Beth-da'gon (Heb. Beyth Dagon', בֵּית דָּגוֹן, house [i.e. temple] of Dagon), the name of at least two cities, one or the other of which may be the place called by this name in the Apocrypha (Βεθδαγών, 1 Maccedonians 10:63; comp. Josephus, Ant. 13, 4, 4), unless this be simply Dagon's temple at Ashdod (1Sa 5:2; 1Ch 10:10). The corresponding modern name Beit-Dejan is of frequent occurrence in Palestine; in addition to those noticed below, one was found by Robinson (Researches, 3, 102) east of Nablous. There can be no doubt that in the occurrence of these names we have indications of the worship of the Philistine god having spread far beyond the Philistine territory. Possibly these are the sites of towns founded at the time when this warlike people had overrun the face of the country to "Michmash, eastward of Bethaven" on the south, and Gilboa on the north — that is, to the very edge of the heights which overlook the Jordan valley — driving "the Hebrews over Jordan into the land of Gad and Gilead" (1Sa 13:5-7; comp. 17, 18; 29:1; 31:1). SEE DAGON (HOUSE OF).
1. (Sept. Βηθδαγών v. r. Βαγαδιήλ.) A city in the low country (Shefelah) of Judah (Jos 15:41, where it is named between Gederoth and Naamah), and therefore not far from the Philistine territory, with which its name implies a connection. From the absence of the copulative conjunction before this name, it has been suggested that it should be taken with the preceding, "Gederoth-Bethdagon;" in that case, probably, distinguishing Gederoth from the two places of similar name in the neighborhood. But this would leave the enumeration "sixteen cities" in ver. 41 deficient; and the conjunction is similarly omitted frequently in the same list (e.g. between ver. 38 and 39, etc.). The indications of site and name correspond quite well to those of Beit-Jerja, marked on Van de Velde's Map 5.5 miles S.E. of Ashkelon.
2. (Sept. Βηθδαγών v. r. Βαιθεγενέθ.) A city near the S.E. border of the tribe of Asher, between the mouth of the Shihor-libnath and Zebulon (Jos 19:27); a position which agrees with that of the modern ruined village Hajeli, marked on Van de Velde's Map about 3.5 miles S.E. of Athlit. SEE TRIBE. The name and the proximity to the coast point to its being a Philistine colony. Schwarz's attempt at a location (Palest. p. 192) is utterly destitute of foundation.
3. Eusebius and Jerome (Onomast. s.v. Βεδαγών, Bethdagon) speak of a "large village" by this name (Παραδαγών, Caphardago) as extant in their day between Diospolis (Lydda) and Jamnia; without doubt the present Beit-Dejan (Robinson, Researches, 3, 30; Tobler, Topog. 2, 405; yet Schwarz says [Palest. p. 104], "not a vestige can be found!").