19617401911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 9 — EkronRobert Alexander Stewart Macalister

EKRON (better, as in the Septuagint and Josephus, Accaron, Ἀκκαρών), a royal city of the Philistines commonly identified with the modern Syrian village of ʽAḳir, 5 m. from Ramleh, on the southern slope of a low ridge separating the plain of Philistia from Sharon. It lay inland and off the main line of traffic. Though included by the Israelites within the limits of the tribe of Judah, and mentioned in Judges xix. as one of the cities of Dan, it was in Philistine possession in the days of Samuel, and apparently maintained its independence. According to the narrative of the Hebrew text, here differing from the Greek text and Josephus (which read Askelon), it was the last town to which the ark was transferred before its restoration to the Israelites. Its maintenance of a sanctuary of Baal Zebub is mentioned in 2 Kings i. From Assyrian inscriptions it has been gathered that Padi, king of Ekron, was for a time the vassal of Hezekiah of Judah, but regained his independence when the latter was hard pressed by Sennacherib. A notice of its history in 147 B.C. is found in 1 Macc. x. 89; after the fall of Jerusalem A.D. 70 it was settled by Jews. At the time of the crusades it was still a large village. Recently a Jewish agricultural colony has been settled there. The houses are built of mud, and in the absence of visible remains of antiquity, the identification of the site is questionable. The neighbourhood is fertile.  (R. A. S. M.)