ek'-ron, ek'-ron-it 'eqron, "migration," "rooting out"; Akkaron): The most northerly of the chief cities of the Philistines. It was not subdued by Joshua (13:3) but was allotted, in the division of the land, first to Judah and then to Dan (Jos 15:11,45-46; 19:43). It was taken by Judah (Jg 1:18). The people of Ekron are prominent in the story of the ark in the land of the Philistines. It was they who proposed to have it sent back to Israel (1Sa 5:10; 6:16-17). After the defeat of the Philistines, when David killed Goliath, the Israelites pursued them to the gates of Ekron, which was evidently the nearest walled town in which the fugitives could take refuge (1Sa 17:52). It was the seat of the worship of the god Baalzebub, as appears in the account of the sickness and death of Ahaziah (2Ki 1:2-3,6:2Ki 16:1-20). It is included among other cities in the denunciations of Amos (1:8) and of Jeremiah (25:20). Zephaniah declares that it shall be rooted up (2:4), and Zechariah speaks of its consternation at the fall of Tyre (9:5,7). From the Assyrian records we learn that it revolted against Sennacherib and expelled Padi, the governor he had placed over it, and sent him to Hezekiah, at Jerusalem, for safe keeping. Sennacherib marched against it and Ekron called in the aid of the king of Mutsri, formerly supposed to be Egypt but now regarded by some scholars as a district of Northwestern Arabia. Sennacherib raised the siege of Ekron to defeat this army, which he did at Eltekeh, and then returned and took the city by storm and put to death the leaders of the revolt and carried their adherents into captivity. He then compelled Hezekiah to restore Padi, who was once more made governor. This affair led to the famous attack of Sennacherib on Hezekiah and Jerusalem (Rawl., Anc. Mon., II, 159). Ekron is mentioned in 1 Macc 10:89 as being given by Alexander Balas to Jonathan Maccabeus, and it appears in the accounts of the first Crusade.
Ekronite: An inhabitant of Ekron, used in plural in Jos 13:3 and 1Sa 5:10.