“Bearing the Name of Dan Their Father”

ISRAEL’S TRIBE OF DAN was moved by strong leadership. Jacob’s deathbed pronouncement: “He shall leap from Bashan” was fulfilled at an early period. There is good evidence that a section broke away whilst the tribe was in Egypt and moved to Greece. Soon after the main body settled in Canaan they considered their allocation of territory too small and a portion of the Danites moved northwards to settle for a while in the northern limits of the land of Israel.

The Scriptural record emphasizes the tribe’s forceful parental affection: “They named it after Dan their father.” During their westward moving, trail-blazing journeyings, they clearly continued the practice. Their ever-westward trek bears witness to this. As we know, Josephus placed the bulk of Ten-tribed Israel beyond the upper reaches of the River Euphrates, in ancient Scythia, on their way to the western isles and coastlands of Israel’s God-provided home -- the Appointed Place. Strong contingents remained behind to found the countries of the North Sea fringe as we now know them.

The trail blazers of Dan had, perforce, to use the rivers. These would help in the establishment of forward bases for the main body, as and when westward movement by way of forest trails became feasible. There would be a great deal of portaging up and between rivers. And so we see the patronymic of “Dan their father” on the great rivers of the trail; such names as Don, Dnieper, Dneister, Danube. Vowels were then of no great consequence. At the North Sea, they reached a point at which progress was halted for centuries, subsequently naming it Danmark.

Research into the history of the “northern” peoples from which the English-speaking and kindred folk have descended has uncovered a wealth of traditional testimony to the movements of our ancestors from Scythia -- the jumping off spot from the Caspian region of Media.

Interesting confirmation emerges from the work of Snorre Sturlason's Heimskringla (the lives of the Norse Kings) edited and translated by Erling Monsen. It mentions that Dan the Proud was “the first king of the northern folk in Denmark.”

There can be no doubt that a goodly portion of our northern peoples heading their movements into the British Isles -- and thence to the ends of the earth -- were Danites who never lost sight of the name of Dan their father.

-- L. Buxton Gresty

Hope of Israel Ministries
P.O. Box 853
Azusa, CA 91702, U.S.A.