Dan. 1 In the Bible, son of Jacob and Bilhah and eponymous ancestor of one of the 12 tribes of Israel. Their allotment in SW Palestine was the least extensive. The hostility of the Amorites living there prompted the Danites to migrate north where they established themselves. The Book of Judges may indicate that the Danites were originally part of the Sea Peoples. They shared the lot of the northern Hebrews at the hands of the Assyrians in the 8th cent. B.C. 2 City, northernmost landmark of ancient Palestine, hence the expression "from Dan to Beersheba." It is mentioned numerous times in the Bible. Its original name was Laish or Leshem; it was renamed by the conquering Danites.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.