Gath (city)

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Gath, Gat, or Geth (Hebrew: גַּת‎, Winepress; Latin: Geth) 'Gath of the Philistines' was one of the five Philistine city-states, established in northwestern Philistia. According to the Bible, the king of the city was Achish, in the times of Saul, David, and Solomon. It is not certain whether this refers to two or more kings of this name or not. Gath was also the home city of Goliath, as well as of Itai and his 600 soldiers who aided David in his exile from Absalom. David, while running from Saul, escaped to Gath, and served under its king Achish. During Solomon's reign, Shemei goes to Gath to return his escaped slave (I Kings 2:39–2:40). In II Kings 12:18, the city of Gath is mentioned as being captured by Hazael of Aram Damascus. Recent excavations at the site have produced dramatic evidence of a siege and subsequent destruction of the site in the late 9th century BC, most probably related to this event.

Gath is also mentioned in the El-Amarna letters as "Gimti/Gintu", ruled by a king Shuwardata, and possibly by Abdi-Ashirti as well.

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Other Gaths

Gath was a common place name in ancient Israel and the surrounding regions. Various cities are mentioned in the Bible with such names as Gath of the Philistines, Gath-Gittaim, and Gath Carmel, and other sites with similar names appear in various ancient sources, including the Amarna letters. A Gittite is a person from Gath.[1]

Archaeological site

Gath, Tell es-Safi and Tel Zafit (Arabic: تل الصافي‎, Tall aṣ-Ṣāfī; Hebrew: תל צפית‎, Tel Tzafit) are Arabic and Hebrew names for the ancient mound now identified as Gath, one of the five cities in the ancient Canaanite and Philistine Pentapolis (along with Gaza, Ekron, Ashkelon, and Ashdod). It is a large multi-period site that is located in central Israel, approximately half way between Jerusalem and Ashkelon, on the border between the southern Coastal Plain of Israel and the Judean foothills.

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