The Tribe of Dan were one of the 12 (or 13, depending on how you count) tribes of Israel. Their banner displayed the symbol of a serpent and they were a seafaring tribe as adept and adventurous as the Phoenicians. It has been alleged (by the British-Israelism movement, internet movie 'Ring of Power', Brit-Am organization in Israel and others) that Dan left their mark wherever they went, resulting in place names from Denmark to Britain and in the names of the four major rivers flowing into the Black Sea – the Danube, Dniester, Dnieper and Don.
To appreciate this alleged connection one has to consider that in ancient Hebrew vowels were absent, hence names containing Din, Den, Dun or Don such as Scan-DiN-avia and Sar-DoN-ia may be attributed to Dan. Other exmples might include Mace-DoN-ia, E-DiN-burough, DuN-kirk, Aber-DeeN, DoN-egal, Lon-DoN, the list of potential "Dan" names goes on.
Additionally, the peninsula comprising Cornwall and Devon which juts out from southwestern England was once called Danmoni, which meant literally the mines of Dan. Danmoni was once the world's most plentiful source of tin, a metal used in the smelting of bronze, and the Phoenicians traded in this tin from Danmoni and the Bronze made from it during the Bronze age. Also interesting is the fact that Penzance, a town at the tip of Cornwall was once notorious for being a nest of pirates, a fact immortalized in the musical 'the Pirates of Penzance'. (The Phoenician cities of Sidon and Tyre were also once centers of piracy, the relevance of which will become apparent later as the closeness of the Phoenicians and Tribe of Dan both geographically and culturally become clear.)
We should be cautious however in jumping to the conclusion that the biblical Tribe of Dan is responsible for all of the "Dan" names found in Britain. One of the early invaders of Ireland described in Irish mythology were the Tuatha dé Danann (who arrived in Ireland around 1800 B.C. as per the Annals of the Four Masters). It is sometimes assumed that the Tuatha dé Danann and Tribe of Dan were one and the same, however Tuatha dé Danann translates as the peoples of the goddess Danu and they were said to be descended from Nemed, whose father was Agnoman king of Scythia. This would make the Tuatha dé Danann Scythians, not Israelites.
There were another "Dan" peoples in antiquity, the Danaans of Greece, descended from Danaus of Greek mythology. Here it gets interesting, for there are some correllations between the Greek Danaus and the biblical Dan.
Danaus was an Egyptian, the brother of Aegyptus and the cousin of Cadmus and Phoenix. Cadmus according to legend travelled from Egypt to first Phoenicia and then to Greece where he slayed the Ares dragon and founded Thebes, and it is for his brother Phoenix that Phoenicia is named. The biblical Dan could of course be said to be an Egyptian as well, for he was one of the sons of Jacob.
Dan and Naphtali, two patriarchs of the 12 Tribes of Israel were full brothers, the sons of Jacob by the handmaiden Bilhah. Danau on the other hand was the son of an Egyptian king, Belus (or Bela). Remembering that Hebrew was written without vowels, could Bilhah somehow represent Belus/Bela? If one allows for a certain amount of allegory in these stories, it's not crazy at all to see a possible connection here. A Danaus/Dan connection seems even more likely in light of the following account by the 4th century B.C. Greek historian Hecateus of Abdera (as quoted by Diodorus Siculus):
" The worship of the Gods having been neglected on account of the foreigners in Egypt, the Egyptians were warned by a pestilence to drive away the pollution." … "The most distinguished of the expelled foreigners followed Danaus and Cadmus from Egypt; but the greater number were led by Moses into Judæa.”
The first time I ran across this text, I was only presented with the second part of it and, like many others, assumed Hecateus was talking about the expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt. The Hyksos had Canaanite names and are widely regarded to have been foreign invaders from the northern Levant and/or northwestern Mesopotamia. They were expelled from Egypt at the beginning of the 18th dynasty by Ahmose I. The period of the Hyksos in Egypt extended roughly from 2000 to 1500 B.C. (by official estimates), which correlates roughly with the supposed time of the Exodus described in the bible.
But I've gradually come to doubt that the patriarchs of the Israelites had anything to do with the Hyksos (apart from Canaanite roots), and that this migration out of Egypt happened later. The first part of Hecateus' text mentions the "Gods having been neglected" and this makes me suspect that we are talking about the unpopularity of Akhenaten, who threw out the entire pantheon of Egyptian gods and goddesses in lieu of a single solar-disk (Aten) god. (Akhenaten's name was erased from the lists of Pharaohs and his temples disassembled after his rein.) But that's a whole 'nother can of worms, so let's get back to 'Dan'.
I mentioned in the previous post that Mt. Hazzi (biblical Mt. Zephon, modern Mt. Aqraa) near Ugarit was a major center of Ba'al worship in the northern Levant in antiquity. Henceforth I'll just refer to it as Mt. Hazzi, which is what the people there of the period called it.
There was another big center of pagan Ba'al worship in the Levant of the period, farther south in Phoenicia, Mt. Hermon. This is where the Phoenicians and the pagan Ba'al worshippers of the northern Israelite tribes went to make sacrifices to the gods. Mt. Hermon went by another name as well, Mt. Sion – that's Sion with an 'S'.
I want to smack my forehead sometimes when people freely interchange Sion with Zion. The Priory of Sion was the topic of Brown's 'the Da Vinci Code' as well as a hoax perpetrated by Pierre Plantard in the 60's. Plantard's Les Dossier which he offered as evidence of the Priory's existence turned out to be fake. That doesn't necessarily mean the Prior of Sion never existed, who knows. I don't care really, what amuses me is when people declare their ignorance while supposedly debunking the existance of, in this case a secretive organization. Associates for Biblical Research say this about the Priory:
REAL HISTORY: When the Crusaders captured Jerusalem, the Abbey of Our Lady of Mount Zion (my bolding) was founded in 1099 in Jerusalem by Godefroy de Bouillon, who later became King of Jerusalem after the First Crusade. The Abbey (and not “Priory”) continued to exist until 1291, when the advancing Muslims destroyed it. The few surviving monks fled to Sicily, where their community was extinguished in the 14th century…
First, the writer of the above blows it right off the bat, anyone that knows anything about the crusades knows that Godfrey de Bouillon refused the crown, which his brother accepted, and died a year after taking the city. Secondly, the writer assumes that the 'Sion' in 'Priory of Sion' refers to Mt. Zion near Jerusalem. It might, but there is a Mt. Sion, (spelled with an ‘S’ like the Priory, not a ‘Z’ like the peak near Jerusalem), otherwise known as Mt. Hermon.
In the (non-canonical) Book of Enoch Mt. Hermon is the place where angels fell to earth, subsequently mating with female mortals and giving rise to demi-gods, the Nephilim. This is a clear parallel with the Sumerian myths of the "igigi". As such, Mt. Hermon was the gateway, as it were, between heaven and earth, and it became the center of Ba'al worship in Phoenicia.
At the southwestern foot of Mt. Hermon lies the ancient city of Dan. When the Israelites arrived in Palestine the Tribe of Dan was given a small parcel of land farther south, or none at all as is told in Judges. Whichever the case, they invaded the city of Laish at the northernmost edge of Israel, killed or kicked out its inhabitants and renamed the city Dan. I suspect they chose the spot to be close to Mt. Hermon with like-thinking pagans, not the least of whom were the Tribe of Naphtali whose territory Laish/Dan bordered.
A close association between the tribes of Naphtali and Dan has been noted in many articles and books. Yair Davidy contends that following the expulsion of the northern tribes from Israel the tribes of Dan and Naphtali paired up, migrating at some point to Scythia with many of them ultimately continuing on to Scandinavia. Davidy's writings are a part of the literature promoted by Brit-Am and I take his conclusions with a grain of salt … but he's a pretty smart guy and some of what he espouses seems well-founded. For example, the notion that the northern tribes found their way to Scythia is both logical and backed up by good evidence. During the centuries following the supposed fall of Israel northern Mesopotamia was the scene of endless conflict between Assyrians, Persians, Parthians and Medes. The obvious choice for anyone wanting to get clear of these power struggles would have been to move north to Scythia, through the Caucasus. Some of the oldest Jewish communities in the world are in the Caucasus, lending support to the idea that refugees from northern Israel (who could possibly have numbered in the millions by biblical accounts) did just that. One does not necessarily even have to consider the land route between Israel and Scythia, the Tribe of Dan were mariners and were highly mobile … when the Assyrians invaded northern Israel many Danites could have just taken off in ships, and there is some indication that the tribes of Israel and Scythia enjoyed close ties at this time – there was an important city in northern Israel (currently Beit She'an) which was called Scythopolis beginning in the Hellenistic period.
Maybe the most obvious clue that some of the refugees of northern Israel wound up in Scythia is the mere fact that not long after Scythia became the Khazarian Empire in the 8th century, the kingdom converted to Judaism.
Some critics of Zionism latch on to the sudden conversion of Khazaria to Judaism and the fact that the overwhelming majority of Jews in Europe descend from Khazar immigrants (figures as high as 90% are often quoted and may well be accurate) and extrapolate from there, proclaiming that in light of their Khazarian origins the Jews of Europe have no valid blood-claim to the land of Israel. I'm no supporter of Zionism, and if blood-ancestry were a valid argument for kicking the present inhabitants out of a particular region there would be no end to the chaos – the Spanish could legitimately take over Georgia (both once called Iberia). That's crazy, as is a Jewish claim to the land of the Palestinians. But the contention that the Jews of Europe have no blood relation to the Israelites of biblical times because they descend from Khazarians is, well, bunk … there were probably lots of Israelite descendants living in Khazaria.
There's a twist however. The word Judaism derives from Judah – the Tribe of Judah occupied the southernmost part of Israel – actually, their lands weren't even in "Israel", they were in "Judah". The tribes farther north were more pagan, those in the far north like the tribes of Dan and Naphtali being decidedly so. (The whole reason cited in the bible for the destruction of Israel was the refusal of the northern tribes to give up their pagan ways.) Judging from various passages in the bible Dan is clearly the black sheep among the 12 tribes, noted for their having "remained in ships" during conflict with the Canaanites. I have even read that this passage is in reference to a pact of neutrality between the Tribe of Dan and the Phoenicians/Canaanites who previously had looked the other way while Dan took over Laish.
A close bond between the tribes of Dan and Naphtali, their shared pagan leanings, and a distinction between they and other tribes is reflected I believe in the representation of Dan and Naphtali in the bible as full brothers, the sons of the handmaiden Bilhah. While it may be just happenstance, it's worth noting that the name Naphtali resembles Nephilim, the offspring of the fallen angels in the Book of Enoch. As far as Dan goes, one of the fallen angels was named Daniel. Then you have the symbol of the serpent displayed on the banner of the Tribe of Dan, as well as the following biblical passage; “Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward” (Gen. 49:17). This to me is an indication that the leaders of Dan understood and chose to advertise their dragon roots.
Are there any "serpent-like" attributes connected with Naphtali? I looked up the origins of the name and here's what I found -
"The name Naphtali is commonly understood to come from patal meaning to twist. Derivatives are cord, thread; (petaltol 1857b), tortuous (Deut 32:5); (naptulim 1857c), wrestlings (Gen 30:8).
Some other occurrences of the verb-plus-nun are: Job 5:13 …the advice of he cunning (; NAS); and Pr 8:8 …crooked or perverted (; NAS)."
Then there's this about Belus/Bela, the father of the Egyptian Danau:
Diodorus Siculus (1.27.28) claims that Belus founded a colony on the river Euphrates and appointed the priests whom the Bablyonians call Chaldeans…
Chaldea was known for its astonomers and magi-priests (magicians, "wise-men"). It was likely the birthplace of Kabbalah mysticism. Whether that was near the city of Ur in Sumer or not or farther north nearer Ugarit is something I'm keeping an open mind about. Continuing from above …
…Modern writers speculate on a possible connection between Belus and one or another god who bore the common northwest Semitic title Ba‘al.
This would make "Dan" the offspring of Ba'al, metaphorically speaking.
One day with nothing better to do I was glancing over a Sumerian Language FAQ that I had stumbled on to.
This guy is pretty smart, I mean, he speaks Sumerian for heaven's sakes. Anyway, there was a question,
Q: "Why can't I find the word Beru? Can the word ever signify a "day" or a "double-day"?
A: "That is an Akkadian word. Look in the Sumerian Lexicon under danna in the DAN section. Beru is the Akkadian equivalent, translated 'double-hour; league'."
I was stunned when I read that. Not because of the meaning for the words given, but because here an expert on Sumerian language, with no hidden agenda, states in a FAQ that "danna" in Sumerian equates with "Beru" in Akkadian. I live in Japan where "R"'s and "L"'s are interchangeable … when I see "beru", I read "Belu" or "Bel".
A connection between "Dan" and "Ba'al" is not unexpected. Dan in the bible is often said to mean 'judge', however there are other Hebrew words which more usually convey the meaning of "to judge". Dan is more correctly translated "to govern", "to rule". Considering that Ba'al was the primary god in the pantheons of the pagan cultures of the northern Levant, that Danaus of Greek myth was the son of the Egyptian Belus while the biblical Dan was the son of the handmaiden Bilhah, and given that variations of "Dan" pop up as the names of gods and goddesses in the mythologies of Ireland (Danu) Wales (Don) and in India as the Hindu primordial goddess Dānu, I suspect that the word 'Dan' holds special significance in ancient pagan traditions (regarding which I am no expert), going far deeper than simply being the name of one of the sons of Jacob.
So, were Denmark, or the Danube, Don, Dnieper and Dniester rivers flowing into the Black Sea named for the Tribe of Dan? Maybe. How about Scottish and Irish place names such as Aberdeen, Edinburough, Dingle or Donegal? Probably not, I would guess that if any "Dan" tribe were the source of those names it would be the Tuatha dé Danann. Is there an underlying connection between the Tuatha dé Danann and the Tribe of Dan? Yes, I suspect so, but I think you'd have to go back to ancient Mesopotamia before the biblical era to find it. (EDIT: I can’t believe I said this, so many years ago when I wrote this piece! See my addendum near the end of the page.)
More to our purposes, what does it all mean?
This is where it gets tricky, and I want to be careful that I am not misunderstood.
First, I think I have shown, at least as far as one can determine the cultural roots of a peoples going back thousands of years, the likelihood that the Vikings, Magyars/Huns and Israelites all three trace back to the same general area, the northern Levant and northwestern Mesopotamia where Ba'al worship was centered around Mt. Herman and Mt. Hazzi. If you consider when the Xiongnu arrived in Mongolia (circa 1200 B.C.) after a long trek, when the biblical patriarchs would have been intermarrying with the line of the Pharaohs of Egypt (see my article 'Abraham – the nitty gritty and Stephen Franklin's research), and when the proto-Vikings had to have arrived in Anatolia/Thrace centuries before the Trojan War ("officially" dated circa 1300 B.C.), the ancestors of these peoples all appear to have lived in the same general area at roughly the same time, and various clues support such a conclusion. They may have even all been part of one homogenous culture.
These three groups met again close to 3000 years later in Europe, and the effects were world-changing. The interlocking of the hiers of these three cultures literally wound up redefining the world power structure (following a long power struggle with the Roman Catholic Church). Did they all know each other when they met? I would think that a ridiculous assertion. Yet, the Jewish Kabars and Hunnic Magyars formed a close alliance in Khazaria, and the Arpad rulers of the Magyar-Huns intermarried with royal Norse families almost as soon as they arrived in Hungary. Seriously, it boggles my mind sometimes – but there must be something to this.
I didn't start from a knowlege that the Israelites, Huns and Vikings shared common roots – I worked backwards, from a knowlege that Khazarian (Hun/Israelite) and Norman (Viking/Frank) blood-lines were conspicuous in a variety of ways following their convergence in Europe in the late 9th century. When I figured out that they all shared this same heritage – not just Sumerian dragon-culture but north Levant Ba'al culture, I about fell off my chair.
Is this "Ba'al" heritage expressed in average folks like you or me, whether we be Jewish or Christian or have Vikings or Franks or Huns in our family trees? No, no, 4000 years is a long time – apart from the fact that the names and symbols of the ancestors of our rulers permeate every corner of our culture, whatever blood-connections some of us may have to pagan Mesopotamia have long been purged. The same is surely true for the average Ashkanazi who immigrated from Khazaria to eastern Europe – who followed the teachings not of the polytheistic paganism of the northern Levant, but of Judaism, the initial revolutionary departure from that pagan culture.
The question is, can the same be said to be true for the ruling caste?
… And if not, how does one explain this???
Addendum: Nicholas de Vere asserted that the Tuatha de Danaan were not the ‘Tribe of Dan,’ but rather the Tribe d’Anu. I suspect he was right, and that ALL of these ‘Dan’ names derive from the d’Anu. Who were the ‘d’Anu’? The people of Anu, the primary god of the Sumerian pantheon. In short, these “people of Anu,” anciently descended from the Royal Scythians of Central Asia (who de Vere claims came to Sumer following the Black Sea flood and took over), went all over the place and their d’Anu monicker eventually morphed into ‘Dan’ and other variants.
The following author speculates that the Danaans of Greece were in fact from the Tribe of Dan.
Original content may be quoted or replicated under the Fair Use doctrine. All other rights reserved.