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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Gath

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("a winepress"), Gath being in a vine-abounding country. One of the five great Philistine cities (Joshua 13:3; 1 Samuel 6:17). Goliath's abode (1 Samuel 17). Its people were the "Gittites," of whom was David's devotedly loyal friend Ittai (2 Samuel 15:19-22). In undesigned coincidence with the presence of giants in Gath, according to 1 Samuel 17; 2 Samuel 21:19-22, is Joshua 11:22; "only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod there remained Anakims." Gath was one of the five cities to which the Philistines carried about the ark of God (the five formed one political unity), and thereby brought on the people God's heavy visitation with emerods. It was' represented by one of the five golden emerods and five golden inlet sent to propitiate Jehovah (1 Samuel 5:9; 1 Samuel 6:4-5; 1 Samuel 6:10-18).

David there reigned madness to save his life; a second time he visited king Achish, and had Ziklag assigned to him as a residence (1 Samuel 21:10-15; 1 Samuel 27:28). Thence he attached and drew after him 600 Gittite followers, with Ittai their chief (2 Samuel 15:18); probably some at the time of his sojourn in Gath, and most when he smote and subdued the Philistines (2 Samuel 8:1). Though tributary to Israel, Gath still retained its own king (1 Kings 2:89). Hazael fought against it and took it (2 Kings 12:17). Uzziah gave a heavy blow to Gath, breaking down its wall (2 Chronicles 26:6; Amos 6:2). "Hamath ... Gath, be they better than these kingdoms?" Gath, once "better (stronger) than" Israel and Judah, fell; how vain then is your confidence in the strength of mounts Zion and Samaria!

In Amos 1:6, etc., Zephaniah 2:4-5; Zechariah 9:5-6, Gath is omitted; probably it had lost by that time its place among the five primary cities. Hezekiah, after Uzziah, conquered Philistia (2 Kings 18:8; Isaiah 14:29-81). Tell es Safieh occupies the site of Gath, which lay on the border between Judah and Philistia, between Shocoh and Ekron (1 Samuel 17:1; 1 Samuel 17:52). Saul came down from the hills by the road from Jerusalem to Gaza, which passes near Shocoh, and encountered the Philistines near the bend in the valley. Saul was on the E. of the valley, the Philistines on the W., as they came from the W. Gath was from its strength often alternately in the hands of Judah and of Philistia (2 Chronicles 11:8). It lay on a hill at the foot of Judah's mountains, ten miles E. of Ashdod, and ten S.E. of Ekron.

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Gath'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/fbd/g/gath.html. 1949.

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