Philistine city/kingdoms. Gaza was the most important Philistine trade city and in 721 BC, 1 year after the Assyrians destroyed Israel forever (in 722), Sargon II marched on Gaza and defeated the Philistine king of Gaza, King Hanunu, as well.
But Sargon II of Assyria did not annex the city, so Gaza remained a Philistine city even after the Kingdom of Israel had been destroyed forever in 722 BC.
Now it is unclear if today’s Gazans are the biological descendants of the ancient Philistines, as I haven’t done this research yet. However, they are physically located in the land of Philistia, which makes them Philistines. This is likely where “Palestine” is derived from, but someone can check this.
I have made some maps and remastered a modern map of Gaza and overlaid the ancient 3 countries over top of the modern lands so you can see exactly where Gaza and the Gaza strip are really located – well outside of the former Judah or Israel, and in the very heart of Philistia.
Additionally, Tel Aviv, the biggest city in modern “Israel”, appears to be located also in Philistia and not in the ancient land of Israel, but in Philistine, either in or near the ancient Philistine city of Jaffa. Historical records show that Philistia did in fact extend to the Yarkon River, today’s Tel Aviv.
Also to be noted is that the modern location of the city of Tyre, from the map appears to be located in the place of the ancient city of Sidon, not Tyre. Someone can check this as well, since the map could be overlaid imprecisely.
But the absolute and undeniable fact remains that Gaza is completely outside of the borders of the ancient land of Israel and in the heart of Philistia, the mortal enemies of the ancient Israelites.
The History of Gaza (from the beginning)
After hours researching the history of Gaza which validated that Palestine actually means “from Philistia” or “the Philistines”, it was surprising to discover how ancient and important this city and the region of Palestine really is. It goes back to the beginning of humanity after Noah.
About 4300 years ago was the Great Flood. Gaza appears to have been an established city since Noah was alive. It also appears to be one of the oldest still-existing cities in the world, with Palestine as one of the oldest regions in the world. Gaza seems to have been founded by Noah’s grandson, Canaan, or Canaan’s descendants.
The data from this timeline was pulled from multiple sources. Inconsistent data was filtered out, but some of the centuries are disputed within a couple of hundred years. For example, the bible timeline says Joshua was c. 1300s, whereas Chabad, a Jewish site, says Joshua was in the c. 1200s.
After finding a couple sources disagreeing with Chabad, provided in the timeline is the more historically supported 1446 date for Moses freeing the Israelites from Egypt, rather than the Jewish source which said it was in the 1300s or 1200s.
Other dates were inserted for reference, e.g. the Great Flood, birth and date of important figures, and destruction of the kingdoms of Israel and later Judah.
- < 2348 BC - Unknown (pre-flood)
- 2348 BC – Great Flood destroyed the Earth
- 2349 BC – Noah and his 3 sons and their wives (8 people total) exit the Ark
- Noah’s son Ham had a son Canaan
- 2334-2279 BC – Sargon the Great absorbs the region into his Akkadian Empire
- < 2100 BC - The Tower of Babel
- 2090 BC – The Famine in Canaan
- 2083 BC – Akkad fell to the invading armies of the Gutians, Elamites, and Amorites, Gaza and the region returned to agricultural land and ruins
- 2006 BC – Birth of Jacob (Israel), son of Isaac, son of Abraham
- ~ 2000 BC – Gaza is known to be a Canaanite city (established between 2349 and 2000). Canaan meaning by Canaan, Ham’s son.
- ~ 2000-1469 BC – The region was Canaanite until captured by Egypt in 1469 BC
- ~ 1880 BC Jacob (Israel) enters Egypt
- 1859 BC – Jacob (Israel) dies
- 1725 BC – Semitic peoples known as the Hyksos settled in Palestine
- 1570 BC – Ahmose I of Thebes invades Palestine, pushes Hyksos people north into Syria, leaving ruined cities
- ~ 1570 BC – Palestine cities rebuilt by Ahmose I
- ~ 1469 BC – Egypt captures Gaza
- 1446 BC – Moses frees Israelites from Egypt
- 1355 BC – Joshua born
- 1445 BC- Joshua sent spies to Canaan (first entering the Promised Land)
- 1406 BC – Battle of Jericho (first battle in Canaan)
- (Jericho is located northeast of Jerusalem, far from Philistia)
- 1406 BC- Moses dies
- 1375 BC- Joshua dies
- 1278 BC – Ramesses attacked by the Sea Peoples, and wins
- 1276 BC – Philistines capture Gaza
- 1090 BC – Israel Oppressed by the Philistines
- 1075 BC – Samson captured and taken to Gaza to be enslaved
- 1041 BC – Saul’s War with the Philistines
- 1024 BC – David Kills Goliath (Philistine)
- 1010 BC – David Flees to the Philistines
- 998 BC – David Defeats the Philistines, Captures Methegammah (not Gaza)
- 722 BC – Assyrians (under Sargon II) destroy the Kingdom of Israel forever
- 721 BC – Assyrians conquer Gaza but leave it as the Kingdom of Gaza
- 322 BC – Alexander the Great captures Gaza from the Philistines
- 96 BC – Gaza captured by the Hasmoneans.
- 70 AD – Roman Emperor Titus destroys Kingdom of Judah forever
- 132 AD – Roman Emperor Hadrian renamed the region Syria-Palaestina. The designations Philistia, Roman Judea, and Palestine were all in use afterwards.
- 634 AD – Syria-Palaestina Region captured by Muslims from Arabia
Map of Israel/Palestine from 1946 to the 2012
References and additional commentary
Some timeline sources above acquired from:
Sources on the etymology of the name “Palestine” and its location:
“The name Palestine’ … [may be a] Greek designation for the … Philistines …* *Palestine … most likely, the name derives from the Greek forthe Land of the Philistines'”
“historically the Philistines are to be associated specifically with the coastal plain, during Classical Times the name Philistia’ (“Land of the Philistines”)… the English termPalestine’ derives ultimately from `Philistia’. (39-40)
[Source: Maxwell Miller and John H. Hayes, quoted in https://www.worldhistory.org/palestine/]
“The region of Palestine is among the earliest sites of human habitation in the world.”
This supports my hypothesis and research.
“Palestine became an important trading hub and attracted the attention of Sargon the Great (2334-2279 BC)”
Interesting. so Sargon II’s defeat of the land in 722 BC was a reconquering, as his namesake, the original Sargon [The Great], seems to have been the original conquerer of the land. 2334 BC is shortly after the Great flood, so Sargon the Great is one of the first, or possibly the first, post-flood person to settle in Philistia, now called Palestine. I wonder if he would have let the region stay autonomous if he knew his namesake Sargon the Great was the original founder of the region.
“The known history of Gaza spans 4,000 years. Gaza was ruled, destroyed and repopulated by various dynasties, empires, and peoples.  Originally a Canaanite settlement, it came under the control of the ancient Egyptians before being conquered and becoming one of the Philistines’ principal cities.”
“Gaza became part of the Assyrian Empire around 730 BC. Alexander the Great besieged and captured the city in 332 BC. Most of the inhabitants were killed during the assault, and the city, which became a center for Hellenistic learning and philosophy, was resettled by nearby Bedouins. The area changed hands regularly between two Greek successor-kingdoms, the Seleucids of Syria and the Ptolemies of Egypt, until it was besieged and taken by the Hasmoneans in 96 BC.”
Date that Egypt captured Gaza:
“c. 1469 BCE – In the Battle of Megiddo, Egyptian forces under the command of Pharaoh Thutmose III defeat a large Canaanite coalition under the king of Kadesh.”
Another source says,
“ Scholars believe the Philistines were made up of people of an Aegean background that from roughly 1200 BC onwards settled in the area and mixed with the local Canaanite population,   and came to be known as Peleset, or Philistines.”
- The Exodus: Evidence of Israel’s Exodus from Egypt | Biblical Archaeology
- Battle of Megiddo 15th century BC
- Map of Jericho, Palestine, Canaan | World Maps
- Biblical Timeline | Biblehub
- Palestine – World History Encyclopedia | World History
- The History of Gaza
- Timeline of the Palestine Region
- Ancient Philistia, Canaan | Wiki