Gath and surrounding area

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Joshua 11:22 There were none of the Anakim left in the land of the children of Israel. Only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, did some remain.

Joshua 13:3 from the Shihor, which is before Egypt, even to the border of Ekron northward, which is counted as Canaanite; the five lords of the Philistines; the Gazites, and the Ashdodites, the Ashkelonites, the Gittites, and the Ekronites; also the Avvim,

1 Samuel 5:8 They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines to them, and said, "What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?" They answered, "Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried over to Gath." They carried the ark of the God of Israel there.

1 Samuel 6:17 These are the golden tumors which the Philistines returned for a trespass offering to Yahweh: for Ashdod one, for Gaza one, for Ashkelon one, for Gath one, for Ekron one;

1 Samuel 7:14 The cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even to Gath; and its border did Israel deliver out of the hand of the Philistines. There was peace between Israel and the Amorites.

1 Samuel 17:4 There went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.

1 Samuel 17:23 As he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the ranks of the Philistines, and spoke according to the same words: and David heard them.

1 Samuel 17:52 The men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until you come to Gai, and to the gates of Ekron. The wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, even to Gath, and to Ekron.

1 Samuel 21:10 David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.

1 Samuel 21:12 David laid up these words in his heart, and was very afraid of Achish the king of Gath.

1 Samuel 27:2 David arose, and passed over, he and the six hundred men who were with him, to Achish the son of Maoch, king of Gath.

1 Samuel 27:3 David lived with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, even David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal's wife.

1 Samuel 27:4 It was told Saul that David was fled to Gath: and he sought no more again for him.

1 Samuel 27:11 David saved neither man nor woman alive, to bring them to Gath, saying, "Lest they should tell of us, saying,'So did David, and so has been his manner all the while he has lived in the country of the Philistines.'"

2 Samuel 1:20 Don't tell it in Gath. Don't publish it in the streets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.

2 Samuel 15:18 All his servants passed on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men who came after him from Gath, passed on before the king.

2 Samuel 21:20 There was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number; and he also was born to the giant.

2 Samuel 21:22 These four were born to the giant in Gath; and they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.

1 Kings 2:39 It happened at the end of three years, that two of the servants of Shimei ran away to Achish, son of Maacah, king of Gath. They told Shimei, saying, "Behold, your servants are in Gath."

1 Kings 2:40 Shimei arose, and saddled his donkey, and went to Gath to Achish, to seek his servants; and Shimei went, and brought his servants from Gath.

1 Kings 2:41 It was told Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and was come again.

2 Kings 12:17 Then Hazael king of Syria went up, and fought against Gath, and took it; and Hazael set his face to go up to Jerusalem.

1 Chronicles 7:21 and Zabad his son, and Shuthelah his son, and Ezer, and Elead, whom the men of Gath who were born in the land killed, because they came down to take away their livestock.

1 Chronicles 8:13 and Beriah, and Shema, who were heads of fathers' houses of the inhabitants of Aijalon, who put to flight the inhabitants of Gath;

1 Chronicles 18:1 After this it happened, that David struck the Philistines, and subdued them, and took Gath and its towns out of the hand of the Philistines.

1 Chronicles 20:6 There was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, whose fingers and toes were twenty-four, six on each hand, and six on each foot; and he also was born to the giant.

1 Chronicles 20:8 These were born to the giant in Gath; and they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.

2 Chronicles 11:8 and Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph,

2 Chronicles 26:6 He went forth and warred against the Philistines, and broke down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod; and he built cities in the country of Ashdod, and among the Philistines.

Amos 6:2 Go to Calneh, and see; and from there go to Hamath the great; then go down to Gath of the Philistines. are they better than these kingdoms? or is their border greater than your border?

Micah 1:10 Don't tell it in Gath. Don't weep at all. At Beth Ophrah I have rolled myself in the dust.


gath (gath; Septuagint Geth, "winepress"):

One of the five chief cities of the Philistines (Joshua 13:3 1 Samuel 6:17). It was a walled town (2 Chronicles 26:6) and was not taken by Joshua, and, although many conflicts took place between the Israelites and its people, it does not seem to have been captured until the time of David (1 Chronicles 18:1). It was rendered famous as the abode of the giant Goliath whom David slew (1 Samuel 17:4), and other giants of the same race (2 Samuel 21:18-22). It was to Gath that the Ashdodites conveyed the ark when smitten with the plague, and Gath was also smitten (1 Samuel 5:8, 9).

It was Gath where David took refuge twice when persecuted by Saul (21:10; 27:2-4). It seems to have been destroyed after being taken by David, for we find Rehoboam restoring it (2 Chronicles 11:8). It was after this reoccupied by the Philistines, for we read that Uzziah took it and razed its walls (2 Chronicles 26:6), but it must have been restored again, for we find Hazael of Damascus capturing it (2 Kings 12:17). It seems to have been destroyed before the time of Amos (Amos 6:2), and is not further mentioned in the Old Testament or Maccabees, except in Micah 1:10, where it is referred to in the proverb, "Tell it not in Gath" (compare 2 Samuel 1:20). Since its destruction occurred, probably, in the middle of the 8th century B.C., it is easy to understand why the site has been lost so that it can be fixed only conjecturally. Several sites have been suggested by different explorers and writers, such as: Tell es Safi, Beit Jibrin, Khurbet Jeladiyeh, Khurbet Abu Geith, Jennata and Yebna (see PEFS, 1871, 91; 1875, 42, 144, 194; 1880, 170-71, 211-23; 1886, 200-202).

Tradition in the early centuries A.D. fixed it at 5 Roman miles North of Eleutheropolis (Beit Jibrin, toward Lydda, which would indicate Tell es Safi as the site, but the Crusaders thought it was at Jamnia (Yebna), where they erected the castle of Ibelin, but the consensus of opinion in modern times fixes upon Tell es Safi as the site, as is to be gathered from the references cited in PEFS above. The Biblical notices of Gath would indicate a place in the Philistine plain or the Shephelah, which was fortified, presumably in a strong position on the border of the Philistine country toward the territory of Judah or Dan. Tell es Safi fits into these conditions fairly well, but without other proof this is not decisive. It is described in SWP, II, 240, as a position of strength on a narrow ridge, with precipitous cliffs on the North and West, connected with the hills by a narrow neck, so that it is thrust out like a bastion, a position easily fortified.

In 1144 Fulke of Anjou erected here a castle called Blanchegarde (Alba Specula). The writer on "Gath and Its Worthies" in PEFS, 1886, 200-204, connects the name Safi with that of the giant Saph (2 Samuel 21:18), regarding him as a native of Gath, but the most direct evidence from early tradition connecting Tell es Safi with Gath is found in a manuscript said to be in the library of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which informs us that Catherocastrum was situated on a mountain called Telesaphion or Telesaphy, which is clearly Tell es Safi. Catherocastrum must be the Latin for "camp of Gath" (PEFS, 1906, 305).

H. Porter

GATH, "wine press"; supposed to be at tell es safi, 23 1/2 ms. w. by s. from Jerusalem, now a village with ruins, on the side of a hill 695 ft. above the sea.
Strong's Hebrew
H1661: Gath

"wine press," a Philistine city

Gate of Yeshanah (Jerusalem)
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