Dagon – An Idol Supernaturally Falls Down Twice

WEEK 29:


1 Samuel 5:1-5 1 And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod. 2 When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. 3 And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again. 4 And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him. 5 Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that come into Dagon’s house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod unto this day.

Dagon was the chief false deity of the Philistines. Dagon was the father of Baal and was widely worshipped by peoples of the ancient Middle East. It was a common practice in the ancient world to take the chief trophies of battle into the temple of one’s patron god and set them before his/her idol as a kind of gift. The idea was to show the power and supremacy of the victor’s god over the defeater’s deity.

Knowing what we do about God, this is a perfect set up for some of  us to glory in the supremacy of our God – our God has a sense of humour too! During the night, the idol of Dagon fell down as though it was lying prostrate before The Ark of the Covenant – in the position of submission and worship! The Philistines were terribly embarrassed by this, after all this wasn’t at all the way it was supposed to work. So they propped Dagon back up again, asking one another if they’d felt the earthquake the night before.

The next morning, they again found their idol toppled over before The Ark, but this time Dagon’s head and hands were broken off, and lying at the door. This was God’s way of playing with them. There was no way an earthquake could have done this. This was the hand of God. Dagon first bows down to God, then God removes his head and hands and places them neatly where all can realize someone far more powerful than they has been at work.

God removed their idol’s head because beheading was the ultimate form of execution for authority. He removed Dagon’s hands to get across the idea that the idol was powerless to stop what was done to it. So much for The Ark of the Covenant being a trophy and even though the message was so clear, the Philistines didn’t take it to heart. Though Dagon had been shown to be a worthless piece of junk, they continued to hallow the doorway of his temple long after. What they ought to have done was haul that idol out and burn it and convert to Yahweh. But they didn’t – so God sent more evidence of His power.

Leviticus 26:1 Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.