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Caphtor

Caphtor is identified in the Bible as where the Philistines came from before settling in part of what The Lord later designated as the land of Israel. The location of Caphtor is unknown for certain, although there are two possibilities accepted by Biblical historians. The first is Crete, based on Scriptures that refer to the Philistines as "Cherethites" (e.g. 1 Samuel 30:14, 2 Samuel 8:18) which is taken to mean Crete-ites. The other possibility for the location of Caphtor is Egypt, based on the genealogies provided in Genesis chapter 10 and 1 Chronicles chapter 1 in which they appear related to people who are known for certain to be Egyptian. An Egyptian origin also may, or may not, be the reason that, at the time of the Exodus, adjacent-to-Egypt Gaza was already known as Philistine territory e.g. "when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near" (Exodus 13:17 KJV). Either way, the Philistines are plainly identified as being from Caphtor:

"the Caphtorims, which came forth out of Caphtor" (Deuteronomy 2:23 KJV)

"the Philistines, the remnant of the country of Caphtor" (Jeremiah 47:4 KJV)

How "Philistine" Became "Palestinian"

David 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.

Fact Finder: How is it that The Lord has the "right" to declare national territories?
See Eminent Domain, also "Land On Which You Had Not Labored"


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