The Minor Prophets Speak To Today
The Coming Palestinian Conversion
Zechariah 9:7b-8 NLT
A Lot of Irrelevant Speculation
Here is an intriguing prophecy. If God was referring to the people who call themselves Philistines today, then this passage calls for the conversion of the Palestinians. But the connections between the modern Palestinians and the Biblical Philistines are speculative and even genetic evidence provides no conclusive tie.
If the inhabitants of modern Ekron are referred to here, well, that would be a problem. Generally Ekron is considered an archeological site, not an occupied town. Historically, Ekron has been cited as one of the Arab towns of the modern era. The evidence for all of this, as does the claim that the Palestinians are the Philistines, remains tiny and inconclusive making the speculation irrelevant to Zechariah speaking to today.
The Palestinian Conversion
But before Christ's return there appears to be a Philistine conversion. So, since the historical Philistines have disappeared with no evidence they were absorbed into Israel, the people possessing the name Philistines would be the Palestinians of today.
The message of this passage that reaches down to today is the enemies of God's people will become part of God's legitimate children.
The absorption of the Jebusites provides an example of permanent absorption of God's enemies by his children. The prophecy about the Philistines and the inhabitants of the land shows that same pattern continues to exist in God's dealing with inhabitants of the land of Israel and Judah - whether Jews or Palestinians.
We know that before Christ's return the Israelites will be converted and grafted back into God's children, the followers of their true Messiah. The Palestinians will also be converted and absorbed into God's legitimate children. Some already are his.
Perhaps it is time we pray for God to fulfill Zechariah by the conversion of all the people occupying the historical land of Israel into His Body, the New, and True, Israel.
Palestinian Christians hold Bibles during prayer service in a Beit Jala olive grove by Ryan Rodrick Beiler