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In Bible versions:

Danite: NET
Mahaneh Dan: NET NIV
Camp of Dan: NET
Mahaneh-Dan: AVS TEV
Mahaneh-dan: NRSV NASB
the son of Jacob & Bilhah, Rachel's maid
the tribe of Dan; descendants of Dan, son of Israel
a town taken over by the Danites 40 km north of Lake Galilee
residents of the town of Dan; members of the tribe of Dan
the tribe of Dan as a whole; the descendants of Dan in Israel
a town between Zorah and Eshtaol, about 14 km east of Ekron

judgment; he that judges
NETBible Maps: Map1 C1 ; Map2 F4 ; OT2 D2 ; OT4 D2 ; OT5 D2
Google Maps: Dan (33° 14´, 35° 39´); Mahaneh-dan (31° 45´, 34° 59´)
Arts Topics: Golden Calves at Bethel and Dan; Portraits of Dan


Strongs #01835: Nd Dan

Dan = "a judge"

1) the 5th son of Jacob, the 1st of Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid
2) the tribe descended from Dan, the son of Jacob

n pr loc
3) a city in Dan, the most northern landmark of Palestine

1835 Dan dawn

from 1777; judge; Dan, one of the sons of Jacob; also the
tribe descended from him, and its territory; likewise a place
in Palestine colonized by them:-Dan.
see HEBREW for 01777

Strongs #01839: ynd Daniy

Danites = "judge"

1) descendants of Dan, son of Jacob
2) inhabitants of the territory of Dan

1839 Daniy daw-nee'

patronymically from 1835; a Danite (often collectively) or
descendants (or inhabitants) of Dan:-Danites, of Dan.
see HEBREW for 01835

Strongs #04265: Nd-hnxm Machaneh-Dan

Mahaneh-dan = "camp of Dan"

1) campsite of the tribe of Dan; place behind Kirjath-jearim and
between Zorah and Eshtaol

4265 Machaneh-Dan makh-an-ay'-dawn

from 4264 and 1835; camp of Dan; Machaneh-Dan, a place in
see HEBREW for 04264
see HEBREW for 01835

Dan [EBD]

a judge. (1.) The fifth son of Jacob. His mother was Bilhah, Rachel's maid (Gen. 30:6, "God hath judged me", Heb. dananni). The blessing pronounced on him by his father was, "Dan shall judge his people" (49:16), probably in allusion to the judgeship of Samson, who was of the tribe of Dan.

The tribe of Dan had their place in the march through the wilderness on the north side of the tabernacle (Num. 2:25, 31; 10:25). It was the last of the tribes to receive a portion in the Land of Promise. Its position and extent are described in Josh. 19:40-48.

The territory of Dan extended from the west of that of Ephraim and Benjamin to the sea. It was a small territory, but was very fertile. It included in it, among others, the cities of Lydda, Ekron, and Joppa, which formed its northern boundary. But this district was too limited. "Squeezed into the narrow strip between the mountains and the sea, its energies were great beyond its numbers." Being pressed by the Amorites and the Philistines, whom they were unable to conquer, they longed for a wider space. They accordingly sent out five spies from two of their towns, who went north to the sources of the Jordan, and brought back a favourable report regarding that region. "Arise," they said, "be not slothful to go, and to possess the land," for it is "a place where there is no want of any thing that is in the earth" (Judg. 18:10). On receiving this report, 600 Danites girded on their weapons of war, and taking with them their wives and their children, marched to the foot of Hermon, and fought against Leshem, and took it from the Sidonians, and dwelt therein, and changed the name of the conquered town to Dan (Josh. 19:47). This new city of Dan became to them a new home, and was wont to be spoken of as the northern limit of Palestine, the length of which came to be denoted by the expression "from Dan to Beersheba", i.e., about 144 miles.

"But like Lot under a similar temptation, they seem to have succumbed to the evil influences around them, and to have sunk down into a condition of semi-heathenism from which they never emerged. The mounds of ruins which mark the site of the city show that it covered a considerable extent of ground. But there remains no record of any noble deed wrought by the degenerate tribe. Their name disappears from the roll-book of the natural and the spiritual Israel.", Manning's Those Holy Fields.

This old border city was originally called Laish. Its modern name is Tell el-Kady, "Hill of the Judge." It stands about four miles below Caesarea Philippi, in the midst of a region of surpassing richness and beauty.

(2.) This name occurs in Ezek 27:19, Authorize Version; but the words there, "Dan also," should be simply, as in the Revised Version, "Vedan," an Arabian city, from which various kinds of merchandise were brought to Tyre. Some suppose it to have been the city of Aden in Arabia. (See MAHANEH-DAN »2375.)

Mahaneh-dan [EBD]

Judg. 18:12 = "camp of Dan" 13:25 (R.V., "Mahaneh-dan"), a place behind (i.e., west of) Kirjath-jearim, where the six hundred Danites from Zorah and Eshtaol encamped on their way to capture the city of Laish, which they rebuilt and called "Dan, after the name of their father" (18:11-31). The Palestine Explorers point to a ruin called 'Erma, situated about 3 miles from the great corn valley on the east of Samson's home.

Dan [NAVE]

1. Fifth son of Jacob and Bilhah, Gen. 30:6; 35:25.
Descendants of, Gen. 46:23; Num. 26:42, 43.
See: Tribe of, below. Blessed of Jacob, Gen. 49:16, 17.
Tribe of
Census of, Num. 1:39; 26:42, 43.
Inheritance of, according to the allotment of Joshua, Josh. 19:40-47; of Ezekiel, Ezek. 48:1.
Position of, in journey and camp, during the exodus, Num. 2:25, 31; 10:25.
Blessed by Moses, Deut. 33:22.
Fail to conquer the Amorites, Judg. 1:34, 35.
Conquests by, Josh. 19:47; Judg. 18:27-29.
Deborah rebukes, for cowardice, Judg. 5:17.
Idolatry of, Judg. 18.
Commerce of, Judg. 5:17; Ezek. 27:19.
See: Israel, Tribes of.
3. A city of the tribe of Dan. Called also Laish, and Leshem, Gen. 14:14; Deut. 34:1; Judg. 20:1; Jer. 8:16.
Captured by the people of Dan, Josh. 19:47.
Idolatry established at, Judg. 18; 1 Kin. 12:28, 29; Amos 8:14.
Captured by Ben-hadad, 1 Kin. 15:20; 2 Chr. 16:4.

Danites [NAVE]

See: Dan, Tribe Of.

Mahaneh-dan [NAVE]

MAHANEH-DAN, an encampment of the Danites, Judg. 13:25; 18:12.


(a judge).
  1. The fifth son of Jacob, and the first of Bilhah, Rachel?s maid. (Genesis 30:6) (B.C. after 1753.) The origin of the name is given in the exclamation of Rachel. The records of Dan are unusually meagre. Only one son is attributed to him, (Genesis 46:23) but his tribe was, with the exception of Judah, the most numerous of all. In the division of the promised land Dan was the last of the tribes to receive his portion, which was the smallest of the twelve. (Joshua 19:48) But notwithstanding its smallness it had eminent natural advantages. On the north and east it was completely embraced by its two brother tribes Ephraim and Benjamin, while on the southeast and south it joined Judah, and was thus surrounded by the three most powerful states of the whole confederacy. It was a rich and fertile district; but the Amorites soon "forced them into the mountain," (Judges 1:34) and they had another portion granted them. Judges 18. In the "security" and "quiet," (Judges 18:7,10) of their rich northern possession the Danites enjoyed the leisure and repose which had been denied them in their original seat. In the time of David Dan still kept its place among the tribes. (1 Chronicles 12:35) Asher is omitted, but the "prince of the tribe of Dan" is mentioned in the list of (1 Chronicles 27:22) But from this time forward the name as applied to the tribe vanishes; it is kept alive only by the northern city. In the genealogies of 1Chr 2-12, Dan is omitted entirely. Lastly, Dan is omitted from the list of those who were sealed by the angel in the vision of St. John. (Revelation 7:5-7)
  2. The well-known city, so familiar as the most northern landmark of Palestine, in the common expression "from Dan even to beersheba." The name of the place was originally LAISH or LESHEM. (Joshua 19:47) After the establishment of the Danites at Dan it became the acknowledged extremity of the country. It is now Tell el-Kadi , a mound, three miles from Banias, from the foot of which gushes out one of the largest fountains in the world, the main source of the Jordan.


DAN (1); DAN, TRIBE OF - (dan, "judge"; Dan).

1. Name:

The fifth of Jacob's sons, the first borne to him by Bilhah, the maid of Rachel, to whom, as the child of her slave, he legally belonged. At his birth Rachel, whose barrenness had been a sore trial to her, exclaimed "God hath judged me .... and hath given me a son," so she called his name Dan, i.e. "judge" (Gen 30:6). He was full brother of Naphtali. In Jacob's Blessing there is an echo of Rachel's words, "Dan shall judge his people" (Gen 49:16). Of the patriarch Dan almost nothing is recorded. Of his sons at the settlement in Egypt only one, Hushim, is mentioned (Gen 46:23). The name in Nu 26:42 is Shuham.

2. The Tribe:

The tribe however stands second in point of numbers on leaving Egypt, furnishing 62,700 men of war (Nu 1:39); and at the second census they were 64,400 strong (Nu 26:43). The standard of the camp of Dan in the desert march, with which were Asher and Naphtali, was on the north side of the tabernacle (Nu 2:25; 10:25; compare Josh 6:9 the King James Version margin, "gathering host"). The prince of the tribe was Ahiezer (Nu 1:12). Among the spies Dan was represented by Ammiel the son of Gemalli (Nu 13:12). Of the tribe of Dan was Oholiab (the King James Version "Aholiab") one of the wise-hearted artificers engaged in the construction of the tabernacle (Ex 31:6). One who was stoned for blasphemy was the son of a Danite woman (Lev 24:10 f). At the ceremony of blessing and cursing, Dan and Naphtali stood on Mount Ebal, while the other Rachel tribes were on Gerizim (Dt 27:13). The prince of Dan at the division of the land was Bukki the son of Jogli (Nu 34:22).

3. Territory:

The portion assigned to Dan adjoined those of Ephraim, Benjamin and Judah, and lay on the western slopes of the mountain. The reference in Jdg 5:17: "And Dan, why did he remain in ships?" seems to mean that on the West, Dan had reached the sea. But the passage is one of difficulty. We are told that the Amorites forced the children of Dan into the mountain (Jdg 1:34), so they did not enjoy the richest part of their ideal portion, the fertile plain between the mountain and the sea. The strong hand of the house of Joseph kept the Amorites tributary, but did not drive them out. Later we find Dan oppressed by the Philistines, against whom the heroic exploits of Samson were performed (Jdg 14 ff). The expedition of the Danites recorded in Jdg 18 is referred to in Josh 19:47 ff.

4. The Danite Raid:

The story affords a priceless glimpse of the conditions prevailing in those days. Desiring an extension of territory, the Danites sent out spies, who recommended an attack upon Laish, a city at the north end of the Jordan valley. The people, possibly a colony from Sidon, were careless in their fancied security. The land was large, and there was "no want of anything that was in the earth." The expedition of the 600, their dealings with Micah and his priest, their capture of Laish, and their founding of an idol shrine with priestly attendant, illustrate the strange mingling of lawlessness and superstition which was characteristic of the time. The town rebuilt on the site of Laish they called Dan--see following article. Perhaps 2 Ch 2:14 may be taken to indicate that the Danites intermarried with the Phoenicians. Divided between its ancient seat in the South and the new territory in the North the tribe retained its place in Israel for a time (1 Ch 12:35; 27:22), but it played no part of importance in the subsequent history. The name disappears from the genealogical lists of Chronicles; and it is not mentioned among the tribes in Rev 7:5 ff.

Samson was the one great man produced by Dan, and he seems to have embodied the leading characteristics of the tribe: unsteady, unscrupulous, violent, possessed of a certain grim humor; stealthy in tactics--"a serpent in the way, an adder in the path" (Gen 49:17)--but swift and strong in striking--"a lion's whelp, that leapeth forth from Bashan" (Dt 33:22). Along with Abel, Dan ranked as a city in which the true customs of old Israel were preserved (2 Sam 20:18 Septuagint).

W. Ewing

DAN (2) [ISBE]

DAN (2) - A city familiar as marking the northern limit of the land of Israel in the common phrase "from Dan even to Beer-sheba" (Jdg 20:1; 1 Sam 3:20, etc.). Its ancient name was Laish or Leshem (Jdg 18:7, etc.). It was probably an outlying settlement of Tyre of Sidon. Its inhabitants, pursuing the ends of peaceful traders, were defenseless against the onset of the Danite raiders. Having captured the city the Danites gave it the name of their own tribal ancestor (Jdg 18). It lay in the valley near Beth-rehob (Jdg 18:28). Josephus places it near Mt. Lebanon and the fountain of the lesser Jordan, a day's journey from Sidon (Ant., V, iii, 1; VIII, viii, 4; BJ, IV, i, 1). Eusebius, Onomasticon says it lay 4 Roman miles from Paneas on the way to Tyre, at the source of the Jordan. This points decisively to Tell el-Qady, in the plain West of Banias. The mound of this name--Kady is the exact Arabic equivalent of the Hebrew Dan--rises from among the bushes and reeds to a height varying from 40 to 80 ft. The largest of all the springs of the Jordan rises on the west side. The waters join with those of a smaller spring on the other side to form Nahr el-Leddan which flows southward to meet the streams from Banias and Chasbeiyeh. The mound, which is the crater of an extinct volcano, has certain ancient remains on the south side, while the tomb of Sheikh Marzuk is sheltered by two holy trees. The sanctuary and ritual established by the Danites persisted as long as the house of God was in Shiloh, and the priesthood in this idolatrous shrine remained in the family of Jonathan till the conquest of Tiglath-pileser (Jdg 18:30; 2 Ki 15:29). Here Jeroboam I set up the golden calf. The ancient sanctity of the place would tend to promote the success of his scheme (1 Ki 12:28 f, etc.). The calf, according to a Jewish tradition, was taken away by Tiglath-pileser. Dan fell before Benhadad, king of Syria (1 Ki 15:20; 2 Ch 16:4). It was regained by Jeroboam II (2 Ki 14:25). It shared the country's fate at th hands of Tiglath-pileser (2 Ki 15:29).

It was to this district that Abraham pursued the army of Chedorlaomer (Gen 14:14). For Dr. G. A. Smith's suggestion that Dan may have been at Banias see HGHL1, 473, 480 f.

W. Ewing

DAN (3) [ISBE]

DAN (3) - (Ezek 27:19 the King James Version).



DANITES - dan'-its (ha-dani): Occurs as describing those belonging to Dan in Jdg 13:2; 18:1,11; 1 Ch 12:35.


MAHANEH-DAN - ma'-ha-ne-dan (machaneh-dhan; parembole Dan): This place is mentioned twice: in Jdg 13:25 (the King James Version "the camp of Dan"), and Jdg 18:12. In Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol, the spirit of the Lord began to move Samson. Here the 600 marauders of Dan, coming from Zorah and Eshtaol, encamped behind Kiriath-jearim. It has been thought that these two statements contradict each other; or at least that they cannot both apply to the same place. But if we accept the identification of Zorah with Surah, and of Eshtaol with Eshu`, which there seems no reason to question; and if, further, we identify Kiriath-jearim with Khirbet Erma, which is at least possible, the two passages may be quite reconciled. Behind Kiriath-jearim, that is West of Khirbet Erma, runs the Vale of Sorek, on the north bank of which, about 2 miles apart, stand Zorah and Eshtaol; the former 3 1/2 miles, the latter 2 1/2 miles fron khirbet Erma. No name resembling Mahanehdan has yet been recovered; but the place may have lain within the area thus indicated, so meeting the conditions of both passages, whether it was a permanent settlement, or derived its name only from the incident mentioned in Jdg 18:12.

W. Ewing

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