a lair of wild beasts ( Psalms 10:9 ; 104:22 ; Job 37:8 ); the hole of a venomous reptile ( Isaiah 11:8 ); a recess for secrecy "in dens and caves of the earth" ( Hebrews 11:38 ); a resort of thieves ( Matthew 21:13 ; Mark 11:17 ). Daniel was cast into "the den of lions" ( Daniel 6:16 Daniel 6:17 ). Some recent discoveries among the ruins of Babylon have brought to light the fact that the practice of punishing offenders against the law by throwing them into a den of lions was common.

These dictionary topics are from
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

Bibliography Information

Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Den". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .


(ma`on, me`onah, "habitation"; me`arah, and spelaion, "cave"; me'urah (Isaiah 11:8), "a light-hole," from 'or, "light," perhaps for me`arah; cokh (Psalms 10:9 the King James Version), and cukkah (Job 38:40), "a covert," elsewhere "booth"; 'erebh (Job 37:8), "covert," as in the Revised Version (British and American); gobh; compare Arabic jubb, "pit" (Daniel 6:7); minharoth, "fissure" or "cleft" (Judges 6:2)):

In the limestone mountains of Palestine caves, large and small, are abundant, the calcium carbonate, of which the rock is mainly composed, being dissolved by the water as it trickles over them or through their crevices. Even on the plains, by a similar process, pits or "lime sinks" are formed, which are sometimes used by the Arabs for storing straw or grain. Of this sort may have been the pit, bor, into which Joseph was cast by his brethren (Genesis 37:20). Caves and crevices and sometimes spaces among piled-up boulders at the foot of a cliff or in a stream bed are used as dens by jackals, wolves and other wild animals. Even the people, for longer or shorter periods, have lived as troglodytes. Compare Judges 6:2: "Because of Midian the children of Israel made them the dens (minharoth) which are in the mountains, and the caves (me`arah), and the strongholds (metsadh)." The precipitous sides of the valleys contain many caves converted by a little labor into human habitations. Notable instances are the valley of the Kidron near Mar-Saba, and Wadi-ul-Chamam near the Sea of Tiberias. See CAVE.

Alfred Ely Day

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'DEN'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.