Genesis 14:14
When Abram heard that his nephew Lot had been captured, he mobilized the 318 trained men who had been born into his household. Then he pursued Kedorlaomer’s army until he caught up with them at Dan.

Is this Dan the same Dan as one below?

Judges 18:29
They renamed the town Dan after their ancestor, Israel’s son, but it had originally been called Laish.

Something is wrong with this.

  • Nothing "wrong", just evidence of later editors.
    – curiousdannii
    Sep 10 '20 at 12:10

"Dan" was one of the northern most parts of ancient Israel, hence the expression "Dan to Beersheba" expressing all of Israel. See Judg 20:1, 1 Chron 21:2, etc.

The fact that Gen 14:14 uses the name of the town hundreds of years before it had that name is simply evidence that the Book of Genesis was written (or at least edited) well after the events it depicts.

If we assume the traditional authorship of Moses (who clearly wrote before Dan had this later name), then some scribe presumably altered the name of "Laish" to "Dan" so that his readers would understand what was written.

Thus, the book of Genesis appears to have been edited by others after its completion by the traditional Moses. The Pulpit commentary on Gen 14:14 has some interesting remarks but with little evidence.

Dan - which is here substituted for its older name Laish, for which vide Joshua 19:47 (Ewald), though regarded by some as not the Laish Dan conquered by the Danites, but probably Dan-jaan, mentioned in 2 Samuel 24:6 (Havernick, Keil, Kalisch); against which, however, is the statement of Jose. phus ('Ant.,' 1:10), that this Dan was one of the sources of the Jordan. Murphy regards Dan as the original designation of the town, which was changed under the Sidonians to Laish (lion), and restored at the conquest. Clericus suggests that the Jordan fountain may have been styled Dan, "Judge," and the neighboring town Laish, and that the Danites, observing the coincidence of the former with the name of their own tribe, gave it to the city they had conquered. Alford is doubtful whether Dan-juan was really different from Laish.

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