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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Ekron

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(Hebrews Ekron', עֶקְרוֹן, eradication, comp. Zephaniah 2:4, which apparently contains a play upon the word; Sept. [usually] and Josephus Ἀκκαρών, Vulg. Accaron), one of the five towns belonging to the lords of the Philistines, and the most northerly of the five (Joshua 13:3). Like the other Philistine cities, its situation was in the maritime plain. In the general distribution of territory (unconquered as well as conquered) Ekron was assigned to Judah, as being upon its border (Joshua 13:3), between Bethshemesh and Jabneel (Joshua 15:11; Joshua 15:45), but apparently was afterwards given to Dan, although conquered by Judah (Joshua 15:11; Joshua 15:45; Joshua 19:43; Judges 1:18; comp. Josephus, Ant. 5:1, 22; 5:2, 4). But it mattered little to which tribe it nominally belonged, for before the monarchy it was again in full possession of the Philistines (1 Samuel 5:10). In Scripture Ekron is chiefly remarkable from the ark having been sent home from thence, upon a new cart draw n by two much kine (1 Samuel 5:10; 1 Samuel 6:1-8). Ekron was the last place to which the ark was carried before its return to Israel, and the mortality there in consequence seems to have been greater than at either Ashdod or Gath. (The Sept. in both MSS., and Josephus [Ant. 6:1, 1], substitute Ascalon for Ekron throughout this passage [1 Samuel 5:10-12]. In support of this it should be remarked that, according to the Hebrew text, the golden trespass-offerings were given for Ashkelon, though it is omitted from the detailed narrative of the journeyings of the ark. There are other important differences between the Sept. and Hebrew texts of this transaction. See especially v. 60) From Ekron to Bethshemesh (q.v.) was a straight highway (Thomson, Land and Book, 2:309). After David's victory over Goliath, the Philistines were pursued as far as this place (1 Samuel 17:52). Henceforward Ekron appears to have remained uninterruptedly in the hands of the Philistines (1 Samuel 17:52; 2 Kings 1:2; 2 Kings 1:16; Jeremiah 25:20). Except the casual mention of a noted sanctuary of Baalzebub (q.v.) existing there (2 Kings 1:2-3; 2 Kings 1:6; 2 Kings 1:16), there is nothing to distinguish Ekron from any other town of this district. In later days it is merely named with the other cities of the Philistines in the denunciations of the prophets against that people (Jeremiah 25:20; Amos 1:8; Zephaniah 2:4; Zechariah 9:5). The name occurs in the cuneiform inscriptions (q.v.) of the Assyrian monuments. In the Apocropha it appears as Accaron (Ἀκκαρών, 1 Maccabees 10:89, only), bestowed with its borders (τὰ ὅρια αὐτῆς ) by Alexander Balas on Jonathan Maccabaeus as a reward for his services. Eusebius and Jerome describe it (Onomast. s.v. ] Ακκαρών , Accaron) as a large village of the Jews, between Azotus and Jamnia towards the east, or eastward of a line drawn between these two places., The same name Accaron occurs incidentally in the histories of the Crusades (Gesta Dei per Francos, page 404). The site of Ekron has lately been recognized by Dr. Robinson (Bib. Researcher, 3:24) in that of 'Akir, in a situation corresponding to all that we know of Ekron. The radical letters of the Arabic name are the same as those of the Hebrew, and both the Christians and Moslems of the neighborhood regard the site as that of the ancient Ekron. It is a considerable Moslem village, about five miles southwest of Ramleh, and three due east of Yebna, on the northern side of the important valley Wady Surar. It is built of unburnt bricks, and, as there are no apparent ruins, the ancient town was probably of the same materials. It is alleged, however, that cisterns and the stones of hand-mills are often found at Akir and in the adjacent fields. The plain south is rich, but immediately round the village it has a dreary, forsaken appearance (hence perhaps the name = "wasteness"), only relieved by a few scattered stunted trees (Porter, Handb. page 275; and see Van de Velde, 2:169).


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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Ekron'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/e/ekron.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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