Ancient Sources

The Sea-coast



89. Lot of Dan

ORIGINAL TEXTS


ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Josh 19:40-46
The seventh lot came out for the tribe of Dan, according to its families. The territory of its inheritance included Zorah, Eshtaol, Ir-shemesh, Shaalabbin, Aijalon, Ithlah, Elon, Timnah, Ekron, Eltekeh, Gibbethon, Baalath, Jehud, Bene-berak, Gath-rimmon, Me-jarkon, and Rakkon at the border opposite Joppa.

BIBLICAL BACKGROUND

Gen 49:16-17 Jacob's blessing of Dan
Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a snake by the roadside, a viper along the path, that bites the horse's heels so that its rider falls backward.

Deut 33:22 Moses' blessing of Dan
And of Dan he said: Dan is a lion's whelp that leaps forth from Bashan.

Josh 19:40-48 The lot of tribe of Dan
The seventh lot came out for the tribe of Dan, according to its families. The territory of its inheritance included Zorah, Eshtaol, Ir-shemesh, Shaalabbin, Aijalon, Ithlah, Elon, Timnah, Ekron, Eltekeh, Gibbethon, Baalath, Jehud, Bene-berak, Gath-rimmon, Me-jarkon, and Rakkon at the border opposite Joppa. When the territory of the Danites was lost to them, the Danites went up and fought against Leshem, and after capturing it and putting it to the sword, they took possession of it and settled in it, calling Leshem, Dan, after their ancestor Dan. This is the inheritance of the tribe of Dan, according to their families - these towns with their villages.

Judg 18 The migration of the Danites
In those days there was no king in Israel. And in those days the tribe of the Danites was seeking for itself a territory to live in; for until then no territory among the tribes of Israel had been allotted to them. So the Danites sent five valiant men from the whole number of their clan, from Zorah and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land and to explore it; and they said to them, "Go, explore the land." When they came to the hill country of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, they stayed there. While they were at Micah's house, they recognized the voice of the young Levite; so they went over and asked him, "Who brought you here? What are you doing in this place? What is your business here?" He said to them, "Micah did such and such for me, and he hired me, and I have become his priest." Then they said to him, "Inquire of God that we may know whether the mission we are undertaking will succeed." The priest replied, "Go in peace. The mission you are on is under the eye of the Lord." The five men went on, and when they came to Laish, they observed the people who were there living securely, after the manner of the Sidonians, quiet and unsuspecting, lacking nothing on earth, and possessing wealth. Furthermore, they were far from the Sidonians and had no dealings with Aram. When they came to their kinsfolk at Zorah and Eshtaol, they said to them, "What do you report?" They said, "Come, let us go up against them; for we have seen the land, and it is very good. Will you do nothing? Do not be slow to go, but enter in and possess the land. When you go, you will come to an unsuspecting people. The land is broad - God has indeed given it into your hands - a place where there is no lack of anything on earth." Six hundred men of the Danite clan, armed with weapons of war, set out from Zorah and Eshtaol, and went up and encamped at Kiriath-jearim in Judah. On this account that place is called Mahaneh-dan to this day; it is west of Kiriath-jearim. From there they passed on to the hill country of Ephraim, and came to the house of Micah. Then the five men who had gone to spy out the land (that is, Laish) said to their comrades, "Do you know that in these buildings there are an ephod, teraphim, and an idol of cast metal? Now therefore consider what you will do." So they turned in that direction and came to the house of the young Levite, at the home of Micah, and greeted him. While the six hundred men of the Danites, armed with their weapons of war, stood by the entrance of the gate, the five men who had gone to spy out the land proceeded to enter and take the idol of cast metal, the ephod, and the teraphim. The priest was standing by the entrance of the gate with the six hundred men armed with weapons of war. When the men went into Micah's house and took the idol of cast metal, the ephod, and the teraphim, the priest said to them, "What are you doing?" They said to him, "Keep quiet! Put your hand over your mouth, and come with us, and be to us a father and a priest. Is it better for you to be priest to the house of one person, or to be priest to a tribe and clan in Israel?" Then the priest accepted the offer. He took the ephod, the teraphim, and the idol, and went along with the people. So they resumed their journey, putting the little ones, the livestock, and the goods in front of them. When they were some distance from the home of Micah, the men who were in the houses near Micah's house were called out, and they overtook the Danites. They shouted to the Danites, who turned around and said to Micah, "What is the matter that you come with such a company?" He replied, "You take my gods that I made, and the priest, and go away, and what have I left? How then can you ask me, 'What is the matter?'" And the Danites said to him, "You had better not let your voice be heard among us or else hot-tempered fellows will attack you, and you will lose your life and the lives of your household." Then the Danites went their way. When Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back to his home. The Danites, having taken what Micah had made, and the priest who belonged to him, came to Laish, to a people quiet and unsuspecting, put them to the sword, and burned down the city. There was no deliverer, because it was far from Sidon and they had no dealings with Aram. It was in the valley that belongs to Beth-rehob. They rebuilt the city, and lived in it. They named the city Dan, after their ancestor Dan, who was born to Israel; but the name of the city was formerly Laish. Then the Danites set up the idol for themselves. Jonathan son of Gershom, son of Moses, and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the time the land went into captivity. So they maintained as their own Micah's idol that he had made, as long as the house of God was at Shiloh.

see also: 90. Why did (Dan) remain in ships?

Map Section 7 Place Discussion

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Created Saturday, December 16, 2000 at 13:19:19
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