A week ago, the July 27th issue of National Geographic magazine reported a discovery indicating that 93% of the DNA of living Lebanese people is descended from ancient Canaanites who lived in 1700 BC in the ancient city of Sidon. Sidon exists today on the Mediterranean coast of Lebanon. These recently-discovered Canaanite skeletons were preserved in large, clay jars. Archaeologists have discovered Canaanite skeletons within the past several years, but they could not obtain uncorrupted DNA from them. This time they have.
This is a huge discovery. And it may indicate I’ve been right about my assertion that present Palestinian people are descended mostly from the ancient Philistines. Today, one week after this National Geographic publication, the August 4th issue of American Journal of Human Genetics, has a report by a team of sixteen geneticists that tells all about their discovery. The lead author of this report, Marc Haber, told The New York Times, “We know about ancient Egyptians and ancient Greeks, but we know very little about the ancient Canaanites because their records didn’t survive.” Team geneticist Chris Tyler-Smith told The Washington Post concerning the ancient Canaanites, “We haven’t found any of their writings. We don’t have direct information from them. In that sense, they are a mystery.”
Practically the sole source of historical information on the Canaanites is in the Bible. It says they dominated the Levant and became very wicked people. Then God called Moses to deliver the Hebrew people from bondage in Egypt, most likely during the 1,200s BC, to overtake the Canaanites and possess their land north-northeast of Egypt.
I wrote a book published 27 years ago entitled Palestine Is Coming: The Revival of Ancient Philistia (1990). I often post updates on this blog about this book’s thesis. It is as follows: (1) today’s Palestinians have descended mostly from the ancient Philistines, (2) the Palestinians are going to get their own state, (3) it will be located on the Mediterranean coastal plain in the approximate vicinity of ancient Philistia, thus as a very expanded Gaza Strip, and (4) all of this is predicted in about ten passages in the Old Testament of the Bible, i.e., the Jewish Bible. See Bible maps for the exact location of ancient Philistia.
But the main source for reading about updates to my book’s thesis is to be found in the category “Palestine” on my website kermitzarley.com. In fact, late last year I made this book into an e-book and put a little over half of it on my website to be read free, which is still the situation presently.
Marc Haber also stated in that report, “What we see is that since the Bronze Age, this ancestry, or the genetics of the people there, didn’t change much. It changed a little, but it didn’t change much, and that is what surprised me.”
Indeed, modern historians and archaeologists have always insisted that people now living in the Levant, other than the Jews, do not have much genetic relevance to people who lived there during antiquity. That is, today’s Lebanese or todays Palestinians are not much descended from the ancient Canaanites or Philistines, respectively. These historians claim it is because there has been so much migration and emigration of peoples in these lands throughout history. That is why I state in my book on p. 95, “Palestinian ancestry is generally regarded as an irrelevant issue.”
I claim otherwise in my book. On p. 191 I state in bold type, “In Isa 11.14 the prophet Isaiah provides the clearest indication in Scripture that at the time of the coming of the conquering Messiah, an adversary of Israel will exist in the southwestern coastal plain of Palestine. This adversary is called ‘the Philistines.’ Most [biblical] commentators, however, interpret the passage figuratively and/or regard it as already completely fulfilled in history. Thus, they neglect the prospect that a people whom the prophet called the Philistines (Palestinians) might yet be reestablished in ‘the land of the Philistines.'”
On p. 221 in this book I state similarly, “a people called the Philistines must again become a recognizable people dwelling in their ancient homeland.” And on p. 230 I further state, “Certain endtime biblical prophecies identify ‘Philistines’ living in their ancient homeland. (See Chapters 11-14.) These people appear to be today’s Palestinians, a heterogenous group like their forerunners, the Philistines. The Palestinians may be viewed as Philistines partially because of some genetic link, but mostly because their name derives from the Philistines.”
In subsequent years after this book was published, however, I became more convinced due to the Bible, as I remain today, that present Palestinians have more of a genetic link to the ancient Philistines than I was willing to state in this book. This slight change in my view is reflected in some of the ten update articles on my website.
So, it seems to me that if 93% the DNA of today’s Lebanese people is derived from the ancient Canaanites who lived 3,700 years ago, that the DNA of today’s Palestinian people may derive just as much or more from the ancient Philistines.
As I posted several times last year, the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon completed it 30-year dig of the ancient Philistine site of the city Ashkelon in August, 2016. This archaeological team then announced for the first time that three years earlier it had discovered over 200 ancient Philistine skeletons in that ancient city’s cemetery. The team also announced it had obtained uncorrupted DNA from some of these skeletons, which date back to about 3,000 years ago. This was the first time archaeologists and researchers had ever obtain uncorrupted DNA from ancient Philistine skeletons.
Therefore, I think this discovery of a strong genetic link between the present Lebanese people and the ancient Canaanites should alert the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon team, and many other people as well, to investigate if the same or a similar genetic link exists between today’s Palestinians and the ancient Philistines. If so, that could be a huge breakthrough for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
How so? Palestinians could then claim their ancestral land just Jews did in 1948 with their Proclamation of Independence. Ironically, they only obtained a portion of it whereas a major portion of the present State of Israel is located in “the land of Philistines.” In recent years, many Israeli Jews, especially Jewish settlers in the West Bank, have become strengthened in their call for an annexation of the West Bank to Israel. This land is the heartland of ancient Israel.
So, what I’m saying is that if Palestinians have a strong genetic link to the ancient Philistines, Palestinians could then claim the coastal plain as their ancestral land. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict could then be solved by a land swap and transition of peoples. The result would be that the State of Palestine would exist only in the coastal plain as a very expanded Gaza Strip, and Israel would annex all of the West Bank.
I think this is the only logical way to solve the present ongoing conflict. Let there be two states lying side-by-side as during antiquity and as the image on the front cover of my book shows.