Mahaneh Dan

MAHANEH DAN (mā'ha-nĕ dăn, Heb. mahănēh-dhān, camp of Dan)

A place where Samson grew up and first began to be moved by the Spirit of the Lord. It was situated between Zorah and Eshtaol (Judg.13.25).A place behind Kiriath Jearim where six hundred men of war of the tribe of Dan encamped on their way to conquer Laish (Judg.18.12). This may be the same place as no. 1, though they seem to be several miles apart.


MAHANEH-DAN mā’ ə nə dăn’ (מַחֲנֵה־דָ֑ן). A place W of Kiriath-jearim, and between Zorah and Eshtaol (Judg 13:25; KJV the camp of Dan; 18:12). The site is unknown.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

This place is mentioned twice: in Jud 13:25 (the King James Version "the camp of Dan"), and Jud 18:12. In Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol, the spirit of the Lord began to move Samson. Here the 600 marauders of Dan, coming from Zorah and Eshtaol, encamped behind Kiriath-jearim. It has been thought that these two statements contradict each other; or at least that they cannot both apply to the same place. But if we accept the identification of Zorah with Surah, and of Eshtaol with Eshu`, which there seems no reason to question; and if, further, we identify Kiriath-jearim with Khirbet Erma, which is at least possible, the two passages may be quite reconciled. Behind Kiriath-jearim, that is West of Khirbet Erma, runs the Vale of Sorek, on the north bank of which, about 2 miles apart, stand Zorah and Eshtaol; the former 3 1/2 miles, the latter 2 1/2 miles fron khirbet Erma. No name resembling Mahanehdan has yet been recovered; but the place may have lain within the area thus indicated, so meeting the conditions of both passages, whether it was a permanent settlement, or derived its name only from the incident mentioned in Jud 18:12.