Genesis 49:16-18 Dan: Judged and lost

16 Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.

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.

18 I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord.


Dans’ name means “Judged,” and he was given this name by Rachel when he was born, not by her, but by her handmaid, Bilhah.  When he was born she exclaimed, “ God has judged me!”

It was a great shame when a woman was barren in those days.


16 Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.

Even though Jacob obviously favored Joseph and Benjamin, there is no indication that he thought any less of his sons born to his concubines.  Tradition and culture though saw things another way and would acknowledge these sons as second class citizens.  This might explain why Jacob saw fit to add this particular blessing to Dan.


Dan would supply a judge for his people through his unnaturally strong descendant, Samson, but much like this famous judge, Dan would fall victim to his own lusts and perverse thinking.

Dan was given the territory next to the Philistines, and it seems as though his tribe would have a long standing issue with following pagan gods.


Dans’ name would have an impact on his destiny.


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.

Dan eventually moves away from their original territory because the struggle to keep the land was too great.  They find better land northward, conquer the city and rename it Dan.  They immediately set up a carved image to worship and set up priests to minister there.  This city became the center for pagan worship up until the time of the captivity.  It seems as though Dan introduces Israel to organized pagan worship.


Some think that the mention of Dan being a serpent by the way and the phrase “biteth the horse heels,” relates back to Genesis 3 and means that, either the antichrist or his false priest will come from Dan.

The fact that Dan is not listed in the sealed tribes in Revelation just before the tribulation is another reason for this belief.

18 I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord.

Dan is however the first tribe listed in the book of Ezekiel where the millennial reign of Christ is described.  This shows the wonderful mercy of God in redemption.

Much like Dan, we all struggle with sin in our lives, but at one time we were just like him in the fact that we were judged by and lost in sin without hope.


Ephesians 2:


And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.


It is through Jesus Christ that we are brought to God.

It is through Jesus Christ only that we receive salvation.

He came to this earth, fully God and fully man.  He died on the cross for all mankind, but He is not dead; He was raised on the third day and He conquered death so that those who are saved; those who are sealed with the Holy Spirit; those who are in Christ, are now seen by God through the precious redeeming blood of Jesus!


About Clint Rodgers

I am a father of 2 wonderful children and the husband of a beautiful woman who has taught me more about compassion for goofballs than I could have ever learned. I have know Jesus for many years but about 5 years ago I truly met Him and now I do my best to follow Him as I walk in this world
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