Facing Goliath: Exploring the Vast History of the Philistines

(Facebook/Museum of the Bible)

Who were the Philistines? Museum of the Bible invites young and old alike to explore the answer to that question with Peoples of the Bible: The Philistines, a webinar with archaeologist Daniel Master on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Eastern.

"The biblical stories of Samson and Delilah and David and Goliath have made the Philistines some of the most infamous characters in the Hebrew Bible," said Jeffrey Kloha, chief curatorial officer of Museum of the Bible. "For years, explorers, historians, archaeologists—and now, geneticists—around the world have been endeavoring to better understand these ancient people. We hope you will join us for this fascinating exploration of Philistine origins, their relationship to the Israelites and their eventual demise at the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon."

Master holds a doctorate in Near Eastern languages and civilizations from Harvard University and serves as professor of archaeology at Wheaton College. In his years as an archaeologist, Master has played a major role as co-director of excavations in the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon, an ancient city in the Levant that was critical to Mediterranean trade. Today, though the Leon Levy Expedition has finished excavating at Ashkelon, Master continues to publish the results of the many seasons of digging, most recently with the completion of Ashkelon 7: The Iron Age I, a volume on the earliest Philistines.

In 2016, Master began working as co-director of Wheaton College's Tel Shimron excavations in Israel, a research initiative in partnership with Tel Aviv University and sponsored by Museum of the Bible. Tel Shimron was an ancient city of about 4,000 inhabitants located in northern Israel that was important to the trade routes of the Jezreel Valley. The city spans the entire timeline of biblical history and is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. Prior to Museum of the Bible's initiative, Tel Shimron had never been excavated.

Peoples of the Bible: The Philistines is being held in partnership with the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Friends of Israel Antiquities Authority and will be hosted on Zoom at 7 p.m. Eastern.

Guests can register for the event here. After registering, attendees will receive a confirmation email with instructions for how to join the webinar.

More information on Museum of the Bible is available here.

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