One of my favorite sites to visit in Israel is Tel Dan. Lots of trees, lots of water… a peaceful, restful place to visit. In biblical times, this was not always so.
- Abraham came here while pursuing the captors of Lot and his family. Although the text does not mention him entering the city, it is reasonable to speculate that he may have entered to obtain supplies, news and/or information. (Genesis 14)
- The Bible records the city’s name as Laish until warriors from the tribe of Dan took it, killed the inhabitants, and renamed it after the tribe. (Judges 18)
- It was the northernmost city in Israel, lending itself to the expression, “from Dan to Beersheba” to describe the full length of Israel’s territory.
- After the division of the kingdom, King Jeroboam placed golden calves here and in Bethel to create a homegrown version of Israelite religion that didn’t involve Jerusalem or its Temple. (1 Kings 12)
- Dan was conquered by the Syrians under Ben-hadad (1 Kings 15) and would have been included in the first stages of the Assyrian conquest (2 Kings 15).
Today it is a nature park with some great archaeological remains.
Check out this short video to see what I believe is one of the most interesting biblical discoveries at Dan.