The word Palestine derives from Philistia, the name given by Greek writers to the land of the Philistines, who in the 12th century BCE occupied a small pocket of land on the southern coast, between modern Tel Aviv–Yafo and Gaza.

Life SpansGenesis 21 recounts Abraham sojourning in the land of the Philistines after Sarah his wife gave birth to Isaac (1900 BC.).  Abraham was 100, and Sarah very old too when she conceived.

Just before the Kingdom of Israel, Samson the Israelite was betrayed by Delilah and sold out to the Philistines, as he was too ferocious a warrior against their armies. Saul was the first King of Israel. The Philistines battled a long time against the Israelites. One does remember Goliath the giant Philistine defeated by who was to become the second King of Israel: David.

Palestine was a region of the Kingdom of Israel (1100-900 BC.). The Kingdom (Capital: Jerusalem) was split after the death of Solomon.  After the division of the Kingdom of Israel, the Philistines regained their independence.

Two divided Kingdoms:

  1. In the North, Israel , capital Damascus.
  2. In the South, Judea, capital Jerusalem.

Israel was conquered first by the Assyrians. Then Judea 2nd, by the Persians.

Joel Prophet of the Old Testament makes the first mention of Palestine the region. Joel lived after the total conquest of the then divided Kingdom of Israel (900 or 800 BC.). In his book, Joel laments of the captive land of Judea (the southern most part of the divided Kingdom of Israel) whose capital was Jerusalem, and the exile and captivity of the Israelites.

Then the region of Palestine was part of conquests of various Empires until the British Empire split the land and created modern Israel and Palestine: the Romans (500BC) / Byzantines (4th century AD); the Muslims (700-1100); the Mongols (1200); the Ottomans (1650); and finally the British (18th century).

Jerusalem changed hands multiple times during the Muslim Empires (or Caliphates) and the Crusades.