Archaeological Evidence for the Philistines A Review Article -- By: Edwin M. Yamauchi

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 35:3 (Spring 1973)
Article: Archaeological Evidence for the Philistines A Review Article
Author: Edwin M. Yamauchi

Archaeological Evidence for the Philistines
A Review Article

Edwin M. Yamauchi

Edward E. Hindson: The Philistines and the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1971. 184. Paper, $3.95.

A welcome addition to the Baker Studies in Biblical Archaeology is Edward E. Hindson’s monograph on the Philistines. In concise fashion the author sketches the historical backgrounds and summarizes the archaeological data of the Philistines and discusses systematically eleven sites associated with them. His commentary on the Philistines in the books of the Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, and 1 Samuel is quite illuminating. Numerous maps, illustrations, a detailed index, and an extensive bibliography1 makes this a valuable contribution.

There are a number of errors and omissions, however, which lessen the value of the work. (As the author penned his preface in the fall of 1970, he may not have had access to the results of the 1970 archaeological season.) Following the author’s own outline, I would like to make the following observations.

I. Historical Background

The idea that some of the Hyksos were Hurrians or Indo-Europeans (p. 80) is no longer maintained by Egyptologists, with the exception of Wolfgang Helck.2 It is erroneous to suggest with respect

to folk migrations that: “The movement brought the Gauls to France, the Galatians to Asia Minor, and the Thraceans [sic] to Greece. It resulted in the fall of Troy and the collapse of the Hittite and Hurrian empire [c. 1200 B.C.]” (p. 38). The Hurrian kingdom of Mitanni fell to Suppiluliuma c. 1350 B.C. and the Celtic Galatians did not move into Asia Minor until the 3rd century B.C.!

Although it was not the main focus of his monograph, one would have wished for a more detailed exposition of the other sea peoples who were repulsed by the Egyptians.3 The reader needs to be warned that the variant spellings Tjekker (pp. 15-20, Tikara (p. 37, n. 2), and Thekel (pp. 40,106) all represent the same sea people.4

I do not understand what Hindson means when he says, “In Carthage the local magistrates were called sufetes, a term they probably borrowed from their contacts with the Phoenicians (p. 114, n. 54),” inasmuch as Carthage was founded by the Phoenicians.5 In fact, i...

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