ASHKELON (ăsh'kĕ-lŏn). One of the five chief cities of the Philistines, located on the seacoast about twelve miles (twenty km.) NE of Gaza. It was taken by the tribe of Judah shortly after the death of Joshua (Judg.1.18), but was retaken by the Philistines and remained in their hands through much of the OT period. In the eighth century b.c. Amos denounced the city for its complicity with Phoenicia and Edom in their warfare on Israel (Amos.1.6-Amos.1.8). Zephaniah, writing in the dark days before the captivity of Judah (Zeph.2.4, Zeph.2.7) and looking far into the future, saw the restoration of Judah and the Jews occupying the desolate ruins of Ashkelon. Zechariah, writing about 518 b.c., prophesied that Ashkelon would see the destruction of Tyre and then that Ashkelon itself would be destroyed (Zech.9.5). Apparently it was rebuilt, for Herod the Great was born there and Roman ruins have been found. During the Crusades, it came to life again, and Richard Coeur de Lion held court there.