An ancient site in a commanding position between the Jezreel and Jordan valleys where strong Egyptian influence has been detected by excavations. At the time of the entry into Canaan under Joshua the Israelites failed to capture the city (Judg. 1:27) which was later taken by the Philistines. But it became an Israelite town eventually during the conquests of David, and the area, rich in grain, necessitated the appointment there of one of Solomon's twelve commissaries (1 Kgs. 4:12). In the Hellenistic and Roman periods the town was called Scythopolis and was the principal city of the Decapolis (cf. Mark 7:31) and lay on the west of the Jordan. Major excavations at the town continue.

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