ע
ABARIM
Publications
Discover the meanings of thousands of Biblical names in Abarim Publications' Biblical Name Vault

Dan meaning

דן

Source: http://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Dan.html

🔼The name Dan in the Bible

Dan is the name of a tribe of Israel, which descended from Dan, the son of Jacob and Bilhah, the maid of Rachel (Genesis 30:6). Dan's only full brother is Naphtali.

But prior to the existence of Dan the tribe, there was a town (or region) named Dan, mentioned in the War of Four against Five Kings (Genesis 14:14). In Judges 18:7 we learn about a town called Laish, near Beth-rehob, which is raised to the ground by a gang of דני (Danites). They rebuild the town and call it Dan, after their tribal founder. The Oxford Companion to the Bible, however, claims that this city Dan is the same as the one mentioned in Genesis 14:14, and called so in retrospect.

🔼Etymology of the name Dan

Dan was named by Rachel who exclaimed, "God has judged me, and has indeed heard my voice and has given me a son" (Genesis 30:6). Later, Jacob — now named Israel — gathers his people around his death bed, he says, "Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel" (Genesis 49:16).

Hence it's pretty safe to say that the name Dan comes from the Hebrew verb דין (din) meaning to judge, contend, plead:

🔼Dan meaning

For a meaning of the name Dan, BDB Theological Dictionary and the NOBSE Study Bible Name List agree on Judge. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Judge, Judging.