Forging an Identity

Lawrence E. Stager

in The Oxford History of the Biblical World

Published in print December 1998 | ISBN: 9780195139372
Published online April 2009 |
Forging an Identity

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The collapse of the once great Hittite empire in Anatolia and the Mycenaean empire in mainland Greece shortly after 1200 BCE resulted in major upheavals. An internal process of fragmentation and ruralization began within the Mycenaean and Hittite worlds, which triggered mass migrations by sea to the already crowded coastlands of the Levant and Cyprus, and sent repercussions into the interior of Canaan as well. The Philistines were one group taking part in these migrations. Not long before, another group had appeared in the land of Canaan. This group called itself Israel, and according to the biblical story it also had arrived from a foreign land — escaping slavery in Egypt, crossing a body of water, and eventually entering Canaan from the east. This chapter reconstructs the early history of these two new groups — the Philistines and the Israelites — in the land of Canaan, based on available textual and archaeological evidence.

Keywords: Philistines; Israel; Egyptians; Israelite; Canaan; conquest

Chapter.  19191 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies ; Biblical Studies

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