ASHDOD

Ashdod was one of the ‘five cities of the Philistines’, the other four being Ashkelon, Ekron, Gaza and Gath (Josh 13:3; 1 Sam 6:17-18; see PHILISTIA). The story most readily associated with Ashdod concerns the temple of Dagon that was in the town. When the Philistines captured Israel’s ark of the covenant and placed it in the temple, the god Dagon fell down in front of the ark and broke in pieces (1 Sam 5:1-5). As a result of enemy attacks that destroyed parts of the city (Isa 20:1; Jer 25:17-20), Ashdod was rebuilt several times during its long history. In New Testament times it was a prosperous town known as Azotus (Acts 8:40). Today it is a smaller town and is known by its original name, Ashdod

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