called also Azzah, which is its Hebrew name (Deut. 2:23; 1 Kings 4:24; Jer. 25:20), strong, a city on the Mediterranean shore, remarkable for its early importance as the chief centre of a great commercial traffic with Egypt. It is one of the oldest cities of the world (Gen. 10:19; Josh. 15:47). Its earliest inhabitants were the Avims, who were conquered and displaced by the Caphtorims (Deut. 2:23; Josh. 13:2, 3), a Philistine tribe. In the division of the land it fell to the lot of Judah (Josh. 15:47; Judg. 1:18). It was the southernmost of the five great Philistine cities which gave each a golden emerod as a trespass-offering unto the Lord (1 Sam. 6:17). Its gates were carried away by Samson (Judg. 16:1-3). Here he was afterwards a prisoner, and "did grind in the prison house." Here he also pulled down the temple of Dagon, and slew "all the lords of the Philistines," himself also perishing in the ruin (Judg. 16:21-30). The prophets denounce the judgments of God against it (Jer. 25:20; 47:5; Amos 1:6, 7; Zeph. 2:4). It is referred to in Acts 8:26. Philip is here told to take the road from Jerusalem to Gaza (about 6 miles south-west of Jerusalem), "which is desert", i.e., the "desert road," probably by Hebron, through the desert hills of Southern Judea. (See SAMSON.)
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Now that you've created a Bible Gateway account, upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus, the ultimate online Bible reading & study experience! For just a few dollars each month, Bible Gateway Plus gives you:
• A complete digital Bible study library integrated with your Bible Gateway account, with no expensive software to install.
• Access to 40+ study & reference books including the NIV Study Bible, the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, and the MacArthur Study Bible.
• Special during April only: full access to the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible
• An ad-free Bible Gateway experience.
• A risk-free, 30-day trial—you can cancel any time.