stronghold, a Philistine city (Josh. 15:47), about midway
between Gaza and Joppa, and 3 miles from the Mediterranean. It
was one of the chief seats of the worship of Dagon (1 Sam. 5:5).
It belonged to the tribe of Judah (Josh. 15:47), but it never
came into their actual possession. It was an important city, as
it stood on the highroad from Egypt to Israel, and hence was
strongly fortified (2 Chr. 26:6; Isa. 20:1). Uzziah took it, but
fifty years after his death it was taken by the Assyrians (B.C.
758). According to Sargon's record, it was captured by him in
B.C. 711. The only reference to it in the New Testament, where
it is called Azotus, is in the account of Philip's return from
Gaza (Acts 8:40). It is now called Eshdud.