[b-hebrew] "Dan" in Ezekiel 27: 19

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Fri Dec 28 06:29:41 EST 2007


The name DAN consists, in my opinion, of the combination of the two 
existence markers, or substantives, AD-DA and AN-NA. It betokens beauty and 
strength, and by implication rule and superiority. The root DN is a variant 
of the roots ZN, TN, YN, SN, CN, $N. Derived from these are the words: ADON, 
‘lord, master’, DIN, ‘law, justice’, )EDEN, ‘base, foundation, sill’, OZEN, 
‘ear’, MA-ZON, ‘food, nutrient, nourishment’ [see Genesis 45:23], T(N, ‘load’ 
[see Genesis 45:17], T)EN-AH, ‘fig tree’, )ATON, ‘Equus asinus’, (EDN-AH, 
‘vigor’ [see Genesis 18:12], YON-AH, ‘dove’, CEN, ‘thorn’, $EN, ‘tooth’.

As I have already remarked, as a personal name it may be the name of an 
ancient deity, corresponding to ADONAY of the Hebrews.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <JimStinehart at aol.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, December 28, 2007 12:06 AM
Subject: [b-hebrew] "Dan" in Ezekiel 27: 19

> Karl W. Randolph:
> Ezekiel 27: 19 says that the island city-state of Sur/Tyre in southern
> Lebanon traded with “Dan” (or “Vedan”) and with “Javan”.
> 1.  The “Dan” or “Vedan” at Ezekiel 27: 19 is traditionally associated 
> with
> “Aden” in Arabia, I believe.  But that is not necessarily correct.  “Dan”/“
> Vedan” is linked with “Javan” in the text, and “Javan” is viewed as being
> Greece.  To me, northern Canaan, or Lebanon, or Syria might be more 
> logical
> pairings with a reference to Greece for the trading partners of Sur/Tyre 
> than
> would be Arabia.
> 2.  The questions of how ancient the name “Dan” might be, and where this 
> “Dan
> ” might be located, may take us all the way back to the 14th century BCE, 
> and
> may involve some connection of “Dan” to Sur/Tyre.
> 3.  You wrote:  “Background to this verse [Ezekiel 27: 19]: this is part 
> of a
> list of trading countries with Tyre.  Judah and Israel have already been
> mentioned as providers mainly of agricultural goods, in verse 17.”
> (a)  In the Hebrew Bible (with the possible exception of Genesis), what 
> Greek
> and English speakers call “Tyre” is spelled either tsade-resh or
> tsade-vav-resh.  That is CR or CWR here.  In ancient times, the tsade was 
> probably
> pronounced S or SS, vs. the modern pronunciation of TS, so the ancient 
> sound may
> have been SUR.  If so, sin-vav-resh, which is found at Genesis 20: 1 (as
> previously discussed on a different thread), could have been an alternate 
> spelling for
> this same locale.  BDB sees one of the meanings of tsade-vav-resh as being 
>> rocky wall”, and sin-vav-resh means “wall”, so the meanings seem similar.
> Importantly, this place is “Sur” in Arabic, and “Surru” in the Amarna 
> Letters.
> So I will refer to this island city-state in southern Lebanon as 
>  “Sur/Tyre”.
> (In my view, the Greek mispronunciation “Tyre” is misleading.)
> (b)  Here is the text of Ezekiel 27: 17 that you reference:
> “Judah, and the land of Israel, they were thy [Sur’s/Tyre’s] traffickers;
> they traded for thy merchandise wheat of Minnith, and balsam, and honey, 
> and
> oil, and balm.”
> That means that the Hebrews sold agricultural products to Sur/Tyre.
> (c)  Consider also I Kings 5: 25:
> “And Solomon gave Hiram [of Sur/Tyre in trade] twenty thousand measures of
> wheat for food to his household, and twenty measures of beaten oil”.
> That likewise means that the Hebrews sold agricultural products to 
> Sur/Tyre.
> (d)  The island city-state of Sur/Tyre was unique in the ancient world, in
> that while it was rich, it had to import all its food.  The one place 
> where a
> Hebrew might sell a bumper crop, at sky-high prices, was Sur/Tyre.  For 
> that
> reason, Sur/Tyre was far more important to the early Hebrews than is 
> usually
> recognized.  Ezekiel 27: 17 and I Kings 5: 25 are but the tip of the 
> iceberg in
> that regard, in my opinion.
> 4.  In 14th century BCE Ugarit, located on the west coast of Syria, 
>  “Daner”
> was a prominent name.  “Dan” could be viewed as being a shortened form of 
> the
> truly ancient name “Daner”.
> 5.  Both Sur/Tyre and Ugarit were rich trading states in the mid-14th 
> century
> BCE.  There are plenty of connections between Sur/Tyre and Ugarit. 
> Although
> Ugarit lasted only about 200 years or so, Sur/Tyre remained unbowed and 
> rich
> until Alexander the Great built the causeway that destroyed Sur/Tyre’s 
> previous
> invulnerability to attack.
> 6.  In short, there are plenty of ancient connections of the name “Dan” to
> northern Canaan, Lebanon and Syria.  The name seems redolent of that 
> general
> area.
> 7.  Some form of the name “Dan” was probably associated with the general
> area of northern Canaan, Lebanon and Syria prior to the time that the 
> Hebrew
> tribe of Dan became associated with northern Canaan.  The city originally 
> called “
> Laish” or  "Lasha" or “Leshem” or “Lais” or “Lesem” or “Lus” or “Luz”,
> which is located directly east of Sur/Tyre on the upper Jordan River, was 
> later
> called “Dan” by the Hebrews.
> Jim Stinehart
> Evanston, Illinois
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