“The Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh. Yahweh gave them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years.”
The Israelites continued to be unfaithful to Yahweh. So for 40 years, the Philistines ruled over them. The Philistines become the major enemy since they appear over 224 times in the biblical literature, especially in the stories from the 11th to the 7th century BCE. In the earlier literature they were hardly mentioned. Now in these later stories, especially about the kings, they become very important. The Philistines were supposedly very strong people descendent from Ham that resided along the coast line in 5 major cities. They may have been Aegean-Asian in origin from Caphtor. Palestine probably got its name from them. They dominated this area from around 1200 BCE until about 700 BCE, when they kind of disappeared. They may have been the sea people who had the coastal territory in the 12th century BCE. At their height there may only have been about 30,000 of them. Supposedly they were great eaters and drinkers of beer, not wine.