Bible Meaning: Powerful
Strong's Concordance #H795
Ashdod was one of the five major cities, the others being Gaza, Ashkelon, Ekron and Gath, controlled by the Philistines (Joshua 13:3). Although the city was given to the tribe of Judah as an inheritance in Canaan, the Philistines dominated it for many years.
Ashdod was a place where giant and fearsome warriors, known as the children of Anak, lived as late as the time of King David (Joshua 11:22, 1Samuel 17). Additionally, it is where the Philistines initially brought the Ark of the Covenant after they defeated Israel in battle (1Samuel 5:1).
In the New Testament Ashdod is referred to as Azotus, a name which means "a stronghold" (Strong's #G108). After Philip baptized an Ethiopian eunuch, he was miraculously transported to the city of Azotus. While in the city he preached the gospel to the inhabitants (Acts 8:40).
There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel: only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, there remained.
Ashdod with her towns and her villages, Gaza with her towns and her villages, unto the river of Egypt, and the great sea, and the border thereof.
And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod.
But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, even Ashdod and the coasts thereof.
And he went forth and warred against the Philistines, and brake down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines.
And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the language of each people.
In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it.
And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon, and I will turn mine hand against Ekron: and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord GOD.
For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up.
But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.