If someone has been from Dan to Bathsheba, it’s fair game to say that they’ve traveled a great distance and covered a great deal of territory. It’s not quite the same thing as going to Hell and back, so it’s not wise to use the two expressions interchangeably.
On October 21, 2012 National Peoples News published an article about the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Ibrahim Lamorde (from 23 November 2011 through to 9 November 2015 ) and a speech given by former Nigerian President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan (in office from 2010 to 2015) at the funeral services for Kaduna (Nigeria) Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa (1 December 1948 – 15 December 2012).
It is highly commendable that the intellectual President of the Nigerian federation has gone spiritual with the problems of the country to solve it from the spiritual substantiated planes of the esoteric wealth and this will surely witness rapid social, economic and industrial Development as well as will guarantee peace in the polity from Dan to Bathsheba.
SIDE NOTE 1: Governor Yakowa died in a helicopter crash along with the former National Security Adviser General Owoye Andrew Azazi. The were flying to Port Harcourt from Beyelsa State where they had attended the funeral of Oronto Douglas’ father.
On Page 4 of the May 24, 1957 edition of the Beatrice Daily Sun in Nebraska reported on how the Soviet military attaché gave Chief of Staff of the Jordanian Armed Forces, Ali Abu-Nuwwar (1925 – 15 August 1991) 100,000 dinars to distribute among army officers to oppose Hussein bin Talal (14 November 1935 – 7 February 1999), King of Jordan (11 August 1952 – 7 February 1999). Upon his return to Jordan, Abu-Nuwwar met with Jordanian Prime Minister, Sulayman al-Nabulsi (1908 – 1976) in the hopes that the King could be pressed into establishing diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.
The King refused both proposals on the basis that they would lead to Soviet domination over Jordan.” An army coup d’etat was then set. Twice postponed, it finally miscarried when one garrison misunderstood its orders and started fighting at 1500 hours (3 p.m.) instead of at 0500 hours the next morning.” This exposed the plot and enabled it to be crushed. Against reports of this kind, the raucous “Voice of the Arabs,” Radio Cairo, is stirring up trouble all over the Middle East. All this propaganda presents a challenge for the U.S. Information Agency to do a factual and efficient job in this part of the world, if it is to be saved from a Communist takeover. The Upper Room One of the usually accurate members of the Nebraska editorial fraternity, describing how his fellow citizens would react if he adopted a certain policy, wrote: “I would be cursed from Dan to Bathsheba.”
The November 2, 1907 issue of the New Zealand Observer in Aukland, New Zealand saw the expression shared in the “Pars About People” column with regards to a politician by the name of C.H. Izard who served in the House of Representatives. Charles Hayward (C.H.) Izard (1860 – 18 September 1925) was an established lawyer in Wellington and a Liberal member in the New Zealand Parliament for Wellington North from 6 December 1905 through to 17 November 1908.
Nobody ever had the hardihood to accuse C.H. Izard, the member for Wellington South, of beiung a religious man, and certainly a remark that he made in the House last week would seem to furnish proof ot the fact that he has not burnt the midnight oil in the pursuit of theological knowledge. In the course of debate, Mr. Izard made the startling announcement that he didn’t intend to travel from Dan To Bathsheba. It is to be hoped not, indeed. Mr. Izard’s Christian name is not David.
SIDE NOTE 2: C.H. Izard was the eldest son of Charles Beard Izard who immigrated to New Zealand in May 1860, and went on to represent the constituency of Wellington South and Suburbs in the tenth Parliament from 1887 to 1890.
In 1840, Volume III of “The Literary World: A Journal of Popular Information and Entertainment with Numerous Engravings” edited by English author and antiquary John Timbs (17 August 1801 – 6 March 1875) remarked on a new book by German historian Friedrich Ludwig Georg von Raumer (14 May 1781 – 14 June 1873) titled, “Italy and the Italians.” The review was extensive, leading readers to feel that the review was nearly as detailed as the book itself.
A German is not the man to travel from “Dan to Bathsheba” and say “all is barren.” His characteristic mental energy, zeal, and patience, his comprehensive views of the various phases of the social system, his painstaking investigation of antiquities, his accurate appreciation of art, his aptitude for the studies of literature, and his industry and success in inquiring into the phenomena of nature – are all qualities which pre-eminently fit the German for travelling, and remind one of Johnson’s neat amplification of the Spanish proverbs: “He, who would bring home the wealth of the Indies, must carry the wealth of the Indies with him.”
SIDE NOTE 3: John Timbs also published under the pseudonym of Horace Welby.
The New York Journal of February 13, 1797 provided a short entry with regards to the Federalist persecution of the Tallow Chandlers. The issue in question was self-defense of property and person, with an argument that even “good peaceable Quakers” had the right to defend themselves.
But even suppose the Tallow Chandlers once situated upon the pinnacle of Bunker’s Hill, what security have they that they shall long remain there undisturbed? As soon as that will be known or heard, rolling along, with the accompanyments of wealth, will come from nabob. Some wise and pompous Treaty maker, or may be some son of Exculapius with his wife and we will not suppose with how many concubines, who perhaps finding his delicate smellers a little offended, and casting his eyes, will exclaim, “you dirty stinking dogs, you shall continue there no longer. March for Kingsbridge.” Thus, drive from pillar to post, even “from Dan to Bathsheba” the chandlers will have no rest for the sole of their feet, and like the rolling stone will be able to gather no moss.
The original saying is actually from Dan to Beersheba and is a biblical phrase used nine times in the Old Testament of the Bible. It refers to the settled areas of the tribes of Israel situated between Dan to the North and Beersheba to the South. Dan was Jacob’s fifth son and his was the last of the tribes to receive a portion in the Land of Promise. The territory extended from the west of Ephraim and Benjamin to the sea, and included the cities of Lydda, Ekron, and Joppa along the northern boundary. Beersheba was the site of a well that was dug by the Prophet Abraham about 2,000 years before the birth of Christ. The well was used to water his flocks
Somewhere along the line, however, people confused Beersheba with Bathsheba, and references to both are found littered along the way through to the 18th century when Bathsheba won out.
Since the expression is found in the Bible (using Beersheba not Bathsheba) with detailed information that includes an explanation of how Dan came to be an area belonging to the tribe of Dan, what is meant by from Dan to Bathsheba or rather, Beersheba, pegs this idiom to the Old Testament of the Bible.