Encyclopaedia Biblica/Philippians-Phinehas

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  • I. PAUL'S EPISTLE (1-9).
    • History of criticism (1).
    • What Phil. seems to be (2).
    • Contents (3).
    • Difficulties (4).
    • Not a letter (5).
    • Composition (6).
    • Authorship (7).
    • Value (8).
    • Bibliography (9).
    • Text (10).
    • Form and contents (11).
    • Authorship (12-13).
    • Bibliography (14).

There fall to be considered two Old-Christian documents – those bearing the names of Paul and of Polycarp respectively.

I. Paul's Epistle.[edit]

1. History of criticism.[edit]

The first of the two constitutes one of the NT group of 'epistles of Paul' (epistolai Paulou), 'to Philippians' (pros Filippêsious) being the shortest form of the title adopted. Down to 1845 - or, shall we say, to 1835? - no one had doubted its right to this position. Men saw in it an expression, greatly to be prized, of the apostle's love for a church which he had founded, written while he was languishing in prison, probably in Rome, and sent by the hand of Epaphroditus who had been the bearer of material and spiritual refreshment for Paul, had fallen sick, and was now on the point of returning to his home in Philippi. The only point on which doubt seemed possible was as to the place of composition - whether Caesarea or Rome.

Paulus (1799), Bottger (1837), Thiersch, and Bohmer declared for Caesarea ; elsewhere the voice was unanimous : 'the apostle's testament ; written in Rome' (Holtzmann). 'The testament of the apostle and the most epistolary of all epistles' - 'der brieflichste aller Briefe'.

Then came F. C. von Baur with his thesis that only four of the epistles of Paul (Gal., 1 and 2 Cor., Rom.) could be accepted as indisputably genuine - a thesis that he employed as a criterion in determining the genuineness of all the rest (Die sogen. Pastoralbr. 1835 p.79; Paulus, 1845). Tried by this standard Philippians had, in Baur's view, to be at once rejected (Paulus, 1845, pp. 458-475)

The replies of Lunemann (1847), B. Bruckner (1848), Ernesti (1848 and 1851), de Wette (1848), and others were not effective. Indeed, the support given to Baur by Schwegler (1846), Planck (1847), Kbstlin (1850), Volkmar (1856) did not advance the question more than did Baur's own reply to Ernesti and others published in Theol. Jahrbb. 1849 and 1852, and after wards incorporated in Paulus^, 1866-7, 2:50-88. Hoekstra ( Th. T, 1875) and Holsten (JPT, 1875-6) sought to base the Tubingen position as to Phil, upon the solid foundation of a more strict and searching exegesis, rejecting all that in their judgment could not be relevantly urged, and adding such other arguments as seemed to them to have weight. Both these critics, however, still started from the genuineness of the four 'principal epistles'. So Hitzig, Hinsch, Straatman, Kneucker, Biedermann, and various others ranged them selves more or less decidedly upon the same side.

At the same time, not merely among thoroughgoing apologists, but also among friends of the Tubingen school, such as Hilgenfeld, Schenkel, Pfleiderer, Lipsius, Hatch (Ency. Brit.W, 1885), S. Davidson (Intr.W, 1894), and others, there were very many who found themselves unable to accept the result of Baur's criticism so far as the Epistle to the Philippians was concerned.

Without realising it very clearly, both advocates and opponents of the genuineness found their stumbling-block, from the beginning, in the axiom of the genuineness of the 'principal epistles' of Paul. Of necessity, however closely attached to Baur and his school, or however little bound to one another by common principles, they at once fell into two groups - each of them, in itself considered, most singularly constituted - which felt compelled to maintain or to reject the Pauline origin of our epistle, in the one case because it did not appear to differ from the principal epistles as a whole more than did these from each other, in the other case because assuredly, whether in few or in many respects, it seemed when compared with them to breathe another spirit, and in language and style to betray another hand.

A way of escape has been sought - but unsuccessfully - by means of the suggestion, first made by le Moyne in 1685 and afterwards renewed by Heinrichs (1803), Paulus (1812), Schrader (1830), and Ewald, that the Epistle was not originally a unity.

C. H. Weisse saw in it (Beitr. z. Kritik der fiaul. Br. 1867), besides some later insertions, two epistles: Phil. 1-3:1a and the fragment 3:1b-4. Similarly Hausrath (NTliche Zeitgesch.^-) 3:398-399) : one letter written after the first hearing, a second some weeks later after the gift of money from Philippi. W. Bruckner (Chron. Rcihenfoige, 1890) assumed various interpolations ; Volter (TV;. 7 , 1892), a genuine and a spurious epistle which have been fused together in that which we now possess. Names and titles will be found more fully in Holtzmann, Kinl. ( :i ), 1892, 266-272; S. Davidson, Introd.^ 1 ), 1894, 1:161-182; Vincent, Coiniii. 1897; Zahn, Einl.(-), 1900, 1369-400; and other writers of introductions and commentaries.

A newer way, at first allowed to pass unnoticed, was shown by Bruno Bauer (Kritik der paul. Briefe, iii. (1852), 110-117, cp Christus u. die Casaren, 1877, pp. 373-4), when he determined to make his judgment upon this epistle independently of that upon the four 'principal epistles', his main conclusion being that it was not earlier than the middle of the second century. He was followed, so far as his leading principle was concerned, by Loman, Steck, van Manen.

Loman, however, did not go more closely into the question of the origin of Philippians. Steck intimated his adhesion in an incidental statement in his Galatians (p. 374) that in Philippians we hear some 'echoes' of the controversy between Paulinism and the older party of the followers of Jesus. Van Manen's view was set forth in his Handleiding, 3, 51-58.

Thorough criticism has no other course open to it but that of condemning any method which ties the hands in a matter of scientific research. Before everything else it demands freedom. Exegesis must not be content to base itself on results of criticism that have been arrived at in some other field ; rather is it the part of exegesis to provide independent data which may serve as a foundation for critical conclusions. The epistle to the Philippians, like all other Old-Christian writings, requires to be read and judged entirely apart and on its own merits, independently of any other Pauline epistles, before anything can be fitly said as to its probable origin (cp PAUL, 34, 36).

2 What Phil. seems to be.[edit]

The writing comes before us as a letter, not of course of the same type as those commonly written at the period, of which we have recently received so many examples in the Oxyrhynchus papyri (i. and ii. - 1898-99; cp PAPYRI, and EPISTOLARY LITERATURE), but as a letter of the sort that we know from the New Testament, and especially from the Pauline group (see OLD-CHRISTIAN LITERATURE, 18 ; PAUL, 39); a letter, to judge from the opening sentence, written by Paul and Timothy, but, to judge from all that follows, by Paul alone. In it we find Paul speaking, as a rule, as if he were a free man, yet sometimes, particularly in 1:7-17, as if he were a prisoner. He is full of sympathetic interest in those whom he is addressing. He tells them that his thoughts are continually about them and their excellences (1:3-11, 2:12), how he yearns to see them once more (1:8, 1:26, 2:24, 2:26), how they are properly speaking the sole object for which he lives, his joy and his crown (1:24, 4:1). The epistle purports to be addressed to all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi with the bishops and deacons (1:1, 4:5), known and loved brothers, disciples, and friends of the apostle ; still, the impression it gives is rather as if it had been written for a wider circle of readers, among whom the Philippians play no other part than that of representing the excellent Christians addressed, who nevertheless re quired to be spoken to seriously about many and various things that demanded their unremitting attention.

3. Contents.[edit]

  • The writer, as Paul, declares his thankfulness to God for the fidelity of his readers to the gospel, and his earnest yearning after them all and their continued spiritual growth (1:3-11).
  • He refers to the misfortunes that have recently happened to him and to that which in all probability lies before him, pointing out how his bonds have served to promote the cause of Christ both amongst unbelievers and amongst the brethren, and how Christ to his great joy is being preached, whatever be the reasons and however diverse be the ways ; how he is in a strait between his desire to be released and his desire to go on with life, whilst in any case hoping to be able to glorify Christ in his body (1:12-26).
  • Next, he exhorts his readers, whether he be present or absent, and very specially in the latter case, to let their manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, after the example of him who, being in the form of God, had humbled himself by taking the form of a bondservant, being found in fashion as a man, and becoming obedient even to the death of the cross (1:27-2:18).
  • He then proceeds to speak of his intention to send Timothy - joint author of the epistle, according to 1:1 - whom he highly commends, and Epaphroditus his 'brother', 'fellow-worker' and 'fellow-soldier', and at the same time the 'messenger' (aTrocrroAos [apostolos]) and minister of the Philippians to the need of Paul. Epaphroditus has been sick nigh unto death, and sore troubled because they had heard he was sick, and yet he is recommended to the Philippians as if he were a stranger (2:19-30).
  • The writer, as Paul, goes on, abruptly, to a vigorous onslaught on his enemies, prides himself upon his Jewish birth, glories in his conversion, describes his unremitting efforts towards the Christian 'goal', and exhorts to imitation of his example. For those whom he addresses he is himself a 'type', his conversation a 'conversation in heaven' (3:1-4:1).
  • Lastly, comes a new series of exhortations, to Euodia and Syntyche, Synzygus and all the other brethren, to conduct themselves in all things in accordance with the word and example of Paul who is addressing them (4:2-9) ;
  • an expression of thanks for the gift, received from them by the hand of Epaphroditus, which has recalled the memory of previous kindnesses, and has been welcome at this time, although not indispensable (4:10-20) ;
  • greetings to and from all the saints, and a benediction (4:21-23).

4. Difficulties.[edit]

Some things here are certainly not easily intelligible or very logical, whether we regard the form or the substance. We may point for example to the unusual although genuinely 'Pauline' 'Grace to you and peace from God our Father and (the) Lord Jesus Christ' in the exordium (1:2), 'Now unto our God and Father be the glory for ever and ever, Amen' at the close (4:20), followed by the prayer 'The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit' (4:23) instead of the well-known customary formula of salutation and greeting. The address, moreover, to 'all the saints of Christ Jesus at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons' (1:1) seriously raises the question, Who are they? Where do they live? Contrast, too, the double authorship (Paul and Timothy) of the Epistle as seen in 1:1 with the fact that from 1:2 onwards Paul alone speaks and in 2:19 speaks of Timothy as if he had nothing to do with the Epistle. Observe also the peculiarly exaggerated manner in which the Philippians are addressed, as if they and they alone were by way of exception Christians, worthy to absorb the apostle's every thought, and as if it was for them alone that he lived and endured, and how, once more, towards the end (4:15) he names them in a singularly lofty tone as 'ye Philippians'. How he again and again praises himself, holds himself up as a pattern, as the best example that can be given for the imitation of his disciples and friends : not only when he speaks so ecstatically of his thanksgivings and prayers, the significance of his sufferings and possible death, the tie between him and his present or absent readers (1:2-30, 2:1, 2:12, 2:16-17, 2:27-28), but also when he boasts of his pure Hebrew descent, his faith, his unceasing effort to be perfect, and to walk as an example (3:5-21, 4:9-14).

Note how the writer salutes 'every saint in Christ Jesus' and sends greetings from 'all the saints, especially those that are of Caesar's household' (4:21-22), he being a prisoner yet apparently in free communication with the people of the Praetorium, the imperial guard in Rome to whose charge he had been committed (1:7, 1:13-14, 1:17). Consider how impossible it is to picture clearly to oneself his true relation to the supposed readers at Philippi, the circumstances by which he and they are surrounded, the occasion for writing or sending the epistle, unless a considerable part of its contents be left out of account. All is confused and unintelligible as long as one thinks of it as an actual letter written in all simplicity and sent off by Paul the prisoner at Rome to his old friends at Philippi after he has been comforted and refreshed by their mission of Epaphroditus to him. Wherefore, in that case, the bitter attack and the self-glorification so intimately associated with it (4:2-21)? Wherefore the Christological digression (2:6-11), with the substance of which (on the assumed data) one might presume the reader to have been already long familiar ? Why the proposal to send Timothy 'shortly' (rax^ws [tacheos]). whilst yet the writer himself hopes to come shortly, and Epaphroditus is just upon the point of setting out (2:19, 2:24-25)? Could not Epaphroditus, if necessary by letter, have sent the wished-for information touching the Philippians which is spoken of in 2:19? What was Epaphroditus in reality ? a fellow-worker of Paul ? or a messenger of the friendly Philippians (2:25)? Why did he need to be warmly recommended to the Philippians as if he were a stranger, though they had already been full of solicitude on account of the illness from which he has now happily recovered (2:26-30)? How can this give occasion for the exhortation to hold such in honour (2:30)? Even Euodia and Syntyche, Synzygus and Clement (4:2-3), simple though they seem, have long been the subjects of various perplexing questions. Who were they? symbolical or real persons? In what relation did they stand to one another, to Paul, to the community addressed? Why the reminiscence of what Philippi had previously done for the apostle (4:15-16)? Only to give him an opportunity to say that he valued the good-will of the givers more than their gift (4:17)?

5. Not a letter.[edit]

The solution of these and other riddles of a like nature raised by the Epistle lies in the recognition that it is not really a letter, in the proper sense of that word (see above, 2), but an edifying composition in the form of a letter written by Paul to the church of Philippi and intended to stir up and quicken its readers. Or rather, let us say, its hearers ; for epistles of this sort were designed first and foremost to be read in the religious meetings of the congregation. No more precise determination of the occasion for the composition and sending of the epistle - such as is usually sought in the receipt of the gift alluded to (for the first time) in 4:10-18 (cp 2:25, 2:30) - can be given. The writer knows the proper form of a 'Pauline epistle' and he follows it without troubling-himself as to whether everything that he says exactly fits its place or not. Hence his naming of Timothy as joint writer of the Epistle (1;1) although he makes no further mention of him, apart from 2:19, 2:23, where he speaks of him as if he were a third person. Hence, too, his vague expression 'all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi' and the strange addition, explicable only from 1 Cor. 1:2 and 2 Cor. 1:1, 'With the bishops and deacons' (1:1), his benedictions (1:2, 4:23), his greetings (4:21-22), his thanksgiving for, and high praise of, the church he is addressing, which yet has to be admonished with such earnestness ; his exaltation of Paul and his relation to 'the whole Praetorian Guard and all the rest' (1:13), his intercourse with them that are of Caesar's household (4:22) ; his praise of Timothy (2:20-22), of Epaphroditus and of the always attentive Philippians (2:25-30, 4:10-18) ; in a word, everything that strikes the reader as strange and perplexing as long as he is endeavouring to regard the epistle as a genuine letter of Paul to the church he had founded at Philippi. His 'Philippians' are ideal Christians of the good old times to which the living generation may acceptably have its attention directed, and at the same time they are the 'you' amongst whom are found faults and shortcomings, and even 'dogs', 'evil workers', and 'concision' (3:2). The aim of the writer is no other than to edify, to incite to patience and perseverance by pointing to the example of Paul and others, including the church addressed, with its illustrious past.

6. Composition.[edit]

a. General remarks.[edit]

The author is acquainted with the canonical epistles to the Romans, the Corinthians, the Galatians, perhaps also the Ephesians, as is shown by the 'parallel' pass-words and allusions, to which defenders as well as assailants of the 'genuineness' are accustomed to point in order to prove either the identity of the writer with the author of the 'principal epistles' or his dependence on those writings.

A careful examination makes it evident that many of the phenomena can be accounted for only by imitation.

For example : the naming of Timothy (11:1) as joint writer of the epistle although its further contents show that he was not so, cp 2 Cor. 1:1 ; the expression 'with the bishops and deacons, alongside of all the saints at Philippi' (1:1, cp 1 Cor. 1:2, 2 Cor. 1:1) ; the expression 'Jesus Christ' in 1:2 after 'Christ Jesus' in v. i, cp Rom. 1:7 (1 Cor. 1:3, 2 Cor. 1:2, Gal. 1:3, Eph. 1:2) ; the calling of God as witness of the sincerity of Paul's desire towards his readers (1:8, cp Rom. 1:9) ; the expression 'test the things that differ' (Soxifjid^eiv TO. Sca(j>epoi Ta, 1:10), elsewhere only in Rom. 2:18, cp 12:2 ; the bonds (oi fiecr^oi) of the prisoner, who nevertheless seems to walk at liberty (cp 6 6e o>uo5 Eph. 3:1) ; the strange word (and therefore explained by eArn? [elpis]) 'expectation' (oLTTOKapaSoKia [apokaradokia]) 1:20, elsewhere only in Rom. 3:19; the great importance attached, without any apparent reason, to Paul's coming (1:26, cp Rom. 1:10-13); the expansion 'the same love, etc'. (riji auTTjc ayd.7n)i> K.T.A., 2:3-4) as compared with the exhortation, originally standing by itself, 'to mind the same thing' (TO avrb <}>poveii>), cp 2 Cor. 13:11, Rom. 12:16 ; the use of such words as 'form' (jj-op^rj), opTrnyjuo; (AV 'robbery', RV 'a thing to be grasped at' ), 'equality' (icro), 'empty himself' (Kevovcrdai), 'greatly exalted' (virepv^/ovv) in 2:6-11, even though perhaps not borrowed from our existing Pauline epistles ; the likeness of men (2:7), cp with the likeness of sinful flesh (Rom. 8:3); the words in 2:10-11 borrowed from the OT in accordance not with the text of Is. 45:23 LXX but with that of Rom. 14:11 ; the stringing together of purely Pauline expressions (such as cijo~Te, UTrTjicoucrare, 7roAAu> jaaAAoy, TJ irapovtria. and 17 aTrovcria /xou) for which no reason is apparent in the context (2:12); the echo of Rom. 7:18 in 2:12-13 ; the expression 'to run in vain', 'to labour in vain', 'praise in the day of Christ', 2:16, cp Gal. 2:2, 4:11, 2 Cor. 1:14 ; the sending of Timothy and the praise accorded to him 2:19-22, cp 1 Cor. 4:17, 16:10 ; the assurance, very strange in the connection in which it occurs, that the writer himself will speedily come 2:24, cp 1 Cor. 4:19 ; the 'supposed to be necessary' and 'speedy' sending of Epaphroditus (2:25, 2:28, cp 2 Cor. 9:5, 8:22) ; the unintelligible imperative (Trpo<rSexe<r9f [prosdechesthe]) in 2:29, with reference to the highly appreciated Epaphroditus, cp. Rom. 16:2; the deviation after 'such' (ToiouToi) in 2:30, cp. 1 Cor. 16:16, 16:18; the impossibility of explaining 'the same things' (TO. avrd) in 3:i otherwise than as referring to what occurred elsewhere in some previous passage in the group of epistles to which this originally belonged ; the keenness of the attack in 3:2-6, 3:19, which is fully in harmony with much in 2 Cor. 10-13 and Gal. but not with the present epistle ; the unintelligibleness of the assurance 'for we are the circumcision', 3:3, as long as we do not bear in mind such words as those in Rom. 2:25, 2:28-29 ; the necessity for explanation of 'glorying in Christ Jesus and not trusting in flesh' (Ka.v\ti>ij.evo<, ec Xpicrrw I)o-oi/ KO.L oiix ei> crap<cc irejroiOores), 3:3, by referring to such texts as Rom. 2:17, 2:23, 11:1, 2 Cor. 11:21-23, Gal. 1:13-14; and so forth.

Perhaps the special features connected with Paul's sojourn as a prisoner in Rome, as also the allusion to succour previously received by him from the Philippians according to 4:15-16, may be both borrowed from some written source ; if this be so, the source in question cannot, in view of the discrepancies, be the canonical book of Acts, but must be rather a book of Acts of Paul which underlies it (PAUL, 37).

b. Not patchwork.[edit]

However many the traces of the writer's use of earlier materials, it does not seem advisable, and certainly in no case is it necessary, to regard his work as a chance or deliberate combination of two or more epistles or portions of epistles. The epistle as a whole does not present the appearance of patchwork. Rather does it show unity of form ; we find a letter with a regular beginning and ending (1:1-2, 4:20-23) ; a thanksgiving at the outset for the many excellences of the persons addressed (l:3-11, cp Rom. 1:8-12, 1 Cor. 1:4-9) notwithstanding the sharp rebukes that are to be administered later ; personalia ; exhortations relating to the ethical and religious life ; all mingled together yet not without regard to a certain order. Here and there some things may be admitted to interrupt the steady flow of the discourse ; 3:1 or 3:16 raises the conjecture of a new beginning ; the 'things' spoken of here are not different from those which we meet with elsewhere in other Pauline epistles - even in Rom. , 1 and 2 Cor. , Gal. There also, just as here, we repeatedly hear a change of tone, and are conscious of what seems to be a change of spirit. Yet even apart from this, to lay too great stress upon the spiritual mood which expresses itself in 2:2-6 as contrasted with that of 1:3-11, or, on the whole, of 1-2, would be to forget what we can read in 1:15, 1:17 2:21 and the calm composure shown in 3-4.

No unmistakable trace can be shown of conjunction or amalgamation of two or more pieces of diverse origin, apart from what admits of explanation from use having been made of existing writings - say, the reading of certain Pauline epistles. Rather does everything, even that which has been borrowed, reach the paper through the individual brain and pen of the writer. Witness the unity of language and style which becomes all the more conspicuous whenever we compare the work with, for example, a Johannine epistle or a chapter from the synoptical gospels.

There is but one so-called conclusive proof that there were originally more than one epistle - whether genuine or not genuine of Paul to the Philippians : the much-discussed testimony of Polycarp (Phil. 82). There we read of Paul that he had not only in his time orally instructed the Philippians but also written them 'letters, into which if you look carefully you will be able to have yourselves built up into the faith that has been given you' 1 (eTrtcrroXas, et j &s ai> eyKpviTTrjTf, duvrjOrifffffde OLKoSo/AfiffOai et s rr\v Sode iffav V/JLIV viffTif). It is not necessary, however, as is done by some scholars, to explain the plural number (letter[s]) by reference to Latin idiom (epistolae), or, with others, to think that Polycarp is exaggerating. Chap. 13:2 clearly shows that he well knows the difference between eiriffTO\ri [epistole] and {jriffToXai [epistolai]; 11:3 (qui estis in principio epistulae ejus), that he knows of but one epistle of Paul to the Philippians ; 11:2, that he regards 1 Cor. 6:2 as belonging to the instruction given by Paul to the Philippians, whilst we moreover meet with other traces of acquaint ance with Pauline epistles. The inference lies to our hand: the plural form ((iriffTo\al [epistolai]) in 3:2 is to be explained by the writer's intention of pointing to a group of epistles by Paul which his readers might read for edification, and the Philippians also might regard as written for them. A remarkable evidence indeed, not of the earlier existence of more than one epistle of Paul to the Philippians, but of the way in which in the middle of the second century the group of Pauline epistles was regarded not as a chance collection of private letters, but as one destined from the first for the edification of various churches.

After what has been said it is hardly possible to think of Paul as the writer of Phil.

7. Authorship.[edit]

a. Not Paul.[edit]

In itself considered it is possible indeed that the apostle should have written in the form of a letter to a particular church a composition which was in truth no real letter, but a writing designed for purposes of general edification. This is not impossible ; but it is hardly at all probable. The same remark applies to the writer's method of borrowing one thing and another from extant 'Pauline epistles' - even if sometimes the borrowing amounts perhaps to no more than a slight unconscious reminiscence of what he had at some time read. Possible also, but still less probable, is it that he should have written in so impalpable a manner regarding his then surroundings - his recent vicissitudes, what might be awaiting him in the future, his relation to the community addressed, what was happening within it - and above all that he should write in so exalted a tone of himself as an 'example' whose sufferings are significant for them all.

What finally puts an end to all doubt is the presence of unmistakable traces of the conditions of a later period. Amongst these are to be reckoned in the first instance all that is vague and nebulous in the supposed historical situation, the firmly held conception of 'Paul', his 'bonds', his presence and absence. More particularly, everything that points to a considerably advanced stage in the development of doctrine. Christianity has freed itself from Judaism. 'Saints' may be called so, not because of their relation to the law, nor as children of Abraham, but in virtue of their standing in Christ Jesus (1:1, 4:21). Righteousness, or the fruit of righteousness, is attained not through the law but 'through Jesus Christ' (1:11, cp 3:9). Not the Jew but the believing Christian belongs to the true Israel (3:3).

It is no longer Jesus who is by preference spoken of - the expression occurs only twice (2:10, 2:19) according to Tischendorfs' text ; usually it is 'Christ Jesus', or Christ, sometimes 'Jesus Christ'. God is in a special sense his father (1:2). His 'day' is spoken of (l:6, 1:10, 2:16), the righteousness obtained through him (1:11), the abundance that is had in him (12:6). He can be the subject of preaching (1:15, 1:17-18) ; the life (1:21) ; his spirit a stay for believers (1:19), and he himself glorified in the body of the apostle (1:20). In him is comfort (2:1), he is the highest object of human striving (2:21), whose work must be done (2:30), in whom alone can there be glorying (3:3), for whom everything may well be sacrificed (3:7), the knowledge of whom is worth all else (3:8), who lays hold of those who are his (3:12), in whom is the calling of God (3:14), to be hostile to whose cross is the saddest of all things (3:18), who is to be looked for from heaven as Lord and Saviour (3:20), who shall make us like unto himself (3:21), in whom we must stand fast (4:1), whose 'thoughts' (poT^uarct [noemata]) we must have (4:7), through whom or in whom God blesses us (4:19), whose grace may be invoked upon us (4:23), our Lord at whose name every knee must bow (2:10-11), who came down from heaven, who was in the form of God and who humbled himself, became man, suffered and died, and was glorified above all (2:6-11).

The church already possesses its 'bishops and deacons' (1:1), its factions, its parties and schools (1:15, 1:17, 3:2), its good old times (Is. 2:12). The unity of the faith is in danger (1:27-28, cp 2:2-3), there is suffering on account of the faith (1:29-30), there is an aiding of prisoners (2:25, 2:30), with regard to which we find a testimony in Lucian's De Morte Peregrini.

In a word : all points back to an Old-Christian de velopment that cannot at so early a date as 64 A. D. , the assumed death-year of Paul, have attained to such a degree of maturity as we see it here possessing. Let it not be said, however, on this account, that the unknown writer who conceals himself behind the name 'Paul' or, if you will, 'Paul and Timothy', was a forger or fraudulent person. Nothing gives us the smallest title to cast any such imputation on his character. He simply did what so many had done before him, and so many others were to do after his day ; more from modesty than from any arrogance or bluntness of moral sense do such men write under the name of some one whom they esteem, in whose spirit they wish to carry on their labours, and under whose spiritual protection, as it were, they wish to place their literary efforts. The 'Paul' whom this author brings before his readers is the motive - indispensable or at least desirable - for glorying over against those who are accustomed to exalt themselves over well-known predecessors, as we learn from 2 Cor. 5:12.

b. Real author.[edit]

The author himself lived at a later date ; we know not where. Presumably in the same circle as that in which the 'principal epistles' had their origin, and not long after production of these, probably in Syria or Asia Minor, about the year 125 A. D. In any case not earlier than the beginning of the second century and not later than the testimony of Polycarp already cited, dating from the middle of the century, or indeed, when we bear in mind Marcion s use of the letter, not later than 140 A.D. What we can securely infer from the epistle itself is no more than this ; that it appeared after the 'principal epistles', and in dependence on them, yet by another hand than any of those which we find at work there, as is shown by the divergences by which, notwithstanding many things they have in common, its language and style are distinguished. 1 Our author, like the writers of the 'principal epistles', belonged to the Pauline school. Yet he was, so far as we can judge, less dogmatically inclined than these writers, or at least than the authors of Rom. and Gal. ; rather was he one who directed his thoughts by preference to the practice of the Christian life. He knows well of conflicting tendencies and divergent schools and parties, yet he glides lightly over them and in the character of Paul unhesitatingly places himself above them all (1:18), if only his readers are obedient and adhere to that which has once been taught (2:12, 3:16-17, 4:9). Questions of doctrine leave him unmoved, if only his readers will bear in mind the watchwords : struggle, ceaseless struggle (3:12-16) ; a walk in accordance with the gospel of Christ, in unity of the spirit (1:27) ; after the pattern given by Paul (passim, especially 1:21-26, 2:17-18, 3:17, 4:9-13), Timothy, Epaphroditus (2:19-30), and other Philippians of the good old days (1:3-11, 4:10-18), only thinking the thoughts which were in Christ Jesus (2:5).

8. Value.[edit]

The historical as distinguished from the abiding religious and ethical value of this writing, even although it makes no contribution to our knowledge of the life of Paul, is not slight. It throws light for us upon the history of Paulinism and the course of this quickening practical movement within Christianity during the first half of the second century.

9. Literature.[edit]

Useful commentaries, though all written from the standpoint which accepts the genuineness as proved, are those of R. A. Lipsius (/7C( 2 >, 1892), Meyer-Haupt (1897), M. R. Vincent (1897), J. H. Lightfoot (1868, 1891), A. Klopper, Der Brief des Apostels Paulus an die Philifptr (1893). Valuable discussions will be found in F. C. Baur (Paulusft), 250-88, 1867), Hoekstra (Th. T, 1875), Hohten(fPT, 1875-1876), Grimm (ZWT, 1873), Hilgen- feld {ibid., 1873-1877-1884), J. Cramer (Nieuwe Bijdragen, 1879, 1-98); cp Holtzmann (AY/.( 3 ), 1892, p. 266-272), S. Davidson (Inir.P), 1894, 1 161-182), Zahn (Einl.ft), 1369-400), Van Manen (Handl. 49-51).

1 The divergences are best set forth by Hoekstra, Th. T, i87_5, pp. 432-435 and Holsten, JPT, 1876, pp. 297^, although in using either of these studies, one cannot escape the feeling that, throughout, both of these scholars have given too much weight to the dogma of the genuineness of the 'principal epistles'.

II. Polycarp's Epistle.[edit]

10. Text.[edit]

The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians has long held a place, by universal consent, among the writings of the 'Apostolic Fathers'. Its title in that group according to Zahn (ed. Gebhardt-Harnack-Zahn, 1876, p. 110, also in the editio minor ( 3) , 1900, p. 114), runs: rov ayiov \lo\vKapTrov eiriffKoirov ^/UI /PCT/J KO! iepo/j-dpTvpos Trpos <t>i\nnrr)criovs fmffTO\rj. In Lightfoot* 2 (1889, pt. ii. vol. 3, p. 321) it is simply wpbs 4>t\t7r7r7;crioi S [pros philippsious]. Neither the longer nor the shorter title can be regarded as original. The epistle is now extant in its entirety only in a faulty Latin rendering by the same hand as that which translated the longer recension of the Ignatian epistles. We know the Greek text of chaps. 1-9 from nine MSS, which all go back to the same ancestor (vofgbcnsa = G), and are usually called cl/c<a.Xoi [akephaloi] because they contain the Greek text of the acephalous 'Barnabas' - i.e., of Barn. 5:7 ( . . . rbv \abv K.T.\.) - 21. Chap. 13 is found in Eus. HE 3:36:14-15.

11. Form and contents.[edit]

The work is in the form of an epistle written by 'Polycarp and the presbyters who are with him', or by Polycarp alone, to the church of God at Philippi which had invited him to write the epistle (3:1, 13:2), we are not told how or why. The 'presbyters' are mentioned as joint writers of the epistle only in the exordium ; for the repeatedly recurring 'we' elsewhere does not necessarily imply them. 'Polycarp' speaks in chaps. 1-14 to 'brethren', to whom his attitude is after the manner of 'Paul' in his epistles.

  • He declares his joy at their friendly reception of Ignatius and his companions on their journey to Rome (1),
  • gives some exhortations (2),
  • declares that he cannot compare himself with Paul (3),
  • gives directions and precepts
    • for married women and widows (4),
    • for deacons, youths (i.e., laymen) (5),
    • presbyters, himself and others (6).
  • He warns against Docetism and exhorts to faithful adherence to the views that have been handed down (7).
  • He points to the perseverance of Christ Jesus, the blessed Ignatius, Zosimus, Rufus, Paul and the rest of the apostles (8-9),
  • urges his readers to follow their example (10),
  • laments the falling away of the former presbyter Valens and his wife, yet desires that they should be gently dealt with (11).
  • He incites to the examination of the scriptures, to a holy walk, to prayer for others (12).
  • He will take care, on the request of the Philippians and Ignatius (see Ign. ad Pol. 8), that letters should be sent to Antioch in Syria, and says a word in commendation of the epistles of Ignatius accompanying his own ; also of Crescens, the bearer, and his sister (13-14).

12. Polycarp the author?[edit]

The author of this epistle, according to tradition, was Polycarp, a disciple of the apostles, especially of John, who made him bishop of Smyrna, where about 166 or 167-168 A.D. , he suffered martyrdom at an advanced age. The difficulties, however, in the way of our accepting this tradition are insuperable.

In the first place, it has to be asked what motive was there for Polycarp, the bishop of the church at Smyrna, to address such an epistle at all to the church at Philippi - with which so far as we can trace, he had nothing to do? What is said in 3:1 (cp 13:2) about the epistle having been invited is manifestly invention.

Further, we must not overlook that, though doubtless the writing gives itself out to be a letter, it is in reality nothing of the sort, but rather, in the author's own language, a treatise 'concerning righteousness' (nept rr)s SiKcuocrvvris, 3:1, cp 9:1). The form is taken from the Pauline epistle, on the whole coinciding most with that of the pastoral letters, or those of Ignatius, though also now and then showing affinities with the first Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians. Its dependence on all these continually strikes the eye.

Now, it is, in itself considered, certainly possible, yet at the same time it is not at all likely, that Polycarp, under his own name or as 'Polycarp and the presbyters that are with him', should have written a treatise concerning righteousness in the form of an epistle to the church at Philippi. Rather does it lie in the nature of the case that a third person should have made use of his name in this manner.

The same observation has to be made upon the circumstance that the writer, in the character of Polycarp, refers to the charge laid upon him by Ignatius. Ignatius himself, however, in his letter to Polycarp (8:1) had said that on account of his hasty departure from Troas for Neapolis he was no longer able to write to all the churches, wherefore he, Polycarp, must now instead send letters 'to the churches in front' - a fiction upon which the real Polycarp could hardly have proceeded, though for a third party this would have presented no difficulties. Or if it be held that we are not at liberty to speak of fiction in this connection because Ignatius had really said what we read in the passage cited above, how then could his friend Polycarp have passed over his words, have written a treatise in place of an epistle to the Philippians, and in the so-called letter assume the appearance of having written, not to please Ignatius, but because the writing had been called for by the persons addressed (3:1, cp 13:2)?

There are other difficulties also. The date of Polycarp's death is unknown.

The tradition that speaks of 166 or 167-8 as Polycarp's death-year rests upon some indications of Eusebius (Chron. and HE 4:14-15, 5:5:20), yet it appears to be inadmissible. The same authority, however, speaks (HE 3:36) of Polycarp not only as a contemporary of Ignatius and Papias, but also as already in the third year of Trajan (98-117) bishop of Smyrna and at that time in his full vigour. For this reason many scholars, such as Hase, Wieseler, Duker, Keim, Uhlborn, J. Reville, Rovers (Th. T, 1881, pp. 450-464), Killen, van Loon (Th. T, 1803, p. 312-313), have during ever so many years not hesitated to use their freedom in this connection, and have assigned as the death-year of Polycarp various dates between 147 and 178 ; more particularly, however, many scholars since Waddington (1867) such as Renan, Aube, Hilgenfeld, Gebhardt, Harnack, Volter, Lightfoot, Zahn, and again Harnack (ACL, 2:1 [1897], pp. 325-329, 334-356 have fixed upon the year 155-156 as the date, basing their conclusion on what they read in the Mattyririm Polycarpi, chap. 21. Unfortunately it is not possible to place reliance even on this passage. The purport of the supposed statement is uncertain ; it requires a number of guesses to be made before it can be taken in the sense that is desired ; and in the most favourable event yields a state ment that stands and falls with the twofold, far from probable, view

  • (i) that chap. 21 is an integral part of the main work, although it was still unknown to Eusebius and Jerome ;
  • (2) that the Martyrium itself is as old as it claims to be, and was written within a year after the martyrdom of Polycarp (see OLD-CHRISTIAN LITERATURE, 14).

The oldest tradition we possess regarding the date of Polycarp is that given by Irenaeus, who (Adv. Haer. 3:3-4, written about 180) speaks of him as one whom he had known in his earliest youth (eV TJ; wpurri ijfjuav rjXiKlg.), who at that time was bishop of the church of Smyrna, and of whose successors 'down to the present time' (oi fJ-^XP 1 - v ^ v Siadedfy/afvoi rov \\o\vKapirov) he is able to speak. To what is said by Irenaeus here and elsewhere, as also in the Epistle to Florinus wrongly attributed to him (see OLD-CHRISTIAN LITERATURE, 25), Eusebius has nothing new of any consequence to add, beyond his indications as to the death-year in 167-8, which are certainly not to be accepted. Irenaeus names no such year.

We should certainly not go very far astray if, in view of what Irenaeus tells us about Polycarp, we were to seek his death about the middle of the second century. At that date the Ignatian letters, with which our present epistle is connected, had not yet been written (see OLD-CHRISTIAN LITERATURE, 22), and thus the latter cannot have been the work of Polycarp.

It is of no avail to attempt - as some scholars have done, with Dailte (1666), and others with A. Ritschl (1857), Volter (1892), Meyboom (1897) - to meet these difficulties by assuming our present epistle to be greatly interpolated, so that in its original form it can still be regarded as older than the Ignatian Epistles. The assumption of the many interpolations required finds no support in the MS tradition nor yet in the textual phenomena or in external testimony - as has been rightly pointed out by Zahn and Lightfoot among others.

13. Author unknown.[edit]

The conclusion remains notwithstanding Zahn and Lightfoot, who (albeit supported by Harnack) have not succeeded in proving the 'genuineness' - that our 'Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians' is the work of an unknown hand, in the spirit of the epistles of Ignatius, though not, in view of the differences in style and language, by the same author, as a sequel to that group, and not, as has been conjectured, with the object of recommending them, or of controverting Docetism. The 'Pauline' epistles are much more strongly recommended (3:3) than the Ignatian (13:2); and the polemic against Docetism in chap. 7 comes too little into the foreground for us to be able to regard it as one of the main objects of the writing. The epistle is a well-meant, though by no means important, composition of the edifying order, made up in great part of borrowed words, and in no respect showing much independence, written after Polycarp's death about the middle of the second century, and before Irenaeus, who (Adv. Haer. iii. 34) praised it as 'an able epistle '(eiriffToXri i/ccu wraT??) from which we can learn the manner of Polycarp's faith and how to preach the truth ; probably, therefore, about 160 A.D.

14. Literature.[edit]

The best editions, with introductions and running commentaries, though from first to last dominated by the view that the work is really an epistle written by Polycarp, and sent to the church at Philippi, are those of Theod. Zahn (fgnatii et Polycarpi Epistulae, in Patrunt apostolicorum opera, ed. Gebhardt, Harnack, Zahn, Fasc. ii. 1876) and J. B. Lightfoot (Tke Apostolic Fathers: ii. S. Ignatius, S. Polycarp, vol. i. and iii.( 2 ), 1889). Cp Zahn, Forschungen, 4(1891)249-283, Zur Biographic des Polycarpus und des Irenaeus ; Harnack, ACL 1(1893) 69-74, on the transmission of the text, and ACL ii. 1 ( = Chronologie, 1897) 325-9, 334-356, 381-406 on Polycarp s person, his death- year, and the genuineness of the epistle ; G. Kriiger, Gesch. d. altchristl. Lift. 1895, p. 17 / ; G. Uhlhorn, PREP), s.v. Polykarp ; Waddington, Mem. sur la Chronol. de la vie du rheteur /Elius Aristide in Mem. de I inst. imp. de la France, t. xxvi., 1867; J. Reville, DC anno dieque quibus Polycarpus Smyrna martyrinm in lit, 1880; Rovers, Th.T, 1881, pp. 450- 464 ( De marteldood van Polycarpus ); W. D. Killen, Anc. Church, 1883(4) ; van Loon, Th. T, 1893, p. 312^ ; Van Manen, Handl. d. Oudchrist lett., 1900, pp. 82-84. W. C. v. M.


  • Name (1).
  • Country (2).
  • Purusati (3).
  • Whence come? (4-6).
  • When? (7).
  • Earlier history (8-11).
  • Civilisation (12 ; cp 6).
  • Later OT reff. (13).
  • Relations with Assyria (14).
  • Persians and Greeks (15-16).
  • Greek civilisation (17).
  • Asmonaeans and Romans (18-19).
  • Literature (20).

Philistines is the name of a people whose territory in the time of the Israelite kingdoms adjoined that of Israel on the SW. and separated Judah from the sea. 1

1. Name.[edit]

Q ntJ>73> pelishtim (seldom with the article), rarely D"BB>7S, pelishtiyyim ; sing. n&^S , HK 7S, Pelesheth, the country, or its inhabitants collectively, appears - so far as OT usage goes - to be a poetical back-formation from rip* 73, Pelishti, 'Philistine', taken naturally as a gentile adjective ; 2 LXX in the Hexateuch also Ecclus. 46:18, 47:7, 50:26, 1 Macc. 3:24 and cod. B in Judges PuAioriei/x, occasional variant ^lAco-Tiei/a, elsewhere LXX aAAo<uAoi [allophylos]; :i Aq. Symm. ^uAta-Ttaioi ; Jos. naAaitrTivot [palaistinoi]; Vg. Philisthiim, Philistini, Palaestini.

The Philistine country at this period embraced the maritime plain from somewhere near Joppa in the N. to the desert S. of Gaza, a district about 40 mi. in length ; the line of low hills between the plain and the Judaean highlands, with the broad valleys running inland, was debatable ground between Philistines and Israelites (see below, 13); the boundaries - except on the S. , where they are fixed by nature - shifted at different times (see GASm. HG, chaps. 9-10). To this country the name Palceslina, properly equivalent to Philistia, and so used in AV (Palestina : Ex. 15:14, Is. 14:29, 14:31), was first applied by the Greeks ; in a less precise use it was, however, early extended to the hinterland as far as the Jordan, thus including Judaea (see Rel. Pal. 38+; Stark, Gaza, 58-59).

1 [On certain questions raised in other articles, such as the possibility of a confusion between the rightful possessors of the name Pelishtim and a people with whom the Israelites were in frequent relation, dwelling in N. Arabia and especially in the NEGEB (f.v.), and called properly Sarephathim or Jerahme'elim see Critica Biblica, and for the data on which in other articles frequent emendations of MT have been proposed, leading up to new views of Israelitish history see a series of articles in the present work, especially SAUL ; cp also JERAHMEEL, 4, LAMENTATIONS, OBADIAH, PELETHITES, PSALMS.]

2 Possibly a poetical archaism ; cp Assyr. Palastu. Pilistu.

3 On the usage of aAAd$vAo [allophylos] in Greek and the significance of this rendering in , see Stark, Gaza, djff., Rel. Pal. -j^f. In the age of the translation the hellenised population of the sea board were in a peculiar sense aliens 'to the Jews' ; cp. Is. 9:11 [9:12], where LXX gives EAAr)>/es [ellenes]. The hatred expressed in Ecclus. 50:26 is not a mere reminiscence of ancient wrongs, as the deeds of the Maccabaean time prove. The translation aAAd^vAoi [allophyloi] is therefore not an etymological attempt on the name Q jiB T B or TI7S, as has sometimes been surmised, nor does it preserve the historical memory that the Philistines were of a different (non-Semitic) race. An ancient etymology is found in Onom. Vatic. (Lagarde, 200:99), eaujuao-TOi (N 7S>-

2. Country.[edit]

The southern part of the maritime plain is level or gently undulating, with a rich soil, well-watered, and nearly all capable of cultivation. Between the plain and the steep western slope of the Judaean plateau, separated from the latter by a series of longitudinal valleys, is a curving line of hills, rarely rising to an elevation of 1000 ft. , cut through in three or four places by wide valleys which run to the very foot of the mountains of Judah, whence a defile ascends to the central highland. The coast from Carmel to Gaza, a line of sandhills and cliffs from 30 to 100 ft. high, is without a natural harbour even for small vessels ; the cities near the sea (Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Joppa, Dor) provided themselves for their need with such havens (fj.aiovfj.as [maioumas]) as they could, but never rivalled the Phoenicians in commerce or sea-power. One of the world s great thoroughfares of land traffic, however, traversed the country. At Gaza the road from Egypt, through the desert and the roads from Arabia over which were brought the products of Yemen and yet more distant climes met ; thence led N. along the coast the route to Phoenicia, Syria, and the East. The position of Gaza gave it also great political and military importance (see GAZA).

There can be no doubt that this part of the coast was settled and civilised at a very remote time. The Amarna despatches (about 1400 B.C.) by their very form prove that, with the whole of Western Syria, it had been, at an earlier period, for many generations under the in fluence of Babylonian culture, and doubtless under Babylonian dominion. The Pharaohs of the eighteenth dynasty included it in their empire as part of the district which in their inscriptions is called Haru (Hor), and some of its cities are repeatedly mentioned on their monuments as well as on those of their successors (see WMM, As. u. Eur. 148+) In the Amarna despatches we find the names of Gaza, Lachish, Ashkelon, Gath, Gezer, Jabneel, Joppa, Aijalon, and other cities. The inhabitants belonged as names of places, persons, and deities, as well as expressions and idioms in the correspondence, prove - to the stock which we call comprehensively Canaanite.

In Dt. 2:23, in a catalogue of the former populations of Palestine and its neighbour lands, an antiquarian author tells us that the Caphtorim (i.e., Philistines, see below, 4) exterminated the AVVIM (Q iy> LXX Evaioi [enaioi]) who dwelt in villages as far as Gaza ; and Josh. 13:3 includes the Avvim with the five tyrants of the Philistines as occupants, at the time of the Israelite settlement, of the southern end of the maritime plain 'which is reckoned to belong to the Canaanites'. The author apparently does not regard the Avvim as Canaanites ; whether they were an historical people, or, like the giant Rephaim in the land of Ammon (Dt. : 20), a legendary race, 2 can hardly be determined.

1 See GASm. HG 148-149, 201-202

2 So, e.g., Bertheau, Zur Gesch. d. Israeliten, 142.

3. The Philistine invaders.[edit]

Hebrew tradition preserved the memory of the fact that, like the Israelites and the Aramaeans, the Philistines were immigrants or invaders in historical times. They came, according to this tradition, from Caphtor (Am. 9:7 , cp Dt. 2:23). l In both ancient and modern times there has been wide divergence of opinion as to the country intended by this name - Cappadocia, the Egyptian delta, Cyprus, Crete. 2 The question can be settled only by other evidence about the origin of the Philistines, and fortunately such evidence is not altogether lacking. From the monuments of Rameses III. we learn that in his eighth year he carried on a campaign in Palestine against foes who had invaded Syria from the N. , overwhelming the kingdoms which lay in their path : 3

'No country', we read 'could withstand their arms - Heta, Kode (the coast N. of Arvad), Carchemish, Arvad, nor Alashia. The invaders annihilated them, and all encamped in the heart of Amara' (i.e., the region of the southern Lebanon and the Bika , on the borders of territory which acknowledged the dominion of Egypt). 'Their main force was made up of Purusati, Takkara (pronounced, perhaps, Zakkara), Shakrusha, Dano (elsewhere Danona), Vashasha' ; in another text the Shardana also (who probably came by sea) are named. The Pharaoh marched against them into Palestine ; he commemorates in reliefs as well as inscriptions a battle on both land and sea, 1 * in which he gained a great victory over the invaders. The scene of this battle at the Tower of Rameses III. is not certainly known ; it seems clear, however, that it was in Palestine or Phcenicia (De Rouge, Brugsch), not on the coast of the Delta (Chabas and many after him); Muller (As. u. Eur. 177-178) locates it on the Phtenician coast ; Maspero (Struggle, 466 f. ; cp 470, n. 4) somewhat farther S., possibly at the mouth of the Belos, in the Bay of Acre, or in the vicinity of Turris Stratonis. 5

The Purusati were manifestly the leading people among the invaders ; they are always named in the first place, and sometimes alone. Champollion recognised in the name Purusati the Pelishtim of the OT, and the identification of the names has been accepted by an increasing number of Egyptologists and biblical scholars. 6 It is formally unimpeachable ; the Egyptian r in proper names often represents a foreign l, a sound which the Egyptian language did not possess. Historically, also, as we shall see, the combination has a very high degree of probability (see 8, and cp CAPHTOR).

Purusati is then the national name of this people (observe also the regular anarthrous use in OT). Therewith the etymologies which derive the words C RI? ?S n?S from a Semitic root (Eth. falasa, migrate, emigrate, wander abroad ; felasate, migration, wandering ; falasi, sojourner, foreigner ; cp Arab. falasa, falata, Heb. palat [Ges., Movers, Stark, and many]), assuming that the name was given to these immigrants by an indigenous Semitic people (Canaanites or Hebrews), fall to the ground ; and formal objections, though of themselves decisive, may be waived. 7 On other etymological conjectures, see below, 4

1 In Jer. 47:4 ( = 29:4 LXX), Captor is not in LXX. In Gen. 10:14 the gloss, 'whence proceeded the Philistines', was probably meant to be attached to Caphtorim rather than to Casluhim as in the present text.

2 See CAPHTOR ; Stark, Gaza, T$ff.; Dillm. on Gen. 10:14.

3 See WMM, As. u. Eur. 359/.J MVG v. (1900) 1 32 ff. ; Maspero, Struggle a/ Nations, 465^

  • See, however, WMM, As. u, Eur. 177 n. : the inscription would seem to imply that the two engagements were distinct.

5 The brief statement of Justin (18:3:5) that the Sidonians, driven from their city by a king of the Ascalonites, founded island-Tyre (1209 B.C.) has often been thought to refer to the invasion or early conquests of the Philistines. See Movers, Phonizier, 2:1:315-316; Stark, Gaza, 155 ; WMM, As. u. Eur. 388 ; contra, Winckler, GI 1 223.

6 See Maspero, Struggle of Nations, 463, n. i.

7 Against the whole theory see Hitzig, Kneucker, etc. ; most recently WMM, M VG v. (1900) 1 3 n.

8 See WMM, As. u. Eur., chaps. 26-29; MVG 9+; Maspero, Struggle, 461+.

4. Whence did they come?[edit]

In the representations of these peoples on the monuments we find peculiarities of garb, armour, and type of feature which by the aid of other monuments, we recognise as distinctive of the populations of the southern coasts of Asia Minor and the islands of the Aegaean. 8 This is confirmed by the names of these sea peoples so far as they can with any confidence be identified ; in particular instances the identifications maybe questioned ; but several of them are seemingly beyond dispute, and the concurrence cannot be fortuitous.

De Rouge saw in the Ruku of Merneptah the AVKIOI ; his Akayvash may perhaps be "A^ai^oi [achaiwoi]; Danona has been combined with Aui iuu [danaoi], the Takkara with Tev<cpoi [teookroi] - the last very improbably.l At an earlier time Lycians, Ionians, Dardanians, Sardinians, Tyrsenians, appear among the foes of the Egyptians as mercenaries or as pirates. 8 The Cherethites of the OT are not improbably islanders from Crete, as LXX in the prophets understands (see CHERETHITES) ; the connection of the Cherethites with the Takkara (CAPHTOR, 2) is phonetically impossible (Muller, MVG 5, n. 2). The attempt to connect the name Pelistim with II eAatryoi [pelasgoi] (Hitzig, Urgesch. 22-23), or with the Hepe trrai [penestai] in Thessaly (Hitzig, GVI 1:38; see Kneucker, BL 4:542) requires no discussion. Renan traces to the Philistines some European words very early naturalised in Hebrew such as parbar (Trtpi^oAo? [peribalos]), mekerah (Gen. 49:5, fiix<iipa [machaira]), pileges (pellex), liskah (AeV^jj [lesche]), kaphtor (capitul; Hist. 1:157-158, cp 2:33).

The southern coast of Asia Minor is called in the Egyptian inscriptions Kefto, 3 a name which we are thus warranted in connecting with Caphtor, whence, according to Hebrew tradition, the Philistines came. 4 A form still more closely approximating to Caphtor occurs in a catalogue of African and Asiatic names with which the walls of a temple at Ombos are decorated - viz., Kptar (Sayce, Crit. Mon.M 13, WMM, J/G^S/.). The material of these lists, compiled in the last century B.C., is taken from older sources ; no principle of order is observed, and the position of the name gives no further clue to the situation of Caphtor. That in the ethnographical table (8th cent.) in Gen. 10 (v. 14) the Caphtorim are set down as descendants of Misraim-Egypt can no more be used to determine the position of Caphtor than to establish the ethnic affinities of the people ; the Caphtorim are here simply the Philistines of the author's time, whose dependence upon Egypt is expressed in the familiar genealogical scheme, just as in P's table the intimate political and commercial relations of the Canaanites to Egypt are expressed by making Canaan a brother of Misraim.

5. Of what race?[edit]

To what race the Purusati and their allies belonged is again a question upon which the monuments cast some light. The Egyptian artists manifestly meant to represent the sea peoples as distinct from the Semitic populations of Palestine and Phoenicia in complexion and physiognomy as well as in civilisation ; their traits differ hardly less from the Heta, and resemble those of peoples whom we have good reason to regard as European. Their armour also is of a Western type (WMM, As. u. Eur. 362+; MVG 11-12).

The evidence of language unfortunately fails us. The names of the peoples which took part in the invasion have been referred to above (4) ; no personal names of kings or chiefs occur in the Egyptian inscriptions. 5 In the OT not only are the names of places in Philistia - as we should expect - native, that is, Canaanite (see above, 2), but also, with very few exceptions, the names of persons who figure in the story as Philistines. The same is true of the names in Assyrian inscriptions. To infer from this, as has sometimes been done, 6 that the Philistines were ab origine a Semitic race is unwarranted ; the utmost that the facts prove is that they early adopted the language of the country in which they settled (see below, 12). Almost the only certainly Philistine proper name in the OT is Achish (a -pj*, Ay\ovs [agchous], AKXOVS [akchous]) king of Gath in the time of David and Solomon (1 S. 21:10+ [21:11+], 1 K. 2:39-40), 1 with which we may compare Ikausu king of Ekron in the seventh century (in inscriptions of Esarhaddon and Ashur-bani-pal ; KB 2:148, 2:240) and Ekaso in a recently published Egyptian text, containing names from Kefto. 2 The title seren (]~\o), used in the phrase 'the five lords of the Philistines' (see below, 12), is probably a word of their own language, and may be connected with rvpavvos [tyrannos], by which it is rendered in the Targum and the Peshitta. 3

Another fact which is not without a bearing on the question of the origin of the Philistines is that they did not practise circumcision (1 S. 18:25+) : in the older historical books of the OT (Judges, Samuel) the opprobrious epithet 'uncircumcised' C?"iy} is applied only to them (Judg. 14:3, 1 S. 17:26), and is repeatedly used alone as a self-evident equivalent of Philistine (Judg. 15:18, 1 S. 146, 314, especially 2 S. 1:20). 4 This usage shows that they differed in this respect from the other neighbours of Israel in that age (cp Jer. 9:25-26 [9:24-25]) ; it may with some confidence be inferred that the Philistines were neither Semites nor Egyptians. 5 The sea-peoples of Merneptah's monuments were uncircumcised, 6 and the same may safely be affirmed of their successors in the time of Rameses III. among whom the Purusati appear.

1 See De Rouge, Revue archtologique, new ser., 1631-45 81-103 ( 867); Maspero, Struggle, 464, n. 3; WMM, As. u. Eur. 357, 368 ; cp Ml* G 3.

2 WMM, As. u. Eur. 369^

3 See WMM, As. u. Eur. $& ff.\ especially MVG 9 ff. t where it is shown that this name is not applied to Cilicia alone.

4 On this point see the new evidence adduced by Muller, MVG 6ff.

5 The ruler of Dor in the Papyrus Golenischeff is Bidir.

6 See especially Schwally, 'Die Rasse der Philistaer', ZWT 34:103+ (1891).

6. Not barbarians.[edit]

If the opinion that the Philistines came from southern Asia Minor and the regions beyond be correct, we shall not; think of their appearance in Palestine as the irruption of a horde of barbarians. Their homes lay within the sphere of that ancient Aegean civilisation which researches on the continent and the islands have brought to light in our own time. The vases and other products of the art of Kefto depicted in the tomb of Rehmire give evidence that its inhabitants were not inferior in taste or skill to those of Western Asia Minor and Greece in the 'Mycenaean' age (see WMM, As. u. Eur. 347+). Recent excavations in Crete have added greatly to our knowledge of this civilisation ; and it is not unreasonable to expect that from them some fresh light may fall on the problems of these paragraphs. 7

What we learn of the Philistines from the OT gives no ground for the common opinion that they were merely warlike barbarians. The rapidity and perman ence of their conquests, their political organisation and administration, may fairly be urged on the other side.

1 Other names commonly regarded as Philistine are PHICHOL (7]S, Gen. 21:22, 26:26), MAOCH (TflJ7D, 1 S. 27:2), ITTAI OnN, 2 S. 15:19, 18:2, etc.), GOLIATH (JV^3, 1 S. 17). See the special articles.

2 WMM, As. u. Eur. 389 n. ; MVG 8-9. The connection of Achish with Anchises suggested itself to the adherents of the Pelasgic hypothesis (Hitzig, Kneucker).

3 Klostermann on 1 S. 5:8; WMM, MVG 12. Others, regarding seren as a Semitic word, consider it a dialect equivalent of Hebr. sar ; or connect it with seren, 1 K. 7:30, 'axles'.

4 If in Herod. 2:104 the people of the coast are meant not merely the Jews, as is possible it would only prove that they had fallen into the custom of their neighbours in later times.

5 See CIRCUMCISION, 3. It is remarkable that Gen. 34 assumes that the inhabitants of Shechem were uncircumcised cp, however, Josh. 5:2+.

6 See (against Brugsch) WMM, PSBA 10:147+: (Jan. 1888) As.u. Eur. 357-358.

7 The surmise has been hazarded somewhat prematurely that the Philistines brought with them the Cretan linear script, from which the Phoenician alphabet was developed.

8 See E. Meyer, GA 1319; Maspero, Struggle, 466; WMM, MvG 35.

7 Time of invasion.[edit]

We have seen ( 3) that the Purusati first appear on the Egyptian monuments in the reign of Rameses III. (see below 8; WMM - MVG 35). From his inscription we learn that they had already conquered all northern Syria W. of the Euphrates. There is good reason to believe that the Hittite empire, which even in its decadence must have been a considerable power, was broken up by them. 8 It is not likely that this was the work of a single year, nor that the Pharaoh intervened at the first appearance of the invaders (see WMM, MVG 32+). What were the immediate results of the successes of which Rameses boasts we cannot say ; 1 in his twelfth year he was again engaged in a campaign against Amara ; the later years of his reign passed in peace. Under his feeble successors the Egyptian possessions in Syria were lost ; a century after Rameses III., the king of Byblos boasts that neither his father nor his grandfather had been subject to the Pharaoh. In this period the Philistines and their allies must have established themselves in Palestine ; for the last years of the 20th dynasty an Egyptian official, Wen-Amon, who touched at Dor on his way to Phoenicia, calls it a city of the Takkara (see above, 3), and his report makes the impression that they had been for some time settled there.

This date (12th cent. B.C.) agrees well with the indications of the OT history, where the Philistines appear in the half century preceding the establishment of Saul s kingdom as invaders of districts long occupied by Israel (Movers, Phon. 2:1:315-316; cp Ewald GVI 1:348+) ; the necessity of a united defence against them was, indeed, the cause of the kingdom (1 S. 4, 9:16 ; see further below, 9). The story of Samson represents them a generation earlier as in full possession of the maritime plain and the valleys of the Shephelah, and ruling over Judah (Judg. 13-16, cp 10:7). 3 It has often been surmised that the migration of the Danites (Judg. 18) was occasioned by the conquests of the Philistines who, if they did not themselves dispossess the tribe of its settlements in the lowlands, pressed the Canaanites back upon them (Judg. 1:34-45, Josh. 19:47).

The references to Philistines at a much earlier time must be regarded as anachronisms. The ruler of GERAR [q.v.] in the time of Isaac is called in Gen. 26 (J) 'king of the Philistines ; * in Gen. 21 (E) also, where the same story is told of Abraham, the king is supposed to be a Philistine (see vv. 31, 34). The name of the king, Abimelech, however, is Canaanite (cp Abimilki, of Tyre, in the Amarna despatches). The Amarna despatches (about 1400 B.C.) and the monuments of Rameses II. (about 1340-1273) recording his Syrian campaigns prove conclusively that the Philistines had not yet appeared in Palestine. All that Gen. 21, 26 shows is that Gerar lay in territory which, at the time the legends arose, was subject to the Philistines. 6 In Ex. 13:17 (E) 'the Philistine route' is a natural way for the author to describe the direct road from Egypt to Canaan, but cannot be taken as evidence that at the date of the Exodus the Philistines were already in their later seats. A like observation may be made about Josh. 133. The ode of triumph, Ex. 15:14, is from too late a time to be taken as evidence to the contrary (see Exoous, 6).

1 Maspero's opinion (Struggle, 470 ; cp 466, n. 3) that the prisoners taken by the Pharaoh in the war against the Purusati and their allies were planted by him in the Shephelah and at Dor is highly improbable.

2 Papyrus Golenischef; see Golenischeff, Recueil de Travaux. 21:74+ ; Erman, ZA 33:1+ ; WMM, 5:1:19+.

3 The exploit of Shnmgar (Judg. 3:31) properly stands after the story of Samson, as in many MSS of LXX.

4 The title is a parallel to 'Jabin king of Canaan', Judg. 42.

5 According to Gen. 21:34 this was the case with Beersheba also ; but this redactional verse conflicts with v. 32.

8. The conquest.[edit]

What set the Purusati and their confederates in motion we can only uncertainly conjecture. From the fact that they appear on the monuments of Rameses III. accompanied on land by their wives and children, who, together with their effects, are transported in carts drawn by oxen (see Maspero, Struggle, 462 ; WMM, As. u. Eur. 366), their movement has generally been regarded as a true migration, whole tribes leaving their homes in a venture of new fortunes (so, e.g. , E. Meyer, GA 1:317), and it has been conjectured that the pressure of the great northern 'Volkerwanderung' which brought the Phrygians into the central table-land of Asia Minor thrust out before it the peoples nearest the sea or the confines of Syria (Maspero, Struggle, 461-462). Others have thought that the invaders were not migrating tribes but soldiers by trade - mercenaries to-day, robbers tomorrow who after the manner of their kind in later times carried their homes with them (WMM, As. u. Eur. 360-361). Some of them, or of their kinsmen, had served in the armies of the Hittites in their wars with Rameses II. (WMM, l.c. , 354+); and they had now perhaps discovered the weakness of the decadent empire. Their successes opened to them new fields of conquest and plunder, and brought them at last to the very doors of Egypt.

It is certain, at least, that they did not long occupy the old Hittite territory, and left no permanent traces there. In the early years of Rameses III. they were in force in the southern Lebanon or perhaps even in Galilee. A hundred years later we find the Takkara established at Dor, on the coast south of Carmel (see above, 3, 7). Their allies, the Purusati, had kept the advance ; the maritime plain farther south was in their hands ; the Cherethites occupied a region farther inland, in the Negeb. The first movement probably followed the coast, where their sea force could co-operate with them. Soon, however, they extended their conquests to the interior, and we may be sure that it was not the hills of Judaea that first attracted them, but the Great Plain and the rich and flourishing Canaanite cities which stood at so many avenues of entrance into it, from Jokneam and Megiddo to Beth-shean, for an attack upon which Dor on the coast might well serve as a base. When, at the end of Saul s reign, we find Beth-shean - commanding the descent to the Jordan valley and the great East road - in the hands of the Philistines (1 S. 31:10), we may safely assume that the cities between it and the coast plain had not been left in peace to their native rulers. 1 The brunt of the invasion thus fell at the outset on the Canaanites ; and that the blow was severe may be inferred from the fact that when the Philistines were forced to relinquish them, these cities passed seemingly without a struggle into the power of Israel (see below, 11).

9. Subjection of Israel.[edit]

This conception of the course of Philistine conquest finds support in the fact that the earliest invasion of the territories of the Israelite tribes of which we have historical testimony (1 S. 4) was by way of Aphek in the plain of Sharon (see APHEK), not by the southern valleys. The Ephraimite peasants made a poor stand at Eben-ezer against these formidable warriors ; the Ark of Yahwe was captured ; and, seemingly by one victory, the whole of the central highlands came under Philistine supremacy.2 Judah was probably subdued about the same time. The conquerors established posts throughout the land, where a Philistine officer (nesib], probably with a few soldiers, collected imposts and kept watch upon the doings of the inhabitants, very much, we may suppose, as did the Egyptian officials in Palestine in the days of Amenophis III. and IV., whose reports were found in the archives of Tell el-Amarna (so at Gibeah in Benjamin, 1 S. 10:5, 13:3-4; at Bethlehem, 2 S. 23:14). At any symptom of revolt a larger force was sent to punish the attempt by plundering the land and laying it waste (1 S. 13:17-18, 14:15). So firmly established was their power that Hebrews served in their armies even in such razzias against their own countrymen (1 S. 14:21), as David came near doing at a later time (1 S. 29).

1 1 S. 317, where Klostermann, Budde, and Smith emend the text ( 'in the cities of the plain' ; 1 Ch. 10:7 'in the plain' ), can hardly refer to the strongly fortified cities.

2 The story of Samuel's crushing defeat of the invaders and its results (1 S. 7:5-14) is a pragmatic fiction which is contradicted by the whole history of the period.

10. Time of Saul.[edit]

Saul and Jonathan, at the head of a small body of tribesmen, took up arms against their masters; the daring exploit of Jonathan and his armour-bearer led to a general rout of the Philistine punitive expedition which was operating from Michmash (1 S. 14) ; but the victory was not followed up (14:36-46). A battle in the Valley of Elah (probably the modern Wady es-Sant ; see ELAH), near Socoh, is famous in story as the scene of the single combat of David with Goliath, the giant of Gath, 1 S. 17 (see GOLIATH). We are told that 'there was sore war against the Philistines all the days of Saul' (1 S. 14:52); but few particulars are given us (see ISRAEL, 13+, SAUL). David, who distinguished himself as the leader of a partizan corps in this struggle (1 S. 18, 19:8), and still found opportunities, in the freebooter's life which he led in the south after his breach with Saul, to deal a blow to his people's foes (1 S. 23), was in the end constrained by the persistent enmity of Saul to go over to Achish, the Philistine king of Gath, in whose contingent he, with his six hundred followers, appeared at the rendezvous of the Philistine armies at Aphek at the opening of the campaign in which Saul lost his life, but was turned back by the suspicions of the council of chiefs (1 S. 28:1-2, 29). The Philistines entered the Great Plain probably by the way of Dothan and struck the army of Saul near Jezreel ; the Israelites, dismayed perhaps by the chariots, fell back to Mt. Gilboa, and, in the battle which followed, the Philistine archery decided the day ; Saul and three of his sons were slain (1 S. 31). The decisive victory made the Philistines again absolute masters of all central Palestine ; the Israelites in the plain and the Jordan valley fled from their towns (1 S. 31:7); Abner, Saul's cousin and marshal, established ISHBAAL (q.v.), the only remaining son of Saul, at Mahanaim in Gilead (2 S. 2:8), wheie he reigned for a few years, perhaps as a vassal of the Philistines. 1 A new kingdom was erected in Judah over which David became king (2 S. 2:1-4). Since this was accomplished without interference from the Philistines, it is safe to assume that it was with their consent, and - as a consequence - that David ruled in Hebron as a Philistine vassal, as he had previously held Ziklag as a feof from Achish (see DAVID, 6). The elevation of David was resented by Saul s house ; the Philistines doubtless saw no reason to intervene in the quarrel. The opinion, based on 2 S. 2:9, that Abner reconquered for his master from the Philistines the highlands of Ephraim 2 is not reconcilable with the well-attested facts. 3

1 Kamphausen, Z.4 77r (144 (1886).

2 Ewald, GVI (3) 3:154 ; Ed. Meyer, GA 1:361 ; Kohler, Bibl. Gesch. 2246 ; Wellhausen, IJG(2) 1:58.

3 See Kamphausen, ZATW 6:44+ (1886) ; Stade, GVI 1:260; Kittel, Hist. 1:43.

11. Of David.[edit]

When David, after the assassination of Ishbaal, raised his ambition to a national kingdom of all Israel (2 S. 5), the Philistines immediately invaded Judah to chastise their rebellious subject, moving up the valley of Rephaim. There David, who at the news of their approach had taken refuge in his mountain fortress ( 'the HOLD', 1 S. 22:4-5, etc.), attacked them at Baal-perazim and routed them so completely that they left their gods in the field (2 S. 5:17-21). A second engagement in the same valley had a similar issue, David pursuing the retreating foe as far as Gezer (2 S. 5:22-25). Incidents of other conflicts are related in 2 S. 21:15-17, 21:18, 21:19-22 (cp 1 Ch. 20:4+) ; and the roll of David's brave comrades in 2 S. 23:8+ preserves the memory of many daring deeds in battle with the Philistines (see DAVID, 7) ; but, taking it all together, we find far less about this war of independence than, in view of the comparative fulness of our information concerning David and his reign, we should expect. In 2 S. 8:1 a deuteronomistic editor tells us that David defeated the Philistines and subdued them (cp Judg. 4:23); unfortunately the more specific statement in his source has been transmitted to us in a corrupt text : 'the bridle of the metropolis' - if it be legitimate to render thus [cp METHEG-AMMAH] - which David is said to have taken from the Philistines, is a most improbable expression for the hegemony, even if the latter were itself intelligible in this connection. The parallel passage in 1 Ch. (18:1) has 'Gath and its dependencies', which may be substantially right (see DAVID, l.c.).

There is much probability in the surmise that the liberation of Israel from the Philistine yoke was not achieved by its own unaided efforts. Egypt about this time began to reassert its dominion over Palestine, and first of all, necessarily, over the Philistine plain. We have, indeed, only indirect evidence of this ; but it is convincing. The list of Shoshenk's conquests in Palestine in the reign of Jeroboam does not include any of the Philistine cities ; it seems impossible to understand this in any other way than that this part of the country had been previously subjugated. The capture of Gezer, 1 K. 9:16, also implies that the cities farther south had been already subdued by the Egyptians (see WMM, As. u. Eur. 389-340, MVG 38-39). The Philistines, thus forced to defend their own territory, must have given up the attempt to resubject the Israelites. The relations of David to the Philistines after his independence was achieved seem to have been uniformly friendly ; his bodyguard was recruited from among them (see CHERETHITES AND PELETHITES) ; and in Absalom's revolt not only was this corps faithful to the king but besides them six hundred men of Gath were in David's service, their colonel, Ittai, commanding one of the three divisions in the battle in which Absalom fell. The Egyptian conquest seems to have ended the Philistine peril to Israel ; the Phoenicians probably at this time recovered Dor, the Israelites fell heir to the cities along the Great Plain (1 K. 4:12) ;1 henceforth we find the Philistines only in the southern half of the maritime plain, between Gaza and Joppa. It is not true, however, that this region was included in the empire of Solomon as has sometimes been erroneously concluded from 1 K. 4:21 [5:1] (MT, cp LXX 2:46b, also 2 Ch. 9:26), and from 1 K. 4:9. {2}

1 Compare Shoshenk's list, Muller, As. u. Eur. 166+.

2 So Thenius ; see against him Stark, Gaza, 173.

12. Civilisation.[edit]

The Philistine invaders were conquerors of an alien race, who were doubtless numerically a small minority among the peoples they had subjected ; and as so often in similar cases, the vanquished gave laws to the victors. Of whatever stock and speech the invaders may have been, in Palestine they very soon adopted the language of the country ; the Philistine names in the OT and the Assyrian inscriptions are, as has been observed above, almost without exception Semitic - specifically, Canaanite. The Philistines worshipped the gods of the country, also. DAGON ( 1 S. 5, Judg. 16:23+) was not the national god of the invaders but a Semitic deity who had long been worshipped in Palestine; Astarte (1 S. 31:10 ; see ASHTORETH) and BAAL-ZEBUB (2 K. l:2-3) are Canaanite divinities. Of the religion we know little beyond this. They had temples (1 S. 5, 31:10, Judg. 16) ; Herodotus (1:105) heard that the temple at Ashkelon was the oldest seat of the worship of Aphrodite Urania. There were images in the temples (1 S. 5:1+), and they carried idols with them into battle (2 S. 5:21), as the Israelites carried the ark ; the oracle of Baal-zebub at Ekron was highly reputed in the ninth century (2 K. 1:2) ; their soothsayers were famous (Is. 2:6). Priests and worshippers on entering the temple of Dagon at Ashdod were careful not to set foot on the threshhold (1 S. 5:5; cp Zeph. l:9).

Politically, the five chief Philistine cities, ASHDOD, GAZA, ASHKELON, GATH, EKRON (1 S. 6:17; see also Josh. 13:3, Judg. 3:3), which had not improbably been settled by different tribes, formed a confederation. Ashdod seems to have been at first the foremost city of the league ; it is named first in the oldest list of Philistine cities (1 S. 6:17) ; in the temple of Dagon in Ashdod the ark of Yahwe captured at Ebenezer was deposited (1 S. 5). This pre-eminence was probably due to political causes, such as the settlement of the leading Philistine tribe, or perhaps the choice of Ashdod as the meeting-place of the council of chiefs. The situation of Gaza, the key of Syria both commercially and strategically, could not fail in time to give it the advantage (cp Josh. 13:3). It does not appear that any one of the cities had an actual hegemony in the confederation. In the vicissitudes of later centuries the relative power and importance of the cities frequently changed (see Stark, Gaza, 142). Gath and Ekron never attained the same rank as the cities nearer the coast; but their position brought them into closer connection with Israelite history. Gath disappears after the eighth century ; it had probably sunk into insignificance.

Each of the five cities was mistress of the adjacent territory, other cities and villages being subject to it (1 S. 6:17-18). 1 The rulers of the five cities are called seranim (cnp, LXX ffarpaTrai [satrapai] [LXX{B} in Judg. &pxovTfs [archontes], but ffaTpawiat [satrapiai] in 3:3], Vg. reguli, satrapae, principes, Tg. , Pesh. 'tyrants' ). In war each doubtless commanded the contingent of his own city ; matters of common concern were decided by them in the council of the chiefs (1 S. 29:3+) ; in time of peace also they acted together in the public interest (Judg. 16) ; the citizens of Ashdod and of Ekron call them together to determine what shall be done to relieve those cities of the plague which the presence of the ark had brought upon them ; they consult the soothsayers and carry out the directions of the response (1 S. 5-6). That their office was hereditary is nowhere said, but may probably be assumed. Achish of Gath is called 'king' (melek, 1 S. 21:10 [21:11], 27:2), though as ruler of Gath he was one of the seranim; 2 the title 'king' would naturally be given by the Hebrew historian to the ruler of any city, whether one of the five or not.

We see from the Egyptian monuments as well as from the OT that the Philistines had an effective military organisation, and a tactical skill which Asiatics have seldom displayed (see WMM, As. u. Eur. 365). The army in column, by regiments and companies, under their officers (sarim), passes in review before the seranim (1 S. 29:2). They had chariots (1 S. 13:5 [read 3000], 2 S. 16), in which, as in the Hittite chariotry, a shield-bearer stands beside the spearman (see CHARIOT). Their strength, however, was in their well-armed footmen ; 3 their archers were of formidable skill (1 S. 31:3), reminding us of the fame of the Cretan bowmen. The Takkara at Dor maintained a fleet, which followed Wen-Amon to Byblos and blockaded the port to prevent his returning to Egypt (Papyrus Golfinischeff).

1 Cp Jos. 13:2 (geliloth), 15:45-47, Judg. 1:18.

2 The difference of opinion between Achish and 'the seranim' in 1 S. 29 does not imply the contrary.

3 See the figures in As. u. Eur. 364-365; and cp the descriptions in 1 S. 17:4-8, 17:45, 2 S. 21:16.

13. Later OT references.[edit]

The Egyptian conquest probably broke up the Philistine confederacy ; the descendants of the invaders mingled with the native population of the region and disappeared in it, while leaving it their name, and, doubtless, infusing into it something of their character. Henceforth the history is that not of a people but of a country, or rather of the individual cities in it. (See ASHDOD, ASHKELON, EKRON, GATH, GAZA. ) It must suffice here to refer very briefly to some notices in the OT of the relations of Israel to its neighbours on the SW. side. Gezer, as we have seen already (11), was added by the Pharaoh to the territory of Solomon (1 K. 9:16) ; according to 2 Ch. 118 Rehoboam fortified Gath as well as the cities in the Judcean Shephelah ; Gibbethon was besieged by Nadab ben Jeroboam (1 K. 15:27), and again a quarter of a century later in the reign of Elah ben Bansha (1 K. 16:15+) ; the Chronicler records that some of the Philistines brought voluntary presents to Jehoshaphat (2 Ch. 17:11 ) ; in the reign of Jehoram of Judah they are said to have invaded Judah, and carried away the royal treasure with the king s wives and children (2 Ch. 21:16-17); 4 in the time of Jehoash Hazael king of Damascus took Gath, and invaded Judah on that line (2 K. 12:17); Uzziah broke down the walls of Gath, Jabneh, and Ashdod, and built cities in the territory of Ashdod (2 Ch. 266, from an old source) ; in the days of Ahaz the tables were turned, and the Philistines conquered and occupied many cities in the Judoean Shephelah and Negeb (2 Ch. 28:18); Hezekiah waged successful war on the Philistine cities, even as far as Gaza, if we may trust the brief notice in 2. K. 188 ; but the Assyrians soon deprived him of his annexed territory. Amos (1:6-8) denounces the judgment of Yahwe on the Philistine cities, because in some recent war they had carried away the population of whole districts and sold them to the Edomites ; 2 such a thing might have happened under Amaziah, when Judah was greatly weakened by the disastrous conflict with Israel which the king had provoked (2 K. 14:11+). Am. 6:2 (later than Amos) perhaps refers to the catastrophe which befell Gath at the hands of Sargon in 711 (see GATH, i). Isaiah, in an early prophecy (9:12 [9:11]), sees the Philistines on one side, and the Syrians on the other, devouring Israel ; whether the Philistines actually assailed the northern kingdom at this time is not known. Is. 20 is dated in the year in which Sargon's Tartan besieged Ashdod (711 B.C.), and predicts the failure of its vain reliance on Egyptian aid. In later prophecies the judgment that is to come upon the Philistines as well as on other foreign nations and lands, is foretold, and sometimes depicted in lurid colours ; :f but, apart from the fact that the genuineness and age of many of these passages are controverted questions, the language and imagery are of too general - we might say, typical - a character to enable us to recognise a specific historical situation.

1 See HEZEKIAH, 2 ; Winckler, GI 220 226.

2 Winckler (Alttest. Unters. i%j,f., GI 1 199) emends and interprets, because they totally depopulated Edom ; see also Luhr, Unters. z. Amos, 4.

3 See Jer. 25:15+, 25:47 Zeph. 2:4+. Ezek. 25:15+, also Zech. 9:5-7, Obad. 19.

14. Relations with Assyria.[edit]

Philistia, together with Israel and Edom, was conquered and made tributary to the Assyrian empire by Ramman [Adad]-nirari III., in the last years of the ninth century (KB 1:190 ; ASSYRIA, 32). Tiglath-pileser III. (745-727) enumerates among his vassals about the year 734, Mitinti of Ashkelon and Hanun of Gaza (KB 2:20). Both took part, with Rezin of Damascus and Pekah of Israel, in the revolt which the king put down in 734-732. Ashkelon, where Mitinti was succeeded by his son Rukipti, probably made its submission (see Tiele, BAG 235) ; Hanun fled to Egypt at the approach of the Assyrians, and Gaza was captured and plundered ; from the language of Tiglath-pileser in his account of these events it has been inferred that he set an Assyrian governor over it (Winckler, GI 1:219). Hanun must, however, soon have recovered his throne, for in 720, in alliance with the Egyptian Sib'u - the same 'So' (NID, perhaps to be pronounced Sewe ; see SO) in whom Hoshea the last king of Israel had vainly trusted (2 K. 17:4) - was defeated and made prisoner by Sargon in the battle at Raphia (KB 2:54). It was, perhaps, about the same time that Sargon deposed Azuri king of Ashdod, and set his brother Ahimiti on the throne ; the anti-Assyrian party shortly expelled him and made a certain Yamani (or Yavani) king. The war thus provoked ended in 711 with the capture of Ashdod, Gath, and other cities, and the deportation of their inhabitants, their places being filled by colonists from the E. of the Empire, and the district placed under an Assyrian governor (KB 2:64+ ; see also ASHDOD). This immediate administration did not continue long ; for Mitinti of Ashdod appears among the vassals of Sennacherib.

In the great revolt against Sennacherib, in which Hezekiah of Judah played a prominent part, Sidka of Ashkelon was involved, with disastrous consequences to himself; he was carried prisoner to Assyria, and Sarruludari, the son of a former ruler, made king in his room ; Sennacherib, in his inscription, names as cities of the kingdom of Sidka which he had taken, Beth-dagon, Joppa, Benebarak, Azuru (KB 292). In Ekron the anti-Assyrian party had seized their loyal king Padi and sent him a prisoner to Hezekiah. Sennacherib severely punished the insurgents of Ekron, compelled Hezekiah to deliver Padi up, and restored him to his throne, 701 (KB 2:92+). When Hezekiah's turn came, Sennacherib annexed the Judaean cities he had taken and plundered to the territories of the loyal kings, Mitinti of Ashdod, Padi of Ekron, and Silbel of Gaza (KB 2:94; see ISRAeL, 34 ; HEZEKIAH, 2. and references there). After the time of Sennacherib the cities of Philistia seem not again to have revolted against the Assyrians.

Esarhaddon names among his western vassals Silbel king of Gaza, Mitinti of Ashkelon, Ikausu of Ekron, Ahimilki of Ashdod, together with Manasseh of Judah, the kings of Edom and Moab, and others (KB 2:148). The same names appear under Ashur-bani-pal (ib. 2:240). It was the time of the long peace in Manasseh's reign. In the attempt of Egypt under Tirhakah to throw off the yoke of Ahsur-bani-pal (see EGYPT, 66b), the cities on the coast remained loyal to Assyria, as also in the revolt of Phoenicia, and the Arabian war (KB 2:160, 2:168+, 2:216+). The account of the long siege of Ashdod by Psammeticus (29 years ; Herod. 2:157) attests renewed attempts of Egypt to subject this coast (see EGYPT, 67). During the Scythian irruption Ashkelon was taken, and its great temple of 'Aphrodite Urania' spoiled (Herod. 1:105).

The collapse of the Assyrian empire in the last quarter of the seventh century, enabled Necho II. to carry the Egyptian arms to the Euphrates (608) ; in the course of this campaign he took Gaza (KctSrm [Kadutis], Herod. 2:159). Necho's defeat at Carchemish (605) was speedily followed by the reconquest of all Western Syria from the Amanus to the borders of Egypt (cp 2 K. 24:7) by Nebuchadrezzar. So far as our sources go, the southern coast cities offered no such resistance as the Babylonians encountered at Tyre and Jerusalem. 1 The demonstration of the Pharaoh Hophra (Apries) had at least no lasting results. Nabonadius called upon his tributaries as far as Gaza to contribute to the building of the great temple of Sin at Harran (KB iii. 2:98).

15. Under Persian rule.[edit]

After the fall of the Babylonian empire, Gaza, alone opposed the advance of Cambyses on his way to Egypt (Polyb. 16:40). In the provincial organisation of Darius, Palestine (with Phoenicia and Cyprus) was included in the fifth satrapy (Herod. 3:91); it furnished its quota of ships to the fleet of Xerxes (Herod. 7:89). Ashkelon was, for a time at least, subject to Tyre (Scylax, in Geogr. min. ed. C. Miiller, 179) ; Eshmunazar records the cession of Dor and Joppa to Sidon (CIS no 3 1. 19-20 ). Gaza (q.v. ) was autonomous, and so prosperous that Herodotus found it not inferior to Sardes ( Herod. 3:5 ; see E. Meyer, GA 3:139). What part these cities took in the repeated attempts of Egypt to shake off the Persian yoke, and in the revolts of Megabyzus and Evagoras (see PERSIA, 20), our scanty sources do not tell us ; in the great rebellion of the 'Syrians and Phoenicians, and almost all the peoples of the sea board' in the last years of Artaxerxes Mnemon (Diod. Sic. 15:90) they may have been involved ; without at least their benevolent neutrality, Tachos could scarcely have engaged in his operations in Phoenicia in 361.{2} If they joined with the Phoenician cities in the rising against Ochus - as is not improbable, since the Jews also seem to have been implicated - they at least offered no opposition to the Persians in their advance against Egypt ; the exemplary fate of Sidon may have warned them to submit while there was time (see PERSIA, 20).

1 See, however, Stark, Gaza, 224+ ; Berossus names among Nebuchadrezzar s captives not only Jews and Phoenicians, but also Syrians and the peoples near Egypt (Jos. Ant. 19:11:1); cp also Philostratus ( ap. Syncell. 221 D).

2 See Judeich, Kleinasiatische Studien, 164+

16. Alexander and his successors.[edit]

When Alexander, after taking Tyre, marched down the coast on his way to Egypt, it was again Gaza alone that resisted his passage ; it was taken only after a siege of two months duration ; the city was sacked, and the remnant of its inhabitants sold into slavery (332 B.C.). 1 The strategic importance of Philistia made it the scene of frequent conflicts between the successors of Alexander.

In the assignment of satrapies after Alexander's death (323), Syria fell to Laomedon ; in 320 Philistia and Judaea, with the rest of Coele-Syria and Phoenicia, were seized by Ptolemy I., who garrisoned Gaza and Joppa. Antigonus, in 315, took these cities without much difficulty, though Tyre stood a fifteen months siege. In 312 Ptolemy reconquered the country ; a pitched battle being fought in the spring near Gaza (Diod. Sic. 19:80+); but in the autumn he was driven out again by Deme trius and Antigonus, dismantling the fortifications of Acco, Joppa, and Gaza in his retreat (Diod. 1993); the peace of 311 left Antigonus in possession of this coast ; Gaza was refortified by him, and was the base of his unsuccessful operations by land and sea against Egypt in 306. In 302 Ptolemy invaded Syria and laid siege to Sidon, but retired upon an erroneous report of Antigonus's advance, leaving garrisons to hold the cities he had taken.

The disposition of Syria in the partition after the battle of Ipsus (301) was disputed, both Seleucids and Ptolemies in later times claiming that they had acquired the right to it ; 2 the question of actual possession at the moment lay between Ptolemy and the remaining garrisons of Demetrius. Ptolemy in no long time acquired southern Palestine, and perhaps some points in Phoenicia, which he administered by a strategos. The theatre of the Syrian wars of 275-274, 261-250, 246-240, was farther north ; and their outcome strengthened and enlarged the Ptolemaic empire in Syria. 3 A determined attempt to wrest these possessions from Egypt was made by Antiochus the Great, beginning in 219. The Egyptians strengthened the fortifications of Gaza, which was necessarily the base of their defensive operations ; but the campaign of 218 must have brought it, along with most of southern Palestine, into the power of Antiochus ; since we find him preparing at Gaza for the projected invasion of Egypt. One of the great battles of antiquity was fought at Raphia in the spring of 217 ; Antiochus was completely defeated, and Ptolemy recovered southern Syria (Polyb. 5:82-86). In 201 Antiochus resumed the attempt ; Coele-Syria fell into his hands almost without a blow ; Gaza, however, held out, and was taken only after a stubborn resistance. The Egyptians made an effort to recover the territory ; but their defeat at Paneion in 200 {4} put an end to a rule which had lasted for a century ; all Syria was henceforth embraced in the empire of the Seleucidas. The revenues of Ccele-Syria were assigned by Antiochus as a dowry to his daughter, Cleopatra, whom he married to the youthful Ptolemy. The ambition of the Egyptian court to reconquer the country precipitated the fresh attacks on Egypt by Antiochus Epiphanes in 170-168.

1 Diod. Sic. xvii. 487 ; Arrian, 2:26-27 ; Curtius, iv.

2 See Niese, Griech. u. Makedon. Staaten, 1:352, 2:124, 2:377.

3 The era of Tyre (275 or 274 B.C.) is probably connected with the occupation of Phoenicia by Ptolemy Philadelphus ; see Schurer, GJV(8) 274.

4 On the date see Niese, 2:578-579

17. Greek civilisation.[edit]

Long before the Macedonian conquest, commerce had doubtless brought to the coast, as it did to the cities of the Nile delta, considerable numbers of Greeks ; the importance of the trade with Greece, which was probably chiefly in their hands, may be judged from the fact that in the Persian period Gaza struck coins of Athenian types and of Athenian standard weight and fineness (see Schurer (3) , 2:8:4). In the following centuries the influence of Greek civilisation was much more profound and wide-reaching. The city government was framed upon Greek models, the types and legends of their coinage are mainly Greek ; the gods whom they worshipped are for the most part the great gods of Greece : Zeus, Poseidon, Apollo, Athene, Aphrodite, Helios, and others ; the Greek language was doubtless extensively spoken in the cities ; Ashkelon had, in Roman times, famous schools, and not a few men of distinction in Greek literature were educated there (Steph. Byzant. s.v.) - in short, it might appear on a superficial survey of these facts that the region was completely Hellenised. Such a conclusion would, however, be a serious exaggeration. Greek was the language of commerce and of culture ; in the cities, probably, most men were able to speak as much Greek as they needed ; but as late as the end of the fourth century A.D. , the country people about Gaza spoke only Aramaic - which in the Persian period had gradually supplanted the older Canaanite vernacular (cp ARAMAIC, 2-3) - while even in the city the lower classes spoke Aramaic, and there were those who understood no other tongue. 1 The same was true at Ashkelon, and doubtless elsewhere, generally.

In religion, also, the fact that the gods bear Greek names does not necessarily indicate that the gods and their worship were purely Greek. In many cases, unquestionably, the name has been given to a native deity and the cult was either native or syncretistic. The chief temple of Ashdod in Maccaboean times was Dagon's ; the great god of Gaza was Marnas - an Aramaic title ; the identification with Zei)s KpriTaytv-ri? [Zeus Kretagenes] is part of the late legendary connection of Gaza (Miv^a [Minooa]) with Crete ; 2 the Aphrodite Ourania of Ashkelon is in all probability Atargatis-Derketo, also a Syrian deity, 3 just as in the Persian period the Aramaic names Mamas and ATARGATIS (q.v. } superseded a Canaanite Baal and Astarte, so they became in turn Zeus and Aphrodite without changing their nature.

18. The Asmonseans.[edit]

During the Maccaeasan struggle the Syrian armies operated in general from the Philistine plain, ascending by the pass of Beth-horon or Emmaus, or farther S. by Beth-zur. Levies from the country fought on the Syrian side ; slave-traders accompanied the army to buy the expected prisoners (1 Macc. 3:41).

In a raid into the lowland Judas took Ashdod, plundering the city and destroying the images of the gods (1 Macc. 5:68). To prevent such excursions of the Jews, Bacchides fortified and garrisoned Emmaus, Beth-horon, Thamnatha, Pharathon, and Gazer (1 Macc. 9:50-52). In 147 Jonathan, fighting in the cause of Alexander Balas against Demetrius, made an expedition against Joppa, but found the city too strong to be carried by assault ; turning back he defeated Appllonius near Ashdod, pursued the retreating enemy into the city, and burned it with its great temple of Dagon (1 Macc. 10:75-85, cp 11:4) ; Ashkelon received him with open arms (10:86). Alexander rewarded him by bestowing upon him the city and district of Ekron (10:89). Later, as a supporter of Alexander's son Antiochus, Jonathan received the submission of Ashkelon, and besieged Gaza and compelled it to sue for terms (between 145-143 B.C. ; 1 Macc. 11:60-62); shortly after, Simon took Joppa and put a Jewish garrison in it (1 Mace. 12:33-34); after the treacherous murder of Jonathan by Trypho at Ptolemais, Simon drove out the inhabitants of Joppa, settling Jews in their place and annexing it to his own territory (1 Macc. 13:11 ; see JOPPA, 2) ; having taken Gazer by siege, he pursued the same course with it (1 Macc. 13:43-48). Antiochus Sidetes seems to have taken these places from John Hyrcanus, 4 but was constrained by Roman intervention to restore them. Alexander Jannaeus at the beginning of his reign besieged Ptolemais, but was compelled by Ptolemy Lathurus to retire from it. The subsequent withdrawal of both Lathurus and Cleopatra, however, left him a free hand, and he conquered Raphia, Anthedon, and finally Gaza, which after a siege of a year he took by treachery and gave over to pillage and flames, 96 B.C. (Jos. Ant. 13:13:3, BJ 1:4:2). In Josephus (Ant. 13:15:4) we have a list of the cities which were subject to Alexander Jannaeus; it includes all the cities from Carmel to Rhinocorura (with the single exception of Ashkelon) - Strato s Tower, Apollonia, Joppa, Jamnia, Ashdod, Gaza, Anthedon, Raphia, Rhinocorura.

1 Marcus Diaconus, Vita Porphyrii, ch. 66+. See Schurer (3), 2, 64, 95.

2 On Mamas, see Drexler in Roscher, Lex. 2:2379.

3 Diod. Sic. 2:4, Pausan. 1:146.

4 See Schurer, 2:101.

19. Under the Romans.[edit]

Pompey freed these cities from Jewish rule, restoring them to their own citizens and incorporating them in the province of Syria (63 B.C. ; Jos. BJ 1:7:7). Gabinius (57-55 B.C. ) rebuilt many of these places which had been wholly or in part demolished by the Jews (Ant. 14:5:3 ; BJ 1:8:4). Caesar restored Joppa to the Jews (Ant. 14:10:6). Antony bestowed on Cleopatra the whole coast from the Egyptian desert to the Eleulherus except the cities Tyre and Sidon (36 B.C. ; Plut. Ant. 36; Jos. BJ 1:18:5). Augustus (in 30 B.C. ) added to the kingdom of Herod Gaza, Anthedon, Joppa, and Strato's Tower; the last Herod rebuilt and named Caesarea. In the division of Herod's kingdom Gaza was put immediately under the governor of Syria ; the same disposition was made of Joppa and Caesarea when Archelaus was deposed (6 A. D. ); Ashdod and Jamnia were given to Salome ; upon her death their revenues were paid to the empress Livia and subsequently to Tiberius (see Schurer, GJV (3) 278). Ashkelon enjoyed the privileges of a free city during all these changes, maintaining the liberties it had gained in 104 B.C. In 66 A.D. , at the beginning of the war with Rome, the Jews in Cassarea were slaughtered by their fellow-townsmen, with the connivance of the procurator, Gessius Florus. 1 In revenge the insurgents set fire to Ptolemais and Ashkelon, and demolished Anthedon and Gaza, 2 with many unwalled towns in the country (BJ 2:18:1). Joppa was taken by the Romans under Cestius Gallus and its Jewish population massacred (BJ 2:18:10); it was re-occupied by the Jews (see BJ 2:20:4), who held it until its destruction by Vespasian (BJ 3:9:2+).

After the destruction of Jerusalem in 70, Jamnia, which since the Asmoncean times had been inhabited chiefly by Jews, and Lydda became the seats of the most famous Jewish schools ; and in the other towns of this region there was a considerable Jewish population, among whom Jewish Christians are frequently mentioned.

20. Literature.[edit]

Calmet, Dissertatio de origine et nominibus Philistaeorum," in Proleg. et dissertt., etc., ed. Mansi, 1 180-189; Movers, Die Phonizier, 1 T,/. ^ff. (1841) ; Bertheau, Zur Gesch. tier Israeliten, 186-200, 280-285, 3 308, 354/ (1842); Hitzig, Urgesch. u. My- thai, der Philistaer (1845); GVI\i,bff. izaff. etc. (1869); A. Arnold, Philister in Ersch u. Gruber s Encyklopiedie, Sect. iii. 23 321-329 ; A. Knobel, I olkcrtafel der Genesis, 98, 208^,215^ (1850); Stark, Gaza u. die philistfiische Kiiste (1852); [older literature in full, gff. 31/244335^ 53j0- 6H/] ; A. Baur, Philister in Riehm s Jflt B; cp Der Prophet Amos, 76-94 (1847); Kohler, Bib. Gesch. 1 *.\ ff. (1875); De Goeje, Het tiende Hoofdstuk van Genesis," ThT \iT,-$ff., especially 257.^ (1870); Fr. W. Schultz, Philister in PREW 11618-636 (1883); Kneucker, Philistaer in Schenkel s BL 4541-559; Ewald, GK/<3)l348j (1864) 3 4 2^C etc. (1866); Schwally, Die Rasse der Phifistaer, Zl\- TM\o-$ff. (1891); Ebers, Ae^vpten unddie Biichcr Mosis, \yjff. (1868); Brugsch, Egypt under the Pharaohs, ch. 14/ (1881); W. M. Miiller, As. u. Eur. ch. 2t>-29 (1893); Die Urheimat der Philister ; Der Papyrus Golenischeff'; 'Die Chronologie der Philistereinwanderung', in MVG vol 5. pt. 1 (1900); H. Winkler, GI 1:216+, (1895); W. J. Beecher, 'Philistines', in Hastings' DB 3:844-848, Schurer, GJV 2, 22-23 etc.

G. F. M.


(cpiAoAoroc). greeted in Rom. 16:15, together with JULIA [q.v.]. It is a common slave-name, and occurs not unfrequently in the inscriptions of the imperial household (CIL 6:4116, etc). According to Pseudo-Hippolytus he was one of the seventy disciples, and tradition makes him bishop of Sinope.




i. 1 Esd. 5:5, 2 Esd. 1:26, also 1 Esd. 8228 = Ezra 7 5 8 2 PHINEHAS (3), 1.

2. 1 Esd. 5:31, RV Phinoe = Ezra 2:49 PASEAH, 2.

3. 1 Esd. 8:63 = Ezra 8:33 PHINEHAS, 3.

4. 2 Esd. 1:2a. See PHINEHAS, 2.


(DnrB, once Dm S, 1 S. 13 ; 4>[e]iNeec [BAFL]).

1. Is the name Egyptian or Hebrew?[edit]

The name is very un-Hebraic, and since the mother of Phinehas ben Eleazar is described (Ex. 6:25) as one of the daughters of Putiel (cp Potiphera), it is plausible to seek for an Egyptian origin. Hence Lauth (ZDMG 25 [1871], 139), followed by Nestle (Eigennamen, 112 [1876]), and formerly by Cheyne (Proph. Is. < 3) 144), explained Phinehas as 'the negro', the corresponding Egyptian form being well-attested (see 2). All such theories, however, seem to be inferior in probability to the rival hypothesis.

The present writer ventures to think that, if the name were Egyptian, it must have honorific meaning. We might perhaps suppose omB t be an early corruption of rtJJJEi which in riJEX rnyD (ZAPHNATH-PAANEAH) may be a misvocalisation of the Egyptian name Pianhi (or some similar form); Q and y were often confounded. But considering that the evidence before us (see MOSES, 6) seems to favour a N. Arabian origin for Moses and his relatives, and that 'Phinehas' in the Hexateuch is the name, not only of an individual, but also of a hill with which, not the individual, but his father (though 'Eleazar' really comes from a clan-name) is associated,! also that the I,evites certainly had Jerahmeelite affinities, and that the father of the second Phinehas bears a name which is probably a mutilation of Jerahmeel, it becomes more probable that orufl is to be explained as a mutilated and corrupt form (through jons) of SuCnT (Jerahme'el). The name Jerahme'el could of course be given both to an individual and to a locality. Cp TIMNATH-HERES. PUTIEL (cp note 3 below), is nSs with the afformative SK- It is possible, however, that Putiel and POTIPHERA (q.v.) were early explained as = 'devoted to El', or 'to Re'. On the supposed Ephraimite connection of the second Phinehas see SHILOH, and note that Ephraim is not unfrequently a corruption of 'Jerahmeel' (e.g., Judg. 17:1, 19:1, 1 S. 1:1).

T. K. C.

1 See also the slaughter at Ashkelon and Ptolemais, BJ ii. 185.

2 In the case of Gaza, at least, this demolition can have been but partial ; see Schurer, 2:88.

2. A second answer to the question.[edit]

On the assumption, however, that the name Phinehas is of Egyptian origin the following details deserve consideration.

It seems to stand for Egyptian pe(')-nhesi, later without the vocalic ending, in Coptic letters TTeNgHC (cp Ptoemphaneis, Ptol. 4:7:34, mutilated Ptoemphoe, Plin. 6:192, 'the country of the negro' ).

The T of the biblical punctuation could be an archaic rendering of e, which stands mostly for old a. The fact that the article is often written (pzi or even pzy, Liebl. 884 add.) like the demonstrative must not be misunderstood ; it is only an attempt at expressing the helping sound e before two double consonants, notwithstanding the biblical i - a scriptio plena which seems to show that the name was felt to be foreign. The meaning 'the negro' does not imply black skin, the designation n(e)hesi applying also to all brownish Hamitic tribes of Eastern Africa (WMM, As. u. Eur. 112). Therefore, the name means nothing but 'a child of darker (brunette) complexion'. The name begins to appear in dynasty 18 and becomes most frequent in dynasty 19 to 21. By the time of dynasty 26 (about 666 B.C.) it seems to be rare, if not obsolete. It was superseded by P-ekos (7re<cv<ris [pekousis]), the Cushite.

W. M. M.

1 On the analogy of Josh. 19:50 we may assume that the hill of Phinehas (Jerahmeel) in Josh. 24:33 was traditionally assigned to Eleazar. Originally, however, -uy^N must have been S[<]-itj; ; i.e., it was a clan-name.

2 Written mostly [hieroglyph goes here]

3 For a view of the name Putiel which implies two stages in the history of the name, see above, i. According to the ordinary view, the second of the two stages represents the entire history of the name. Both views are illustrated by the fact that in Eg. -Aram, inscriptions and papyri of the fifth and fourth century B.C. ms, 'devoted to, appears in the form eB 1 e.g., % DNEB ( 'of Isis', etc.). An earlier example is "iDEB (in Gk. inscr. 7TTO<7ipis [petosiris]) in an inscription found at Teima in Arabia (CIS ii. no. 113).

3. Bearers of the name.[edit]

i. Son of Eleazar and of one of the daughters of Putiel.* He is mentioned as accompanying the Israelites against Midian (Nu. 3:16+), and as sent to admonish the trans-Jordanic Israelites for erecting their altar by the Jordan (Jos. 22:13, 22:30+) He is, however, more especially renowned for his zeal and energy at Shittim in the matter of the Midianitess COZBI (q.v. , Nu. 25:6+), to which repeated allusion is made in later Judaism, cp Ps. 106:30-31. 1 Macc. 2:26 (0tfews [A]) and Ecclus. 45:23. The story (the opening of which is lost) is a later addition by P to the already composite 25:1-5 (JE), and is probably an artificial attempt to antedate and foreshadow the zealous endeavours of Nehemiah to purify the remnants of the Jewish Golah (cp Bertholet, Stellung d. Israeliten, 147). See NUMBERS, 7, and Oxford Hex. ad loc.

The importance of Phinehas in P lies in the fact that he is in the direct line from Aaron, and hence (as the father of Abishua) enters into the genealogy of the high-priests (1 Ch. 6:4 [5:30], 6:50 [6:35], Ezra 7:5 = 1 Esd. 8:2, 2 Esd. 1:26 Phinees). The Chronicler, moreover, speaks of him as the ruler over the porters 'in time past' (1 Ch. 9:20). In the days of the return the b'ne Phinehas form one of the priestly classes (Ezra 8:2 = 1 Esd. 5:5, 8:29, $opo? [phoros] [B], PHINEES), at the head of whom stands Gershom (see GERSHOM, GERSHON).

Like his father Eleazar, Phinehas rarely appears previous to P. In Judg. 20:28 the statement that he stood before Yahwe in the days of the Judges is no doubt a gloss (cp SHILOH) ; the whole chapter in its present form is post-exilic. (Cp Moore, Judges, 434, and see JUDGES, 13.) Ancient, on the other hand, is the announcement affixed to Jos. 24 (E2) of the death of Eleazar and his burial in the GIBEAH OF PHINEHAS 1 [q. v. ] which was given to Phinehas in the hill-country of Ephriam (v. 33). LXX{BAL} adds also that Phinehas himself was afterwards buried in the same Gibeah (4v yafiaap [-0.6 [A], ytj /3actp, L] ry [777 B ab ] eavrCiv [eavrov A]) : Dt. 10:6 (Eleazar succeeds Aaron at Moserah) is probably also E.

2. Phinehas b. Eli 2 and his brother HOPHNI [q.v. ] were 'sons of Belial' who, for their wickedness and wantonness towards the offerers of sacrifices, incurred the wrath of Yahwe and perished together at Eben-ezer when the ark was taken by the Philistines (1 S. 1-4). The son of Phinehas born upon that fateful day receives the name ICHABOD [q.v. ].

According to Budde's analysis (SBOT), the old narrative in 1 S. 4 related the loss of the ark without further comment ; it is a later writer (E2) who in 2-3 ascribes the disaster to the wickedness of Eli's sons and to their father's laxity (esp. 3:14b), and finally it is a Dt. writer who lays even greater stress upon their iniquity and actually foreshadows their fate. There is much to be said, however, in favour of H. P. Smith's view that 1 S. 2:12-17, 2:22-25 [2:27-36?], 4:1b-7:1 is a fragment of an independent history of the Elidae. This torso (which is already composite) contains two peculiarities : (a) the association of the family with Moses, and (b) the prominence of Shiloh. It may, therefore, be conjectured that this narrative formerly stood in the closest connection with another in Judg. 18-19 where, too, a descendant of Moses and the foundation of a shrine (perhaps in the original story that not of Dan but of Shiloh) play an important part. 3 The Mosaic associations and the unique description of the power of the ark (1 S. 4:5+) may further suggest that the narrative is a fragment of that account of the Exodus a trace of which survives in Nu. 10:29-36 (itself also composite) ; cp EXODUS 1, 5+, KADESH, 3.

Another son, Ahitub, was the father of Ahiah (=Ahimelech), 4 who appears as a priest in the time of Saul (1 S. 14:3). 5 It is a remarkable fact that the famous line of priests from Eli to Abiathar is ignored in the later genealogies, with the curious exception of 2 Esd. 1:1, where Phinehas b. Heli ( = Eli) and Phinehas b. Eleazar occur in the ancestry of Ezra (see GENEALOGIES 1, 7 [4]).

An interesting question arises as to the precise relation between Phinehas (i) and (2). The latter, according to MT an Ephraimite, seems to disappear from history only to be represented in a later age by the former, a shadowy and unreal character whom also tradition connects with Ephraim. At all events the iniquity of the Ephraimite son of Eli (cp esp. 1 S. 2:22b) is amply atoned for in later tradition by the zeal (cp esp. Nu. 25:6+) of the younger namesake. That

(1) is an image of the son of Eli is denied however by We. (Prol.(4) 142), but there are at all events certain considerations which point to a connection between the two. The names Eli, Hophni, and Phinehas are of the same un-Hebraic cast as Moses and Gershom, and (unless we have recourse to emendation) find their only explanation from Egyptian, or from S. Palestinian dialects (Sabasan, Sinaitic, etc.) ; the tradition in 1 S. 2:27 (although due to RD ; see We. , l.c. ) seems, moreover, to connect the house of Eli with Moses (cp also Jochebed and Phinehas son ICHABOD [q.v.]). 1 The relation of Phinehas b. Eli to Phinehas the grandson of Aaron finds an analogy in the cases of Eliezer and Gershom b'ne Moses compared with Eleazar and Gershon b'ne Aaron. 2 The conjecture is perhaps a plausible one that the stone of help (Eben-ezer) in 1 S. 4 has some connection with the grave of Eleazar (Josh. 24:32), also the burial- place of the Aaronite Phinehas ; note the explanation of the name in 1 S. 7:12.

3. Eleazar b. Phinehas, a priest temp. Ezra (Ezra 8:33 = 1 Esd. 8:63, PHINEES).

T. K. C. , I ; W. M. M. , 2 ; S. A. C. , 3.

1 Prof. Cheyne, however, proposes to read Gibeah of Jerahmeel, regarding both Phinehas and Eleazar as corruptions of clan-names (see i).

2 Eli's origin is not given, no doubt because he was previously mentioned in the longer narrative of which 1 S. 1+ in its present form is an excerpt. Marq. (Fund 12-13) recognises the traces of a double tradition in the very full notices given in v. 1 (see ELKANAH 1, JEKOHAM 1, SAMUEL). Is v. 1 a confused combination of marginal notes giving the parentage and origin of both Elkanah (v. 1) and Eli (v. 3) ? [Note, however, the view respecting the name Eli in 1, and compare SHILOH.]

3 For a parallel but somewhat different theory depending on emended texts, see MICAH, SHILOH ; cp also MOSES.

4 Prof. Cheyne has suggested that both Ahiah and Ahimelech may be popular corruptions of Jerahmeel.

5 The statement, perhaps, does not belong to the original document (J). It has nothing to do with the chapter, and is more probably a gloss introduced on account of the priest in vv. 19, 36b.