Iron and Bronze. The tribe of Dan

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Fri Sep 13 23:03:20 EDT 2002


I wish you would stop your consistently rude attitude when 
it comes to dealing with things that you don't have a logical 
approach for.

>> >> Even Genesis seems dimly aware of Dan's position. See 
>> >> Gen 49:16, which says, "Dan shall judge his people as if 
>> >> one of the tribes of Israel." -- k'xd $b+y y$r'l --, ie 
>> >> Dan was not a tribe of Israel, but shall perform like 
>> >> one
>> >
>> >How on earth do you justify translating K(XD "as *if* one"?  That's 
>> >not what it says, and every English translation I have found reads 
>> >"as one of the tribes," which means something very different.  
>> Sorry, Dave, but what on earth do you mean by "as one of the 
>> tribes"? 
>"As a member of the president's cabinet, he enjoys special 

This English analogy simply fails. It is using a meaning of 
"as" which k- doesn't have. And the LXX uses wsei which also 
excludes your Englishism.

>There's nothing mysterious about "as one of the tribes" 
>at all, it's perfectly good English and perfectly good Hebrew.  

You're certainly right.

>But the 
>context of the thread makes it clear why you want to play word 
>games with it, so I didn't expect you to respond any differently.

This is just plain silly, Dave.

>> The text doesn't say that Dan *is* a tribe of Israel, 
>> but is *like* a tribe of Israel. k- normally supplies a simile 
>> to show that something [A] is like something else [B], ie A is 
>> not B, suggesting Dan was not a tribe of Israel.
>"Normally"?  Don't make me laugh.  K- has a wide range of 
>meanings and no one of them is more "normal" than the other.  

If we look at BDB's range of meaning for k-, they 
list three basic categories, of which the second 
involves repetition of the k- and the third involves 
the k- preceding an infinitve, so we can happily 
rule them out and look only at the first category. 

1.a. deals with number estimation (so is scratched).

1.b. deals with likenesses...

1.c. basically "according to" (so is scratched).

1.d. "kaph veritatis", translation into something else

Where is your "as president" style meaning which you 
have apparently imported from English? A few clear 
examples from biblical literature might help.

Now back to your attitude problem:

>clear you've finally learned to read some Hebrew in the last couple 
>of years, but bear in mind that a little knowledge is a dangerous 

Perhaps better knowledge means that one can talk 
more convincing blather. Try sticking to the 

>The meaning that best fits this verse can be paraphrased 
>something like "Dan will judge his people from within inasmuch as 
>he is one of them."  

If for example you could find something to justify 
your astandard method of translation of the text, 
ie changing it to suit your presuppositions, then 
you would have to explain why k- in this particular 
case means something other than the statistically 
"normal" sense of its usage. A reading of a word 
which is not its standard usage needs linguistic 
indications and I see none here.

>The verse is an obvious play on the name Dan 


>who, being (as) one of the tribes of Israel, will emerge as a judge 
>over the nation as a whole.  

The text doesn't justify this. You bend over backwards 
to supply a contorted meaning which doesn't come from 
the text to deal with what I consider the simplest 
reading, ie that k- is used as a comparison.

>There's not even a hint anywhere in the 
>context that he wasn't really a tribe.

The text is plain: Dan will judge his people like a tribe 
of Israel. Hints are not needed: it's on the text surface. 
What you need is something that points elsewhere.

("Dan will judge his people", ie judge the people of Dan, 
as a natural reading of the text should indicate.)

>Furthermore, if you maintain that this meaning of K- is so "normal" 
>you need to explain why every English version on the market 
>disagrees with you.  

They don't disagree. They translate k- as "as". 
You simply take a collocation of the English word 
and attempt to apply it to Hebrew.

>If you can't follow the meaning of the English 
>phrase, that's not the fault of the text.

More silliness, Dave. I wish you would stop with 
the attitude problem.

If anyone has problems with the notion that Dan was not 
originally a tribe of Israel, they might like to explain 

1) why Dan's original homeland is placed firmly in 
   sea people territory, including Ekron and Timna 
   (Jos 19:40ff) between the Philistines and the 

2) why a group that had never had any connection with 
   the sea according to the biblical tradition, could 
   suddenly be already dwelling in ships in Jdg 5:17; 

3) why Dan is considered "like" a tribe of Israel;

4) as the Denyen were one of the sea peoples who ended 
   up on the Levantine coast post 1170 BCE, why the 
   name Dan is linguistically extremely similar to 
   dnnym as the Denyen are called elsewhere (see the 
   etymology supplied by Gen 30:6 with dnny)

5) why 2 Sam 24:6 mentions the unexplainable dnh y`n, 
   usually transliterated as Dan-jaan, which is 
   linguistically similar to Denyen;

6) why Dan was apportioned Philistine heartland (Jos 
   19:40ff) but ends up somewhere totally different, 
   while considering that the sea peoples took 
   possession of the whole coast (explaining why Dan 
   could have a tradition locating it in Philistine 
   lands but ending up north); and

7) why Dan, according to Jdg 18:1, had no lands among 
   the tribes of Israel allotted to them, at such a 
   late date.

We could also look at the favourite son of the tribe 
of Dan, Samson, with his sun-god name and his 
Philistine wives. There is a wealth of evidence for 
the lateness of Dan's inclusion among the tribes of 

If the twelve tribes are so sacrosanct to people, they 
might also like to explain why the Bani-Yamini were a 
problem for the people of Mari, why Amenemope seems to 
connect Asher and Zebulun with the sea peoples along 
with Gaza, Ashkelon and Ashdod, why Simeon doesn't even 
rate a mention in Moses' farewell speech which talks of 
only eleven tribes, etc.


>I won't pursue this any further, so go ahead and have the last word 
>and I'll leave it to the rest of the group to decide which translation is 
>more likely.

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