De'dan (Heb. Dedan', דּדָן, according to Gesenius, Thes. Heb. p. 322, from the Arab. signifying sport; according to Fürst, Hebr. Handw. p. 288, by reduplication from דָּן, in the sense of deep; in Eze 25:13, with ה local or paragogic, Deda'neh, דּדָנֶה, "they of Dedan"), the name of one or two men or tribal progenitors. SEE DODANIM.
1. (Sept. Δαδάν, Δαιδάν.) A son of Raamah, son of Cush (Ge 10:7; 1Ch 1:9, "the sons of Raamah, Sheba, and Dedan"). B.C. considerably post 2513. SEE CUSH. His descendants are perhaps mentioned by Isaiah (Isa 21:13) and Ezekiel (Eze 27:15, Sept. ῾Ροδίων v. r. Α᾿ραδίων; 20, Sept. Δαιδάν v. r. Δεδάν; 38:13, Sept. Δαιδάν; 25:13, Sept. Δεδάν or Δαιδάν v. r. διωκόμενοι). See below.
2. (Sept. Δαιδάν, v.r. in Jer 49:8, Δαιδάμ) A son of Jokshan (1Ch 1:32), son of Keturah (Ge 25:3: "Jokshan begat Sheba and Dedan; and the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim").
B.C. post 1988. The usual opinion respecting this and the preceding founder of tribes is that the first settled among the sons of Cush, probably on the borders of the Persian Gulf; the second on the Syrian borders, about the territory of Edom (Michaelis, Spicileg. 1:201 sq.). But Vater (Comment. 1:120; followed by Gesenius, Thes. Heb. p. 322) has suggested that the name may apply to one tribe, and this may be adopted as probable on the supposition that the descendants of the Keturahite Dedan intermarried with those of the Cushite Dedan. SEE ARABIA. The theory of this mixed descent gains weight from the fact that in each case the brother of Dedan is named Sheba. It may be supposed that the Dedanites were among the chief traders traversing the caravan-route from the head of the Persian Gulf to the south of Palestine, bearing merchandise of India, and possibly of Southern Arabia, and hence the mixture of such a tribe with another of different (and Keturahite) descent presents no impossibility. The passages in the Bible in which Dedan is mentioned (besides the genealogies above referred to) are contained in the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, and are in every case obscure. The Edomitish settlers seem to be referred to in Jer 49:8, where Dedan is mentioned in the prophecy against Edom; again in 25:23, with Tema and Buz; in Eze 25:13, with Teman, in the prophecy against Edom; and in Isa 21:13 ("The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye traveling companies of Dedanim"), with Tema and Kedar. This last passage is by some understood to refer to caravans of the Cushite Dedan; and although it may only signify the wandering propensities of a nomad tribe; such as the Edomitish portion of Dedan may have been, the supposition that it means merchant-caravans is strengthened by the remarkable words of Ezekiel in the lamentation for Tyre. This chapter (27) twice mentions Dedan; first in ver. 15, where, after enumerating among the traffickers with the merchant- city many Asiatic peoples, it is said, "The children of Dedan were thy merchants, many isles (אַיַּים) were the merchandise of thine hand: they brought thee for a present horns of ivory, and ebony." Passing thence to Syria and western and northern peoples, the prophet again (in ver. 20) mentions Dedan in a manner which seems to point to the wide spread and possibly the mixed ancestry of this tribe. Ver. 15 may be presumed to allude especially to the Cushite Dedan (comp. ch. 38:13, where we find Dedan with Sheba and the merchants of Tarshish; apparently, from the context, the Dedan of chap. 27:15); but the passage commencing in v. 20 appears to include the settlers on the borders of Edom (i.e. the Keturahite Dedan). The whole of the passage is as follows: "Dedan [was] thy merchant in precious clothes for chariots. Arabia, and all the princes of Kedar, they occupied with thee in lambs, and rams, and goats: in these [were they] thy merchants. The merchants of Sheba and Raamah they [were] thy merchants: they occupied in thy fairs with chief of all spices, and with all precious stones, and gold. Haran, and Canneh, and Eden, the merchants of Sheba, Asshur, [and] Chilmad, [were] thy merchants" (Eze 27:20-23). We have here a Dedan connected with Arabia (probably the northwestern part of the peninsula) and Kedar, and also with the father and brother of the Cushite Dedan (Raamah and Sheba), and these latter with Asiatic peoples commonly placed in the regions bordering the head of the Persian gulf. This Dedan, moreover, is a merchant, not in pastoral produce, in sheep and goats, but in "precious clothes," in contradistinction to Arabia and Kedar, like the far-off Eastern nations who came with "spices, and precious stones, and gold," "blue clothes and broidered work," and "chests of rich apparel." The probable inferences from these mentions of Dedan support the argument first stated, namely,
1. That Dedan, son of Raamah, settled on the shores of the Persian gulf, and his descendants became caravan. merchants between that coast and Palestine.
2. That Jokshan, or a son of Jokshan, by intermarriage with the Cushite Dedan, formed a tribe of the same name, which appears to have had its chief settlement in the bolders of Idumaea, and perhaps to have led a pastoral life.
All traces of the name of Dedan, whether in Idumaea or on the Persian gulf, are lost in the works of Arab geographers and historians. The Greek and Roman geographers, however, throw some light on the eastern settlement; and a native indication of the name is presumed to exist in the island of Dadan, on the borders of the gulf (see Bochart, Phaleg, 4:6; Assemani, Bibl. Orient. 3, 1:146, 153; 2:184, 560, 564, 604, 744; Bisching, Asia, p. 562; Wahl, Descr. Asice, p. 639; Niebuhr, Arabien, p. 308 sq.; Heeren, Ideen, I, 2:227, 419; Barbosa, Ranusio raccolte, 1:288). The identification must be taken in connection with the recovery of the name of Sheba, the other son of Raamah, on the island of Awal, near the Arabian shore of the same gulf. SEE RAAMAH.