Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Tribe of Dan shows the Way!

Genesis 49:17

(17) Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.

Jeremiah 31:21

(21) Set thee up waymarks, make thee high heaps: set thine heart toward the highway, even the way which thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities.

God Himself told Ephraim to mark their way so that they could return one day to the Promised Land: "Set up signposts, make landmarks; set your heart toward the highway, the way in which you went. Turn back, O virgin of Israel, turn back to these your cities" (Jeremiah 31:21). How were they to do this?

One of the main ways involves the prophecy of Jacob about the tribe of Dan. "Dan shall be a serpent by the way, a viper by the path" (Genesis 49:17). A serpent or snake leaves a mark behind it as it moves over the earth; some snakes, like rattlesnakes, leave very distinctive trails. So does the tribe of Dan.

Though Joshua had allotted land to Dan in Canaan, the Danites found it to be difficult to hold and settle because of its proximity to the Philistines. They began to look elsewhere for living space.

And six hundred men of the family of the Danites went from there, from Zorah and Eshtaol, armed with weapons of war. Then they went up and encamped in Kirjath Jearim in Judah. (Therefore they call that place Mahaneh Dan [Camp of Dan] to this day. There it is, west of Kirjath Jearim.) (Judges 18:11-12)

Finally, they came to the city of Laish, in the far northern reaches of Israel, and they took it. "And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born to Israel. However the name of the city was formerly Laish" (verse 29).

And thus they have been naming places after their ancestor ever since! A good map of Europe will show dozens of place names carrying the name of Dan within them. The Don, Dnieper, Dniester and Danube rivers all flow into the Black Sea. The Romans knew the Rhine and Rhone rivers as the Eridanus and the Rhodanus. Denmark (literally, "Dan's Land") and Sweden are both northwestern European countries. The English escaped from Dunkirk (literally, "Dan's Church") during WWII. One can find similar place names sprinkled heavily throughout England, Scotland, and especially Ireland, where dun means "judge," just as dan does in Hebrew!

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Israel: Present

Related Topics:
Dan, Tribe of
Israel, Modern
Israel's Identity
'Lost' Ten Tribes of Israel
Serpent as Metaphor

Genesis 49:17

1 comment:

izzy cohen said...

I learned about anthropomorphic maps from the linguist Dan Moonhawk Alford (deceased) and the anthropologist Stan Knowlton. They described the maps of Napi, the creator of the Blackfoot Indians (aka The Old Man) and his wife (The Old Woman) in Alberta, Canada. I "found" similar maps of a male body (Hermes ?) in the Middle East and a female body (Aphrodite) in north Africa.

Anthropomorphic Maps

Anthropomorphic maps were generated by configuring the body of a god or goddess over the area to be mapped. The name of each part of that body became the name of the area under that part. This produced a scale 1:1 map-without-paper on which each place name automatically indicated its approximate location and direction with respect to every other place on the same map whose name was produced in this way.

You are cordially invited to join the BPMaps discussion group on this topic, a very quiet list that averages about 2 messages per month. The URL is:

The Challenge: To produce computer software that will find additional body-part maps elsewhere in the world. Available inputs:
(1) geographic databases with ancient place names (e.g., the Perseus project).
(2) body-part names on Swadesh lists. Unfortunately, the navel is not included.

Attributes of Anthropomorphic Maps

(1) The navel is the center of the body, the center of the map, and usually the center of the map's language community.

(2) Place names (toponyms) may be reversed, metathesized, misspelled or euphemized for various reasons:

(a) The same part in the same language exists on another map of a different body. Cranium > Mo[n]rocco because Ukraine existed? Aphrodite is looking backwards over her right shoulder. She is bent at her waist (Misr/Mitzraim = MoSNaiM).

(b) The left (sinister) part is altered in names for left-right pairs (arms, legs, eyes, ears). DoFeN = side reversed to Nafud in north Arabia. SHvK = thigh with a T-sound for the letter shin = TvK reversed to Kuwait. BeReKH = knee metathesized to Bahrain.

(c) Names that represent taboo body parts or funcitons are reversed or euphemized:
Semitic PoS (female pudenda) reverses to yam SooF = sea of reeds (Red Sea).
Mare Rubrum (Latin for Red Sea) represented Aphrodite's menstruation
CaNa3an (3 = aiyin with a G-sound as in 3aZa = Gaza) is a reversal of Greek gyneco-.
Sinai = "snatch" is spelled SiNi in Hebrew. The aleph=CHS is intentionally missing.
ZaYiN = weapon (a euphemism for his male member) is in Sinai as the desert of Zin.

(3) Names may be loan-translated due to conquest or language-change.

(a) Roxolania (Semitic Ro[chs]SH = head) => Rus *( Ro@SH) => Ukraine (Greek kranion)
* Caused by a change in the sound of the aleph from CHS to a glottal stop.

(b) Libya (Semitic LeB = heart) => Cyrenaica (Latin cor = heart, compare coronary) => Libya

(4) Rivers and bodies of water may be named after bodily excretions:

(a) Milk River in Alberta.
(b) Red Sea (Latin Mare Rubrum) is Aphrodite's menstruation.
(c) Gulf of Aqaba (Semitic QaVaH = digestion/defecation)

(5) Internal body parts may represent subdivisions of external parts.

(a) Arabic Misr / Hebrew Mitzraim (< TSaR = narrow) = waist (Hebrew MoSNaim). Egypt (< Greek hepato- = liver). Goshen (with a T-sound shin < Semitic QiTN = bean) = bean-shaped kidney. Goshen exported Arabic QuTN = cotton => Latin Gossypium (English gossamer = cotton-like)

(b) Atlas mountains < atlas = first cervical vertebra that supports the cranium.

(6) Islands near a body's hands may be named for weapons.

(a) Trinacria = trident (< Gk tri = three + Semitic NaKaR = to pierce) => Sicily (< VL *sicila < Latin secula = sickle to harvest wheat; compare Semitic SaKiN = knife). The trident was in Neptune / Poseidon's right hand (Italy, like Anatolia < N'TiLas yad = arm being washed by the seas).

(b) Greece = reversal of Semitic S'RoG = (weighted) net, held in his left hand.

(c) Crete = reversal of targe = small shield (compare English target) also in his left hand.


The map of Aphrodite is in north Africa. Her face [PaNim] was lost during the 3rd Punic war. The rest of her is still there. She is looking backwards over her right shoulder, so her CRaniuM is reversed at Morocco. It still has a Fez. Her chin [SaNTir] is reversed at Tunisia. The Atlas (anatomy: first cervical vertebra) mountains support her head. Her hair [Sa3aRa] is the Sahara desert. Her backbone [amood SHiDRa] is the Gulf of Sidra. Her heart [LeB] is Libya. Her breast [SHaD] is Chad. Her narrow [TZaR] waist is Misr / Mitzraim. Her liver (Greek hepato-) is Egypt. Cotton (Arabic QuTN, Latin Gossypium) was exported from Goshen, her [QiTNit = bean]-shaped kidney. Her side [TZaD] is Sudan. Her other side [DoFeN] is Dafur. Her left [SMoL] leg is Somalia.

[NeGeV] is a reversal of vagina and may be related to [NeKeV] = aperture. [CaNa3aN] was her Latin cunnus (and a reversal of Greek gyneco-). Its name changed to [YiSRa@eL] at the time when [Ya3aKoV] / Jacob "fought with god and men" [Gen 32:29]. This represented a change in sovereignty from Africa to Asia minor. [ YiSRa@eL] is that body part that gives [@oSHeR] = delight to [@eL] = god when it is [YaSHaR] = straight, upright. Changing Jacob's name from [Ya3aKoV] = "ankle; curved, bent" to [YiSRa@eL] = "straight, upright + god" represents an interesting physiological process.


The body-part map of Hermes is in Asia minor. kHermes [kHoR = hole + MoSnaim = waist] lived at Mt. kHermon before he moved Mt. Olympus (Greek omphalos = navel). Later his name was reversed to become Latin Mercury. Compare Amerigo Vespucci and America.

His head [Ro@SH] was at Roxolania/Rus, south of Belarus. Its name changed to the Ukraine (Gk kranion = cranium, *not *Slavic u kraina = to/at the border). His throat [GaRGeret] is Georgia. His left shoulder [KaSaF] is the Caspian sea. His right shoulder [@aTZiL] was Euxinus, now the Black Sea. His right arm/hand is being washed [NaTiLat] at Anatolia. His upper arm (Sanskrit irma) at Armenia, biceps (Greek pontiki = muscle) at Pontus, elbow [KiFooF yaD] at Cappadocia, wrist [m'FaReK] at Phrygia, and thumb [BoHeN] at Bithynia were in Anatolia. His heart (Greek cardia) became Kurdistan. His narrow [TZaR] waist is Syria and his navel (Sanskrit nabhila) reverses to LeBaNon.

South of Lebanon is the male member (Greek phallus) named Philistina. See [CaNa3aN / YiSRa@eL] above. His buttocks [YeReKH] is Iraq. His thigh [shin-vav-kuf] sounded like TvK and reversed to Kuwait. His knee [BeReKH] is partially reversed in Bahrain. His right [Y'MiN] foot is at Yemen.

These two bodies are connected, literally, at Sinai (with an aleph that is not written in Hebrew, compare "snatch", a reversal of [K'NiSah] = entrance), a part of her body that contains the desert of Zin, his "zaiyin".

Aphrodite as an Anthropomorphic Map

The goddess we call Aphrodite
Is not just an old Grecian deity.
The Phoenicians did make
Her a map. It's not fake.
Her body is cartograffiti.

The Punic war destroyed her face,
The Romans left nary a trace.
But her hair is still there,
In Sahara, that's where.
And her chin's a Tunisian place.

Mt. Atlas is her first verTebra.
Her backbone is now Gulf of Sidra.
Her heart is in Libya,
Her left leg, Somalia.
Her breast is in Chad wearing no bra.

The Greeks called her liver Egypt, an'
Her kidney was Biblical Goshen.
She's bent at her waist,
Now Misr-ably placed.
The Red Sea was her menstruation.

As a kid I did think the Red Sea
Was an English map typo: lost E,
From Reed Sea in Hebrew.
But that could not be true,
Mare Rubrum 'twas Latin, B.C.

Aphrodite with Hermes did sin,
We know this is true 'cause within
Her "snatch" we call Sinai
His "zaiyin" does still lie.
It's known as the desert of Zin.

Best regards,
Israel "izzy" Cohen