What is…

Hebrew: דָּגוֹן —transliteration: Dagon —meaning: little fish —from dag = a fish

This is the Hebrew name used to refer to the national god of the Philistines (Judges 16:23). This idol had the body of a fish with the head and hands of a man. He was considered to be the god of prosperity, and the Syrians considered him the father of gods.

It was an Assyrio-Babylonian deity, the worship of which was introduced among the Philistines through Chaldea.

The most famous of the temples of Dagon were at Gaza (Judges 16:23-30) and Ashdod (1 Samuel 5:1-7).

In the city of Gaza, Samson pulled down the temple of Dagon and slew “all the lords of the Philistines,” himself also perishing in the ruin (Judges 16:21-30).

In Ashdod, God twice felled the Dagon idol in its temple as the ark of the covenant was displayed before it after capture by the Philistines. God also punished Dagon’s worshippers with emerods (1 Samuel 5:1-12), leaving them quite desperate.

More information

Article Version: July 27, 2021