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


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


Jacob (Israel) had twelve sons. These twelve sons and their descendants make up the tribes of Israel. Those of the tribe of Levi were the Levites. This of the tribe of Dan were the Danites. Those of the tribe of Benjamin were the Benjaminites. However, those of the tribe of Judah came to be known as the Jews. The term Jew didn't come into use until after the break up the the kingdom of the united Israel. The therm was never used for the ten northern tribes of Israel and that includes the tribe of Dan. There is no question that the tribe of Dan was part of Israel.

Sorry, but no, you are wrong. Did they set their camp up with all the others? Yes. Did they worship at the same temple? Yes. Were they judges of the other tribes? Yes. Did they practice the same religion as Judah? Yes.

Therefore, having the same father Jacob that the others had, except Mannasseh and Ephraim, they were always known as a tribe of Israel the same as Judah.

So if they quacked like Judah, waddled like Judah and looked like Judah, then I am going to have to say that Dan was a tribe of Israel just as Judah.

They were as much Jewish as Levi, which the rabbinical Pharisees come from. In fact, because MOSES himself said that Dan was set as the judges and Levi as the priests, then MOSES concluded that Dan was also Jewish.

What you are thinking is Ashkenazi only.

Can you please tell us exactly what the Judaic religion was in Moses' day when Dan was set up as a brother and co-tribe with all the others?

Actually the tribe of Dan was never Jewish. It was Israelite. The Jews are the descendants of the tribe of Judah.

Just read the Premium article Hunting the Lions: The Last King of Assyria, and the Death of the Empire by Cam Rea which speaks of Judean King Josiah using many Greek mercenaries as he tried to protect his borders, especially those in the south which bordered on Egypt.


From my own studies I know that Pharaoh Necho (Neco) of Egypt, was determined to wage war against Assyria. But the kingdom of Judea stood in his way. Even though the pharaoh assured King Josiah that he wanted only safe passage through Judea, Josiah obvious did not believe him. The  two armies met at Meggido where the Egyptians routed the Judeans. King Josiah was injured and carried back to Jerusalem where he died.


My point is that if Josiah used all these mercenaries, surely they brought Greek culture and pottery with them. Don’t know about them going north to attack Laish but I would assume that the victorious Egyptians would retaliate against those who fought with the Judeans. I do know that much of Judea paid tribute you Egypt for many years until the Egyptians retreated due to internal conflicts in Egypt. This led, years later to the invasion of Babylon in which the Israelites were taken to Babylon.

It’s possible that the Greek mercenaries were included and eventually blended with the Judeans. I don't doubt that there was an original Tribe of Dan, but whether they remained totally Jewish is in doubt.

There were 12 tribes, and even though we may not know what happened to those that "disappeared" and were "assimilated" into other areas, we can't just disregard the Jews' own historical writings and call that intellectual honesty.

So the Egyptians made huge statues and steles, we accept those as being honest historically, but that doesn't mean they were truthfully honest about what was going on during the time they made them. When "scientific" authority begins to dismiss something because it was written instead of made of stone, then we would have to question even the existence of other writers and famous people that left no written records either but were later written about by others.

For instance, do we really and truly know that Socrates was a real person who corrupted young people, was arrested and made to drink the hemlock? We accept that without question even though we can't verify it really happened.

What the "Scientific" authority wants to do is eradicate and entire group of people from history, and everyone jumps on board to do the same. But the Jews have repeated their history since the time their history happened.

Let's look at what the Bible really says, Dan was born to the concubine of Judah. Dan was given the task of being judges. After the fall of the first temple, that was taken away and then when the second temple was rebuilt by Herod the Great (the first one, everyone confuses him because Herod is a title and not a name, two of his sons also became Herods) Dan was no longer the tribe that judged and was replaced by the rabbincal system that the Pharisees were.

But the Book of James mentions that all the tribes were still known at that time, as it says "To the tribes that are scattered". And Paul said that he was of the tribe of Benjamin.

So no, the tribes were not really lost, members of the groups migrated to other areas and forgot their tribal affiliation. And that's what people do not consider when reading about them. Not entire tribes, but members within the tribes migrated elsewhere.

And everyone who believes in "British/Israelism" are doing so only to supplant and eradicate the Jews because they are purposefully being anti-Semitic, they have proven time and again that they do not oppose genocide of Jews that even was happening in the 11th and 12th centuries. And also, if the Jews never existed as a group of people in Europe separate and apart from other European groups, then no single European country would even have the need to make laws against them being considered citizens of the various countries.

Sorry, but even genetically they are an ethnic group and every genetic calculator out there has a very well defined definition of Ashkenazi. On 23 and Me they are represented as Green, and everyone that has Ashkenazi ancestry shows the green in the results. It's time to stop pretending they never existed as anything but Jewish.

So there was trade with the Greeks, so what? There's even evidence of Jews in ancient Japan and the Japanese language has over 700 known words that are HEBREW in origin. And there is archeological evidence of Jews being present in Japan, and not only that, in Burma the members of the tribe of Naphtali were brought back to Israel and given recognition of being from Naphtali.

AND, there are more Jews than just Ashkenazi, which Ashkenaz is simply the used word for Eastern Europe. AND Ashkenaz was the grandson of Noah through Japheth. AND Ashkenaz was known in the ancient world as Ashkenaz. So all of you British/Israelism supplanters, nope, you descend from Japheth and it can be proven through etymology and ethnicity.

You don't speak an Indo-European language from Sumer for nothing, you are Japhethites. If you are truly descendants of any tribe, then why haven't your ancestors retained the customs, traditions and language of the patriarchs? Why did your ancestors practice their own forms of paganism with the nature deities and they all danced "skyclad" and burned whicker mans?

You can't even prove the evidence of Princess Scota being from Egypt, let alone can you prove the evidence of Jeremiah going to Ireland. So you can prove that people from the Middle East came to England to mine tin, but even then they did not leave any genetic markers on the population, which means they did not intermarry and interbreed.

But what was proven was that in the 12th century there was rampant anti-Semitism in England and it was proven that the oldest Jewish synagogue in Europe actually is in Cologne, Germany. As a separate group of people ethnically, culturally and historically.

Dan is not a Greek group, but we don't know that his mother wasn't Greek. She may very well have been because the Bible does not record where Zilphah and Bilhah were from. And it is very intellectually dishonest to trade a group of people for another when trade may have been the very reason for the artifacts.

And so what if the artifacts look stylized, human nature does not change and out of the 200,000,000 plus households in the US should prove that very thing, we like objects that reflect our own tastes artistically. They did then as well.

It's like trying to make monoliths out of groups of people. You would be better off trying to find the grave of Arthur in Avalon. At least he was closer ethnically to you than Dan.


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