stronghold, a Philistine city (Josh. 15:47), about midway between Gaza and Joppa, and 3 miles from the Mediterranean. It was one of the chief seats of the worship of Dagon (1 Sam. 5:5). It belonged to the tribe of Judah (Josh. 15:47), but it never came into their actual possession. It was an important city, as it stood on the highroad from Egypt to Palestine, and hence was strongly fortified (2 Chr. 26:6; Isa. 20:1). Uzziah took it, but fifty years after his death it was taken by the Assyrians (B.C. 758). According to Sargon's record, it was captured by him in B.C. 711. The only reference to it in the New Testament, where it is called Azotus, is in the account of Philip's return from Gaza (Acts 8:40). It is now called Eshdud.
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