“Then Simon brought forward his force. He engaged the phalanx in battle because the cavalry was exhausted. They were overwhelmed by him and fled as the cavalry was dispersed in the plain. They fled to Azotus. There they entered Beth-dagon, the temple of their idol, for safety. But Jonathan burned Azotus and the surrounding towns and plundered them. He burned with fire the temple of Dagon and those who had taken refuge in it. The number of those who fell by the sword, with those burned alive, came to eight thousand men.”
Simon then brought his reserve forces into play. They overwhelmed the army of Apollonius as it dispersed. The troops of Apollonius fled to the city of Azotus and to their temple of Dagon. The mention of Dagon at Azotus or Ashdod goes back to Samson in Judges, chapter 16 and the Philistines with the Ark of the Covenant in 1 Samuel, chapter 5. Jonathan was not very tolerant of other religious beliefs so he burned down the temple with the refugees inside it. Altogether he wiped out 8,000 people either with the sword or by burning.