“From Dan to Beersheba”

The tribe of Dan was assigned territory along the Mediterranean Sea where Joppa and the modern city of Tel Aviv now stand (Joshua 19:40-48). Because the Philistines lived in this territory the Danites found it necessary to move to a new location. A portion of the tribe moved north to the city of Laish at the foot of Mount Hermon and renamed it Dan (Judges 18). This northern city became the northern boundary of Israelite occupation and prompted the expression “from Dan to Beersheba” (Judges 20:1; 1 Kings 4:25).

An Aramaic inscription was found by Professor Avraham Biran at Dan July 21, 1993. The inscription mentions the king of Israel, the “the house of David,” and the Aramean (Syrian) god of storms and warfare, Hadad. The “house of David” is a reference to the southern kingdom of Judah. Two additional pieces of the inscription were found in June, 1994.

This photo show the partially reconstructed Iron Age (Israelite) gate at Dan.

The Iron Age City Gate at Dan. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

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