The Philistine city of Ashdod in the Bible

Ashdod is mentioned in the Bible as one of five cities of the Philistine Pentapolis (1 Samuel 6:17). The city is mentioned earlier among the Canaanite cities in the Ebla tablets. Here is a brief survey of the events recorded in the Bible.

  • Some of the Anakim were left in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod after Israel entered the land (Joshua 11:22).
  • Ashdod was among some cities that remained under Philistine control even though it had been assigned to the tribe of Judah (Joshua 13:2-3; 15:46-47).
  • When Israel lost the Ark of the Covenant at Ebenezer, the Philistines brought it to Ashdod and placed it in the temple of Dagon (1 Samuel 5:1-8).
Representation of the Ark of the Covenant in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness at Timna. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Representation of the Ark of the Covenant in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness at Timna.

  • Uzziah, king of Judah (767-740/39 B.C.), made war against Ashdod. He broke down the wall of Ashdod and built cities in the area (2 Chronicles 26:6).
  • King Sargon II of Assyria captured Ashdod in 712/711 B.C. (Isaiah 20:1).
  • After the return from Babylon, Nehemiah faced problems because some of the Judeans had married women of Ashdod. Their children spoke the language of Ashdod, and could not speak the language of Judah (Nehemiah 13:23-24).
  • The prophets Jeremiah, Amos, Zephaniah, and Zechariah spoke against Ashdod (Jeremiah 25:20; Amos 1:8; 3:9; Zephaniah 2:4; Zechariah 9:6).
  • Ashdod was known as Azotus in New Testament times (Acts 8:40).

In the next post we hope to discuss Isaiah 20:1 and the archaeological discovery that complements this text.

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One response to “The Philistine city of Ashdod in the Bible

  1. Pingback: links to the land | preachersmith

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