Dagon - A Philistine god. Recent evidence indicates that he was the grain god responsible for fertility.
Dan - One of the twelve Hebrew tribes originally placed between the Philistines and Judah. They migrated north and established the city of Dan as the northern border of Israel.
Danite - The name of a member of the tribe of Dan.
David's City - The Jerusalem of David's time, located on a narrow strip of land (Mount Moriah), was about ten acres in size and populated by approximately 1,500 people. The city was naturally defended by the Kidron Valley to the east and the Tyropean Valley to the west. It was originally named Zion and received fresh water from the Spring of Gihon.
Dead Sea - An inland lake in the Great Rift Valley known as the Salt Sea; 50 miles long and 10 miles wide, the salt content is five times more concentrated than the ocean and is uninhabitable by marine life. The Essene community lived in the wilderness along the Dead Sea.
Dead Sea Scrolls - Commentaries or instruction manuals for the Essene community discovered in 1947 by the Dead Sea in caves near the ruins of Khirbet Qumran. They provide valuable insights into the beliefs of one religious community from the time of Jesus; and contain many references showing common themes, language, and beliefs with the teachings of Jesus, John the Baptist, and the early church. They help verify the most accurate texts of the Old Testament. Though these scrolls are 1,000 years older than other Hebrew manuscripts, there are few differences, and they indicate the miracle of God's protection of his Word throughout history.
Decapolis - Ten Hellenistic cities established at the time of Alexander the Great east of the Sea of Galilee and north of Perea. Later, the Roman emperor Pompey organized the cities into a league named the Decapolis, largely populated by Roman army troops. In one ancient Jewish belief, the area was populated by pagans Joshua had driven out of the Promised Land (Josh. 3) and became "off limits" to Jews who followed God's law. In the New Testament, it refers to some cities where Jesus ministered to Gentiles and demonstrated his willingness to bring his message to everyone who needed to hear his words. The 10 cities included Pella, Damascus, Philadelphia, Canatha, Dium, Scythopolis (Beth Shean), Hippus, Gadara, Raphana, and Gerasa.
Defense Tower - Scholars debate the importance of the large tower that once stood in Qumran because it was essentially a religious community of separatists who lived in a peaceful, almost monastic existence. The Essenes did, however, believe in the Messiah's imminent arrival and that a great battle would ensue between the sons of light (themselves) and the sons of darkness (followers of evil). The tower most likely provided protection against bandits o other less "military" threats.
Demeter - Greek god of earth. Daughter of Cronus and Rhea.
Demon - A powerful evil spirit that worked for Satan. Demons can sometimes control people. But Jesus has power over the demons and can make them come out of people (like he did at Susita).
Dereshah - A short sermon offered by the reader of the Torah or Haftarah in the synagogue. Any adult member of the community was eligible to speak the sermon, and it was frequently quite short (Jesus spoke only a few words-Luke 4:21).
Diana - Roman god of marriage, chastity, hunting, and moonlight. Twin sister of Apollo, daughter of Zeus and Leto.
Diolkos - From Greek, "to haul", road over which sailors hauled goods from one harbor to another.
Dionysus - Greek god of wine, fertility, and vegetation, god of the theater. Son of Zeus and Semele, the Theban princess.
Dipteros - Temple surrounded with two rows of columns.
Disciple - The Hebrew word for disciple is talmid. This word stresses the relationship between rabbi (teacher or master) and disciple (student). A talmid of Jesus' day would give up his entire life in order to be with his teacher. The disciple didn't only seek to know what the teacher knew, as is usually the case today. It was not enough just to know what the rabbi said, but the foremost goal of any talmid was to become like the rabbi and do what the rabbi did.
Dome of the Rock - The Muslim mosque built in the seventh centurion the Temple Mount. The presence of this mosque makes it impossible to excavate the Mount.
Drusilla - The daughter of Agrippa l.