Mahaneh-dan

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.