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Dan, Ancient Town Of

DAN, ANCIENT TOWN OF, 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.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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