It’s first appearance in Scripture is just after the flood: “And the territory of the Canaanites extended from Sidon as you go toward Gerar, as far as Gaza; as you go toward Sodom and Gomorrah…” (Genesis 10:19). Interesting that Gaza is mentioned along with Sodom and Gomorrah.
At the time of Israel first entering the Promised Land, Gaza was a mighty Philistine fortress. Though he conquered much of Canaan, Joshua did not fight against Gaza. “There were no Anakim left in the land of the sons of Israel; only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod some remained.” (Joshua 11:22) Gaza is next mentioned in the Book of Judges, when Samson goes there and nearly falls into a trap: “And Samson … saw a harlot there and went in to her. When it was told to the Gazites, saying, ‘Samson has come here,’ they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night. And they kept silent all night, saying, ‘Let us wait until the morning light, then we will kill him.’ Now Samson lay until midnight, and...
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