Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):

Just Who Are the "Palestinians"?

Yair Davidy

Obadiah prophesies about what will happen in the last days, saying --

And they of the south shall possess the plain of Esau; and they of the plain the Phillistines: and they shall possess the field of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin shall possess Gilead (Obadiah 2:19).

Obadiah is speaking of a time of reconciliation between Ephraim and Judah following a victory of theirs over a mutual enemy. "They of the south" (Hebrew: "Negev"), and "they of the plain" apparently refers to different sections of the Jewish people.

It seems that "the Philistines" who will be dispossessed are the so-called Palestinian "Arabs." Historically many of the Philistines settled in North Africa and in Europe. They had connections to various places in Anatolia (Turkey), and linguistics indicate that the Philistines also had links to the region of Illyria (on the Yugoslavian coast). Cultural features confirm a presence of theirs at the head of the Adriatic. Don Isaac Abarbanel (1437-1508), who once served as State Advisor to the Republic of Venice, said that he found in old books the belief that from the Philistines emerged the peoples of Venice and Genoa. Both these Italian ports were once independent powerful sea-going merchant states. The Romans (e.g. Strabo) also believed that the Venetians came from the Eneti in northeast Anatolia (modern Turkey) who fled from the Assyrians -- and some scholars see a linkage between that area (Cappadocia) of Anatolia and between the Philistines. The Septuagint in about 300 b.c.e. also identified the Philistines as of Cappadocian origin.

Other Philistine elements almost certainly remained on the Palestinian coast around Gaza.

Historically, the Romans destroyed the Jewish State of Judea and killed or exiled all of its people. The Romans wanted to wipe away all remembrance of a connection between the Jews and their land, so they re-named all of it "Palestinia" in honour of the Philistines. The land passed into the hands of the Byzantines, Persians, Arabs, Crusaders, and Turks. The Arabs and their Turkish masters had ecologically unsound customs so the Land became desolate and very underpopulated. It has been said that every tree in the Galilee was planted by the British since the Turks cut down all that they found to provide fuel for their railway engines. In the 1800s the Jews -- with British encouragement and protection -- began to return and resettle the Land, a process which culminated in the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the British undertaking to prepare "the establishment in Palestine of a National Home" for the Jews.

The original draft of the Balfour Declaration called for "The reconstitution of Palestine as the National Home of the Jewish people." Anti-Zionist assimilationist Jews in Britain caused the final draft to be toned down. The original intention was that ALL of Palestine would be given over to the Jews -- and so it should have been. Palestine then included the present-day State of Jordan.

The so-called Palestinian people are the descendants of a mixed populace of local inhabitants together with numerous other groups of Muslims brought to Palestine from Bosnia, the Balkans, and the Caucasus by the Turks, and from the Sudan, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon by the British. Those who came to Palestine in the time of the British Mandate were, however, brought over only partly due to the anti-Zionist, religious, and ideological motivation of some British officials -- and mainly because of administrative and economical necessity. Jewish Zionists and capitalists were amongst their major employers (often at the expense of the Jewish Proletariat) and struggles were fought over this issue.

At all events, it is possible to see the Palestinians as representing the Philistines in Biblical terminology for the following reasons:

1)  It may be that many of them actually are physically descended from the Philistines -- some of whom remained in Gaza and neighbouring areas.

2)  Their name "Palestinian" is derived from the Latin word for Philistine, i.e. they now call themselves, and are called by others, "Palestinian" -- meaning Philistine. If in days of yore a Hebrew Prophet had wanted to denote the present-day Palestinians using a familiar name, then he could have chosen no better an appellation than "Philistine."

3)  The geographical bases of power, international connections, and general orientation of the "Palestinians" are all similar to those of the ancient Philistines.

The Prophet Isaiah -- and other prophets in addition to Obadiah -- foresaw the eventual reconciliation between Judah and Ephraim, and the defeat of Edom and the Philistines:

And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.

But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines towards the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Amon shall obey them (Isaiah 11:12-14).

The above verse (Isaiah 11:14) concerning the Philistines (as it has been translated in the KJ and Orthodox Jewish "Koren" translation) is consistent with the simple Hebrew and with the context.

Nevertheless, one of the intricacies of Biblical Hebrew is that often words and expressions may intentionally have more than one meaning. In this case the Hebrew may also be understood as saying,

They shall fly the Philistines away westward.

The Hebrew says: "VeAFU BeCeTeF PliSHTIM YaMaH," i.e., word-for-word:

"[ve-afu] And they will fly (or cause to be flown) [becetef] by-wing [Plishtim] Philistines [yama] towards the Sea (or towards the west)."

This may be interpreted to mean anyone of the following:

1)  That the Philistines in the west are being flown AGAINST, or

2)  ALTERNATELY (and more consistently with the Literal Hebrew) that they will be FLOWN OUT WESTWARD, or

3)  BOTH EXPLANATIONS MAY PROVE CORRECT!

It is interesting to note that the word for westward is the Hebrew "Yam-ah" -- meaning literally "to the sea," and the sea was in the west. The Palestinians used to repeatedly declare their intention of driving the Jews "into the sea," though now they use more openly murderous expressions. On some sub-conscious mystical level the Palestinians may have been trying to re-direct what is literally prophesied concerning their own destiny.

Based on Isaiah, therefore, the Palestinians shall be transported elsewhere by air flight "towards the sea," to the west, possibly to North Africa or to South America.

Many of the Arabs are descended from Ishmael. One tradition says that Ishmael is destined to do repentance and implies that his descendants of their own free will will accept a form of servitude under Israelite rule. This tradition is an uncertain one but even if correct it does not contradict the Biblically-derived and Scripturally-justified principle that most of the "Palestinians" will have to be flown elsewhere.

 

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