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Only 11 Tribes of Israel? Controversial Findings Reveal Danites Might Not Be Sons of Israel But Sons Of Greece

Only 11 Tribes of Israel? Controversial Findings Reveal Danites Might Not Be Sons of Israel But Sons Of Greece

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Three thousand-year-old archaeological discoveries that came to light recently at Tel Dan in northern Israel, indicate that the Danites were possibly Aegean (Greek) soldiers hired by Canaan's Egyptian rulers to keep peace. In other words, Samson and other ancient Israelites mentioned in the Book of Judges in the Hebrew Bible could have been Greek in blood and origin.

The Tribe of Dan May Not Be an Israelite Tribe After All

The Tribe of Dan might be one of the twelve original "Israelite tribes" and symbolize the lands of Israel to many people around the world, but according to the new archaeological finds the Danites probably weren’t Israelites in blood. Instead, it appears like the Danites originated with mercenaries hired from ancient Greece (Aegean in specific) and Syria by the Egyptian rulers of Canaan to keep order. In accordance with the Bible, after the Israelites invaded and controlled Canaan, they split the land between the Israelite tribes, excluding the tribe of Dan. Disappointed with such injustice, the Danites decided to go northward, and conquer the city of Laish. After their victory they rebuilt the city and renamed it after their ancestor. What makes things more interesting is that recent excavations have unearthed a large neighborhood from the 12-11th century BC that clearly shows enthralling Greek (Aegean) influences.

Mosaic of the 12 Tribes of Israel. From Givat Mordechai Etz Yosef synagogue facade, Ha Rav Gold street, in Jerusalem. The tribe of Dan is represented in the top right

Mosaic of the 12 Tribes of Israel. From Givat Mordechai Etz Yosef synagogue facade, Ha Rav Gold street, in Jerusalem. The tribe of Dan is represented in the top right ( public domain )

The Recent Finds Relight Longstanding Academic Debates

The recent discoveries have revived long-established debates among historians over the origin of the Danites and now set a series of questions that need to be answered convincingly: Were the Danites a tribe of Israel that was ignored by the rest local tribes after all or not? Could they be descendants of the Denyen, a group of people that the Egyptians described as Sea Peoples? Or maybe they were related to the Danaoi, one of the Greek tribes? The discoveries at Tel Dan indicate that they could be.

The city of Dan was constructed on a mound near the southern part of Mount Hermon, the highest mountain in the Golan Heights. By 2000 BC, the city had become immense surrounded by huge ramparts, called Laish. By the Late Bronze Age, Laish had established sprawling trade connections with the countries and coastal cities throughout the eastern Mediterranean, including Sidon and Tyre to the north, Egypt to the south most parts of then-Greece to the west.

Tel located about half a kilometer north of Kibbutz Dan, the jurisdiction of the Tel Dan nature reserve in the Hula Valley

Tel located about half a kilometer north of Kibbutz Dan, the jurisdiction of the Tel Dan nature reserve in the Hula Valley ( CC by SA 3.0 )

The Greek Presence and Influence is Undeniable According to the Archaeological Findings

The discovery of a tomb built with rough stones in a style akin to that found in Enkomi, in today's Cyprus, suggests that the ties between Laish and the Greek areas of the Aegean go back to 14 th century BC. Additionally, inside the tomb archaeologists discovered over a hundred ceramic vessels, which according to chemical analysis were made in the Greek city-state of Argos, the center of Mycenaean culture during the Bronze Age.

Metal objects, pipes, crucibles and slag found at Tel Dan Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology

Metal objects, pipes, crucibles and slag found at Tel Dan Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology

The excavations at Tel Dan launched in 1966 and finished in 1999 under the leadership of Avraham Biran, a decorated Israeli archaeologist and head of the Institute of Archaeology at Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem. Dr. David Ilan of the Hebrew Union College, the man who restarted the excavation in the area, after examining closely old and new findings, he suggested that the old theory about Danites not beginning as a tribe of Israel, but originating from Greece – first proposed by Michael Astour and Yigal Yadin back in the 1960s), might be right. The excavators at Dan also found vessels decorated with Aegean-style birds, chalices, offering bowls, a model silo, and curious brain-shaped stones that may have been used in ritual, as well as various other objects and artefacts that indicate that the peoples living in Dan were probably a mixed group who brought their habits and traditions from their places of origin.

Dr. David Ilan told haaretz, “The most famous Danite in the Bible is Samson, a quite essential archetype of a Greek hero: He is very strong, his power resides in his long hair, he tells riddles and he hangs out with Philistine women,” while he adds about the mixed cultural background of the findings in the area and the political system of rule the Egyptians practiced in the area, so the foreigners would avoid allegiance with the locals, “This would explain the layers of mixed cultural material at Tel Dan, with elements from Syria, Egypt, Cyprus, and the Aegean. We also have dozens of Egyptian cooking pots! These people served the Egyptians and the Egyptian army but they also included merchants doing business.”

Was famous Danite, Samson, really a Greek? ‘Samson’ by Solomon J Solomon, 1860 – 1927

Was famous Danite, Samson, really a Greek? ‘Samson’ by Solomon J Solomon, 1860 – 1927 ( public domain )

Top image: A mosaic in the Jewish Quarter representing the 12 Tribes of Israel, including the Danites ( CC 2.0 )

By Theodoros Karasavvas

Comments

Hello Theodoros,

All I can say on the Subject at hand is that I believe in The Bible and what The Bible teaches on the Tribes of Israel.

I'm not allowing and outside party too define for me what the Bible teaches on these Tribes of Israel it all comes down too either you believe in The Bible or you dont.

Three years back I watched Dr. Henry Gates. Jr program Finding Your Root's, Norman Lear a television producer of Social-economical political comedies wanted too know his History.

Lo and behold they found a cemetery with his Great-grandfathers name etched in to it. That's how I learned Norman Lear was an Levite who in The Bible is the 3rd Son of Israel, He was an Kotathite; they were ordained by God too carry The Ark of The Covenant Chest on Their Shoulders once more Norman Lear is Cousin's too Aaron, Miriam, and Moses.

So since Levi has been found that leaves only:

Asher
Benjamin
Dan
Ephraim
Gad
Issacher
Judah
Manessah
Naphtali
Reuben
Simeon
Zebulun

To be found.

Spartan Greeks clearly maintained they were Hebrew.  Remember HBR means Eber son of PLG or Pelag.   Spartan Pelasgians wrote to Israel saying "Arius, king of the Spartans, sends greetings to Onias, the chief priest. It has been found in a writing concerning the Spartans and Jews, that they are a kinsmen, and that they are descended from Abraham. Now since we have learned this, please write us about your welfare. We for our part write you that your cattle and property are ours and ours are yours. So we command them to report to you to this effect."  This understanding is confused by moderns.   Today we blend the meaning of the term Jewish with Israel with Hebrew.  Historians misunderstand the root beginnings of HBR or Hebrew.  This is why Greek letters, old Hebrew letters are virtually identical.   We know that Spartans are not Mycean Greeks but the original occupants.  No one knows for sure why ancient history states that the earth was divided during the time of PLG or Pelag.   If one interprets the earth physically dividing then and then the history use of the term Pele/Peleg which includes the term for Volcano god/goddess in the Pacific Islands one begins to understand these facts differently.  Obviously there is much we do not know but when studying mythology and religion we all look through a glass of time that distorts facts.   Yet somewhere there is a connection to the facts as understood by early civilization which is colored by their particular religion and myths.  The memory of mankind seems to go way back to a time well beyond recorded history.   So much in history does not seem to fit well with our science of timelines.   We see this over and over again.  

If the Danite were truly Greek/Aegean I have to wonder what Samson translates into Greek as and do the Greeks have a corresponding myth?

Will there be any DNA that they can look over to do a comparative analysisl of Ancient Greek versus the tribe of Dan to rule out trade?

Troy Mobley

This comment began correct.  However the difinition of who are Jews depends also on when in time and history one is discussing.   The word Jew came into prominant use during the Roman occupation.  It seems to have referred to everyone living in that area regardless of their DNA.   By the year 0 AD the population referred to as Jews consisted of more non-Israelites than Israelites.   By this time it included many Hebrew cousins as well plus any other population that was willing to circumsize and join the rest.   Idumean’s for example were 40% of the Rebellion soldiers against Rome.   

I have often maintained that the word or term Jew is a confusing word when used in discussions as it really has many meanings depending on time and place and has been used somewhat carelessly in history.  When using the word Jew or Jewish I think an adjective or two should be place in front of the word to define it better.   When I have written this in the past some have incorrectly assumed this is an anti-semetic approach.  To the contrary it is simply defining accurately people in a discussion.  

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