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November 15    Scripture



Bible Cities: Decapolis
Ancient Decapolis

Map of Ancient Decapolis


Ancient Decapolis - Map of New Testament Israel DE-CAP`0-LIS (ten cities). An illy defined province of Syria and Israel created by the Romans, lying on both sides of the Jordan but principally on the east. The ten cities it contained according to Pliny were: Scythopolis, Hippos, Gadera, Pella, Philadelphia, Gerasa, Dion, Canatha, Damascus and Raphana, Matt. 4:25; Mark 5:20; 7:31

Ancient Decapolis - Kids Bible maps This map shows the region known as Decapolis in the land of ancient Israel. The region of Decapolis was mentioned three times in the Bible. It contained ten cities that were rebuilt and given special treatment under the Roman Empire. The original 10 cities are believed to be Scythopolis, Hippos, Gadara, Philadelphia, Pella, Gerasa, Dion, Canatha, Damascus, and Raphana. Decapolis was a well populated region during ancient times, but there aren`t many inhabitants there today.

Decapolis in Easton's Bible Dictionary ten cities=deka, ten, and polis, a city, a district on the east and south-east of the Sea of Galilee containing "ten cities," which were chiefly inhabited by Greeks. It included a portion of Bashan and Gilead, and is mentioned three times in the New Testament (Matt. 4:25; Mark 5:20; 7:31). These cities were Scythopolis, i.e., "city of the Scythians", (ancient Bethshean, the only one of the ten cities on the west of Jordan), Hippos, Gadara, Pella (to which the Christians fled just before the destruction of Jerusalem), Philadelphia (ancient Rabbath-ammon), Gerasa, Dion, Canatha, Raphana, and Damascus. When the Romans conquered Syria (B.C. 65) they rebuilt, and endowed with certain privileges, these "ten cities," and the province connected with them they called "Decapolis."

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.

Decapolis in Hitchcock's Bible Names containing ten cities

Decapolis in Naves Topical Bible Ten cities situated in one district on the east of the Sea of Galilee Mt 4:25; Mr 5:20; 7:31

Decapolis in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE de-kap'-o-lis (Dekapolis): The name given to the region occupied by a league of "ten cities" (Mt 4:25; Mk 5:20; 7:31), which Eusebius defines (in Onomastica) as "lying in the Peraea, round Hippos, Pella and Gadara." Such combinations of Greek cities arose as Rome assumed dominion in the East, to promote their common interests in trade and commerce, and for mutual protection against the peoples surrounding them. This particular league seems to have been constituted about the time of Pompey's campaign in Syria, 65 BC, by which several cities in Decapolis dated their eras. They were independent of the local tetrarchy, and answerable directly to the governor of Syria. They enjoyed the rights of association and asylum; they struck their own coinage, paid imperial taxes and were liable to military service (Ant., XIV, iv, 4; BJ, I, vii, 7; II, xviii, 3; III, ix, 7; Vita, 65, 74). Of the ten cities, Scythopolis, the ancient Bethshean, alone, the capital of the league, was on the West side of Jordan. The names given by Pliny (NH, v.18) are Scythopolis (Beisan), Hippos (Susiyeh), Gadara (Umm Qeis), Pella (Fahil), Philadelphia (`Amman), Gerasa (Jerash), Dion (Adun?), Canatha (Qanawat), Damascus and Raphana. The last named is not identified, and Dion is uncertain. Other cities joined the league, and Ptolemy, who omits Raphans, gives a list of 18. The Greek inhabitants were never on good terms with the Jews; and the herd of swine (Mk 5:11 ff) indicates contempt for what was probably regarded as Jewish prejudice. The ruins still seen at Gadara, but especially at Kanawat (see KENATH) and Jerash, of temples, theaters and other public buildings, attest the splendor of these cities in their day.

Decapolis Scripture - 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.

Decapolis Scripture - 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.

Decapolis Scripture - 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

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