Ashdod was one of the major Philistine cities of ancient times. It was located on the coastal plain about 2½ miles / 4 kilometers inland from The Mediterranean Sea, about half way between Gaza to the south and Joppa to the north. Although it was allotted to the tribe of Judah after the Israelites entered the Promised Land under Joshua, it was never fully taken and remained both a Philistine military stronghold and a major center for the worship of the pagan idol Dagon (see Images and Idols).

Allotted To Judah

Ashdod was included within the God-commanded territory of Judah (see Tribal Lands), however it remained untaken in the time of Joshua:

The Ark Captured At Ashdod

In one of Israel's most serious military defeats, during the time of Eli and Samuel the Ark Of The Covenant was captured by the Philistines and taken to Ashdod, something that the Philistines soon regretted:

The New Testament

By the time of the New Testament, the land of Israel was under Roman control (see Ancient Empires - Rome). Ashdod is mentioned only once specifically, when it was known as Azotus:

Fact Finder: After the return from the Babylonian captivity (see Why Babylon?), were some of the men of Judah marrying Philistine women from Ashdod?
Nehemiah 13:23-27

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