This week’s issue of Christianity Today magazine has an article entitled, “Biblical Archaeology’s Top Ten Discoveries of 2016.” It says the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon archaeology team’s discovery and announcement of a mass graveyard at the ancient Philistine city of Ashkelon is the fourth most important archaeological discovery in 2016. But I think it could become number 1.
As I’ve posted before, the main intent of this team is to get DNA from some of these approximately 210 Philistine skeletons that have been discovered and compare it to the DNA of people in the coastal regions of the Aegean Sea, mostly Greece and Turkey. For that is where nearly all archaeologists and historians think the ancient Philistines originated before migrating to the Levant along the Eastern Mediterranean coastland. So, these archaeologists merely want to know with certainty the Philistines’ origin.
But as I have also posted, I think there is a much more important thing that needs to be done with this Philistine DNA. It needs to be compared with the DNA of living Palestinians whose families have lived for centuries in the region of ancient Philistia, specifically in the region of the coastal cities of Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Gaza. These were the three largest cities of the Philistine pentapolis, which also included the inland cities of Ekron and Gath.
Due to my lifetime study of biblical prophecy, I believe it indicates that a large portion of today’s Palestinians have a stronger genetic link to the ancient Philistines than to any other people group. I state this in my book, Palestine Is Coming: The Revival of Ancient Philistia (1990). I believe this because I think the Bible predicts the existence of “Philistines” and their country “Philistia” in the endtimes (e.g., Isaiah 11.14; Zechariah 9.5-8). The modern words “Palestine” and “Palestinian” derive from the word “Philistine.”
Harvard University professor emeritus Lawrence Stager has been for thirty years the co-director of the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon. With the announcement of their work and discovery of the graveyard, their archaeological dig there was finished. But there will be other archaeological work there in the future. For the team says thousands of Philistine skeletons are buried there in the mass graveyard. And Dr. Stager says DNA from Philistine remains that have so far been discovered will also be compared to peoples of the surrounding area in the Levant, thus not just from the Agean Sea. This is what interests me. Why?The DNA tests of these Philistine skeletons are now being conducted by another international team of DNA experts. If they discover a reasonable match between the DNA of these Philistine skeletons and the DNA of some Palestinians, that would enable Palestinians to rightfully claim Philistines as their primary ancestors. Then they could do the same as Jews did in 1948 when they published their three-page document called the Proclamation of Independence for the State of Israel. It claims Jews have a right to their ancestral land, which it calls Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel). So, Palestinians could claim a right to their ancestral land–“land of the Philistines.”
Yes, I believe the Bible indicates there is going to be a Palestinian state and that it is not going to be located in the so-called West Bank. Rather, it will be located in the coastal plain to encompass at least the locations of the five ancient Philistine cities of Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gaza, Ekron, and Gath. And what about the West Bank? All of it will be annexed to Israel. There are several biblical prophecies that indicate this.
Ever since my book was published over twenty-six years ago, several events have happened that continue in the direction of the formation of a Palestinian state in the region to which I refer. Here is a list of some of these events (to learn more, read the free portion of my e-book and update articles at kermitzarley.com at “On Palestine”):
- Al-Salaam Canal was built, which could be a water resource for Palestinians.
- In 2004, Israel unilaterally forfeited the unruly Gaza Strip to the Palestinians.
- In 2005, Israel began construction of its West Bank Security Barrier.
- This barrier makes life miserable for many Palestinians living in the West Bank.
- These people might be willing to transfer if offered a better life in the coastland.
- Israel approves W. Bank Jewish settlements even tho UN declares them illegal.
- The U.S. always disapproves of them, but never in a UN vote until last week.
- Trump approves these settlements, saying they’re no impediment to peace.
- Everyone says the two-state solution has been dead for years.
- I differ, contending that they’ve had the wrong two-state solution.
- Egypt President El-Sisi asked Trump if there is another solution.
- If the solution in my book had more exposure, I think it might happen.
- A DNA match between Palestinians and Philistines could make it happen.