Glimpses of Israel - Dan

Originally known as Laish (or Leshem), the city of Dan was taken by the tribe of Dan, when the children of Israel took possession of their inheritance. (Joshua 19:47) Located west of Mt Hermon it is an archaeological site today, which is preserved by the Hermon National Park.

The city of Dan proved to be the northern boundary of the Land from the days of the Judges until the reign of King Solomon. (Judges 20:1 and 1 Kings 4:25)

However, following the death of Solomon the kingdom became divided: Rehoboam reigned over the southern kingdom, while Jeroboam ruled the northern kingdom.

At the beginning of his reign, Jeroboam constructed two golden calves, one for the city of Dan and the other for Bethel. He also instituted festivals in Bethel and Dan, similar to the feasts that were celebrated in Jerusalem. The golden calves and the festivals were intended to replace the Temple worship in Jerusalem and to stop the people in the north travelling south to Jerusalem. This action was taken by Jeroboam in fear of loosing his kingdom to Rehoboam. (1 Kings 12:28-30)

Inevitably, the city of Dan became a major centre for the idol worship – a sin for which Jeroboam was blamed, and which all succeeding kings never renounced. The city of Dan remained a cultic worship centre until the northern kingdom was taken captive by the Assyrian empire in 722BC.