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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - 1 Samuel 5:1-5

Here is, I. The Philistines? triumph over the ark, which they were the more pleased, the more proud, to be now masters of, because before the battle they were possessed with a great fear of it, 1 Sam. 4:7. When they had it in their hands God restrained them, that they did not offer any violence to it, did not break it to pieces, as the Israelites were ordered to do by the idols of the heathen, but showed some respect to it, and carefully carried it to a place of safety. Whether their curiosity... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - 1 Samuel 5:2

When the Philistines took the ark of God ,.... And had brought it to Ashdod: they brought it into the house of Dagon ; a temple dedicated to that idol, and in which his image stood; of which See Gill on Judges 16:23 , and set it by Dagon ; by the side of him, either in honour to the ark, as Abarbinel, designing to give it homage and adoration, as to their own deity; for though the Gentiles did not choose to change their gods, yet they would add the gods of other nations to them;... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - 1 Samuel 5:2

The house of Dagon - On this idol, which was supposed to be partly in a human form, and partly in that of a fish, see the note on Judges 16:23 . Some think that this idol was the same with Dirceto, Attergatis, the Venus of Askelon, and the Moon. - See Calmet's Dissertation on the gods of the Philistines. The motive which induced the Philistines to set up the ark in the temple of Dagon, may be easily ascertained. It was customary, in all nations, to dedicate the spoils taken from an... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - 1 Samuel 5:1-5

Foreshadowings. The facts given are— 1 . The Philistines, acting on polytheistic principles, place the ark in their heathen temple, thus ascribing to it Divine honour, and yet indicating its inferiority to Dagon. 2 . During the night their god Dagon falls to the ground. 3 . Supposing the fall to be the result of some unaccountable accident, they replace their god, and on the next day find him even broken to pieces. 4 . The event is memorialised by the establishment of a... read more

Albert Barnes

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible - 1 Samuel 5:2

They brought it into the house of Dagon (see the marginal reference) in order to enhance the triumph of the gods of the Philistines over the God of Israel. (Compare 1 Samuel 31:9; Judges 16:23; Isaiah 37:12.) read more

Joseph Benson

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments - 1 Samuel 5:2-3

1 Samuel 5:2-3. They set it by Dagon By way of reproach, as a spoil and trophy set there to the honour of Dagon, to whom, doubtless, they ascribed this victory. Behold Dagon was fallen upon his face In a posture of the most humble adoration, which was prostration; as acknowledging the God of Israel to be above all gods. They (the priests of Dagon) took Dagon and set him in his place Supposing his fall to be casual. read more

Donald C. Fleming

Bridgeway Bible Commentary - 1 Samuel 5:1-12

The ark returns (5:1-7:1)Although God used the Philistines to judge Israel, he would not allow them to dishonour him. He showed that the capture of the ark did not mean that he was inferior to the Philistine god Dagon (5:1-5). Wherever the ark went it brought trouble to the Philistine people. A plague of mice seems to have spread a painful and deadly disease throughout the country, bringing widespread suffering and death (6-12; cf. 6:5).The Philistines felt fairly certain that the ark was the... read more

Robert Jamieson; A. R. Fausset; David Brown

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - 1 Samuel 5:2

2. the house of Dagon—Stately temples were erected in honor of this idol, which was the principal deity of the Philistines, but whose worship extended over all Syria, as well as Mesopotamia and Chaldea; its name being found among the Assyrian gods on the cuneiform inscriptions [RAWLINSON]. It was represented under a monstrous combination of a human head, breast, and arms, joined to the belly and tail of a fish. The captured ark was placed in the temple of Dagon, right before this image of the... read more

Thomas Constable

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable - 1 Samuel 5:1-5

Having captured the ark, the Philistines brought it from Ebenezer to their main city, Ashdod, which stood about 30 miles to the southwest and three miles from the Mediterranean coast. Archaeologists have excavated Ashdod more extensively than any of the five major Philistine cities.Dagon was the principle deity of the Philistines. The popular teaching that the Philistines pictured him as being part man and part fish finds support in 1 Samuel 5:4. Dag in Hebrew means fishy part. Dagon (cf. Heb.... read more

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