Dagon was the chief deity of the Philistines, and the worship of this pagan god dates back the third millennium BC. According to ancient mythology, Dagon was the father of Baal. He was the fish god (dag in Hebrew means “fish”), and he was represented as a half-man, half-fish creature. This image furthered an evolutionary belief that both men and fish had evolved together from the primal waters. Dagon may also have been the provider of grain. So Dagon was similar to many other idols in that he personified natural forces that had supposedly produced all things.

There are three places where Dagon is mentioned in the Bible. The first mention is Judges 16:23, where we are told that Dagon was the god of the Philistines. The Philistines offered “a great sacrifice” to Dagon, believing that their idol had delivered Samson into their hands. First Chronicles 10:10 mentions a temple of Dagon in which the head of King Saul was fastened. Then, in 1 Samuel 5, Dagon is brought to humiliation by the True God of the Israelites.

What an interesting story is found in 1 Samuel 5! The Philistines had captured the Ark of the Covenant, and they “carried the ark into Dagon’s temple and set it beside Dagon. When the people of [the city of] Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord! They took Dagon and put him back in his place. But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord! His head and hands had been broken off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained. That is why to this day neither the priests of Dagon nor any others who enter Dagon’s temple at Ashdod step on the threshold. The Lord’s hand was heavy on the people of Ashdod and its vicinity; he brought devastation on them and afflicted them with tumors. When the people of Ashdod saw what was happening, they said, ‘The ark of the god of Israel must not stay here with us, because his hand is heavy on us and on Dagon our god’” (verses 2-7). Who says God does not have a sense of humor? This has to be one of the more funny passages in the entire Bible. For further reading, see 1 Samuel 6 for the account of the Philistines’ attempt to solve their dilemma— with golden rats and golden tumors (or, as some translations put it, “golden hemorrhoids”)!

Dagon figures into the story of Jonah, as well, although the deity is not mentioned by name in Jonah’s book. The Assyrians in Ninevah, to whom Jonah was sent as a missionary, worshiped Dagon and his female counterpart, the fish goddess Nanshe. Jonah, of course, did not go straight to Ninevah but had to be brought there via miraculous means. The transportation God provided for Jonah—a great fish—would have been full of meaning for the Ninevites. When Jonah arrived in their city, he made quite a splash, so to speak. He was a man who had been inside a fish for three days and directly deposited by a fish on the shores of Assyria. The Ninevites, who worshiped a fish god, were duly impressed; they gave Jonah their attention and repented of their sin.

What is the origin of the Pope's hat?


Dagon, the fish-god of the Philistines and Babylonians, wore a fish hat that is still seen today with Roman Catholic Church's pope and bishops. 


According to Ruben Joseph's book entitled, Why Are The Young People Leaving The Church,

"The miter is derived directly from the miters of the ancient pagan fish-god dagon and the goddess Cybele.  The papal miter represents the head of Dagon with an open mouth, which is the reason for the pointed shape and split top."

The book Nineveh and Babylon by Austen Henry Layard stated:

In their veneration and worship of Dagon, the high priest of paganism would actually put on a garment that had been created from a huge fish!


The head of the fish formed a mitre above that of the old man, while its scaly, fan-like tail fell as a cloak behind, leaving the human limbs and feet exposed.


The most prominent form of  worship in Babylon was dedicated to Dagon, later known as Ichthys, or the fish.


In Chaldean times, the head of the church was the representative of Dagon, he was considered to be infallible, and was addressed as ‘Your Holiness’.


Nations subdued by Babylon had to kiss the ring and slipper of the Babylonian god-king. The same powers and the same titles are claimed to this day by the Dalai Lama of Buddhism, and the Pope.


Moreover, the vestments of paganism, the fish mitre and robes of the priests of Dagon are worn by the Catholic bishops, cardinals and popes.


Ea Enki, who is a God of Sumerian (Enki) and Babylonian (Ea) mythology

  • In Babylonian mythology, Ea was a water god who was half man, half fish hybrid.

  • In Greek mythology, Ea was known as Oannes. 

By any name, this fish-god can be traced back to the genetic manipulation of man by the Anunnaki, as evidenced by Zecharia Sitchin's work


It is believed that, in the daytime, this deity would emerge from the water and was responsible for teaching art, science and writing to the human race. 


Berossus, a 3rd century Babylonian priest once wrote,

At first they led a somewhat wretched existence and lived without rule after the manner of beasts.


But, in the first year after the flood appeared an animal endowed with human reason, named Oannes, who rose from out of the Erythian Sea, at the point where it borders Babylonia. He had the whole body of a fish, but above his fish's head he had another head which was that of a man, and human feet emerged from beneath his fish's tail.


He had a human voice, and an image of him is preserved unto this day.


He passed the day in the midst of men without taking food; he taught them the use of letters, sciences and arts of all kinds. He taught them to construct cities, to found temples, to compile laws, and explained to them the principles of geometrical knowledge.


He made them distinguish the seeds of the earth, and showed them how to collect the fruits; in short he instructed them in everything which could tend to soften human manners and humanize their laws.


From that time nothing material has been added by way of improvement to his instructions.


And when the sun set, this being Oannes, retired again into the sea, for he was amphibious.


The chief priests wore miters shaped like the head of fish, in honor of Dagon, the fish-god, the lord of life - another form of the Tammuz mystery, as developed among Israel's old enemies, the Philistines. 


When the chief priest was established in Rome, he took the title Pontifex Maximus, which was imprinted on his miter. 


When Julius Caesar (who like all young Roman of good family, was an initiate) had become the head of State, he was elected Pontifex Maximus, and this title was held henceforth by all of the Roman emperors down to Constantine the Great, who was, at one and the same time, head of the church and high priest of the heathen!
was an ancient northwest Semitic god worshiped by the early Amorites and by the people of Ebla and Ugarit. He was also a major god, perhaps the chief god, of the biblical Philistines.

Mythological sources on Dagon are far from consistent. The prevailing view today is that Dagon was a fertility deity related to grain and agriculture. In some cultures he may have been identical with Baal/Hadad. However, some authorities regard him as a type of merman figure or fish-deity of the the Sea Peoples. Most popular images of him portray Dagon in this vein.

In the biblical story of Samson, it is a temple of Dagon which the Hebrew hero pulled down in the final act of his drama. It is also likely that Dagon was among the deities invoked by the giant Philistine warrior Goliath in his taunts against Israel and David.

Dagon has become a popular figure in recent literature, movies, and the fantasy-role-playing game genre.


Dagon's name appears in Hebrew as דגון (transcribed Dagon or sometimes "Dagan"), in Ugaritic as dgn (probably vocalized as Dagnu), and in Akkadian as Dagana, Daguna.

In Ugaritic, the word dgn means "grain." Similarly, in Hebrew dāgān {Samaritan dīgan) is an archaic word for grain, related to Arabic dagn ("rain" or "rain-cloud"). The Phoenician writer Sanchuniathon translated Dagon into Greek as Siton, again meaning "grain." He further explained: "And Dagon, after he discovered grain and the plough, was called Zeus Arotrios." The word Arotrios means both "ploughman" and "pertaining to agriculture."

However, the fact that the Hebrew word dāg/dâg means "small fish" led to a tradition that Dagon was a fish-god, as this is consistent with his worship by the so-called Sea Peoples. Archaeological finds of representations of such a deity, though not overtly identified as Dagon, tended to confirm this hypothesis. (See Fish-god tradition below.)

Non-Biblical sources

The god Dagon first appears in archaeological records about 2500 B.C.E. in the Mari documents and in personal Amorite names in which the gods Ilu (Ēl), Dagan, and Hadad/Adad are especially common. At Ebla (Tell Mardikh), from at least 2300 B.C.E., Dagan was the head of the city pantheon, which included some 200 deities. He bore such titles as BE-DINGIR-DINGIR (Lord-God of gods) and Bekalam (Lord of the land). His consort was known only as Belatu, "The Lady." Both were worshiped in a large temple complex called E-Mul, the "House of the Star." One entire quarter of Ebla and one of its gates were named after Dagan. Dagan is also called ti-lu ma-tim ("dew of the land") and Be-ka-na-na (possibly "Lord of Canaan"). He was the patron god of several towns or cities, including Tuttul, Irim, Ma-Ne, Zarad, Uguash, Siwad, and Sipishu.

An interesting early reference to Dagan occurs in a clay tablet letter written to King Zimri-Lim of Mari, eighteenth century B.C.E., written by the governor of Nahur, biblical Nahor. (ANET, p. 623) It relates a dream in which Dagan blamed a military defeat of Zimri-Lim on his failure to bring a report of his deeds to Dagan at his temple. Dagan promises that when Zimri-Lim has done so, "I will have the kings of the Yaminites cooked on a fisherman's spit, and I will lay them before you."

In Ugarit around 1300 B.C.E., Dagon had a large temple and was listed third in the pantheon following a father-god and Ēl, and preceding Baīl Ṣapān (also called Hadad). However, in the known Ugaritic mythological texts, Dagon is mentioned solely in passing, as the father of the Hadad. According to Sanchuniathon, Dagon was the brother of El/Cronus and not Hadad's father.

Dagan is mentioned occasionally in early Sumerian texts but becomes prominent only in later Akkadian inscriptions as a powerful and warlike protector, sometimes equated with Enlil. Dagan's wife was in some sources the goddess Shala (also named as wife of Hadad and sometimes identified with Ninlil). In other texts, his wife is called Ishara. In the preface to his famous law code, King Hammurabi calls himself "the subduer of the settlements along the Euphrates with the help of Dagan, his creator." An inscription about an expedition of Naram-Sin to the Cedar Mountain relates "Naram-Sin slew Arman and Ibla with the 'weapon' of the god Dagan who aggrandizes his kingdom." (ANET, p. 268). The stele (a standing inscribed stone monument) of Ashurnasirpal II refers to Ashurnasirpal as the favorite of Anu and of Dagan. (ANET, p. 558). In an Assyrian poem, Dagan appears beside Nergal and Misharu as a judge of the dead. A late Babylonian text makes him the underworld prison warder.

The Phoenician inscription on the sarcophagus of King Eshmunʿazar of Sidon (fifth century B.C.E.) relates: "Furthermore, the Lord of Kings gave us Dor and Joppa, the mighty lands of Dagon, which are in the Plain of Sharon, in accordance with the important deeds which I did" (ANET, p. 662).

Dagan was sometimes used in royal names. Two kings of the Dynasty of Isin were Iddin-Dagan (c. 1974–1954 B.C.E.) and Ishme-Dagan (c. 1953–1935 B.C.E.). The latter name was later used by two Assyria|Assyrian kings: Ishme-Dagan I (c. 1782–1742 BCE) and Ishme-Dagan II (c. 1610–1594 BCE).

In Biblical texts and commentaries

In the Hebrew Bible, Dagon is particularly the god of the Philistines, with temples at Beth-dagon in the territory of the tribe of Asher (Joshua 19:27) and in the Philistine cities of Gaza (Judges 16:23) and Ashdod (1 Samuel 5).

According to Judges 16, the temple of Dagon in Gaza was destroyed by Samson as his final act. The account in 1 Samuel 5.2–7 relates how the ark of Yahweh was captured by the Philistines and taken to Dagon's temple in Ashdod.

There was also a place known as Beth-Dagon in the territory of the Judah (Joshua 15:41). Josephus (Antiquities 12.8.1; War 1.2.3) mentions a place named Dagon north of Jericho. Saint Jerome mentions a place called Caferdago (Kafar Dagon) between Diospolis and Jamnia. There is also a modern Beit Dejan south-east of Nablus. Some of these names, however, may have to do with simple grain production rather than the god Dagon himself.

Rabbinical tradition holds that the Philistine warrior Goliath was a devotee of Dagon. The same tradition holds that it was Goliath who captured the Ark of the Covenant as described in 1 Samuel 5, above. Goliath had the image of Dagon engraved on his chest and invoked this deity in his taunts against Israel and David prior to his death.