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Decapolis

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Decapolis in Fausset's Bible Dictionary. Thrice mentioned in Scripture: Mark 5:20, which shows that it was around Gadara (Mark 7:31; Matthew 4:25). A district containing ten cities, rebuilt, colonized, and granted special privileges by Rome 65 B.C. Other cities afterward receiving similar privileges cause confusion as to which are the original ten; probably Scythopolis (W. of Jordan), Hippos, Gadara, Philadelphia, Pella, Gerasa, Dion, Canatha, Damascus, Raphana (all E. of Jordan). The region once so populous is now almost without inhabitants, except a few living in savagery amidst the ruins and cavern tombs of Scythopolis, Gadara, and Canatha.
http://www.bible-history.com/faussets/D/Decapolis/


Region. Decapolis was Greek name for a league of approximately ten (deka) Hellenistic or Hellenized cities with their territories, in Roman times (with some Jews living there). All of them, except Scythopolis, were on the Transjordan side of the River.

The New Testament (Matt 4:25; Mark 5:20) is the earliest mention of Decapolis revealing it as largely a gentile territory bordering Galilee and Perea: Matt. 4:25; Mark 5:20; 7:31.

It is very difficult to say which cities were part of the league at one time or another.

Pliny (Nat. Hist. 5, 74) mentions Damascus, Philadelphia (Rabbath-Ammon), Raphana, Scythopolis (Beth Shan), Gadara, Hippos (Susita), Dium, Pella (Pehel), Gerasa and Canatha (Kanath), yet he admits that his list is different from that of other writers. Ptolemy (Geography v, 14, 18) lists different cities, omitting Raphana and adding Abila, Lycianae, and Capitolias. Stephan of Byzantium (Gerasa) mentions 14 cities rather than the original 10.

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Decapolis Scriptures

Mark 7:31 - And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. 

Matthew 4:25 - And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and [from] Decapolis, and [from] Jerusalem, and [from] Judaea, and [from] beyond Jordan. 

Mark 5:20 - And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all [men] did marvel.   

 

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