1200-1100 BCE

From Joshua to Samuel

The Israelite Tabernacle at Shiloh,
 1200 BCE

Joshua 18:1
“The whole community of the Israelite people assembled at Shiloh, and set up the Tent of Meeting there.”

Heritage Division of the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel, English translation courtesy of George Blumenthal

The Philistines and the Collapse of the Bronze Age, 1200 BCE

Widespread famine and earthquakes along the Greek Islands and the southern coast of Turkey cause the Sea Peoples to attack Egypt, the “breadbasket” of the Mediterranean.   Wikipedia  

The Philistines Battle the 
Egyptians 1175 BCE

Drawing based on sculpted reliefs at the Egyptian site of Medinet Habu depicts Egyptians in a sea battle with three different Sea Peoples—the Danunu, the Sikils and the Philistines, who originated from the area around Greece.

Yigael Yadin, The Art of Warfare in Biblical Lands 

Ashkelon

Ashkelon: A Retrospective
Israel Museum Virtual Tour by Ardon Bar-Hama, Courtesy of George Blumenthal

View Exhibit

Pillar Bases of a Philistine Temple Discovered Near Tel Aviv


Judges 16:25-30
As their spirits rose, they said, ‘Call Samson here and let him dance for us.’ Samson was fetched from the prison, and he danced for them. Then they put him between the pillars.

…Samson called to the L-RD, "O L-rd G-D! Please remember me, and give me strength just this once…"

He embraced the two middle pillars that the temple rested upon, one with his right arm and one with his left, and leaned against them; Samson cried, "Let me die with the Philistines!" and he pulled with all his might. The temple came crashing down …

Israel Antiquities Authority

Battles With The Philistines and the Destruction of Shiloh


Biblical Archaeology Society 

City of David Megalim Institute, Courtesy of George Blumenthal and the Gol Family

The Philistines Capture the Ark of the Covenant

1 Samuel 4:10-11
The Philistines fought; Israel was routed, and they all fled to their homes. The defeat was very great, thirty thousand foot soldiers of Israel fell there. The Ark of G-d was captured...

Thirty days after Moses’ passing, the nation of Israel stood at the banks of the Jordan River. G-d had appointed Joshua to lead the nation into the conquest of Canaan and further promised Joshua that He will be with him as he was with Moses. 

As the nation of Israel was slowly settling into the land, G-d commanded them to establish His tabernacle – a dwelling place.

The Tabernacle, a portable tent of meeting, followed them throughout their journeys in the wilderness. Now that they were settling the land, a semi-permanent structure was built in Shiloh. The roof, made of material, stretched over walls of wood and brick.   Shiloh remained the location of the Tabernacle and center point of worship for the majority of years during the conquest of Israel.

One of the oldest and most relentless enemies of Israel throughout the Books of Judges and Samuel was the Philistines who lived on the western coastal planes.  They are also mentioned by the prophet Amos:
“Have I not brought Israel up from the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor [Crete]…”
– Amos 9:7
The Philistines were seafaring people whose origins trace back to the area today known as Greece.
Widespread famine and earthquakes along the Greek Islands and the southern coast of Turkey caused the Sea Peoples to attack Egypt, the “breadbasket” of the Mediterranean around 1200 BCE 

You are looking at a drawing based on sculpted reliefs at the Egyptian site of Medinet Habu, depicting Egyptians in a sea battle with three different Sea Peoples—the Danunu, the Sikils and the Philistines. They invaded Egypt by sea and were defeated in a great battle called the Battle of the Delta.

The ancient city of Ashkelon has undergone the most in-depth excavations of the pentapolis cities. The Leo Levy Expedition has systematically outlined the ancient site's development from the time of its origins to its final days.    

Click the button to view the virtual tour of the Ashkelon exhibit in the Israel Museum, digitized by Ardon Bar Hama, narrated by Daniel M. Master, courtesy of George Blumenthal.

The Philistines blinded and humiliated Samson and brought him to the Temple of their god Dagon to sport with him in front of the leaders and a great crowd of Philistines.
     
Judges 16:25-30 As their spirits rose, they said, ‘Call Samson here and let him dance for us.’ Samson was fetched from the prison, and he danced for them. Then they put him between the pillars. …Samson called to the L-RD, "O L-rd G-D! Please remember me, and give me strength just this once…" He embraced the two middle pillars that the temple rested upon, one with his right arm and one with his left, and leaned against them; Samson cried, "Let me die with the Philistines!" and he pulled with all his might. The temple came crashing down … those who were slain by him as he died outnumbered those whom he slew when he lived. 

  In this picture are pillar bases of a Philistine Temple discovered near Tel Aviv.

The greatest victory that the Philistines wrought was the destruction of the Tabernacle in Shiloh and the capture of Israel’s most prized possession – the Ark of the Covenant.

      1 Samuel 4:10-11 
The Philistines fought and Israel was defeated, …and the Ark of G-d was captured.    

The story of the destruction of Shiloh also introduces us to one of the most powerful prophets and judges in Israel, the Prophet Samuel. Samuel not only guided the Israelites through this turbulent time of Philistine oppression but eventually appointed and anointed King David who would subdue and conquer them.

The Ark, pulled by oxen, finally made its way back to the Israelites in Beit Shemesh, but even the Israelites had to learn to approach the Ark with deep reverence and fear. It found a temporary resting place in Kiryat-Yearim where it remained for twenty years. From there, King David transported the Ark to Jerusalem.

לְאַחַר שֶׁשָּׁאוּל הַמֶּלֶךְ וּבְנוֹ יְהוֹנָתָן מֵתִים בַּקְּרָב, פּוֹנִים רָאשֵׁי הַשְּׁבָטִים לְדָוִד, שֶׁמָּלַךְ כְּבָר שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים וָחֵצִי בְּחֶבְרוֹן. הֵם מְמַנִּים אוֹתוֹ לְמֶלֶךְ עַל הַקּוֹנְפֵדֵרַצְיָה הַשִּׁבְטִית הַמְּאֻחֶדֶת שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל.     

דָּוִד הַמֶּלֶךְ פּוֹנֶה מִיָּד לְכִוּוּן יְרוּשָׁלַיִם, אַחַת הֶעָרִים הָאַחֲרוֹנוֹת שֶׁטֶּרֶם נִכְבְּשָׁה בְּמַהֲלַךְ כִּבּוּשׁ הָאָרֶץ בִּידֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל.   דָּוִד בּוֹחֵר בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם מֵאַרְבַּע סִבּוֹת עִקָּרִיּוֹת: מַיִם, בִּטָּחוֹן, אִחוּד וְשִׁלְטוֹן קַרְקָעִי נֵיטְרָלִי, אַךְ חָשׁוּב מֵהַכֹּל, בִּגְלַל הַקְּדוֹשָׁה שֶׁל יְרוּשָׁלַיִם הַטְּבוּעָה בַּמָּקוֹם הַנִּבְחָר, שֶׁבּוֹ יִבָּנֶה בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ הָעֲתִידִי.     

לְפָנֶיךָ סִרְטוֹן הַמְּסַפֵּר אֶת הַסִּבּוֹת שֶׁל דָּוִד בְּכִבּוּשׁ הָעִיר.