Monday, January 3, 2011

Where Does The Word Palestine Came From?

The name Palestine is derived from the biblical name Peleshet designating the coastal plain in which the Philistines (Peleshtim) settled in the course of their 12th century (BC) expansion. The Philistines were an Aegean people who were driven out of Greece and the Aegean islands around 1300 BC.

The first time the area which is today named Israel was given the name Palestine was in 135 AD after the Roman conquest of Judea. This was immediately after the Romans crushed the revolt led by Simon Bar Kochba in 135 AD. The Romans renamed the land Syria-Palesitina in an attempt to cancel the Jewish claim to the land. They proceeded to destroy Jerusalem and rename it Aelia Capitolina. But we can still find as late as the 4th century, the Christian author, Epiphanius referring to "Palestine, that is, Judea." Previous to 123 AD (a turning point in Jewish history), there is about 2000 years of Jewish presence and history in the area today termed Israel. Here is a brief history, leaving out thousands of names and places. Pick up any history book that covers this period and this region:

2000-1225 BC - The period of Abraham
1120-1180 BC - Moses, the exodus from Egypt, the crossing of the
Red Sea
1180-1100 BC - The assault on Jericho
1080-1030 BC - Samson, Samuel, Shaul
1030-1013 BC - David, battle of Gilboa
1013-1006 BC - David proclaimed king at Hebron, David captures
1006-980 BC - The wars of David (Arameans, Moab, Edom)
980-933 BC - The death of David, Solomon, the 1st Temple
933-875 BC - War between Israel and Judah, Omri founds the 3rd
dynasty of Israel
987-851 BC - The era of Samaria
854-746 BC - Ahab, the Assyrian advance, the end of the Omri
746-720 BC - Amos at Bet-el, Shallum, Menachem, Pekahiah - kings
of Israel, Ahaz king of Judea, deportation of
Israelite population to Assyria
720-692 BC - The fall of Samaria, the capture of Ashdod
692-609 BC - Beginning of decline of Assyrian power, the fall of
Ninveh, death of Josiah.
608-586 BC - The end of the kingdom of Judea, the destruction of
Jerusalem, the flight to Egypt by Jews
586-538 BC - Babylonian exile
538-432 BC - The restoration of the 1st Temple, Nehemiah builds
the walls
424-187 BC - Greek rule
187-142 BC - Hellenism, rededication of the Temple, Judah the
142-37 BC - Simon, Syrian invasion repulsed, Samaritan temple
razed, rise of the Pharisees, Sadducees, Pompey,
Caesar, Herod named by Romans to be king of Jews
37-4 BC - Herod the Great
4BC-67 AD - Jesus, Pontius Pilate, Agrippa confirmed by Claudius,
Josephus in the Galilee
68-135 AD - Titus, destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, the
capture of Masada, Hadrian, the Jewish uprising led
by Bar Kochba, the renaming of Judea to
Syria-Palestina by Rome

Only in 632 AD did the Moslem Arabs invade Syria-Palestina and by 640 AD the area was part of the Moslem empire. This reign lasted 450 years, with first the Omayyads, then the Abbasid dynasty and finally by the Fatimids.

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