BETH DAGON (bĕth' dā'gŏn, house of Dagon). A town in the Shephelah of Judah (Josh.15.41), five miles (eight km.) from Lydda, and identified as Khirbet Dajun. The name suggests worship of the Philistine god Dagon, revealing how far such worship went beyond Philistine territory. This name was used also of a town on the border of Asher (Josh.19.27).
BETH DAGON bĕth dā’ gən
, B.\"YT-D.FGO71WN, Βηθδαγών
, shrine of (the god) Dagon
or house of corn
). 1. A site in the Shephelah, or lowlands of Judah mentioned in Joshua 15:41
. The exact location of the site is unknown though it would appear that it originally was related to a temple named for this ubiquitous ancient northeastern deity. Rameses III mentions a Beth Dagon
(vowels unknown in Egyp.) in his lists of conquered areas (see no. 72 in J. Simons’ list in Handbook For Study of Egyptian Topographical Lists Relating to Western Asia
), as did the Assyrian King Sennacherib in 701 b.c.
calling it Bit-Dagannu.
2. A border city in the tribe of Asher and E of Mt. Carmel (Josh 19:17). The precise location is unknown.
3. 1 Maccabees 10:83, 84 refers to a temple of the god Dagon in Azotus (Ashdod).
4. Josephus (Antiq. XII, viii, I) also knows of a fortress called Dagon near Jericho.
All these references suggest that many cities and villages had shrines devoted to this god whose name first appears throughout Mesopotamia from 2500 b.c. onward and is esp. noticed in Canaan at Ugarit, Phoenicia, and the Philistine pentapolis.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
(1) A town in the Shephelah of Judah named with Gederoth, Naamah, and Makkedah (Jos 15:41). It may be represented by the modern Beit Dijan, about 6 miles Southeast of Jaffa. This however is a modern site, and not in the Shephelah. Nearly 2 miles to the south is Khirbet Dajan, a Roman site. The connection in which it occurs leads us to expect a position farther Southeast
(2) A city on the border of Asher (Jos 19:27) which Conder would identify with Tell D’auk, near the mouth of the Belus, in the plan of Acre.
The name seems to have been of frequent occurrence. There is a Beit Dejan about 6 miles East of Nablus, and Josephus speaks of a fortress called Dagon above Jericho (Ant., XII, viii, 1; BJ, I, ii, 3). This would seem to indicate a widespread worship of Dagon. But the name may mean "house of corn."