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Da’gon (a fish), apparently the masculine, 1 Sam. 5:3, 4, correlative of Atargatis, was the national god of the Philistines. The most famous temples of Dagon were at Gaza, Judges 16:21-30, and Ashdod. 1 Sam. 5:5, 6; 1 Chron. 10:10. The latter temple was destroyed by Jonathan in the Maccabæan wars. Traces of the worship of Dagon likewise appear in the names Caphar-dagon (near Jamnia) and Beth-dagon in Judah, Josh. 15:41, and Asher. Josh. 19:27. Dagon was represented with the face and hands of a man and the tail of a fish. 1 Sam. 5:5. The fish-like form was a natural emblem of fruitfulness, and as such was likely to be adopted by seafaring tribes in the representation of their gods.


The Fish-God. (From a bas-relief from Khorsabad.)