A city in the hands in turn of the tribe of Judah (Judg. 1: 18), the Philistines (1 Sam. 6: 17), the Assyrians, Judah under Hezekiah (2 Kgs. 18: 8), the Egyptians (609 BCE), and the Seleucids. It was destroyed by Jonathan the Hasmonean (145 BCE) and rebuilt by the Romans, after which it was inhabited by both Jews and Christians.