Dan, Israel - Encyclopedia




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DAN, a town of ancient Israel, near the head-waters of the Jordan, inhabited before its conquest by the Danites by a peaceful commercial population who called their city Laish or Leshem (Josh. xix. 47, Judg. xviii.). It appears to have been even at this early period a sacred city, the shrine of Micah being removed hither, and it was chosen by Jeroboam as the site of one of his calf-shrines. It makes the north limit of Palestine in the proverbial expression "from Dan to Beersheba." The town was plundered by Benhadad of Damascus, and appears from that time to have gradually declined. Its site is sought in the mound called Tell-el-Kadi, "the hill of the judge" (Dan="judge" in Hebrew), though weighty authorities incline to place it 4 m. east of this, at Banias, the old Caesarea Philippi. (See above.)

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