[This article was one of numerous entries in a serialized Bible dictionary called Anglo-Israel Notes. This entry appeared in the May 1894 issue of The Messenger magazine. - Mikkel Stjernholm Kragh]
Dan.—Dan’s birth is mentioned in Gen. xxx. He was the son Bilhah, Rachel’s handmaid. History tells us that Greece was founded Dan, the son of Belah. In Gen. xlix. 16, is Jacob’s blessing. It is, “Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel,” as an independent nation. 17th verse: “Dan shall be a serpent by the way.” He has left his trace wherever he has been. In Deut. xxxiii. we have Moses’ blessing “Dan shall leap from Bashan,’’ shows an early emigration. “The coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them; they took Leshem and dwelt therein, and called it Dan, after the name of Dan their father.” Judges v. 17: “Why did Dan remain in ships?” That they might escape in them to their colonies abroad. Homer, it may be himself of the tribe of Dan, frequently mentions the Grecian warriors—Danai, or tribe of Dan—and he frequently employed Hebrew words. They are called the heroes of Homeric fame. He gives the name of Danaans to the whole Hellenic race; he also called them Asiatic Greeks. Their distinctive names were Achaeans, Syrian Mysians, Ionians, and Carians. He says, “They crossed the seas in hollow ships.” Sir Walter Raleigh says the first landing of Danes in Greece was three years before the death of Joseph in Egypt (circa) 1636 B.C.; the second, thirty-eight years after the exodus; and the third, 1296 B.C. Clinton gives 300 years before the Trojan war, and the second landing 1483 (circa) B.C. Ancient Greece was called Danus. AEschylus (480 B.C) makes Danaus and his family come from Egypt through the Syrian wastes thence by ship to Argos (Greece). Escaping from slavery in Egypt, in common with most writers of the early period, they are spoken of as the Seed Divine (John x. 34-36). Eldad, an eminent Jewish writer, tells us that “in Jeroboam’s day (975 B.C.) Dan refused to shed his brother’s blood, and rather than go to war with Judah, left the country and went in a body to Greece, to Javan, and to Denmark.” “Of all the heroic families of Greece none was more heroic than that of the Danaans of Argos.” (From Dr. W. Smith’s History of Greece) The Danans, a people of great learning and wealth, left Greece and went to Ireland and Denmark, and called it Danmares (Dan’s country). (From Keating’s History of Ireland.) 2 Chron ii. 14. The old name of Seton, Devon, Mare Dunam, may also mean Dan’s country. Dan sent out pioneers 500 years before the captivity. Years before Israel’s captivity, God, who foresaw Israel’s sin and necessary punishment, was providing for their safety and comfort by having the country to which, as wretched, degraded captives they would eventually be brought, pioneered, opened up for them by batches of their more adventurous brethren, the Danites. The Scythian Tartars affirm, as they receive it by tradition, that they had their origin from the Israelites, and that the great Tamerlain would boast himself that he was descended from the tribe of Dan. Sharon Turner tells us that “the Jutes and Danes actually claimed an Israelitish origin.” What folly to dispute their claim in the light of their after history worked out by their descendants, which proved them to be of a national character intensely Hebrew in all its essential elements. Just after the date of the Jewish captivity, the Tuatha de Danans (tribe of Dan, translated from the Hebrew) formed large settlements in Ireland, they and Phoenicians having before that date traded with Cornwall. Dan, the mariner of Israel, is not likely to have remained to be taken prisoner, when he had his ships to escape in. Jeremiah in Ireland 588 B.C. The Welsh for Dan is Dôn. Donhaghedee is Hebrew for Dan—my witness. The Tuatha de Danans possessed a civilization and knowledge of the arts and sciences. Dan, the pioneer both in Church and State, maintained the British Church of the first five centuries; they were first in the subjugation of the land by at least a thousand years’ precedence of the other tribes. The Danes were the same people in blood and speech with the people they attacked; they were, in fact, Englishmen. They entered Britain from Norway. The Baltic tribes of Danites, or Danes, and the Anglii were as well acquainted with the British Isles 300 years B.c. as Anglo-America is to-day. British-Israelites may feel proud to identify themselves with the Danans, now become familiar to all who have made Anglo-Israel their study. In Rev. vii., where the account of the sealing of the tribes is given, Dan is not mentioned, though the 4th verse says, “There were sealed an hundred and forty-four thousand of ‘all’ the tribes of the children of Israel;” therefore we may be quite sure the redemption of Israel does not fail to any tribe. As the tribe of Joseph is named, and Manasses is of Joseph, is it not possible that “Manasses” for “Dan” may be a copyist’s error? In the division of the land by Ezekiel, Dan is set first.
Source: http://www.stonekingdom.org/articles/Tribe.of.Dan.1894.pdf (1 April, 2010)