Gad (Heb. id. גִּד, fortune, Ge 30:11, although another signification is alluded to in Gaen. 49:19 Sept. and N.T. Γάδ), the name of two men, and of the descendants of one of them; also of a heathen deity and of a plant. SEE BAAL-GAD; SEE MIGDAL-GAD.
1. (Josephus Γάδας.) Jacob's seventh son, the first-born of Zilpah, Leah's maid, and whole-brother to Asher (Ge 30:11-13; Ge 46:16,18), born autumn B.C. 1915. The following is a copious account of him and his posterity. SEE JACOB.
1. As to the name, there are several interpretations:
(a.) The passage in which the bestowal of the name of Gad is preserved — like the others, an exclamation on his birth — is more than usually obscure: "And Leah said, 'In fortune (be-gad, בּגָד), and she called his name Gad" (Ge 30:11). Such is supposed to be the meaning of the old text of the passage (the Kethib); so it stood at the time of the Sept., which renders the key word by ἐν τύχῃ, in which it is followed by Jerome in the Vulg. Feliciter. In his Quaest. in Genesim, Jerome has infortuna. Josephus (Ant. 1:19, 8) gives it still a different turn-τυχαῖος= fortuitous. But in the Marginal emendations of the Masoretes (the Keri) the word is given בָּא גָד, "Gad has come." This construction is adopted by the ancient versions of Onkelos, Aquila (ἡλθεν ἡ ζῶσις), and Synemachus (῏ηλθεν Γάδ).
(b.) In the blessing of Jacob, however, we find the name played upon in a different manner: "Gad" is here taken as meaning a piratical band or troop (the term constantly used for which is gedud', גּדוּד), and the, allusion — the turns of which it is impossible adequately to convey in English — would seem to be to the irregular life of predatory warfare which should be pursued by the tribe after their settlement on the borders of the Promised Land. "Gad, a plundering troop (gedud') shall plunder him (ye-gud-en'nu), but he will plunder (ya-gutd') [at the] heel" (Ge 49:19). Jerome (De Benedict. Jacobi) interprets this of the revenge taken by the warriors of the tribe on their return from the conquest of Western Palestine for the incursions of the desert tribes during their absence.
(c.) The force here lent to the name has been by some partially transferred to the narrative of Genesis 30, e.g. time Samaritan version, the Veneto- Greek, and our own A.V. (uniting this with the preceding) — "a troop (of children) cometh." But it must not be overlooked that the word gedut by which it is here sought to interpret the gad of Ge 30:11 — possessed its own special signification of turbulence and fierceness, which makes it hardly applicable to children in the sense of a number or crowd, the image suggested by the A.V. Exactly as the turns of Jacob's language apply to the characteristics of the tribe, it does not appear that there is any connection between his allusions and those in the exclamation of Leah. The key to the latter is probably lost. To suppose that Leah was invoking some ancient divinity, the god Fortune, who is conjectured to be once alluded to — and once only — in the latter part of the book of Isaiah, under the title of Gad (Isa 65:11; A.V. "that troop;" Gesenius, "dem Gluck"), is surely a poor explanation. See below, 3.
2. Of the childhood and life of the individual GAD nothing is preserved. At the time of the descent into Egypt seven sons are ascribed to him, remarkable from the fact that a majority of their meaemses have plural terminisations, as if those of families rather than persons (Ge 46:16). The list, with a slight variation, is again given on the occasion of the census in the wilderness of Sinai (Nu 26:15-18). SEE AROD EZBON; SEE OZNI.
TRIBE OF GAD. — The position of Gad during the march to the Promised Land was on the south side of the tabernacle (Nu 2:14). The leader of the tribe at the time of the start from Sinai was Eliasaph, son of Renel or Des-el (Nu 2:14; Nu 10:20). Gad is regularly named in the various enumerations of the tribes through the wanderings-at the dispatching of the spies (Nu 13:15), the numbering in the plains of Moab (Nu 26:3,15) — but the only inference we can draw is an indication of a commencing alliance with the tribe which was subsequently to be his next neighbor. He has left the more closely-related tribe of Asher to take up his position next to Reuben. These two tribes also preserve a near equality in their numbers, not suffering from the fluctuations which were endured by the others. At the first census Gad had 45,650, and Reuben 46,500; at the last Gad had 40,500, and Reuben 43,330. This alliance was doubtless induced by the similarity of their pursuits. Of all the sons of Jacob, these two tribes alone returned to the land which their forefathers had left five hundred years before with their occupations unchanged. "The trade of thy slaves hath been about cattle froms our youth even till now — "we are shepherds, baothe cee and our fathers" (Ge 46:34; Ge 47:4) — such was the account which the patriarchs gave of themselves to Pharaoh. The civilization and the persecutions of Egypt had worked a change in the habits of most of the tribes but Reuben and Gad remained faithful to the pastoral pursuits of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and at the halt on the east of Jordan we find them coming forward to Moses with the representation that they "have cattle" — "a great multitude of cattle,"and the land where they now are is a "place for cattle." What should they do in the close precincts of the contatry west of Jordan with all their flocks and herds? Wherefore let this land, they pray, be given them for a possession, and let them not be brought over Jordan (Nu 32:1-5). They did not, however, attempt to evade taking their proper share of the difficulties of subduing the land of Canaan, and after that task bad been effected, and the apportionment amongst the nine and a half tribes completed "at the doorway of the tabernacle of the congregation in Sheil before Jehovah," they were dismissed by Joshua "to their tents," to their "wives, their little ones, and their cattle," which they had left behind them in Gilead. To their tents they went — to the dangers and delights of the free Bedouin life in which they had elected to remain, and in which — a few partial glimpses excepted — the later history allows them to remain hidden from view.
The country allotted to Gad appears, speaking roughly, to have lain chiefly about the center of the land east of Jordan. The south of that district — from the Arnon (wady Mojeb), about half way down the Dead Sea, to Heshbon, nearly due east of Jerusalem — was occupied by Reuben, and at or about Heshbon the possessions of Gad commenced. They embraced half Gilead, as the oldest record specially states (De 3:12), or half the land of the children of Ammon (Jos 13:25), probably the mountainous district which is intersected by the torrent Jabbok — if the wady Zurka be the Jabbok — including as its most northern town the ancient sanctuary of Mahanaim. On the east the furthest landmark given is "Aroer, that faces Rabbah," the present Amman (Jos 13:25). The Arabian desert thus appears to have been the eastern boundary. West was the Jordan (Jos 13:27). The northern boundary is somewhat more difficult to define. Gad possessed the whole Jordan valley as far as the Sea of Galilee (13:27), but among the mountains eastward the territory extended no farther north than the river Jabbok. The border seems to have run diagonally from that point across the mountains by Mahanaim to the southern extremity of the Sea of Galilee (Jos 12:1-6; Jos 13:26,30-31; De 3:12-13; see Porter's Damascus, 2:252). The territory thus consisted of two comparatively separate and independent parts, (1) the high land on the general level of the country east of Jordan, and (2) the sunk valley of the Jordan itself; the former diminishing at the Jabbok, the latter occupying the whole of the great valley on the east side of the river, and extending up to the very Sea of Cinnereth or Gennesaret itself.
Of the structure and character of the land which thus belonged to the tribe — "the land of Gad and Gilead" — we have only vague information. From the western part of Palestine its aspect is that of a wall of purple mountain, with a singularly horizontal outline; here and there the surface is seamed by the ravines, through which the torrents find their way to the Jordan, but this does not much affect the vertical walllike look of the range. But on a nearer approach in the Jordan valley, the horizontal outline becomes broken and when the summits are attained a new scene is said to burst on the view. "A wide table-land appears, tossed about in wild confusion of undulating downs, clothed with rich grass throughout; in the southern parts trees are thinly scattered here and there, aged trees covered with lichen, as if the relics of a primeval forest long since cleared away; the northern parts still abound in magnificent woods of sycamore, beech, terebinth, ilex, and enormous figtrees. These downs are broken by three deep defiles, through which the three rivers of the Yarmuk, the Jabbok, and the Arnon fall into the valley of the Jordan and the Dead Sea. On the east they melt away into the vast red plain, which by a gradual descent joins the level of the plain of the Hauran, and of the Assyrian desert" (Stanley, Palestine, page 320). It is a very picturesque country-not the "flat, open downs of smooth and even turf" of the country round Heshbon (Irby, page 142), the sheep-walks of Reuben and of the Moabites, but " most beautifully varied with hanging woods, mostly of the vallonia oak, laurestinus, cedar, arbutus, arbutus andrachne, etc. At times the country had all the appearance of a noble park" (ib. page 147), "graceful hills, rich vales, luxuriant herbage" (Porter, Handb. page 310). SEE GILEAD.
Such was the territory allotted to the Gadites; but there is no doubt that they soon extended themselves beyond these limits. The official records of the reign of Jotham of Judah (1Ch 5:11,16) show them to have been at that time established over the whole of Gilead, and in possession of Bashan as far as Salcah the modern Sulkhad, a town at the eastern extremity of the noble plain of the Hauramn and very far both to the north and the east of the border given them originally, while the Manassites were pushed still further northwards to Mount Hermon (1Ch 5:23). They soon became identified with Gilead, that name so memorable in the earliest history of the nation; and in many of the earlier records it supersedes the name of Gad, as we have already remarked it did that of Bashan. In the song of Deborah, " Gilead" is said to have "abode beyond Jordan" (Jg 5:17). Jephthah appears to have been a Gadite, a native of Mizpeh (Jg 11:34; compare 31, and Jos 13:26), and yet he is always designated "the Gileadite;" and so also with Barzillai of Mahanaim (2Sa 17:27; Ezr 2:61; comp. Jos 13:26).
The following is a list of all the Biblical localities in this tribe, with their probable identifications:
The character of the tribe is throughout strongly marked — fierce and warlike — "strong men of might, men of war for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, their faces the faces of lions; and like roes upon the mountains for swiftness." Such is the graphic description given of those eleven heroes of Gad — "the least of them more than equal to a hundred, and the greatest to a thousand" — who joined their fortunes to David at the time of his greatest discredit and embarrassment (1Ch 12:8), undeterred by the natural difficulties of "floods and field" which stood in their way. Surrounded as they were by Ammonites, Midianites, Hagarites, "Children of the East," and all the other countless tribes, animated by a common hostility to the strangers whose coming had dispossessed them of their fairest districts, the warlike propensities of the tribe must have had many opportunities of exercise. One of its greatest engagements is related in 1Ch 5:19-22. Here their opponents were the wandering Ishmaelitish tribes of Jetur, Nephish, and Nodab (comp. Ge 25:15), nomad people, possessed of an enormous wealth in camels, sheep, and asses, to this day the characteristic possessions of their Bedouin successors. This immense booty cames into the hands of the conquerors, who seem to have entered with it on the former mode of life of their victims: probably pushed their way further into the Eastern wilderness in the "steads" of these Hagarites. Another of these encounters is contained in the history of Jephthah, but this latter story develops elements of a different nature and a higher order than the mere fierceness necessary to repel the attacks of the plunderers of the desert. In the behavior of Jephthah throughout that affecting history there are traces of a spirit which we may almost call chivaleresque; the high tone taken with the elders of Gilead, the noble but fruitless expostulation with the king of Ammon before the attack, the hasty vow, the overwhelming grief, and yet the persistent devotion of purpose, survive sin all these there are marks of a great nobility of disposition, which must have been more or less characteristic of the Gadites in general. If to this we add the loyalty, the generosity, and the delicacy of Barzillai (2Sa 19:32-39), we obtain a very high idea of the tribe at whose head were such men as these. Nor must we, while enumerating the worthies of Gad, forget that in all probability Elijah the Tishebite, "who was of the inhabitants of Gilead," was one of them.
But, while exhibiting these high personal qualities, Gad appears to have been wanting in the powers necessary to enable him to take any active or leading part in the confederacy of the nation. The warriors, who rendered such assistance to David, might, when Ishbosheth set up his court at Mahanaim as king of Israel, have done much towards affirming his rights. Had Abner made choice of Shechem or Shiloh instead of Mahanaim — the quick, explosive Ephraim instead of the unready Gad — who can doubt that the troubles of David's reign would have been immensely increased, perhaps the establishment of the northern kingdoms antedated by nearly a century? David's presence at the same city during his flight from Absahelm produced no effect on the tribe, and they are not mentioned as having taken any part in the quarrels between Ephraim and Judah.
Cut off as Gad was by position and circumstances froan its brethren on the west of Jordan, it still retained some connection with them. We may infer that it was considered as belonging to the northern kingdom. "Know ye not," says Ahab in Samaria, "know ye not that Raroth in Gilead is ours, and we be still, and take it not out of the band of the king of Syria?" (l Kings 22:3). The territory of Gad was the battlefield as which the long and fierce struggles of Syria and Israel were fought out, and, as an agricultural pastoral country, it must have suffered severely in consequence (2Ki 20:21).
Gad was carried into captivity by Tiglath Pileser (1Ch 5:26), and is the time of Jeremiah the cities of the tribe seem to have been inhabited by the Ammonites. "Hath Israel no sons? hath he no heir? why doth Malcham (i.e. Moloch) inherit Gad, and his people dwell in his cities?" (49:1). See Relamed, Palaest. page 162 sq.; Burckhardt, Trav. in Syria, page 345 sq.
2. (Josephus Γάδος, Anmt. 7:13, 4.) "The seer" הִחֹזֶה or "the king's seer," i.e., David's — such appears to have been his official title (1Ch 29:29; 2Ch 29:25; 2Ch 2 Same. 24:11; 1Ch 21:9) was a "prophet" (נָבַיא), who appears to have joined David when in "the hold," and at whose advice he quitted it for the forest of Hareth (1Sa 22:23), B.C. 1061. Whether he remained with David during his wanderings is not to be ascertained: we do not again encounter him till late in the life of the king, when he reappears in connection with the punishment inflicted for the numbering of the people (2Sa 24:11-19; 1Ch 21:9-19), B.C. cir. 1016. But he was evidently attached to the royal establishment at Jerusalem, for he wrote a book ( SEE CHRONICLES, BOOK OF ) of the Acts of David (1Ch 29:29), and also assisted in settling the arrangements for the musical service of the "house of God," by which his name was handed down to times long after his own (2Ch 29:25). In the abruptness of his introduction Gad has been compared with Elijah (Jerome, Qu. Hebr. on 1Sa 22:5), with whom he may have been of the same tribe, if his name can be taken as denoting his parentage, but this is unsupported by any evidence. Nor is there any apparent ground for Ewald's suggestion (Gesch. 3:116) that he was of the school of Samuel. If this could be made out it would afford a natural reason for his joining David. SEE DAVID.
3. The name GAD (with the art. הִגָּד; Sept. δαιμόνιον v.r. δαίμιον, or, according to the reading of Jerome and of some MSS., τύχη) is mentioned in Isa 65:11 (A.V. "troop"). The word, by a combination with the Arabic, may be legitimately taken to denotefortune (see Pococke, Spec. Hist. Arab. page 140). So Gesenius, Hitzig, and Ewald have taken Gad in their respective versions of Isaiah, rendering the clause, "who spread a table to fortune." This view, which is the general one, makes fortune in this passage to be an object of idolatrous worship. There is great disagreement, however, as to the power of nature which this name was intended to denote, and, from the scanty data, there is little else than mere opinion on the subject. The majority, among whom are some of the chief rabbinical commentators (see Buxtorf, Lex. Talm. col. 1034), as well as Gesenius, Munter, and Ewald, consider Gad to be the form under which the planet Jupiter was worshipped as the greater star of good fortune (see especially Gesenius, Comm. uber Jesaia, ad loc.). Others, among whom is Vitringa, suppose Gad to have represented the Sun, while Huetius regards it as a representative of the moon, and Movers, the latest writer of any eminence on Syro-Arabian idolatry, takes it to have been the planet Venus (Die Phinicier, 1:650). SEE BEL. On the other hand, if Gad be derived from גָּדָד in the sense of to press, to crowd, it may mean a troop, a heap (to which sense there is an allusion in Ge 49:19); and Hoheisel, as cited in Rosenmuller's Scholia, ad loc., as well as Deyling, in his Observat. Miscell. page 673, have each attempted a mode by which the passage might be explained if Gad and Meni were taken in the sense of troop and
number (see further Dav. Mill's diss. ad.loc. in his Diss. Selecte, pages 81- 132). SEE MENI.
Some have supposed that a trace of the Syrian worship of Gad is to be found in the exclamation of Leah, when Zilpah bare a son (Ge 30:11), בָּגָּד, ba-gad, or, as the Keri has it, בָּא גָר, "Gad, or good fortune cometh." The Targum of Pseudo-Jonathan and the Jerusalem Targum both give "a lucky planet cometh," but it is most probable that this is an interpretation which grew out of the astrological beliefs of a later time, and we can infer nothing from it with respect to the idolatry of the inhabitants of Padan Aram in the age of Jacob. That this later belief in a deity Fortune existed, there are many things to prove. Buxtorf (Lex. Talm. s.v.) says that anciently it was a custom for each man to have in his house a splendid couch, which was not used, but was set apart for "the prince of the house," that is, for the star or constellation Fortune, to render it more propitious. This couch was called the couch of Gada, or good-luck (Talm. Babl. Sanhed. f. 20 a; Nedarim, f. 56 a). Again, in Bereshith Rabba, § 65, the words יָקוּם אָבַי, in Ge 27:31, are explained as an invocation to Gada or Fortune. Rabbi Moses the Priest, quoted by Aben-Ezra (on Ge 30:11), says "that לגד (Isa 65:11) signifies the star of luck, which points to everything that is good, for thus is the language of Kedar (Arabic); but he says that בא גד (Ge 30:11) is not used in the same sense." Illustrations of the ancient custom of placing a banqueting table in honor of idols will be found in the table spread for the sun among the Ethiopians (Herod. 3:17, 18), and in the feast made by the Babylonians for their god Bel, which is described in the apocryphal history of Bel and the Dragon (comp. also Herod. 1:181, etc.). The table in the temple of Belus is described by Diodorus Siculus (2:9) as being of beaten gold, 40 feet long, 15 wide, and weighing 500 talents. On it were placed two drinking-cups (καρχήσια) weighing 30 talents, two censers of 300 talents each, and three golden goblets, that of Jupiter or Bel weighing 1200 Babylonian talents. The couch and table of the god in the temple of Zeus Tryphilius at Patara, in the island of Panchea, are mentioned by Diodorus (5:46; comp. also Virgil, AEn. 2:763). In addition to the opinions which have been referred to above, may be quoted that of Stephen le Moyne (Var. Sacror. page 363), who says that Gad is the goat of Mendes, worshipped by the Egyptians as an embellem of the sun; and of Le Clerc (Comm. in Isa.) and Lakemacher (Obs. Philippians 4:18, etc.), who identify Gad with Hecate. Macrobius (Sat. 1:19) tells us that in the later Egyptian mythology Τύχη was worshipped as one of the four deities who presided over birth, and was represented by the moon. This will perhaps throw some light upon the rendering of the Sept. as given by Jerome. Traces of the worship of Gad remain in the proper names Baal Gad and Giddeneme (Plaut. Poen. 5:3), the latter of which Gesenius' (Mon. Phan. page 407) renders גר נעמה, "favoring fortune" (comp. Wirth, De Gad et Meni Judaeorum hodieanorum diis, Altorf, 1725). SEE BAAL.
4. For the plant gad, SEE CORIANDER. Gadara (τὰ Γάδαρα in Josephus, prob. from גֶּדֶר, a wall SEE GEDERAH; only in N.T. in the Gentile Γαδαρηνός), a strong city (Josephus, Ant. 13:13, 3), situated near the river Hieromax (Pliny, H.N. 5:16), east of the Sea of Galilee, over against Scythopolis anti Tiberias (Eusebius, Onomasticon, s.v.), and 16 Roman miles distant from each of those places (Itin. Anton. ed. Wess. pages 196, 198; Tab. Peut.), or 60 stadia from the latter (Joseph. Life, § 65). It stood on the top of a hill, at the foot of which, upon the banks of the Hieromax, three miles distant, were warm springs and baths called Amatha (Onom. s.v. AEtham and Gadara; Itin. Ant. Martyr.). Josephus calls it the capital of Peraea (War, 4:3), and Polybius says it was one of the most strongly fortified cities in the country (5:71, 3). A large district was attached to it, called by Josephus Gadaritis (Γαδαρῖτις, War, 3:10, 10); Strabo also informs us that the warm healing springs were "in the territory of Gadara" (ἐν τῇ Γαδαρίδι, Geog. 16 They were termed Thermae Heliae, and were reckoned inferior only to those of Baite (Easel). Onomast.). According to Epiphanius (adv. Heares. 1:131), a yearly festival was held at these baths (Reland, page 775). The caverns in the rocks are also mentioned by Epiphanius (1.c.) in terms which seem to show that they were in his day used for dwellings as well as for tombs. Gadara itself is not mentioned in the Bible, but it is evidently identical with the "country of the Gadarenes" (χώρα or περίχωρος τῶν Γαδαρηνῶν, Mark 5:1; Lu 8:26,37).
Gadara seems to have been founded and chiefly inhabited by Gentiles, for Josephus says of it, in conjunction with Gaza and Hippos, "they were Grecian cities" (Ant. 17:11, 4). The first historical notice of Gadara is its capture, along with Pella and other cities, by Antiochus the Great, in the year B.C. 218 (Joseph. Ant. 12:3, 3). About twenty years afterwards it was taken from the Syrians by Alex. Jannaus, after a siege of ten months (Ant. 13:13, 3; War, 1:4, 2). The Jews retained possession of it for some time; but the place having been destroyed during their civil wars, it was rebuilt by Pompey to gratify his freedman Demetrius, who was a Gadarene (War, 1:7, 7). When Gabinius, the proconsul of Syria, changed the government of Judaea by dividing the country into five districts, and placing each under the authority of a council, Gadara was made the capital of one of these districts (War, 1:8, 5). The territory of Gadara, with the adjoining one of Hippos, was added by Augustus to the kingdom of Herod the Great (Ant. 15:7, 3); from which, on the death of the latter, it was, sundered, and joined to the province of Syria (Joseph. War, 2:6, 3). According to the present text of the Jewish historian, Gadara was captured by Vespasian on the first outbreak of the war with the Jews, all its inhabitants massacred, and the town itself, with the surrounding villages, reduced to ashes (Joseph. War, 3:7, 1); but there is good reason to believe (see Robinson, Later Bib. Res. p. 87, note) that the place there referred to is GABARA SEE GABARA (q.v.). However that may have been, Gadara was at this time one of the most important cities cast of the Jordan (Joseph. War, 4:8, 3). Stephen of Byzantium (page 254) reckoned it a part of Coele-Syria, and Pliny (Hist. Nat. 5:16) a part of the Decapolis (comp. William of Tyre, 17:13). At a later period it was the seat of an episcopal see in Palaestina Secunda, whose bishops are named in the councils of Nice and Ephesus (Reland, Palaest. pages 176, 215, 223, 226). It is also mentioned in the Talmud (Reland, page 775; Ritter, Erdk. 17:318). For coins, see Eckhel (Doctr. Num. 3:348). It fell to ruins soon after the Mohammedan conquest, and has now been; deserted for centuries, with the exception of a few families of shepherds, who occasionally find a home in its rock-hewn tombs.
Most modern authorities (Raumler, in his Palastina, Burckhardt, Seetzen) find Gadara in the present village of Um-keis. Buckingham, however, identifies this with Gamala (Trav. in Palest. 2:252 sq.); though it may be added that his facts, if not his reasonings, lead to a conclusion in favor of the general opinion. On a partially isolated hill at the north-western extremity of the mountains of Gilead, about sixteen miles from Tiberias, lie the extensive and remarkable ruins of Um-Keis. Three miles northward, at the foot of the hill, is the deep bed of the Sheriat el Mandhfir, the ancient Hieromax; and here are still the warm springs of Amatha (see Irby and Mangles, page 298; Lindsay, 2:97, 98). On the west is the Jordan valley; and on the south is wady el 'Arab, running parallel to the Mandhur. Um- Keis occupies the crest of the ridge between the two latter wadys; and as this crest declines in elevation towards the east as well as the west, the situation is strong and commanding. The city formed nearly a square. The upper part of it stood on a level spot, and appears to have been walled all round, the activities of the hill being on all sides exceedingly steep. The eastern gate of entrance has its portals still remaining. The prevalent orders of architecture are the Ionic and the Corinthian. The whole space occupied by the ruins is about two miles in circumference, and there are traces of fortifications all round, though now almost completely prostrate. These ruins bear testimony to the splendor of ancient Gadara. On the northern side of the hill is a theatre, and not far from it are the remains of one of the city gates. At the latter a street commences — the via recta of Gadara — which ran through the city in a straight line, having a colonnade on each side. The columns are all prostrate. On the west side of the hill is another larger theatre in better preservation. The principal part of the city lay to the west of these two theatres, on a level piece of ground. Now not a house, not a column, not a wall remains standing; yet the old pavement of the main street is nearly perfect, and here and there the traces of the chariot- wheels are visible on the stones, reminding one of the thoroughfares of Pompeii. Buckingham speaks of several grottoes, which formed the necropolis of the city, on the eastern brow of the hill. The first two examined by him were plain chambers hewn down so as to present a perpendicular front. The third tomb had a stone door, as perfect as on the day of its being first hung. The last was an excavated chamber, seven feet in height, twelve paces long, and ten broad; within it was a smaller room. Other tombs were discovered by Buckingham as he ascended the hill. He entered one in which were ten sepulchres, ranged along the inner wall of the chamber in a line, being pierced inward for their greatest length, and divided by a thin partition left in the rock, in each of which was cut a small niche for a lamp. Still more tombs were found, some containing sarcophagi, some without them; all, however, displaying more or less of architectural ornament. One of the ancient tombs was, when our traveler saw it, used as a carpenter's shop, the occupier of it being employed in constructing a rude plow. A perfect sarcophagus remained within, which was used by the family as a provision-chest. See Burckhardt, Syria. Page 270 sq.; Porter, in Journal of Sac. Lit. 6:281 sq.; Hackett, Illustr. of Script. page 190; Traill's Josephus, 1:145.
Gadara derives its greatest interest from having been the scene of our Lord's miracle in healing the daemoniacs (Mt 8:28-34; Mr 5:1-21; Lu 8:26-40). "They ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs." Christ came across the lake from Capernaum, and landed at the southeastern corner, where the steep, lofty bank of the eastern plateau breaks down into the plain of the Jordan. The daemoniacs met him a short distance from the shore; on the side of the adjoining declivity the "great herd of swine" were feeding; when the daemons went among them the whole herd rushed down that "steep place" into the lake and perished; the keepers ran up to the city and told the news, and the excited population came down in haste, and "besought Jesus that he would depart out of their coasts." The whole circumstances of the narrative are thus strikingly illustrated by the features of the country. Another thing is worthy of notice. The most interesting remains of Gadara are its tombs, which dot the cliffs for a considerable distance round the city, chiefly on the north-east declivity, but many beautifully-sculptured sarcophagi are scattered over the surrounding heights. They are excavated in the limestone rock, and consist of chambers of various dimensions, some more than 20 feet square, with recesses in the sides for bodies. The doors are slabs of stone, a few being ornamented with panels; some of them still remain in their places (Porter, Damascus, 2:54). The present inhabitants of Um-Keis are all troglodytes, "dwelling in tombs," like the poor maniacs of old, and occasionally they are almost as dangerous to the unprotected traveler. — In the above account, in the Gospel of Matthew (8:28), we have the word Gergesenes (Γεργεσηνῶν, instead of Γαδαρηνῶν), which seems to be the same as the Hebrew גּרגָּשִׁי (Sept. Γεργεσαῖος) in Ge 15:21, and De 7:1, the name of an old Canaanitish tribe SEE GIRGASHITES, which Jerome (in Comm. ad Genesis 15) locates on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias. Origen also says (Opp. 4:140) that a city called Gergesa anciently stood on the eastern side of the lake. Even were this true, still the other Gospels would be strictly accurate. Gadara was a large city, and its district would include Gergesa. But it must be remembered that the most ancient MSS. give the word Γεραηνῶν, while others have Γαδαρηνῶν — the former reading is adopted by Griesbach and Lachmann. while Scholz prefers the latter; and either one or other of these seems preferable to Γεργεσηνῶν. SEE GERASA.
Gadarene (Γαδαρηνός), an inhabitant of GADARA SEE GADARA (q.v.), occurring only in the account of the daemoniacs cured by Christ (Mr 5:1; Lu 8:26,37), and perhaps to be read in the third Evangelist (Mt 8:28) instead of GERGESENE SEE GERGESENE (q.v.).