ashkelon Summary and Overview
ashkelon in Easton's Bible Dictionary
=Askelon=Ascalon, was one of the five cities of the Philistines (Josh. 13:3; 1 Sam. 6:17). It stood on the shore of the Mediterranean, 12 miles north of Gaza. It is mentioned on an inscription at Karnak in Egypt as having been taken by king Rameses II., the oppressor of the Hebrews. In the time of the judges (Judg. 1:18) it fell into the possession of the tribe of Judah; but it was soon after retaken by the Philistines (2 Sam. 1:20), who were not finally dispossessed till the time of Alexander the Great. Samson went down to this place from Timnath, and slew thirty men and took their spoil. The prophets foretold its destruction (Jer. 25:20; 47:5, 7). It became a noted place in the Middle Ages, having been the scene of many a bloody battle between the Saracens and the Crusaders. It was beseiged and taken by Richard the Lion-hearted, and "within its walls and towers now standing he held his court." Among the Tell Amarna tablets (see EGYPT T0001137) are found letters or official despatches from Yadaya, "captain of horse and dust of the king's feet," to the "great king" of Egypt, dated from Ascalon. It is now called 'Askalan.
ashkelon in Smith's Bible Dictionary
Apocrypha As'calon (migration), one of the five cities of the Philistines, #Jos 113:3; 1Sa 6:17| a seaport on the Mediterranean, 10 miles north of Gaza. Samson went down from Timnath to Ashkelon. #Jud 14:19| In the post-biblical times Ashkelon rose to considerable importance. Near the town were the temple and sacred lake of Derceto, the Syrian Venus. The soil around was remarkable for its fertility. Ashkelon played a memorable part in the struggles of the Crusades.
ashkelon in Schaff's Bible Dictionary
ASH'KELON , and AS'KELON (migration), one of the five cities of the Philistines; a seaport-town 10 miles north of Gaza; taken by Judah, Jud 1:18; visited by Samson, Jud 14:19; and its destruction predicted in Jer 47:5, 1 Kgs 15:7; Am 1:8; Zech 9:5; Zeph 2:7. History. -- Ashkelon was the seat of worship of the Philistine goddess Astarte, whose temple was plundered by the Scythians, b.c. 625; was the birthplace of Herod the Great; was taken by the Franks, a.d. 1099; partially destroyed by the Moslems; rebuilt by Richard Coeur de Lion; destroyed again in a.d. 1270. Ruins of walls, columns, marble pillars, and inscriptions on stone abound there now, though many of the good building-stones have been dug up and used in Jaffa and Gaza. Sycamores, vines, olives, and fruit trees are found there, and also 37 wells of sweet water. Near the ruins of the old city is Jerah, a village of about 300 population.
ashkelon in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
Askelon, Ascalon. One of the five Philistine lords' cities (Joshua 13:3; 1 Samuel 6:17). Remote in the S. on the coast of the Mediterranean, so less brought into contact with the Jews; omitted in the towns allotted to Judah (Joshua 15; but compare Judges 1:18). Gaza was still more S., but on the main road from Egypt to Israel. Samson slew thirty of the Ashkelonites, took their spoil, and gave change of raiment unto them of Timhath who expounded his riddle (Judges 14:19). Later, the temple and lake of Derceto (with a female head and bust and fish's fail, like Dagon), the Syrian Venus, stood near it. Here Julian cruelly persecuted the Christians. Its name still appears in our "eschalot" or" shallot," an onion for which it was famous, as for its figs, olives, etc. Within the walls, of which the ruins still stand, Richard I held his court in the crusades. After the brilliant battle here the crusaders would have taken the city, but for Count Raymond's jealousy; and for long Ashkelon was a thorn to the Christian kingdom. The Mahometans call it "the bride of Syria." In the Sam. version of Genesis 20:1-2; Genesis 26:1, Ashkelon stands instead of Gerar; and curiously tradition in Origen's time pointed out wells there as those dug by Isaac. The city stands on the very shore of the Mediterranean, its walls were along the ridge of rock sweeping round inland in continuation of the shore cliffs. Conder (Pal. Expl., July, 1875) thinks that the Ashkelon of the Bible, of Herod, and of the crusaders, is one and the same town on the seashore, distinguished from another early Christian inland Ashkelon by the title Ascalon Maiumas. Maiumas, "watering place," applies not to a port only, but to any place abounding in water. But Ashkelon and its port town of Maiumas were distinct, as a bishop of each signed the acts of the Council of Constantinople, A.D. 536. The present Ashkelon is the Maiumas of Ascalon; the original Ashkelon was probably inland, and is now buried in sand. (Pusey.)