Dan in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

The city at the northern bound of Israel, as Beersheba was the southern, so that" from Dan even to Beersheba" (Judges 20:1, etc., and bitterly, 1 Chronicles 21:2, "from Beersheba even to Dan") expresses the whole country. Originally Leshem or Laish, see above. "Far from Zidon, in the valley that lieth by Beth Rebob," but belonging to Zidon, as their living "after the manner of the Zidonians" implies; they were too far off for Zidon to help them when attacked by the Danites (Judges 18:7; Judges 18:28). Already in Abraham's time, the spot was called by him Dan, the scene of God's "judgment" on Chedorlaomer and the invaders (Genesis 14:14; compare Isaiah 41:1-3). But its ordinary name was even then Lasha or Laish, the north-eastern bound of Canaan, as Sodom was the southwestern bound (Genesis 10:19). This too would be an additional reason for the Danites naming their city close by Abraham's camping ground, Daniel The repetition thrice of "the city" (Judges 18:28-29) marks that there was already another application of the name "Dan," namely, to Abraham's camping ground (compare Deuteronomy 34:1). Le Clerc suggests that the fountain was called Dan, "judge," as Ainmishpat means "the fount of justice." The city was smitten by Benhadad (1 Kings 15:20, the last place of mentioning it). Now Tel-el-Kady (the Arabic equivalent to Dan), "the judge's mound," whose long level top is strewed with ruins, probably those of Daniel From its foot gushes out one of the largest fountains in the world, the main source of the Jordan, called el Led-dan, a corruption of Dan, and the stream from it Nahr ed Dahn; all these names confirming Le Clerc's view. The land is truly "a large land, where there is no want of anything that is on the earth" (Judges 18:10). In 1 Kings 7:13-14, Hiram the worker in brass is said to be of Naphtali; but in 2 Chronicles 2:13-14, he is called "son of a woman of Dan." As the "outgoings" of Naphtali were at Jordan, the city Dan probably was in the tribe of Naphtali. So she dwelt in Naphtali, but was by birth of the Danite colony there. An undesigned mark of truth. The seeming discrepancy, thus cleared, powerfully disproves the possibility of collusion, and shows the witness of Kings and of Chronicles to be mutually independent and true. A place in S. Arabia from whence the Phoenicians obtained wrought iron, cassia, and calamus (Ezekiel 27:19). "Dan also." Since none of the other places begin with "also" (Hebrew w"-), Fairbairn translates it as Vedan, the modern Aden, near the straits of Babelmandeb. Ptolemy mentions a Dara. But probably, as Judah is mentioned in Ezekiel 27:17, so Dan in Ezekiel 27:19 represents northern Israel. Sailors from ports of Dan, with descendants of Javan, traded in the fairs of Tyre, "going to and fro."

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