Dagon is the deity who controls the Deep Ones, an amphibious humanoid race that currently resides in the oceans of the Earth. He is first introduced to Lovecraft’s short story “Dagon,” and is mentioned extensively in all mythos. Also known as Father Dagon and Mother Hydra’s partner, though sons, they are generally not old ones. He is worshiped by the Esoteric Order of Dagon, a secret religion based in Innsmouth.
Dagon the Fish-God
Dagon was the god of the Philistines. The word “Dagon” is derived from “dag” which means “fish.”
Although there was a deep love for Dagon’s worshipers to their god, the symbol of the fish in human form is actually designed to represent fertility and the power that stimulates nature and reproduction.
The Babylonians had a myth that a person from the Erythraean Sea was part man and was part fish and thus adopted this god in their culture in their early days of history. And it was the discovery of the fish god in the carved images found in Nineveh, Assyria.
"When the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it into the temple of Dagon and set it by Dagon. When the men of Ashdod got up early in the morning, behold, Dagon had fallen on his face to the ground before the ark. 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 body of Dagon was left unto him. "-1 Samuel 5: 2-5
"Now the lords of the Philistines gathered them together to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice. And they said, our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand. “When the people saw him, they praised their god because they said:” Our god has given into our hands our enemy, the destroyer of our country, and the one who multiplied our dead. " - Judges 16:23-24
Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand.
1 Chronicles 10:10
And they put his armor in the house of their gods, and fastened his head in the temple of Dagon.
1 Samuel 5: 7
And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, the ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us: for his hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our god.
1 Samuel 5: 2
When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon.
1 Samuel 5: 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.
1 Samuel 5: 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.
1 Samuel 5: 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.
An ancient rabbinic scholar Rashi records the tradition that the word Dagon is related to the Hebrew dag / dag ‘fish’ and that Dagon was thought to be in the form of a fish. Linguist and theologian Rabbi David Kimchi (thirteenth century) added: "It is said that Dagon, from his naval down, had the shape of a fish (where his name, Dagon), and from his center upwards, the form of a man, as it is said, with both hands cut off. "John Milton applies this principle in his book Paradise Lost Book 1
Various nineteenth-century scholars, including the biblical pioneer critic Julius Wellhausen, believe that this tradition has been attested to by the origin of the merman motif found in Assyrian and Phoenician art, including coins from Ashdod and Arvad.
Dagon is sometimes identified with Massa, a fish statue of Krishna.
In fiction and contemporary culture
Dagon was also used as a fictional character by Cthulhu Mythos, one of the secret powers known as the Great Old Ones. Dagon seems to have encouraged H. P. Lovecraft in composing his short story “Dagon,” first published in 1919. References to Dagon also appear in Lovecraft’s “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” (1936), one of Lovecraft’s most famous stories.
Fred Chappell wrote a novel called Dagon, which attempted to tell the story of Cthulhu Mythos as a true Southern Gothic novel. The novel was awarded the Best Foreign Novel Prize by the French Academy in 1972.
Dagon became the title of a movie in 2002, based on Lovecraft’s short story.
In the movie, Conan The Destroyer, Dagon or Dagoth is the god of dreams who comes to life when a horn is placed on the forehead of his statue.
In Mahou Sentai Magiranger, Dagon is the name of a creature from the Lagon Lagoon-based leader of The Infershia Pantheon Gods: Wise Hades God Dagon. His Power Rangers: Mystic Force partner is the Sculpin of Ten Terror.
Dagon was very popular in the Fantasy Role Playing genre. In the Dungeons & Dragons role-play, Dagon is the name shared by both the demon prince of the abyss and the cast-out Devil. Many other examples can be cited: In the White Wolf RPG game, Demon: Fallen, Dagon is portrayed as a man who is concerned about turning all mankind into a soulless, senseless human. In the famous Elder Scrolls RPG series, a prince named daedric is nicknamed “Mehrunes Dagon.” In the Lost Magic game, Dagon is the main Hydra, a nautilus-like beast, the only kind of fire.
What made the Dagon bow?
When the army of Israel was defeated in battle, their godless God bowed down to the enemy.
Although the Philistines had never seen the invaders of the Lost Ark, they knew enough to fear their enemy God. After returning from a battle, the Israelites sent men to Shiloh to bring back their secret weapon, the ark of the covenant. Inside this chest of gold, the most sacred vessel even the priests of the Almighty could not touch, were the stone tablets on which God’s finger had written his law. Despite the recent defeat, when Hophni and Phineas, the unfaithful sons of High Priest Eli, arrived at the camp with the ark of the covenant, they cried out in triumph. It was loud enough to shake the earth, tell the story, and shake the confidence of the Philistines.
They knew all about the God of the Hebrews, how he had delivered his people from slavery in Egypt by terrible plagues. Beating the Israelites was one thing. To strike them under the nose of their God was quite another thing. Feeling fearful, the Philistine leaders ordered their soldiers to “be men and fight.”
They fought, and the consequences were disastrous for Israel. Thirty thousand were killed in the battle, including Hophni and Pineas. The Philistines took the ark of God and brought it back to Ashdod, one trophy in the temple of their god Dagon.
Upon hearing the news, Eli, the high priest, fell backward from his seat and broke his neck. Pineas’ pregnant wife who was killed named her newborn Ichabod. “Glory,” he said, “has departed from Israel!”
The Temples of Dagon and Ashtoreth at Beth-Shan
During the 1925-26 campaign the Beisan Museum in Beisan, ancient Beth-Shan in Palestine, discovered all four Canaanite temples, two of which were built during the time of Rameses II, king of Egypt in 1292-1225 BC, one under his predecessor, Seth I, 1313-1292 B. c., And another at the time of Tell el Amarna, 1375-1350 BC Evidence shows that the southern temple of Rameses II was dedicated to the warrior god Resheph, and the northern one was dedicated to the warrior goddess Antit-Ashtoreth, whose memorial name was found on the site.
From the time of the construction of these buildings, as evidenced proves, until the time when King David expelled the Philistines, about 1000 B. c., Worship was performed in both temples, first by the Egyptians and their soldiers, and later by the Philistines. These people appear to have taken Beth-Shan at the death of Rameses III in 1167 BC but before their time, as evidence shows, there were Egyptian military forces at Beth-Shan, who, like the Philistines, came from the Aegean-Anatolian Regions. At the death of the king of Egypt these armies may have taken their territory and met with the Philistines who were coming, the Egyptians knew as Pontius.
The immigrants were never described as Egyptian mercenaries but remained as enemies. Egyptian military burial was discovered at Beth-Shan in 1922; they contained the anthropoid pottery sarcophagi of the same day (XXth Dynasty) and type as a sarcophagus of outward-looking clay found in Egypt at el-Yahudîyeh and Tell-Nebesheh. The spear that was found with the sarcophagus in the tomb is the same as that found in one of the same burials in Beth-Shan.
Frequently Asked Questions
Following are some frequently asked questions by people related to Dagon.
1. What happened to Dagon in the Bible?
1 Samuel 5 1- And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again. 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; only his body was left.
2. What does the name Dagon mean?
The name Dagon means Be Cut Open and has a Hebrew origin. The name of the Jewish fertility god, is sometimes depicted as half-human half-fish. In Hebrew / Aramaic it means “cut open.” in Arabic, Dagon means “rain cloud.
3. Why was Dagon Worshipped?
Dagan, who also wrote Dagon, a Western Semitic god of Hebrew origin, made extensive use of the ancient Middle East. In Ras Shamra, Dagan was apparently second only to El, the supreme deity, though his works as a plant god seem to have been transferred to Baal in 1500 bc.
4. Is Dagon a Cthulhu?
The most widely accepted answer is: No, Dagon and Cthulhu are not the same. Cthulhu is described as an impersonal giant with an octopus head and dragon wings.
5. How do you kill Dagon?
Dagon himself is not harmed and cannot be killed in the normal way. Fortunately, Dagon can be killed by killing 14 worshipers of Dagon.
Worshipers of Dagon are at great risk for the effects of Samum, that threatens to kill them.
Dagon or Dagan is the ancient god of Mesopotamia and ancient Canaanites. Evidently, he was worshiped as a fertility goddess in Ebla, Assyria, Ugarit, and among the Amorites. The Hebrew Bible describes him as the god of the Philistine nation with temples in Ashdod and elsewhere in Gaza.
A long encounter with a Canaanite word meaning “fish”, perhaps a return to the Iron Age, has led to its being described as a “fish god”, and a reunion of “merman” motifs in local art. -S Assyrian (as aided by “Dagon” discovered by Austen Henry Layard in the 1840s). The name of the god is derived from the root dgn ‘to have clouds’, meaning that he was originally the god of the weather. His association with the clouds, as well as the rain, shows his powerful role as the god of agriculture.
According to Philo of Byblos, the Phoenician writer Sanchuniathon described Dagon as a word meaning “grain” (siton). The Sanchuniathon goes on to explain: “And Dagon, after finding grain and a plow, was named Zeus Arotrios.” The word arotrios means “farmer” or “agriculturalist”.