Palestine is a conventional name used, among others, to describe a geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands. As a geographic term, Palestine can refer to 'ancient Palestine,' an area that today includes Israel and the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, as well as part of Jordan, and some of both Lebanon and Syria.
In classical or contemporary terms, it is also the common name for the area west of the Jordan River. The boundaries of two new states were laid down within the territory of the British Mandate, Palestine and Transjordan. The term Land of Israel is used to refer to the same geographic region, both narrowly or broadly defined, by Israelis, Jews, and Christian Zionists, among others. Other terms for the same area include Canaan, Zion, and the Holy Land.
The name "Palestine" is the cognate of an ancient word meaning "Philistines" or "Land of the Philistines". The earliest known mention is thought to be in Ancient Egyptian texts of the temple at Medinet Habu which record a people called the P-r-s-t (conventionally Peleset) among the Sea Peoples who invaded Egypt in Ramesses III's reign. The Hebrew name Peleshet - usually translated as Philistia in English, is used in the Bible to denote the southern coastal region that was inhabited by the Philistines to the west of the ancient Kingdom of Judah.
Palaestina was commonly used to refer to the coastal region and shortly thereafter, the whole of the area inland to the west of the Jordan River. The latter extension occurred when the Roman authorities, following the suppression of the Bar Kokhba rebellion in the 2nd century CE, renamed "Provincia Judea" (Iudaea Province; originally derived from the name "Judah") to "Syria Palaestina" (Syria Palaestina), in order to complete the dissociation with Judaea.
The Arabic word for Palestine is Philistine (commonly transcribed in English as Filistin, Filastin, or Falastin). When the Arabs took over Greater Syria in the 7th century, place names that were in use by the Byzantine administration before them, generally continued to be used. Hence, the emergence of the Arabic form Filastin to this adoption, with Arabic inflection, of Roman and Hebrew (Semitic) names. Jund Filastin, the full name for the administrative province under the rule of the Arab caliphates, was traced by Muslim geographers back to the Philistines of the Bible.
Free Bible Map of North Palestine, Old Testament Philistine Map in Old Testament
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