(a wine press), one of the five royal cities of the Philistines (Joshua 13:3; 1 Samuel 6:17) and the native place of the giant Goliath (1 Samuel 17:4, 23). It probably stood upon the conspicuous hill now called Tell-es-Safieh, upon the side of the plain of Philistia, at the foot of the mountains of Judah, 10 miles east of Ashdod, and about the same distance south by east of Ekron. It is irregular in form, and about 200 feet high. Gath occupied a strong position (2 Chronicles 11:8) on the border of Judah and Philistia (1 Samuel 21:10; 1 Chronicles 18:1), and from its strength and resources forming the key of both countries, it was the scene of frequent struggles, and was often captured and recaptured (2 Kings 12:17; 2 Chronicles 11:8; 26:6; Amos 6:2). The ravages of war to which Gath was exposed appear to have destroyed it at a comparatively early period, as it is not mentioned among the other royal cities by the later prophets (Zephaniah 2:4; Zechariah 9:5-6). It is familiar to the Bible student as the scene of one of the most romantic incidents in the life of King David (1 Samuel 21:10-15).
Smith's Bible Names Dictionary (1866)