Philistines fĭl´ĭstēnz, fĭlĭs´– [key], inhabitants of Philistia , a non-Semitic people who came to Palestine from the Aegean (probably Crete), in the 12th cent. BC Their control of iron supplies and their tight political organization of cities made them a rival of the people of Israel for centuries. Philistine has come to mean an uncultured, materialistic person.

See studies by T. Dothan (1982) and B. F. Griffin (1983).

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