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.

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