Gath
Dictionary of Bible Names

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Gath
Bible Meaning: Winepress
Strong's Concordance #H1661

Gath was one of the five major Philistine centers of power (Joshua 13:3). Inhabitants of the city were known as Gittites (2Samuel 6:11, 15:18). Although Gath was given to the tribe of Judah as a Promised Land inheritance, the Philistines dominated it for many years.

Prior and during Israel's settlements in Canaan the Anakim, a race of giants, lived in the city (Joshua 11:22). Goliath the giant, who challenged Israel in battle and fought a young King David, resided in Gath (1Samuel 17:4).

The city was also the second of three Philistine locations that, after receiving the Ark of the Covenant, was humorously punished by God with painful hemorrhoids (1Samuel 5)!

When David was fleeing the wrath of King Saul he came to Gath and feigned madness so that he would be allowed to stay (1Samuel 21). He apparently made several friends in the city, as when he became Israel's king he entrusted many of them with important responsibilities which included soldiers in his army (2Samuel 6:10 - 11, 15:18 - 21, 18:2).

Map showing location of Gath in Canaan

Important verses

Joshua 11:22
There was none of the Anakim left in the land of the children of Israel: only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, did some remain.

1Samuel 5:6 - 8
But the hand of the Lord was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them . . . And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us: for his hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our god.

They sent therefore and gathered all the Lords of the Philistines unto them, and said, What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? And they answered, Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about unto Gath . . .

1Samuel 17:4, 8
And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span . . .

And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.

1Samuel 21:10
And David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.

2Samuel 6:10
So David would not remove the ark of the Lord unto him into the city of David: but David carried it aside into the house of Obededom the Gittite.

2Samuel 21:20 - 21
And there was yet a battle in Gath, where was a man of great stature, that had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number; and he also was born to the giant. And when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea the brother of David slew him.

1Chronicles 18:1
And after this it came to pass, that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them, and took Gath and its towns out of the hand of the Philistines.

2Chronicles 26:1, 6
Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah . . . And he went forth and warred against the Philistines, and brake down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod: and he built cities in the country of Ashdod, and among the Philistines.

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Scripture references are based
on the King James translation.



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