The פְּלִשְׁתִּים (Pelishtim) “Philistines” were an ancient people group whose name was eventually adapted by the Romans to refer to much of the Land of Israel (as “Palestine”). Modern Palestinians are not the same people as the ancient Philistines, but their name derives from the Biblical term.

The Modern Hebrew word for “Palestinians” is פָּלֶסְטִינִים (Palestinim), a transformed loan word from English (i.e., “Palestinian” with Hebrew plural ending -ים). In the Bible the פְּלִשְׁתִּים (Pelishtim) “Philistines” never ruled the whole Land of Israel, and their name referred to a smaller area. The southwestern coastal area of the territory that would become Israel was called Philistia, while the central highlands constituted Canaan. 

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