Fish. The god of the Philistines (Judg. 16:23; 1 Sam. 5:2). There were temples of Dagon at Gaza and Ashdod; the latter was destroyed by Jonathan the Hasmonean. His image was in the form partly of a man and partly of a fish. Some writers, however, question whether Dagon was really a fish-god and connect the name with dagan, “grain.”
Three Old Testament incidents have somewhat to do with the worship of Dagon. A Philistine temple at Gaza was the place of Samson’s death (Judg. 16:23–30); at Ashdod the Philistines were killed when the Ark of the Covenant was carried into the temple of Dagon (1 Sam. 5:1–7); and at Beth-shan, after a battle between the Philistines and Israel at Mount Gilboa, the head of King Saul was placed in the temple of Dagon (1 Chr. 10:10).