[b-hebrew] Israel Palaistes (Wrestler)

jimstinehart at aol.com jimstinehart at aol.com
Tue Feb 14 21:00:19 EST 2012

Isaac Fried:

You wrote: “I would be careful in reaching the conclusion that PL$ is  
specifically 'invade' in its modern sense. It could mean just  
'spread, roll over', as in Micha 1:10, being a variant of PLS as in  
Ps. 78:50.”
I see the Biblical Hebrew meaning of PL$ as being “to burrow”.  That fits Jeremiah 6: 26;  25: 34;  Ezekiel 27: 30;  and Micah 1: 10.  I myself do not see PLS as being related to PL$, since their meanings are completely different.
If the 3-letter root means “to burrow”, and if PL$-T-YM is a derogatory Patriarchal nickname that means “the burrowers people”, then let’s see if that fits Genesis 26: 15: “For all the wells which his father's servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines [PL$TYM/“the burrowers people”] had stopped them, and filled them with earth.”
The concept of filling wells with earth to stop them from working fits perfectly with a derogatory nickname of “the burrowers people”.  These foreign mercenaries were hired for the express purpose of burrowing into the wells in GRR and “filling them with earth”, in order to stop these wells from working, so that Abimelek would not have water.
The PL$-T-YM are “the burrowers people” who burrow into wells to sabotage them from working, by “filling them with earth”.  The verbal root PL$ means “to burrow” every time that verb is used in the Bible.
To me, this west Semitic etymology works perfectly on all levels.  Although the PL$-T-YM may well have been non-Semitic peoples, featuring non-Semitic names like “Phicol”, nevertheless the name PL$-T-YM/“Philistines” is a virgin pure west Semitic/Hebrew name, being a derogatory Patriarchal nickname for these foreign mercenary saboteurs.
I agree with your point that the modern meaning of “invade” is not good here.  But the Biblical meaning of “to burrow” works perfectly in the context of Genesis 26: 15, as far as I can see.
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

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