What is Ashkelon?
, 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.