The portion assigned to the tribe of Dan was a region west of Jerusalem. At least part of the tribe later moved to the extreme northeast and took the city of Laish, renaming it Dan. Dan was one of the 10 northern tribes that disappeared from history after the Assyrian conquest of the kingdom of Israel in 721 bc.
Dan was allocated the most northerly region, to the north of the Galilee, and west of the Jordan, stretching north as far as Laish, Dan’s main city (which became known as Dan). In the Biblical census of the Book of Numbers, the tribe of Dan is portrayed as the second largest Israelite tribe (after Juda).
A 15th-century Latin chronicle, “Chronicon Holsatiae vetus”, found in Gottfried Leibniz’s Accessiones historicae (1698), states the Danes were of the Tribe of Dan, while the Jutes the Jews.
Conquered by the Assyrian King Shalmaneser V, they were exiled to upper Mesopotamia and Medes, today modern Syria and Iraq. The Ten Tribes of Israel have never been seen since.
They were named Asher, Dan, Ephraim, Gad, Issachar, Manasseh, Naphtali, Reuben, Simeon, and Zebulun —all sons or grandsons of Jacob. In 930 bc the 10 tribes formed the independent Kingdom of Israel in the north and the two other tribes, Judah and Benjamin, set up the Kingdom of Judah in the south.
The Tribe of Benjamin, located to the north of Judah but to the south of the northern Kingdom of Israel, is significant in biblical narratives as a source of various Israelite leaders, including the first Israelite king, Saul, as well as earlier tribal leaders in the period of the Judges.
Though it is possible he may have had more sons and daughters than what is recorded in surviving texts, only twelve sons would form the basis for the twelve tribes of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.
Rachel bore Jacob two sons, Joseph and Benjamin. The tribe of Benjamin provided Israel with its first king, Saul, and was later assimilated into the tribe of Judah. While no tribe bore the name of Joseph, two tribes were named after Joseph’s sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.
The tribe of Dan settled land on the East bank of the Jordan River. David’s character is highlighted in that he refuses to kill Saul. This shows his respect for the office of king and the significance of God’s anointing. Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin and not Judah.
Assyrian conquest and demise As part of the Kingdom of Israel, the territory of Dan was conquered by the Assyrians, and exiled; the manner of their exile led to their further history being lost.
Instead, the people of Judah were exiled to Babylon about 586, but were eventually able to return and rebuild their nation. In time, the tribe of Judah became identified with the entire Hebrew nation and gave its name to the people known today as the Jews.
“Yehuda” is the Hebrew term used for the area in modern Israel since the region was captured and occupied by Israel in 1967.
Judah, one of the 12 tribes of Israel, descended from Judah, who was the fourth son born to Jacob and his first wife, Leah. The southern Kingdom of Judah thrived until 587/586 bc, when it was overrun by the Babylonians, who carried off many of the inhabitants into exile.