Biblical Sites in Israel: Gath of the Philistines

A visit to the biblical site of Gath, Tel es Safi, on Israel’s coastal plain is worthwhile. Gath was the land of giants (Josh. 11:22). Goliath was from Gath: “Then a champion named Goliath, from Gath, came out from the Philistine camp. He was nine feet, nine inches tall” (1 Sam. 17:4, Holman’s Christian Standard Bible).

It is sad to read how that David (after killing Goliath) had to flee from Saul. He fled to Gath of the Philistines, but there, fearing for his life, pretended to be insane (1 Sam 21:10-15; cf. Psalms 34 and 56). Later David again fled to Gath and was given refuge (1 Sam. 27); the king of Gath gave David and his 600 men the city of Ziklag.

When David was residing when he heard news of the death of King Saul, and his three sons (1 Sam. 31) he composed a song which included the words “Tell it not in Gath, Proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon — Lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, Lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph” (2 Sam. 1:20).

Our photo here gives a view of the large tel.

Tel Gath of the Philistines. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Tel Gath of the Philistines. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

We were also able to see some of the excavations of the cities lower wall.

Recent Excavations at Gath. Lower wall of city. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Recent Excavations at Gath. Lower wall of city. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

I have previously posted on Gath here (aerial photo).

Dr. Aren Maeir maintains a blog here devoted to news about Gath, Tel es Safi.

Tonight we are at Tiberias, on the Sea of Galilee; more photos and info to come. Thanks for following our travels.

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