inquierer

Who were the Palestinians in the Bible? While doing a word search in three different versions I cannot find the word Palestine or Palestinian.

Thank you

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Apr 16, 2017
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Palestinian in the Bible
by: Shep

That is a great question. The answer is you will not find the word Palestinian in the Bible. Simply put, the word does not represent an ethnic group of people. It was not in use at that time to describe a people or a nation. The word itself derives from a Roman word, Palestina. The Romans, in an attempt to insult the land of Israel, gave the LAND the name Palestina (modern day, Palestine) after Israel's arch-nemesis, the Philistines. It was meant as an insult, and referred to the land - not the people.

Palestine became the name of the region, even up until "British Palestine" in the early 20th century. Thus those Arabs residing in Biblical Canaan became known as Palestinian Arabs, in other words, people of Arab ethnicity living in Palestine. Jews living in the region were the Jews of Palestine. The topic is VERY complicated and goes back hundreds of years - but the basis of why you do not see the word in the Bible is because the word was not in existence from the Bronze Age through the first century AD. Palestinian as many understand the word today, as an ethnic group of people without a home or living in an occupied land, is a modern invention and inaccurate.

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