1 Samuel Chapter 5  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: 1 Samuel 5
1Sa 5:1(top)
1Sa 5:2

“the house of Dagon.” That is, the temple of Dagon.

“Dagon.” Dagon shows up as a god in the ancient Near East long before he appears as one in the Bible, and his worship was quite widespread. Dagon is mentioned in Mari texts, was the chief deity of a pantheon of some 200 gods at Ebla, is occasionally mentioned in early Sumerian texts, had a temple at Ugarit, and is sometimes used in royal names in Mesopotamia. Dagon appears in Assyrian and Phoenician artifacts as well. In the Bible, Dagon is mentioned in Joshua, Judges, 1 Samuel, and 1 Chronicles, and figures prominently in 1 Samuel 5 and had a temple in Ashdod. It was once thought that Dagon was a fish god because a possible root of the name was related to the word “fish.” However, the name “Dagon” is more likely related to one of the words for “grain,” and Dagon was a god of agriculture and grain, and by extension fertility. The evidence is that Dagon was worshiped as a fertility god in Ebla, Assyria, Ugarit, and by the Amorites. The identification of Dagon as a fish god led to associating him with other gods such as Merman and Oannes that were sometimes portrayed as part fish but those associations may not be accurate (cp. Wikipedia, “Dagon”).

1Sa 5:3(top)
1Sa 5:4

“Only Dagon’s torso remained.” Cutting off the head and hands was occasionally done to enemies killed in battle. The word “torso” comes from the Septuagint.

1Sa 5:5

“Dagon’s house.” The Temple of Dagon.

1Sa 5:6

“But the hand of Yahweh was heavy on the people of Ashdod.” The hands of Dagon had been cut off and he was powerless, but the hand of Yahweh was “heavy” (or glorious) upon Ashdod.

“tumors.” The scholarly consensus is that this disease could have been bubonic plague which involves swelling of the lymph nodes. The Septuagint adds that there were mice, and in the Bible there was an offering of mice, so mice may have been involved, adding to the idea that there was likely some kind of plague.

1Sa 5:7(top)
1Sa 5:8(top)
1Sa 5:9(top)
1Sa 5:10

“to us to kill us and our people.” The Hebrew is “to kill me and my people” The Ekronites saw themselves as one.

1Sa 5:11(top)
1Sa 5:12

“went up to the heavens.” Commentary coming soon.


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