>Tel Dan: Archaeology, History, and Pictures

>Arutz Sheva has an interesting article by Shalom Pollack describing the history and archeology of Tel Dan, the famous archaeological site where archaeologists found the famous “House of David” inscription. The article contains several beautiful pictures of tel and the area near Dan.

The following is an excerpt from the article:

Tel Dan embraces archaeology, nature, and Biblical history in one sweep.

Known as Laish to its original Canaanite inhabitants, the area was conquered by the tribe of Dan (Judges: 18) when they sought a safer place to live in the wake of recurring Philistine attacks in their original tribal portion near Beit Shemesh. The place was perfect, as beautiful and bountiful as it is today.

When Lot, Abraham’s nephew was captured by the four kings of the north, Abraham led an expedition to free him (Genesis 14:14). The city gates of Dan from Abraham’s time have since been uncovered by archaeologists — imagine! You can sit in the very gate that Abraham sat. This is more than just where the Bible comes alive. You can also view inscriptions with the words, “House of David, King of Israel.”

Apparently this was part of a boast made by Hazael, King of Aram in which he falsely claimed to defeat the Jewish forces that stemmed from the Davidic dynasty.

When Yirovam ben Navat broke away from the kingdom of Rechavam, son of Solomon, he took 10 of the12 tribes with him to prevent the kingdom from reuniting. To distract the people from the lawful king and from the symbol of unity — the Temple in Jerusalem — he established pagan worship in the form of golden calves (Kings I 1: 28) and erected them at the borders of his kingdom, one in Beit El on the southern border with Judah (Judea) on the way to Jerusalem, and the other at the northern border, Dan.

To read the article in its entirety and see pictures of the tel, visit the website of the Israel National News.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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