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Gergesa

Holy Land Revealed

Gergesa, also Gergasa; or the Country of the Gergesenes; is a place on the eastern (Golan Heights) side of the Sea of Galilee; located at some distance to the ancient Decapolis cities of Gadara and Gerasa. Today, it is modern Kursi.



In some ancient manuscripts of the Gospel of Matthew, it’s mentioned as the place where the Miracle of the Swine took place; an exorcism performed by Jesus who drove demons out of two possessed men and into a herd of pigs.

All three Synoptic Gospels mention this miracle; but only Matthew writes about two possessed men instead of just one; and only some manuscripts of his Gospel name the location as Gergesa, while the other copies, as well as all versions of Luke and Mark; mention either Gadara or Gerasa (see Mark 5:1-20, Luke 8:26-39, Matthew 8:28-34).

Is Gergesa the Ancient Land of Girgashites?

Some are of the opinion that Gergesa was the country of the ancient Girgashites, but it is more probable that ‘Gergesenes’ was introduced by Origen upon mere conjecture; as before him, most copies seem to have read ‘Gadarenes’, agreeable to the parallel passages and the ancient Syriac version.

In any event, the “country of the Gergesenes; Gadarenes; Gerasenes” in the New Testament Gospels refer to some location on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. The name is derived from either a lakeside village, Gergesa, the next larger city, Gadara, or the best-known city in the region, Gerasa.

Today you can visit Kursi National Park where according to Christian tradition the Miracle of the Swine took place. On my private tours, I like to take my guests to this national park that on the premises there is one of the oldest monasteries in the Holy Land!

arik-about

Hi! My name is Arik, an Israeli native who dedicated his life to sharing my passion for the Holy Land with those interested in knowing more about this incredible piece of land. I’m the Chief Guide at ‘APT Private Tours in Israel’.

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