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Gath

Hebrew: גַּת‎

Meaning: winepress or a wine vat

also known as: Gat, Geth, Tell es-Safi

Gath is one of the 5 idolatrous royal cities of the Philistines (Joshua 13:3) on which the Ark of the Covenant brought calamity (1 Samuel 5:8-9; 6:17).

Inhabitants of Gath were called Gittites.

Gath was famous as being the birthplace or residence of the giant Goliath (1 Samuel 17:4) who young David killed nearby.

David later fled from King Saul to King Achish of Gath (1 Samuel 21:10; 27:2-4; Psalms 56), and his connection with it accounts for the words in 2 Samuel 1:20

Tell it not in Gath,
Proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon,
Or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice,
The daughters of the uncircumcised will exult. —2 Samuel 1:20 NASB

Later, Gath was conquered by King David (2 Samuel 8:1) and converted into a Judean city. It occupied a strong position on the borders of Judah and Philistia (1 Samuel 21:10; 1 Chronicles 18:1).

Archaeology

Gath’s site has been identified with the hill called Tell es-Safi, the Alba Specula of the Middle Ages, which rises 695 feet above the plain on its east edge. The city of Gath is mentioned on ancient monuments of about B.C. 1500. Archaeological digs are on-going and productive at this site.

Copyrighted © image.
View from the north of the site of ancient Gath’s fortress at Tell es-Safi. Photo © BiblePlaces—a Christian Answers Contributing Specialist
Tell es-Safi, site of ancient Gath of the Philistines—later a Judean city of King David—satellite view

ALSO SEE:

  • What is a GITTITE? Who do they include? Answer
  • What is the ARK OF THE COVENANT? Answer
  • Who is ACHISH? Answer
  • What is GATH-HEPHER? Answer
  • What is GATH-RIMMON? Answer
  • What is a METHEG-AMMAH? Answer
  • Who are the PHILISTINES? Answer
  • Who are the CANAANITES? Answer
  • Who is DAVID? Answer
  • Who is GOLIATH? Answer
  • What is a WINE-PRESS? Answer
  • What are HEMORRHOIDS? Answer
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