ashdod in the bible

Ashdod in the Bible | History of the scriptural Ahsod

Ashdod in the Bible (English: Ashdod – Latin: Azotus) is a city in southwestern Israel. With about 207,000 inhabitants (as of 2007). It is located approximately 30 kilometers south of Tel Aviv on the Mediterranean Sea. The city is one of the largest cities in Israel. Ashdod, now the fifth largest city in Israel, is a vibrant and dynamic city. With careful urban planning, neat neighborhoods, modern public buildings, and advanced infrastructure. Since its founding in 1956, Ashdod has been an immigrant-friendly city. The city developed into prominent art and Culture Center.

Ashdod has become one of the most important economic centers in Israel. And a local metropolis thanks to its location on an important north-south route. The city is not far from the leading urban centers such as Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Beer Sheva. The Port of Ashdod is not only a large and important commercial and industrial port in Israel, but it also serves as a berth for the large cruise ships that arrive in Israel daily. The city’s sandy beach is about 7.5 kilometers long and known as the Riviera of Ashdod. There are many luxury hotels here on the coast, numerous entertainment venues, and a beautiful promenade.

History of Ashdod in the Bible

Historical Ashdod in the Bible dates back to the 14th century BC. It is three kilometers south of the modern city and is mentioned as early as the Amarna letters. Based on paleographic studies, the archaeologist Juan-Pablo Vita assumes that a scribe wrote the letters from Gezer, who also worked for the allied rulers of Ginti- Kirmil and Gat. 

However, the tablet’s tone is not from Gezer, suggesting that the letter was composed locally. Ashdod was one of the cities in the Philistine Pentapolis (Joshua 13:3). According to the biblical description ( 1 Sam 5.1-3 EU ), the Philistines brought the Ark of the Covenant, which they had captured from the Israelites via Ashkelon to Ashdod and placed it in the temple of their god Dagon.

In the Septuagint and correspondingly in the Vulgate, Ashdod bears the name form Ἄζωτος or Azotus. There is a Roman Catholic titular bishopric of the same name as Azotus. The Assyrian ruler Sargon II conquered the city in 712 BC. It was populated with deportees headed by an Assyrian šut reši. From the 7th century, Ashdod was an independent city-state; from the Persian rule in the 6th century, its importance as a port city also grew. The settlement can be traced back to the Byzantine period. In the 12th century, the crusaders of the Kingdom of Jerusalem built the crusader castle of Chastel Béroard on what is now the southern outskirts of the city, a harbor fortress whose ruins have survived to this day.

Corine Maman Ashdod Museum

The Corine Maman Ashdod Museum houses the permanent exhibition ” The World of the Philistines. ” The Philistines lived in the 12th century BC. And Ashdod was one of their five great cities. You can glimpse the rich Philistines’ rich culture at the museum through an innovative and experimental exhibition. Contemporary art exhibitions are also connected to the museum’s permanent collection.

The Archaeological Museum offers a wide range of artifacts on a 450-square-meter site, presenting the history and culture of the Philistines.

ashdod in the bible

Representation of Ashdod in the Bible

Hill of the Prophet Jonah

You are all familiar with the biblical story from the Old Testament in which God commissioned the prophet, Jonah, to go to Nineveh and pronounce judgment on the people there because of their wickedness. During this journey, Jonah is swallowed up by a large fish. He prays in his belly, and after three days and three nights, he is thrown out again on land. According to tradition, the tomb of the prophet Jonah is located below a hill about 53 meters high in the Israeli port city of Ashdod.

 This spot is on the famous Madaba map from the 6th century AD, identified by the drawing of a whale with an inscription written in Greek. Today there is a lighthouse on the hill, which sends a beam of light over 27 kilometers. During the British Mandate period, British officers used the hill as a vantage point to prevent illegal Jewish immigrants from entering Palestine.

Contemporary Issues of Ashdod in the Bible

A development company (Ashdod Tourism Development Company) was established to meet the needs of increasing tourism. This promotes new investments in this area and develops tourism products and infrastructure. A five-star all-suite hotel was recently inaugurated, and Ha-Shemesh Square (after all, Israel’s second-largest square) was filled with giant, multi-colored LED lights. 

According to the plan, Ashdod-Yam Park will have an artificial lake and sophisticated fountains. The city is trying to position itself as a resort for up to ten thousand tourists entering Israel through the Port of Ashdod daily.

The Chastel Béroard (Latin: Castellum Beroart) is a 10th-century Arabic fort in present-day Israel. The castle is located on the southern edge of today’s Ashdod on the sandy beach of the Mediterranean Sea. According to archaeological research, the Muslims built the court in the 10th century, probably the Fatimids from Egypt. It was first mentioned in a document in October 1106 when King Baldwin I of Jerusalem was staying there. 

Although only 15 kilometers from the strong Fatimid fortress of Askelon, the small castle played, in contrast to the newly built Crusader castles of Ibelin, Blanche Garde and Gibelin played no role in containing the Fatimid sphere of power. After the Crusaders conquered Askelon in 1153, it was used to secure the road from Ibelin to Askelon.


The Palestine War or Israeli War of Independence is the first Arab-Israeli war fought in 1947-1949 in the former Mandate of Palestine. During these military clashes, Egyptian forces managed to advance as far as the then-Arab village of Reduced. Indeed, the war began without a formal declaration of war after the UN partition plan was passed on November 30, 1947. Therefore, with the first local fighting between Jewish military organizations (including the Irgun and the Haganah) and Arab militias. 

So, with the defeat of Egyptian-Arab troops against the newly formed state of Israel, Egypt lost its position in the region. And broke politically with the West in 1951. Indeed, in cooperation with the State of Egypt, a memorial was erected in Ashdod in 1990. Therefore, for the fallen Egyptian soldiers who lost their lives in the Palestine War.

In 1959 Ashdod was granted municipal government status in 1968, that city government was. Off the coast of Ashdod lies the sunken MV Peace. A former cargo ship that served as a broadcast station for the Voice of Peace radio station. On Sunday, March 14, 2004, a double attack occurred in the port of Ashdod. The two suicide bombings killed ten people and sustained 16 life-threatening injuries.

 The two Palestinian terrorist organizations Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Hamas claimed responsibility. Today the city of Ashdod in the Bible is the center for many goods most important port in Israel before Haifa, with a throughput of around 15 million tons (2008). The petroleum industry, chemical industry, vehicle construction, and diamond grinding are economically important. Therefore, there are two oil refineries and the Eshkol power plant in the Ashdod region.