Netanyahu: New Philistine DNA Study Affirms That Israel Is Jewish Land

Michael Foust | ChristianHeadlines.com Contributor | Monday, July 8, 2019
Netanyahu: New Philistine DNA Study Affirms That Israel Is Jewish Land

Netanyahu: New Philistine DNA Study Affirms That Israel Is Jewish Land


New DNA research indicating the biblical Philistines originated from Europe bolsters the case that the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people, says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

Scientists studied the DNA of skeletons from a 3,000-year-old Philistine cemetery and published their findings last week in the journal Science Advances. The study showed the DNA was related to the gene pool of southern Europe. 

The Philistine cemetery was uncovered in 2016 in Ashkelon, in southern Israel. Ten of 108 skeletons had sufficient DNA to be used.  

Netanyahu made his case on Twitter.

“A new study of DNA recovered from an ancient Philistine site in the Israeli city of Ashkelon confirms what we know from the Bible -- that the origin of the Philistines is in southern Europe,” Netanyahu wrote

Netanyahu then referenced Amos 9:7 and Jeremiah 47:4, which say the Philistines came from Caphtor – modern-day Crete, the Greek island in southern Europe.

“The Bible mentions a place called Caphtor, which is probably modern-day Crete,” Netanyahu wrote. “There’s no connection between the ancient Philistines & the modern Palestinians, whose ancestors came from the Arabian Peninsula to the Land of Israel thousands of years later.”

Netanyahu concluded, “The Palestinians’ connection to the Land of Israel is nothing compared to the 4,000-year connection that the Jewish people have with the land.”

The word “Palestinian” is thought to have derived from “Philistine,” although modern-day Palestinians say they did not originate from that people group.

The Philistines often warred with the biblical Hebrews. Goliath, who was defeated and killed by David, was a Philistine. 

“For more than a century, we have debated the question of where the Philistines came from,” archaeologist Eric Cline told National Geographic in an email. “Now we have the answer: Southern Europe, and probably more specifically mainland Greece, Crete, or Sardinia. This fits with what had seemed the most likely answer previously, especially judging from [the archaeological remains], and so this seems a logical finding.”

Related: 

Archaeologists Unearth 2,600-Year-Old Link to Biblical King Josiah

Archaeologists May Have Found the Old Testament City of Ai

Archaeology: 3,000-Year-Old Sculpture Depicts a Biblical King, but Which One?

Top 7 Biblically Significant Archaeological Discoveries of 2018

Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.

Photo courtesy: Screenshot, Harvard University

Video courtesy: Harvard University