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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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GAZA . A city of the Philistine Pentapolis. It is referred to in Genesis ( Genesis 10:19 ) as a border city of the Canaanites, and in Joshua 10:41 as a limit of the South country conquered by Joshua; a refuge of the Anakim ( Joshua 11:22 ), theoretically assigned to Judah ( Joshua 15:47 ). Samson was here shut in by the Philistines, and escaped by carrying away the gates ( Judges 16:1-3 ); he was, however; brought back here in captivity after being betrayed by Delilah, and here he destroyed himself and the Philistines by pulling down the temple ( Judges 16:21-30 ). Gaza was never for long in Israelite hands. It withstood Alexander for five months (b.c. 332). In b.c. 96 it was razed to the ground, and in b.c. 57 rebuilt on a new site, the previous site being distinguished as ‘Old’ or ‘Desert’ Gaza (cf. Acts 8:26 ). It was successively in Greek, Byzantine Christian (a.d. 402), Muslim (635), and Crusader hands; it was finally lost by the Franks in 1244. A Crusaders’ church remains in the town, now a mosque. It is now a city of about 16,000 inhabitants, and bears the name Ghuzzeh .

R. A. S. Macalister.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Gaza'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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