1. A son of Jacob by Bilhah, Genesis 30:3 35:25. The tribe of Dan was second only to that of Judah in numbers before entering Canaan, Numbers 1:39 26:43. A portion was assigned to Dan, extending southeast from the seacoast near Joppa. It bordered on the land of the Philistines, with whom the tribe of Dan had much to do, Judges 13:1-16:31. Their territory was fertile, but small, and the natives were powerful. A part of the tribe therefore sought and conquered another home, Joshua 19:1-51 Judges 18:1-31
2. A city originally called Laish, Judges 18:29, at the northern extremity of Israel, in the tribe of Naphtali. "From Dan to Beersheba" denotes the whole extent of the land of promise, Dan being the northern city, and Beersheba the southern one. Dan was seated at the foot of Mount Hermon, four miles west of Paneas, near one source of the Jordan, on a hill now called Tell-el-Kady. Laish at one time belonged to Zidon, and received the name of Dan from a portion of that tribe who conquered and rebuilt it, Judges 18:1-31. It was an idolatrous city even then, and was afterwards the seat of one of the golden calves of Jeroboam, 1 Kings 12:28 Amos 8:14. Though once and again a very prosperous city, Judges 18:10 Ezekiel 27:19, only slight remains of it now exist.