Velikovsky and those ‘Peleset’
Part Two: The Pelethites
Damien F. Mackey
The name ‘Peleset’ appears to be especially recognisable in that of the ancient ‘Pelethites’ (I Chronicles 18:17): “Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Kerethites and Pelethites; and David’s sons were chief officials at the king’s side”.
Dr. John Osgood pointed out the likely connection between the Peleset and the Pelethites of King David’s guard in “The Times of Abraham” (http://creation.com/the-times-of-abraham):
- Further details of the Philistines
Although in this discussion we are concerning ourselves with the days of Abraham, it is pertinent that we also elaborate on the question of the Phiistines at a later period, in order that the overall perspective of these people be understood. Modern archaeological interpretation first allows the Philistines in the days of Ramesses III of the 20th Dynasty, dated 1182 to 1151 B.C.18
An inscription of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu reports an attack made by the peoples of the sea, among whom are a group called the Peleset. Ramesses claims to have defeated these in a sea battle. The Peleset are said to have settled in the area of the Philistines at approximately this time, and naturally it is assumed that the Philistines therefore first settled in Palestine at this period, and that they originated from the Aegean area as the peoples of the sea.
The Scripture, however, gives no credibility to such an interpretation. Thus, there is a conflict?
It is clear, from what has been said before of the narratives of Abraham and Isaac, that the Philistines were already in Palestine at approximately 1850 B.C., some 700 years before present archaeological interpretation accepts them as there. The Scripture also seems to indicate that they originated from Egypt, and not from the Aegean area. Is there any way to satisfy both the biblical claims, and the artifactual archaeological evidence? I believe there is. But first we must accept the biblical statements at face value and scan the Scriptures for anything that might fit at approximately 1100 to 1000 B.C., and for a people who could in fact be identified with the Peleset ‘of the relief of Ramesses III’ Indeed, we do meet a people, first in 2 Samuel 8:18, and then subsequently in 2 Samuel 15:18 and 27:23, 1 Kings 1:38 and 44, 1 Chronicles 18:17, Ezekiel 25:16, and Zephaniah 2:5. They are called the Pelethites, and they are associated with the Cherethites and also, in at least one passage, the Gittites who were indeed a group of Philistines from the city of Gath.
Now it does not take much to realise that the word ‘Pelethite’ is an even better match with the word ‘Peleset’ in the Egyptian reliefs than is the word ‘Philistine’. So if the Bible allows a group of people by the name of Pelethites who clearly were associated in some way with the Philistine region, and who also were associated with the Cherethites (whom many believe to be the Cretians, who in one text, namely Ezekiel 25:16, are called the remnant of the sea coast), then we have all the conditions necessary to solve an apparent conflict. We have no need to reject the Philistines of Egyptian descent in Palestine at 1850 B.C., and we can accept a second wave of people known as the Pelethites and Cherethites, who settled on the sea coast before the days of Saul and David, who are evidenced by the archaeological record, and who apparently had an Aegean origin. There would still be some difficulty in this revised chronology in associating the initial settlement of the Pelethites and the Cherethites with the same event as recorded by Ramesses III. Rather, they would need to be seen as allies to the other peoples of the sea when they themselves were already settled in a land base in Philistia prior to the days of Ramesses III, but I will leave this to be detailed at another time. Sufficient to conclude here that the Pelethites and Cherethites of Scripture were first able to be identified at approximately 1012 B.C. in the later years of Saul, king of Israel. Contingents from these groups formed part of the guard of David ….
[End of quote]
I also discuss the matter of the early Philistines – long before the time of pharaoh Ramses III – and the evidences of their culture, in my university thesis:
A Revised History of the Era of King Hezekiah of Judah
and its Background
(in Volume One, Chapter Two: “The Philistines and their Allies”).
For a contemporary view of Aegean Greeks at the time of King David, one ought to peruse the appropriate reliefs at the time of Senenmut, who was, according to my view, King David’s famous son, Solomon, in Egypt. See my:
Solomon and Sheba
Senenmut also being the same as the supposed great Athenian statesman, sage and lawgiver, Solon (= Solomon), who is said to have travelled to Egypt.