Saturday, July 21, 2007


From the Jewish Encyclopedia:

But Dan became the very type of evil-doing. He was placed to the north (Num. ii. 25), this being the region of darkness and evil (Jer. i. 14), because of his idolatry which wrapped the world in darkness (Num. R. ii.). Still further goes a tradition which identifies the serpent and the lion (Gen. xlix. 17 and Deut. xxxiii. 22) with Belial (see the literature in Bousset's "Antichrist," 1895, pp. 87, 113). Irenæus ("Adversus Hæreses," v. 302), Hippolytus ("De Christo et Antichristo," pp. 14, 15), and other Church fathers have a tradition, which can not but be of Jewish origin, that the Antichrist comes from the tribe of Dan, and base it upon Jer. viii. 16: "The snorting of his [the enemy's] horses was heard from Dan"—a verse referred also in Gen. R. xliii. to Dan's idolatry. Irenæus remarks that Dan is, in view of this tradition, not in the Apocalypse (Rev. vii. 5-7) among the 144,000 saved ones of the twelve tribes. Nor is the omission of Dan in I Chron. iv. et seq. unintentional. Bousset, who has a special chapter devoted to the Dan Antichrist legend (l.c. pp. 112-115), believes that the connection of Dan with Belial in Test. Patr., Dan, 5 points to the same tradition. This seems to find corroboration in Targ. Yer. to Deut. xxxiv. 3, where the war against Ahriman ()and Gog or Magog in the vision of Moses seems to refer to Dan, 1 (compare Sifre, l.c. to ; see also Dan, in Ten Tribes, The Lost.) K.

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