The City of Dan
Places of Interest
1. The city of Dan was located in the northernmost part of Israel about 24 miles (38 km.) north of the Sea of Galilee.
2. It is a well-watered lush area superb for agriculture.
1. The tribe of Dan failed to take the original territory allotted them, so they captured and moved to this area (Judges 18).
2. When referring to all Israel, the phrase “From Dan to Beersheba” was commonly used.
1 Kings 4:25: Judah and Israel lived safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.
3. Just after Solomon’s reign, the kingdom of Israel was divided because Solomon turned from the Lord and introduced the worship of false gods into the nation.
1 Kings 11:1–2: Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, 2 from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon held fast to these in love.
1 Kings 11:6–11: Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not follow the Lord fully, as David his father had done. 7 Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab, on the mountain which is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon. 8 Thus also he did for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods. 9 Now the Lord was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, 10 and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not observe what the Lord had commanded. 11 So the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant.
4. Rehoboam was given the southern 2 tribes of Israel (called Judah from this time forward), and Jeroboam received the northern 10 tribes of Israel (called Israel from this time forward).
Places of Interest
2. Dan River
3. Jeroboam’s Golden Calf High Place
4. City Ruins
5. Israelite Gate
6. Canaanite Gate
7. Shallow Pool
The City of Dan in the Bible
1. God appeared to Jeroboam and promised to bless him if he would serve Him.
1 Kings 11:38: Then it will be, that if you listen to all that I command you and walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight by observing My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build you an enduring house as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you.
2. Jeroboam turned away from the Lord and built golden calves in Bethel and Dan.
1 Kings 12:25-31: Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and lived there. And he went out from there and built Penuel. 26 Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom will return to the house of David. 27 If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will return to their lord, even to Rehoboam king of Judah; and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.” 28 So the king consulted, and made two golden calves, and he said to them, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; behold your gods, O Israel, that brought you up from the land of Egypt.” 29 He set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. 30 Now this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan. 31 And he made houses on high places, and made priests from among all the people who were not of the sons of Levi.
3. After a severe warning from God, Jeroboam continued in sin. The worship of false gods would eventually seal the doom of the northern 10 tribes of Israel.
1 Kings 13:33–34: Even after this, Jeroboam did not change his evil ways, but once more appointed priests for the high places from all sorts of people. Anyone who wanted to become a priest he consecrated for the high places. 34 This was the sin of the house of Jeroboam that led to its downfall and to its destruction from the face of the earth.
4. The sin of Jeroboam became a pattern that the rest of the kings of Israel would follow.
1 Kings 15:33–34: In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha son of Ahijah became king of all Israel in Tirzah, and he reigned twenty-four years. 34 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, walking in the ways of Jeroboam and in his sin, which he had caused Israel to commit.
1 Kings 16:26: He [Omri] walked in all the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat and in his sin, which he had caused Israel to commit, so that they provoked the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger by their worthless idols.
5. In 722 BC, as judgment from God for their continual disobedience, the 10 northern tribes of Israel were deported by the Assyrian Empire.
6. Eighty years later, as a result of reading the Scriptures, Josiah became King of Judah and chose to follow God with all his heart. He led one of the biggest revivals Israel ever experienced.
2 Kings 22:1–2: Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother's name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah; she was from Bozkath. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in all the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.
2 Kings 23:25: Before him, there was no king like him who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him.
7. As a result of Josiah’s obedience, he renewed the covenant of the Lord with Israel and destroyed the golden calves Jeroboam had erected.
2 Kings 23:15: Furthermore, the altar that was at Bethel and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin, had made, even that altar and the high place he broke down. Then he demolished its stones, ground them to dust, and burned the Asherah.
2 Kings 23:19: Josiah also removed all the houses of the high places which were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made provoking the Lord; and he did to them just as he had done in Bethel.
Faith Lesson from the city of Dan
1. Despite God supernaturally revealing Himself two times to Solomon, he turned away from the Lord in his latter years. There is a tendency to grow apathetic the longer we are Christians. Are you apathetic and lukewarm in your relationship with God?
2. Despite God supernaturally revealing himself two times to Jeroboam, he turned his back on God and built altars to false gods all throughout the land. God gives grace to each person to receive and obey Him, but those who reject Him and His grace will be judged accordingly.
3. The sin of Jeroboam became a pattern that the rest of the kings of the northern tribes of Israel followed. What kind of example are we? Are we following the sinful patterns of our parents and those around us?
4. In 722 BC, the 10 northern tribes of Israel were deported because of their refusal to return to God.
5. The worship of false gods at Bethel and Dan became the downfall of the northern tribes of Israel. False gods and idols can be anything we make more important in our lives than God. Do you have any idols in your life?
6. Josiah chose to follow God with all his heart and tore down the two golden calf altars Jeroboam had set up. Do we follow God with all our heart like Josiah, and work with God to tear down the lies and false philosophies of Satan and the world with God’s Word (2 Cor. 10:4–5)?