This is special pleading that has zero support anywhere. Before the Philistines, that part of the Coast was completely under control of Egypt. And the Abraham-centered narrative makes it clear there are no Egyptians anywhere around on the Eastern side of the Sinai. The Canaanite world depicted in that part of the Patriarchs is an Egyptian-free Canaan. There are only two periods this could relate to:
a) when the Hyksos ruled Egypt; and
b) when the Pelest/Philistines consolidated their hegemony over all of southern Israel.
The time period in (a) has to be dismissed because that would mean the Bible never noticed
the expulsion of the Hyksos, or the 400 years of Egyptian hegemony that came immediately
Naturally the region is referred to as Palestinian … but in fact, considerably more than the Philistine coast became generally referred to with the term Palestinian during the Persian/Hellenistic phase of Canaan’s
history. To claim that the Bible’s scribes applied the latter Philistine term for pre-Philistine people is tantamount to saying the scribes didn’t know anything about the region before 1130 BCE.
This is consistent with the very point I’m trying to make: the scribes knew nothing of the attempt of the Sea People to take possession of Egypt. They knew nothing of the settling of the defeated Philistines into what would become their Pentapolis. And they knew nothing of the ongoing conflict between the Philistines and the Egyptians who were no longer even able to exploit the copper mines on the Sinai like they used to. The one thing they do seem to know is that the Philistines were not native to the land, and they provide the bland (i.e. ignorant) immigration report of where the Philistines are said to have come from.
I will certainly encourage your linguistic equation: Pelest > Philistine > Palestine. This is, essentially, all the same word, but associated with different time periods, and having a different connotation in terms of the size of their holdings. I think it was Herodotus (but I’ll try to double-check that) who used the term Palestine to apply to everything from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. This was possible because Judah was now a land without any borders. Persia had erased them. It was almost immediately after the Persian conquest of Egypt (which only last about a century) that the Egyptian villages occupied by the “Jeremiad Community” appear to have de-populated, because these now Egyptianized Jewish refugees (it is believed) returned to the area of Jerusalem.
Yes, to me Beth Shean and Beit Shan are the same locations. Sometime during the Hellenistic period, this town became known as Scythopolis… which probably means it became a Persian “army town”, since Scythian tribes were extensively used by Persia as low-cost military units.
I concur with you that a later date makes a literate Moses possible. Otherwise, I’m really not sure how you can expect one man to be a master writer in Egyptian hieroglyphics, Akkadian cuneiform and Proto-Sinaitic, during a time when it isn’t clear Proto-Sinaitic actually existed.
And finally: you ask for some sources on the Philistine transition in the Levant. This is not a formal journal article, but it’s very readable:
"The destruction of the Egyptian-allied city at Megiddo marked the end of Egyptian power in the Levant for the next several centuries, except for the three years following its reconquest by the Pharoah Shehsonq I of the 22nd Dynasty, 925-922 BCE. Palestina, as it was then known to the Greeks, didn’t come under the sway of Egypt again until its conquest by Ptolemy I in 301 BCE.
“Egypt ruled southern and central Palestine from 1530 BCE when they chased the Hyksos back into Palestine and northern Palestine and Lebanon from 1457 when they conquered Djahy, eventually conquering the entire Levant and part of Anatolia. The New Kingdom ruled all these areas, except for the territory the Hittites took from them down to Qatna with the defection of Amurru, until the Late Bronze Age Collapse, with the last bit of its hold there vanishing in 1130 BCE. Clearly, there was no room for the Israelites to escape from Egypt into the Land of Canaan because they would have just been “escaping” into more of Egypt.”
“In the midst of the collapse, other semi-nomadic Canaanite peoples, some previously mentioned in Egyptian records such as Edom and Moab, began to settle down and found territorial kingdoms for themselves and their posterity. Moab established its kingdom in 1250 BCE, Edom in 1180 BCE, Aram in 1115, and Ammon in 1000 BCE. The first two were definitely mentioned in Egyptian records, the latter being identified with the Shasu mentioned elsewhere though the Shasu are also identified with Aram.”
[END OF QUOTED TEXT]
For a more academic treatment, please see this link for “Chapter II: Philistines - Settlement” (page 49) of Edward Lipinski’s 2006 book: “On the Skirts of Canaan in the Iron Age”.
LINK to Google Books digital preview for Lipinsky’s “On the Skirts of Canaan in the Iron Age”
Here is an excerpt:
“The clearest chronological criterion to date this [Philistine] invasion and its immediate aftermaths is the end of the maritime trade links with the Aegean and Cyprus, disrupted by the “Sea Peoples”, and the consequent disappearance of imported Mycenaean IIIB and Cypriot pottery. These wares were succeeeded, after a destruction of the city, by the first appearance of Philistine pottery.”
“The date of these events can be established on archaeological grounds. Imported Late Helladic or Mycenaean IIB and cypriot wares were found at Megiddo in Stratum VIIB and in Stratum VIIA, which is dated by the bronze bae of a statue of Ramesses VI (1141-1134 B.C.). This means that the disruption of the trade links with the Aegean and Cyprus happened only about 1140-1130 B.C. The destruction levels of the main Philistine cities, so far excavated, such as Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ekron, and Gath, must be dated therefore to ca. 1130 B.C., and be followed by partly new settlements with a distinct new culture. This is indeed the situation attested at these four sites, especially thanks to major amounts of locally produced Mycenaean IIC:1b pottery…”