Met The New Philistines, Same as the Old Philistines

Written by John DeGroff on September 21, 2018

Have you ever heard someone call someone else “…a Philistine”? By a non-Biblical definition, a Philistine is regarded as “…a person who is guided by materialism; has a disdain for art and intellectualism; uninformed.” Biblically, though, the Philistines were the greatest enemy of, and therefore the greatest threat, to ancient Israel during its earliest era.

Historically the Philistines as a people arrived in The Levant (Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza) in the 12th century BC. There is even mention of them found in reliefs at the Temple of Ramses III in Medinet Habu (West Bank of Luxor in Egypt).

They’re first mentioned in the Old Testament in what is called The Table of Nations, in Genesis chapter 10. They are descendants of Ham, one of Noah’s sons. As a people, they were able to conquer territory rather quickly because they had access to iron and an advanced knowledge of metallurgy superior to other people around them at that time.

There is some conflict among Biblical scholars that the Philistines mentioned in Genesis and the Philistines mentioned thereafter starting in Deuteronomy are different groups. One of the reasons for this is that in Gen. 21:34 Abraham dwelt among them for a time.

Through the time of Samson (the last of the Judges), into the reigns of King Saul and then King David, the Philistines were constantly at war with Israel (11th century BC). The Philistines eventually lost their independence to Assyria and were subsequently absorbed into the Babylonian Empire. By the 5th century BC, they pretty much disappeared as a distinct ethnic group. Modern day descendants of the ancient Philistines are the current inhabitants of what is now called Palestine.

Okay, thank you for enduring yet another one of my convoluted introductions and/or history lessons. But I did this to establish the background for my premise: what America is now facing (for both Christians and Jews) is exactly the same kind of unrelenting enemy that ancient Israel faced when dealing with the Philistines. Our enemy, however, has several names: liberals/progressives/socialists/or just plain Democrats.

The comparisons and/or parallels couldn’t be more profound. As the Philistines sought to control and eventually conquer Israel, so does our enemy. Consider these points:

There was a constant, unrelenting struggle between Israel and the Philistines. Israel was overrun by them (Judges 13:1, 2nd Chron. 28:18). A good example is the David and Goliath account in 1 Sam., chapter 17. (Also see Psalms 60:8, 83:7, 87:4, 108:9)

In 1 Sam. 13:19-21, the Philistines had control over Israel and did not allow them to have any blacksmiths to make weapons. The Israelites had to go the Philistines to get their farm implements sharpened.

Earlier, in 1 Sam. chapter 4-6, the Philistines had even captured the Ark of The Covenant in battle. Granted, this did not go well for them. If you take the time to actually read these chapters, you also see in 1 Sam. 4:21 where the name Ichabod (meaning “the glory has departed”) comes from. In trying to control and even take away Israel’s religious power and focus, they only managed to awaken the Jew’s awareness of how much God’s presence meant to them.

The comparison between the Philistines attempts to control and defeat Israel, and what today’s progressive-Socialist-liberal Democrats want to do to America are eye opening. To recap: the liberal agenda is based solely on control, and to that end, just like the ancient Philistines, they seek to:
constantly harass and wear us down
disarm us
take away our ability to freely worship

I feel that it’s also worth noting that, as mentioned earlier, descendants of the Philistines are today’s Palestinians…and that’s where Hamas is based.

Ancient Israel had a habit of turning away from God throughout their history. But when they got their act together (as in Amos 1:8, Obad. 19, Zeph. 2:5, Zech. 9:6…to name just a few instances) they defeated their enemies. We can do the same if we stay focused on our history, our freedom…and of course our Christian faith.

Yeah, I know, I know…you’re thinking ”DeGroff, are you ever gonna stop talking about your album SALT?” Nope. Heck, I’m even thinking about recording the next one. But until that time, Rottweiler Records has come up with a very special offer. In honor of my 65th birthday this past Sept. 3rd, we’re offering a copy of SALT autographed by John Schlitt and myself, along with a copy of my “…demos and other moments…” CD for $20, which includes domestic shipping. There are only 50 signed copies of SALT available, and it can only be obtained through the label at . Also, please check out my DeGroffProjects page at and for the video about the offer. Thanks in advance for your support.

Image: CCO Creative Commons;

John DeGroff
John DeGroff is the original bass player for the Christian rock band Petra. He currently plays for the band GHF which is comprised of other original members from Petra. DeGroff has extensive experience as a freelance music journalist and newspaper reporter as well as an on-line music reviewer. He is a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and lives in Warsaw, Indiana where he is employed as a care giver for mentally challenged adults.