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DAN a town of Palestine, founded by a colony of the tribe of Dan during the period of the Judges (xviii. cir. B.C. 1406), and assumed as the northern limit of the Holy Land, as Beersheba was the southern. (Judges, 20.1; Sam. 3.20, &c.) Its more ancient name was Laish, and it apparently belonged to Sidon (Judges, 20.7); but in Joshua (19.47) Lesham. It became infamous as one of the chief seats of Jeroboam's idolatry (1 Kings, 12.29), and its position exposed it first to the invaders of Judaea from the north. (1 Kings, 15.20; Jerem. 4.15, 8.16.)

Its position is plainly marked by Tell-el-Kady (Kadi being the Arabic equivalent for the Hebrew appellative Dan, both signifying Judge), a ruined site in the Ard-el-Huleh, near the south-western base of Mount Hermon. It is placed by Eusebius and St. Jerome 4 miles from Paneas [PANEAS], on the road to Tyre, but is scarcely more than half an hour, or two miles. It has sometimes been confounded with it. (Reland, pp. 919, 921.) One of the main sources of the Jordan rises at the foot of the hill upon which the city was built, and the copious stream which flows from it is still called Nahr-le-Dan. The town has been supposed to have lent its name to the Jordan. (Reland, p. 271.) [JORDANES]


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