Be'dan (Heb. Bedan', בּדָן, signif. doubtful; see below), the name of two men.
1. In 1Sa 12:11, we read that the Lord sent as deliverers of Israel Jerubbaal, Bedan, Jephthah, Samuel. Three of these we know to have been judges of Israel, but we nowhere find Bedan among the number. The Targum understands it of Samson, and so Jerome and the generality of interpreters; but this interpretation goes on the supposition that the name should be rendered in Dan, i.e. one in Dan, or of the tribe of Dan, as Samson was. In this sense, as Kimchi observes, it would have the same force as Ben-Dan, a son of Dan, a Danite. Such an intermixture of proper names and appellatives, however, is very doubtful; and it is to be noted that Bedan is mentioned before Jephthah, whereas Samson was after him. The Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic have Barcak, which many think the preferable reading (comp. Heb 11:32). Others think there was an actual judge of this name not mentioned in the O.T.; but this view is subversive of the whole history, and discountenanced by the parallel account of Josephus. SEE JUDGE. A man of the name of Bedan occurs, however, among the posterity of Manasseh (1Ch 7:17), and Junius, followed by some others, thinks that the judge Jair is meant, and that he is here called Bedan to distinguish him from the more ancient Jair, the son of Manasseh. The order in which the judges are here named is not at variance with this view (Nu 32:41; Jg 10:3-4); but surely, if Jair had been really intended, he might have been called by that name without any danger of his being, in this text (where he is called a deliverer of Israel, and placed among the judges), confounded with the more ancient Jair. It is therefore most probable that Bedan is a contracted form for the name of the judge ABDON SEE ABDON (q.v.).
2. (Sept. Βαδάμ.) The son of Ullam, the great-grandson of Manasseh (1Ch 7:17). B.C. post 1856. See the foregoing.