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(Hebrew Ashdodh; in Septuagint Ἄζωτος)

(1) One of the five great cities of the Philistines (Joshua 13:3), the modern Esdud, situated three miles from the Mediterranean Sea, about half-way between Gaza and Jaffa. The temple of Dagon, whither the Ark of the Covenant was carried by the Philistines, was situated here (1 Samuel 5:1-5; 1 Maccabees 10:83; 11:4). Azotus, like other Philistine cities, suffered varying fortunes in the wars with Israel, Assyria, and Egypt. Ozias fought against it (2 Chronicles 26:6), Sargon besieged and took it (Isaiah 20:1; Schrader, "Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek", II, 66-67), and Sennacherib did likewise (Schrader, op. cit., II, 90-91). According to Herodotus, Psammetichus besieged the city for twenty years. In 163 B.C. Judas Machabeus cleared Azotus of idols (1 Maccabees 5:68), and in 148 B.C. Jonathan and Simon burnt the temple of Dagon (1 Maccabees 10:83-84). Today Esdud is a modern village, with many ruins attesting its glorious past. In the New Testament Azotus is mentioned in connection with Philip's return from Gaza (Acts 8:40).

(2) The mountain to which Bacchides pursued the Jews in battle (1 Maccabees 9:15).

Azotus, a titular see of Palestine

Situated near the seacoast, between Jaffa and Ascalon. Its episcopal list (325-536) is given in Gams (452). It is the Ashdod of the Book of Josue (15:47), was one of the five principal cities of the Philistines, and the chief seat of the worship of their god Dagon (1 Samuel 5:1-7). Herodotus mentions it (II, 157) as having withstood King Psammetichus of Egypt in a siege of twenty-nine years, the longest then known.


Lequien, Oriens Christ. (1740), III, 659-662; Robertson, Biblical Researches, II, 368; Vigouroux in Dict. De la Bible, s.v. Azot.

About this page

APA citation. Albert, F.X.E. & Shahan, T. (1907). Azotus. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Albert, Francis X.E. and Thomas Shahan. "Azotus." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Susan Birkenseer.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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