Notes of Interest
1. Divisions of Israel
2. Divisions of Dan
3. Bert Otten and identifying Dan with Ireland
4. The Leadership of Dan over Asher and Naphtali.
1. Divisions of Israel
Fishel Mael ("Safer Ha-Shevatim") deduces that in general there are Three main Divisions of Israel. These are based on wives and concubines of Jacob. The name Jacob was changed to Israel (Genesis 32:28, 35:10). Jacob married Rachel and Leah who were sisters. Rachel had a handmaiden named "Bilhah;" and Leah one called "Zlipah." Jacob begat children from all four women.
The Children of Leah (Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Yehudah, Issachar, Zebulon) were more in the south. Their positive characteristics are love and charity. Their weak points are lust and forbidden loves.
The Children of Rachel (Joseph -Ephraim & Manasseh, Benjamin) were mainly in the intermediate regions. Their good qualities were respect ("Yirah"), and bravery. Weak points are anger, envy, homicidal tendencies.
The Children of the Concubines (Dan and Naphtali from Bilhah; Asher and Gad from Zilpah) were in the north. Their primary virtues are Dignity (Tiferet), Happiness, Contentment. Their faults include Pride, Overdue sensitivity concerning their honor, and an inclination for idol-worship.
2. Divisions of Dan
We have identified the Danish primarily with the Tribe of Dan. We also found elements from Dan elsewhere including in the British Isles and especially in Ireland. In Biblical terms the Tribe of Dan had had two main centers of inheritance, One was in the southeast on the coast in the region of Jaffo and its surroundings (Joshua 19:40-45) and the other in the Upper Galilee (Joshua 19:47). In addition to that we found offshoots of Dan in Cilicia (Southeast Turkey) and in Cyprus and perhaps elsewhere. Nevertheless we these additional places may be considered extensions of either Dan near Jaffo on the coast or of Dan in Galilee. The initial inheritance of Dan was on the coast but a later extension in the north had been prophesied about by Moses:
Deuteronomy 33:22 And of Dan he said, Dan is a lion's cub that leaps from Bashan.
Fishel Mael ("Safer Ha-Shevatim") discusses the two main centers of Dan. The northern section was symbolized by the Serpent.
Genesis 49:17 Dan shall be a serpent in the way, a viper by the path, that bites the horse's heels so that his rider falls backward.
The weakness of the northern section was idolatry.
Its positive aspect was the ability to make honest decisions and objective judgments.
The weakness of the southern section of Dan was sexual license. Their neighbors in Biblical Times had been Philistines and Egyptians and these were notorious for their sexual promiscuity. The southern section of Dan had a strong point however. This was that in spite of their natural inclinations the Descendants of Dan were able (if they tried) to withstand Temptation. In practical terms everywhere we find Dan there seems to appear a northern and southern section. In Europe Dan is found in the north in Denmark and the British Isles but the Isles of Britain are comparatively more in the south. In the British isles an enclave of Dan was noticed in England just south of Scotland and another one more to the south in Cornwall, Devon, and southern Wales. In Ireland Dan was noticed in the northwest in Donegal and again in the Dublin area in the southeast.
3. Bert Otten and identifying Dan with Ireland
BERT OTTEN wrote an article, "Ten Prophetic Clues Concerning Dan - the Irish." He identifies the Irish with the Tribe of Dan. Here, for the sake of renewed interest, are some of the points Otten made:
1. The Danites were in the practice of naming places after their ancestor, Dan!
Joshua 19: 48 ... and called Leshem, DAN, AFTER THE NAME OF DAN THEIR FATHER. 48 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families, these cities with their villages.
Judges 18:29 And they called the name of the city Dan, AFTER THE NAME OF DAN THEIR FATHER, who was born unto Israel: howbeit the name of the city was Laish at the first.
In some versions of Irish Mythology a figure named "Don" (another form of 'Dan') was considered an ancestor of the Irish:
Wikipedia, Donn: In Irish mythology, Donn ... is an ancestor of the Gaels and is believed to have been a god of the dead. ... Harry Roe commented that "to go to the House of Donn in Irish tradition means to die". This suggests that the pagan Gaels saw Donn as their ancestor and believed they would go to his abode when they died. ... The Christian writers who recorded the Lebor Gabala Erenn made Donn into Eber Donn one of the mythical Milesian ancestors of the Gaels. The Milesians invade Ireland and take it from the Tuatha De Danann [Tribe of the Danites in Hebrew: Sheveth haDani]. ...
The five Danites on their way to Leshem say to the young Levite, Micha's priest:
Judges 18:19 'And they said unto him, Hold thy peace, lay thine hand upon thy mouth, and go with us, and be to us a father and a priest: is it better for thee to be a priest unto the house of one man, or that thou be a priest unto a tribe and a family in Israel?'
'Father' is a common address to Roman Catholic priests by the Irish.
2nd Clue: Dan: A Serpent by the Way
The trail of places named after Dan is found wherever Dan went.
# In Ireland we find the biggest concentration of toponyms with Dun-, Don-, Doon- or Din-. ...Daingean, Deansgrange, Dingle, Donabate, Donaghmede, Donaghmore, Donegal, Doneraile, Donnybrook, Donnycarney, Doon (Limerick), Doon (Offaly), Doonaha, Doonbeg, Dooniver (Dun Ibhir), Downings (Na Dunaibh), Dunboyne, Duncannon, Duncormick, Dundalk, Dunderrow, Dundrum (Dublin), Dundrum (Tipperary), Dunfanaghy, Dungarvan (Waterford), Dungarvan (Kilkenny), Dungloe (an Clochan Liath), Dungourney, Dunkineely, Dun Laoghaire, Dunlavin, Dunleer, Dunmanway, Dunmore, Dunmore East, Dunquin (Dun Chaoin), Dunshaughlin.
3rd Clue: Dan: anger, temper
The Irish are reputed to have a fiery temper. In the Bible members of the Tribe of Dan showed the same attribute:
Leviticus 24:10-12 [concerning the son of the Danite woman who in anger uttered the name of the Almighty].
Judges 18: 25 And the children of Dan said unto [Micah], LET NOT THY VOICE BE HEARD AMONG US, LEST ANGRY FELLOWS RUN UPON THEE...
Judges 14: 19 [concerning Samson from the Tribe of Dan] AND HIS ANGER WAS KINDLED, and he went up to his father's house.
4th Clue: Dan: humor, sarcasm, riddles
The Irish are known for their humor and sarcasm. The Danite hero Samson in the Bible had the same qualities (Judges 15:15-16, 16:7-15).
5th Clue: Dan: Practical Jokes
This, says Otten, is a characteristic of the Irish. The Danite hero Samson also played practical jokes, or rather deeds of irony, on the Philistines:
Judges 14:19 And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, AND SLEW THIRTY MEN OF THEM, AND TOOK THEIR SPOIL, AND GAVE CHANGE OF GARMENTS UNTO THEM WHICH EXPOUNDED THE RIDDLE. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father's house.
Judges 14: 4 And Samson went and caught 300 FOXES, AND TOOK FIREBRANDS, AND TURNED TAIL TO TAIL, AND PUT A FIREBRAND IN THE MIDST BETWEEN TWO TAILS. 5 AND WHEN HE HAD SET THE BRANDS ON FIRE, HE LET THEM GO INTO THE STANDING CORN OF THE PHILISTINES, and burnt up both the shocks, and also the standing corn ....
Judges 15:15 And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a 1,000 men therewith. 16 And Samson said, WITH THE JAWBONE OF AN ASS, HEAPS UPON HEAPS, WITH THE JAW OF AN ASS HAVE I SLAIN A 1,000 MEN.
Judges 16:3 And Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, AND TOOK THE DOORS OF THE GATE OF THE CITY, AND THE TWO POSTS, AND WENT AWAY WITH THEM, BAR AND ALL, AND PUT THEM UPON HIS SHOULDERS, AND CARRIED THEM UP TO THE TOP OF AN HILL THAT IS BEFORE HEBRON.
Judges 16: 7 If they bind me WITH 7 GREEN WITHS that were never dried, then shall I be weak ... If they bind me fast WITH NEW ROPES that never were occupied, then shall I be weak ... If thou WEAVEST THE 7 LOCKS OF MY HEAD WITH THE WEB ....
# It was not enough for Samson to beat his opponents by strength. He also used practical jokes to make fools of them. When he had to pay 30 cloaks to 30 Philistines, he just killed 30 other Philistines. He set fire to the Philistine corn with 300 foxes. He killed 1,000 Philistines with a fresh jawbone of a donkey, as if to say that they were donkeys. Escaping from Gaza was not enough, he ripped up the gate, doors and posts, and carried them to a hilltop. Three times he made fun of Delilah by giving her fake instructions. Even his death is a kind of practical joke. By having the temple collapse on him, he made a powerless fool of Dagon, the god of the Philistines. #
6th Clue: Dan: Irish & the Sea
Judges 5:17 AND WHY DID DAN REMAIN IN SHIPS?
# Irish sea-raiders remained the most feared pirates along the coast of western Europe. #
Many Irish served in the British Navy in fact more in proportion to their relative population than any other group.
7th Clue: Dan & Lying
According to the [Apocryphal non-Biblical] 'Testament of Zebulun' [ca. 100 CE] it was Dan who came up with the idea of dipping Joseph's coat of many colors into the blood of a lamb.
The Irish are reputed to not always be sticklers of unadulterated truth.
# All that fantasy has led to an important Irish literature. For a relative small island, Ireland has contributed substantially to world literature. After Greek and Latin literature, it is the third oldest of Europe. Ireland has produced four Noble Prize winners for Literature, William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney. #
8th Clue: Dan: weakness for women
The Prophet Samson from the Tribe of Dan had liaisons with at least three Philistine women. Some of the most significant events of his life resulted from these entanglements.
# First he married a Philistine woman from Timnath, also situated upon the brook Sorek. Secondly he visited a harlot in the Philistine town of Gaza. And thirdly we read about the world famous story of Samson & Delilah. He started living with her in the valley of Sorek. Consequently she seduced and betrayed him. #
# Whether Irish men are more often womanizers than others, I do not know, but they do sing more about it than others. #
9th Clue: Dan: Celtic Craft
Exodus 31: 4 To devise cunning works, TO WORK IN GOLD, AND IN SILVER, AND IN BRASS, 5 And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of WORKMANSHIP. 6 And I, behold, I have given with him AHOLIAB, the son of Ahisamach, OF THE TRIBE OF DAN.
Exodus 38: 23 ... AHOLIAB, son of Ahisamach, OF THE TRIBE OF DAN, AN ENGRAVER, AND A CUNNING WORKMAN.
We also had the master craftsman Huram (or "Hiram") from the Tribe of Dan or from both Dan and Naphtali.
King Solomon had requested of King Hiram of Tyre to send him workers and for materials to build the Temple. King Hiram replied:
2-Chronicles 2:13 And now I have sent a skillful man, endowed with understanding, Huram my master craftsman 14 (the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre), skilled to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, stone and wood, purple and blue, fine linen and crimson, and to make any engraving and to accomplish any plan which may be given to him, with your skillful men and with the skillful men of my lord David your father.
1-Kings 7: 13 Now King Solomon sent and brought Huram from Tyre. 14 He was the son of a widow from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a bronze worker; he was filled with wisdom and understanding and skill in working with all kinds of bronze work. So he came to King Solomon and did all his work.
The Sages (Talmud, Arakin 16;b) said that the master craftsman, Huram of Tyre had a mother from Dan and a father from the Tribe of Naphtali. His task was to cast bronze furnishings and ornate decorations for the Temple. Both in this case and in the case of Aholiab in the time of Betsalel and Moses the association with the Tribe of Dan is noticeable. Numerous ornate bronze and impressive artistic works in gold have been discovered from Bronze Age Ireland.
10th Clue: Dan & the House of David.
Otten refers to the apparently fictitious Tea Tepha an alleged daughter of King Zedekiah of Judah brought over by Jeremiah to marry an Irish King. We do not want to quote this source. Nevertheless, there may well have been some other link between Descendants of Kind David and the Island of Ireland. This has been indicated by Biblical Codes.
The father of Galileo Galilei (the astronomer) recorded in 1581 a tradition amongst the Irish that they were descended from King David.
4. The Leadership of Dan over Asher and Naphtali.
After the Children of Israel had come out of Egypt led by Moses they camped around the Tabernacle. In this encampment the 12 Tribes were divided up into four groups of three. Dan in the north was the leading Tribe in the Threesome of Dan, Asher, and Naphtali (Numbers 2:25-30).
Even though Dan was the son of one of the Handmaidens, Rabeinu Bachya (1255-1340) points out that his status was equal to that of one of the sons of Rachel and Leah. Fishel Mael says Dan was noted for a plenitude of daughters whereas Naphtali was just the opposite and had many sons.
he also notes that Naphtali and Asher were placed adjacent to Dan in order to strengthen him: Asher was well-mannered, conciliatory, and likeable. Naphtali was blessed with the attributes of inner happiness, alacrity, and being able to unify with others and bring others together. Fishel Mael explains a Midrash as saying that Naphtali helps with providing a livelihood while Asher provides light and enlightenment.
Dan had the ability to make impartial judgments, stand alone if need be, and see things as they are.
Genesis 49: 16 Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel.