Fish-god, a national idol of the Philistines, with temples at Gaza, Ashdid, etc., 1Ch 10:10. The temple at Gaza was destroyed by Samson, Jg 16:21-30. In that at Ashdod, Dagon twice miraculously fell down before the ark of God; and in the second fall his head and hands were broken off, leaving only the body, which was in the form of a large fish, 1Sa 5:1-9. See Jos 15:41; 19:27. There were other idols of like form among the ancients, particularly the goddess Derceto of Atergatis; and a similar form or "incarnation" of Vishnu is at this day much worshipped in India, and like Dagon is destined to be prostrated in the dust before the true God.
little fish; diminutive from dag = a fish, the fish-god; the national god of the Philistines (Jg 16:23). This idol had the body of a fish with the head and hands of a man. It was an Assyrio-Babylonian deity, the worship of which was introduced among the Philistines through Chaldea. The most famous of the temples of Dagon were at Gaza (Jg 16:23-30) and Ashdod (1Sam 5:1-7|). (See Fish.)
Illustration: Fish-God from Khorsabad
Diminutive (expressing endearment) of dag, "a fish." The male god to which Atargatis corresponds (2Ma 12:26), the Syrian goddess with a woman's body and fish's tail, worshipped at Hierapolis and Ascalon. Our fabulous mermaid is derived from this Phoenician idol. She corresponds to the Greek foam-sprung Aphrodite. The divine principle supposed to produce the seeds of all things from moisture. Twice a year, water was brought from distant places and poured into a chasm in the temple, through which the waters of the flood were said to have been drained away (Lucian de Syr. Dea, 883). Derived from tarag, targeto, "an opening," the goddess being also called DERCETO; or else addir, "glorious," and dagto, "a fish."
The tutelary goddess of the first Assyrian dynasty, the name appearing in Tiglath. Dag-on was the national god of the Philistines, his temples were at Gaza and Ashdod (Jg 16:21-30; 1Sa 5:5-6). The temple of Dagon, which Samson pulled down, probably resembled a Turkish kiosk, a spacious hall with roof resting in front upon four columns, two at the ends and two close together at the center. Under this hall the Philistine chief men celebrated a sacrificial meal, while the people assembled above upon the balustraded roof. The half-man half-fish form (found in bas-relief at Khorsabad) was natural to maritime coast dwellers. They senselessly joined the human form divine to the beast that perishes, to symbolize nature's vivifying power through water; the Hindu Vishnu; Babylonian Odakon.
On the doorway of Sennacherib's palace at Koyunjik there is still in bas-relief representations of Dagon, with the body of a fish but under the fish's head a man's head, and to its tail women's feet joined; and in all the four gigantic slabs the upper part has perished, exactly as 1Sa 5:4's margin describes: now in the British Museum. The cutting off of Dagon's head and hands before Jehovah's ark, and their lying on the threshold (from whence his devotees afterward did not dare to tread upon it), prefigure the ultimate cutting off of all idols in the great day of Jehovah (Isa 2:11-22). Beth-Dagon in Judah and another in Asher (Jos 15:41; 19:27) show the wide extension of this worship. In his temple the Philistines fastened up Saul's head (1Ch 10:10).
A god whose worship was general among the Philistines (at Gaza, Jg 16:23,1Ma 10:83-84; 1Ma 11:4; at Ashkelon, 1Sa 5:2; prob. at Beth-dagon [wh. see], which may at one time have been under Philistine rule). Indeed, the name Baal-dagon inscribed in Ph
The national god of the Philistines, whose principal temples were at Gaza and Ashdod. The name has been traced by some to dag, a fish; others however associate the fish-god with EA, the water-god; and trace Dagon to dagan 'corn' as a god of agriculture. This was the idol that fell to pieces before the ark of Israel, and it was in its temple subsequently that the Philistines hung the head of Saul. A representation of a god found at Khorsabad has the head and hands of a man, and the body and tail of a fish. Jg 16:23; 1Sa 5:2-7; 1Ch 10:10.
(a fish), apparently the masculine,
correlative of Atargatis, was the national god of the Philistines. The most famous temples of Dagon were at Gaza,
The latter temple was destroyed by Jonathan in the Maccabaean wars. Traces of the worship of Dagon likewise appear in the names Caphar-dagon (near Jamnia) and Beth-dagon in Judah,
Dagon was represented with the face and hands of a man and the tail of a fish.
The fish-like form was a natural emblem of fruitfulness, and as such was likely to be adopted by seafaring tribes in the representation of their gods.
DAGON, ????, corn, from ???, or ??, a fish, god of the Philistines. It is the opinion of some that Dagon was represented like a woman, with the lower parts of a fish, like a triton or syren. Scripture shows clearly that the statue of Dagon was human, at least, the upper part of it. 1Sa 5:4-5. A temple of Dagon at Gaza was pulled down by Samson, Jg 16:23, &c. In another, at Ashdod, the Philistines deposited the ark of God, 1Sa 5:1-3. A city in Judah was called Beth-Dagon; that is, the house, or temple, of Dagon, Jos 15:41; and another on the frontiers of Asher, Jos 19:27.