Why Did Rome Use The Name Palestine to Rename Eretz Israel?       
                              Published By Darrell G. Young


    Again, the name Palestine itself is derived from  "Plesheth", a name that appears frequently in the Bible and has come into our modern English as "Philistine". The Philistines were not Arabs, nor even Semites, but were most closely related to the Greeks originating from Asia Minor and other Greek localities. The Philistines reached the southern coast of Israel in several waves. One group arrived in the pre-patriarchal period and settled south of Beersheba in Gerar where they came into conflict with Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael. Another group, coming from Crete after being repulsed from an attempted invasion of Egypt by Rameses III in 1194 BC, seized the southern coastal area, where they founded five settlements (Gaza, Ascalon, Ashdod, Ekron and Gat). In the Persian and Greek periods, foreign settlers, chiefly from the Mediterranean islands, overran the Philistine districts.



After the Roman conquest of Judea, "Palastina" became a province of the pagan Roman Empire and then of the Christian Byzantine Empire, and very briefly of the Zoroastrian Persian Empire.


  From the fifth century BC, following the historian Herodotus, Greeks called the eastern coast of the Mediterranean "Philistine Syria" using the Greek language form of the name. In AD135, after putting down the Bar Kochba revolt, the second major Jewish revolt against Rome, Emperor Hadrian wanted to blot out the name of the Roman "Provincia Judaea" and so he renamed it "Provincia Syria Palaestina", the Latin version of the Greek name and the first use of the name as an administrative unit. The name "Provincia Syria Palaestina" was later shortened to Palaestina, from which the modern, anglicized "Palestine" is derived.


In 638AD, an Arab-Muslim Caliph took Palastina away from the Byzantine Empire and made it part of an Arab-Muslim Empire. The Arabs, who had no name of their own for this region, adopted the Greco-Roman name Palastina, that they pronounced "Falastin". In that period, much of the mixed population of Palastina converted to Islam and adopted the Arabic language. They were subjects of a distant Caliph who ruled them from his capital, that was first in Damascus and later in Baghdad. They did not become a nation or an independent state, or develop a distinct society or culture. Rome’s dispersion of the Jews from Eretz Israel was an instrument of the Satanic cosmic conspiracy to dissect Israel from the providence and omniscience of God to fulfill his covenant with Jacob. Thus Rome’s renaming of Eretz Israel was the Roman Emperor’s method of eradicating the memory of Israel from anything to do with the Biblically Promised Land, and to show the world that Rome had forever annulled the covenant of Abraham. This same concept is still alive today in religious Rome, and throughout the religious world in the guise of Replacement Theology. The eradication of Israel in geography and the insertion of Palestine to the label for the land remained the situation until the end of the fourth century, when in the wake of a general imperial reorganization Palestine became three Palestines: First, Second, and Third. This configuration is believed to have persisted into the seventh century, to the time of the Persian and the Muslim conquests of the land. Later, the Roman Papal Crusaders employed the word Palestine to refer to the whole general region of the "three Palestines." After the fall of the crusader kingdom, Palestine was no longer an official designation, but was continued to be used informally for the lands on both sides of the Jordan River. The Ottoman Turks, who were non-Arabs but religious Muslims, ruled the area for 400 years (1517-1917). Under Ottoman rule, the Palestine region was attached administratively to the province of Damascus and ruled from Istanbul. The name Palestine was revived after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in World War I and applied to the territory in this region that was placed under the British Mandate for Palestine. The name "Falastin" that Arabs today use for "Palestine" is not an Arabic name. It is the Arab pronunciation of the Roman "Palaestina." Thus, this is the fundamental reason that talking and writing about Israel and the Middle East Conflict today features the nouns "Palestine" and Palestinian", and the phrases "Palestinian territory" and even "Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory". All too often, these terms are used with regard to their historical or geographical meaning, so that the usage creates illusions rather than clarifying Biblical truth about the Promised Land.




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