While their pottery, loom weights and other artifacts indicate a relationship to the Mycenaean Greeks,239 by the 10th century or so the Philistines evidently were speaking Canaanite. Where the Philistines came from continues to be debated, however, with suggestions not only that they were displaced Pelasgians or Greeks240 but also, as identified by Xanthus in the fifth century BCE, that they emanated from Lydia in western Asia Minor or what is now Turkey.241 Redford notes that “both ‘Carians’ and ‘Cretans’ appear as ethnic indicators in the lists of bodyguards of Judaean kings recruited from Philistia.”
Even if the Philistines had lived in the Promised Land during the century earlier when the Israelites purportedly conquered Canaan, the latter allegedly had more than 600,000 “warrior men” among them, and it seems odd they would not simply swoop down and crush the Philistines along the way, destroying their cities, stealing their booty and virgin girls (for Isrealite sex slaves), and slaughtering all the rest, as the chosen people are depicted later in the Old Testament as doing repeatedly.
Moreover, we must ask why there would be so much fear of the Philistines, when the express goal of leaving Egypt was the military conquest and destruction of the peoples of Canaan (larger and stronger), of which the Philistines were but one?
7 When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you— Deut 7:1
It remains inexplicable that the two-million-strong nation of Israel would be terrified of the Philistines, a fairly civilized people in reality, especially with the super powerful Almighty Yahweh on the Israelites’ side. If Yahweh could decimate the mighty nation of Egypt with plagues and drown the pharaoh and his army with the supernaturally parted Red Sea, he easily could defeat the Philistines.
In any event, when Moses was purportedly alive, there were no Philistines per se, and this motif is yet another history error by the writers, which basically proves that the biblical tale is fiction composed long after the purported time period.