Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.
Read Chapter 49
Ambrose of Milan
The simple interpretation is this, that the tribe of Dan also supplied the judge in Israel. Granted, after Joshua the son of Nun, the judges of the people were from various tribes. However, Samson was from the tribe of Dan, and he judged for twenty years. But the prophecy does not refer to him but the Antichrist, a cruel judge and savage tyrant who will come from the tribe of Dan and will judge the people. Like a serpent sitting in the way, he will try to throw down those who walk in the way of truth, for he desires to overthrow the truth. Indeed, this is to bite the horse’s heel, so that the horse, injured by the infusion of poison and wounded by the serpent’s tooth, lifts up his heel. Just so the betrayer Judas, when tempted by the devil, lifted up his heel upon the Lord Jesus to throw down the rider who threw himself down to lift up all people.
If one from Dan judges his people, how much more will that one from Judah, to whom the kingdom belongs, judge all the nations? For our Lord became a serpent to that first serpent and a viper to Satan, just like the serpent of bronze that countered the snakes.
Dan shall judge This was verified in Samson, who was of the tribe of Dan, and began to deliver Israel, Judges xiii. 5. But as this deliverance was but temporal and very imperfect, the holy patriarch (ver. 18,) aspires after another kind of deliverer, saying: I will look for thy salvation, O Lord. (Challoner)
Many have supposed, that Antichrist will be one of his descendants, which makes Jacob break out into this exclamation. (Haydock)
See St. Iren us, Against Heresies v. 30 Samson exercised his ingenuity in discomfiting the Philistines. But Antichrist will be far more subtle in deluding the faithful. (Menochius)
The Danites took Lais, afterwards called Cæsarea Philippi, by stratagem, Judges xviii. (Tirinus)
After something from Cyril, Apollinaris, and Diodorus:—
HIPPOLYTUS: The Lord is represented to us as a horseman; and the heel points us to the last times. And His falling denotes His death; as it is written in the Gospel: Behold, this (child) is set for the fall and rising again of many. Luke 2:34 We take the robber to be the traitor. Nor was there any other traitor to the Lord save the (Jewish) people. Shall rob him, i.e., shall plot against him. At the heels: that refers to the help of the Lord against those who lie in wait against Him. And again, the words at the heels denote that the Lord will take vengeance swiftly. He shall be well armed in the foot (heel), and shall overtake and rob the robber's troop.
AQUILA: Girded, he shall gird himself; that means that as a man of arms and war he shall arm himself. And he shall be armed in the heel: he means this rather, that Gad shall follow behind his brethren in arms. For though his lot was beyond Jordan, yet they (the men of that tr...
The Lord is represented to us as a horseman; and the “heel” points us to the “last times.” And His “falling” denotes His death; as it is written in the Gospel: “Behold, this (child) is set for the fall and rising again of many.” We take the “robber” to be the traitor. Nor was there any other traitor to the Lord save the (Jewish) people. “Shall rob him,” i.e., shall plot against him. At the heels: that refers to the help of the Lord against those who lie in wait against Him. And again, the words “at the heels” denote that the Lord will take vengeance swiftly. He shall be well armed in the foot (heel), and shall overtake and rob the robber’s troop.