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by Wayne Blank
"the Caphtorims, which came forth out of Caphtor" (Deuteronomy 2:23 KJV)
How "Philistine" Became "Palestinian"
Regardless of the place of origin of the Philistines, whether Crete or Egypt, or anywhere else, we do know for certain how "Philistine" became "Palestine." The name Palestine originated from the Greek word pronounced Palaistina, which is derived from the Hebrew word pronounced pel-eh-sheth, meaning land of the Philistines (one of the most famous of whom was Goliath). The original word referred only to a small coastal territory corresponding to what is today Gaza, never to all of the land of Jacob, who God renamed Israel.
The definition of Palestine was first expanded when the conquering Romans (see Ancient Empires - Rome) used the name Syria Palaestina during the second century before Jesus Christ. They used it to designate the southern portion of the province of Syria, which then took in Judea, including Jerusalem.
In modern times, the political definition of Palestine was again greatly expanded after the First World War. Britain, which then held control of the land of Israel under a mandate of the League of Nations (British control eventually made possible the birth of the modern state of Israel, thereby fulfilling a vital Biblical element of Prophecy - see United States, Britain and Israel), revived the name as an official title for practically all of the land - from Dan to Beersheba, and from The Mediterranean Sea to The Jordan River.