Ashdod

One of the five main cities of the Philistines (along with Gaza, Ashkelon, Ekron and Gath) on the coast between Gaza and Joppa. Ashdod was one of the chief places where Dagon was worshipped. Although it was in the territory of Judah they never managed to take it. It is mentioned in Acts 8.40 under the name Azotus. Today it is the fifth largest city in modern Israel. The reason the Philistines were so greatly feared by the Israelites was that they lived among them with three cities (Gaza, Ashdod and Ashkelon) spread along the coast and two (Gath and Ekron) inland. As a result they constantly harried them from within and were a major reason why the Israelites wanted a king. Only under David were the Philistines no longer a threat.

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