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.
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George Leo Haydock
The stump of, seems to be wanting in Hebrew. (Haydock)
Only the lower part, which resembled a fish, (Dag) was left on its pedestal.
Day. The Philistines themselves established this custom, which was a tacit confession of the imbecility of the idol, which they nevertheless continued to adore. The prophet Sophonias, (i. 9,) is supposed to accuse the Jews of imitating this superstition. The ancient Christians, out of respect, kissed the thresholds of the churches of the apostles and martyrs. (Prudentius in S. Romano.)
The Persians still refrain from treading on those of certain mosques, which are covered with silver. (Tavernier i. 5.) ...
In short, if you believe the place is holy because the law and the books of prophets are there, then it is time for you to believe that idols and the temples of idols are holy. Once, when the Jews were at war, the people of Ashdod conquered them, took their ark and brought it into their own temple. Did the fact that it contained the ark make their temple a holy place? By no means! It continued to be profane and unclean, as the events immediately proved. For God wanted to teach the enemies of the Jews that the defeat was not due to God’s weakness but to the transgressions of those who worshiped him. And so the ark, which had been taken as booty in war, gave proof of its own power in an alien land by twice throwing the idol to the ground so that the idol was broken. The ark was so far from making that temple a holy place that it even openly attacked it. - "Discourses Against Judaizing Christians 6.7.1" ...
And now is not the first time, but he has performed these amazing marvels from time immemorial. It is not pertinent to enumerate them all; I shall mention what seems to resemble these events most closely. Once when the Jews waged war in Palestine with certain foreigners and the enemy was victorious and took the ark of God, they dedicated it as the choice part of the spoils to one of their local idols named Dagon; and, as soon as the ark was brought in, the statue fell down and lay on its face. Since they did not comprehend God’s mighty power from this fall but set it up and again placed it on its pedestal, when they appeared the next day at dawn they observed that it was no longer simply fallen but also quite broken. The arms, detached from the shoulders, were flung onto the threshold of the temple, with the feet; and the rest of the statue was scattered in another place in pieces.… Therefore the place, which is able to exist for a long time, receives the blow and reminds each succeedi...