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Temple of Dagon God of the Philistines
Judges 16: 23 Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god
Dagon Philistines
Dagon the pagan god of the Philistines.
Temple of Dagon at Tel Qasile
Excavation of Philistine Temple. Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Dagon was one of the most widely worshipped deities in the ancient near east. Sargon the Great worshipped Dagon after his military victories. The cities of Mari, Tuttul and Teqra contained temples to Dagon, and he is well attested to in the Mari archives. In the Holy Land Dagon appears as a principal god of the Philistines with temples at Gaza, Beth Shan and Ashdod.

The meaning of Dagon’s name and his specific function are not entirely clear. Some connect his name with wheat or fish but he has also been associated with military power as well.


Ancient Inscriptions of Dagon
The Myth of Zu – Assyrian Tablets
- From The Ancient Near East Volume II - James Pritchard

“Ninigiku opened his mouth to speak, To say something to Anu and Dagan” – Tablet I

“The hope of Anu and Dagan, the beloved of Ninigiki” – Tablet II

The Banquet of Ashurnasirpal II
From a sandstone block placed near the doorway to the throne room of Ashurnasirpal in the city of Calah found in 1951.

“This is the palace of Ashurnasirpal, the high priest of Ashur, chosen by Enlil and Ninurta, the favorite of Anu and Dagan who is destruction personified among all the great gods"

Divine Revelations – Akkadian Letters
All letters come from the Mari Archives.

“I entered Terqa, and right after entering I entered the Temple of Dagan and prostrated myself. As I was prostrate, Dagan opened his mouth and spoke to me”

“The day I sent this tablet of mine to my lord, a man’s wife came to me before the darkness of the mountain and spoke to me on the news about Babylon as follows: Dagan sent me. Hammurabi the King of Babylon”

Dagan sent me concerning the performance of the sacrifice for the dead. Dada, the priest of Ishtar-Pishra, was on duty in the gate of Beletekallim, and an eery voice was crying this over and over, saying: “Come back O Dagan!, Come back O Dagan!”

Eshmunazar of Sidon
Eshminazar’s great sarcophagus was found near Sidon in 1855.

“The lord of Kings gave us the land of Dor and Joppa, the mighty lands of Dagon, which are in the Plain of Sharon”

The cities of Dor (Joshua 11) and Joppa (2 Chronicles) are both listed in the Bible

City of Dor archaeological excavation web site


Tel Qasile - A Philistine Settlement with a Temple
"And they put his armour in the house of their gods, and fastened his head in the temple of Dagon" - 1Chronicles 10:10

Tel Qasile lies within the city limits of Tel Aviv, at the mouth of the Yarkon River. In antiquity, the river at the foot of the tel (mound) served as an inner harbor, protected from the waves of the Mediterranean Sea. The settlement itself was on a kurkar (a kind of sandstone) hill on the northern bank of the river and, in its heyday, covered some four acres.

The first excavations at Tel Qasile were conducted from 1948 to 1950. Excavations were renewed between 1971 and 1974. The most significant remains include a Philistine residential quarter with a sacred area, dated to the beginning of the Iron Age (12th - 10th century BC) Tel Qasile Excavations


Judges 16:23 Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god.

1 Samuel 5 After the Philistines had captured the Ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. Then they carried the Ark into Dagon’s Temple and set it beside Dagon.

1 Chronicles 10 And they put his armour in the house of their gods, and fastened his head in the Temple of Dagon.