The great crowd on the plain field (Lk 6:17-6:17)

“Jesus came down

With them.

He stood

On a level place,

With a great crowd

Of his disciples

And a great multitude

Of people

From all Judea,

Jerusalem,

And the coast

Of Tyre

And Sidon.”

 

καὶ καταβὰς μετ’ αὐτῶν ἔστη ἐπὶ τόπου πεδινοῦ, καὶ ὄχλος πολὺς μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ, καὶ πλῆθος πολὺ τοῦ λαοῦ ἀπὸ πάσης τῆς Ἰουδαίας καὶ Ἱερουσαλὴμ καὶ τῆς παραλίου Τύρου καὶ Σιδῶνος,

 

Luke said that Jesus came down from the mountain with his new apostles (καὶ καταβὰς μετ’ αὐτῶν).  He stood on a level place (ἔστη ἐπὶ τόπου πεδινοῦ), with a great crowd of his disciples (καὶ ὄχλος πολὺς μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ).  There was a lot of people (καὶ πλῆθος πολὺ τοῦ λαοῦ) from all Judea (ἀπὸ πάσης τῆς Ἰουδαίας), Jerusalem (καὶ Ἱερουσαλὴμ), and the coast of Tyre and Sidon (καὶ τῆς παραλίου Τύρου καὶ Σιδῶνος).  Clearly, Jesus had become very popular, but there was no mention of anybody from Galilee.  Mark, chapter 3:7-8, said that Jesus left with his disciples to go to the Sea of Galilee, where, a great big crowd from Galilee and Judea that followed him.  People from everywhere were coming to listen to Jesus.  Jesus was no longer a local Galilean hero.  Mark said that people came to him in great numbers from Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan and also from the regions around Tyre and Sidon.  Obviously, Jerusalem would be interested in Jesus.  Idumea was south of Judah and part of the old country of Edom.  The other side of the Jordan would have been the old territories of Manasseh, Gad, and Reuben.  Tyre and Sidon were the coastal towns of the Phoenicians in the old Asher territory.  These would have been mostly Jewish people of Israelite heritage.  Matthew, chapter 4:24-25, said that the fame of Jesus had spread all over Syria, so that huge crowds followed Jesus in Galilee.  Also, the people from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from the east bank of the Jordan River were all following Jesus.

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Decapolis (Mk 7:31-7:31)

“Then Jesus returned

From the region of Tyre.

He went by way

Of Sidon

Towards the Sea of Galilee,

In the region

Of the Decapolis.”

 

Καὶ πάλιν ἐξελθὼν ἐκ τῶν ὁρίων Τύρου ἦλθεν διὰ Σιδῶνος εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν τῆς Γαλιλαίας ἀνὰ μέσον τῶν ὁρίων Δεκαπόλεως.

 

Matthew, chapter 15:29, has a more summary explanation of this travel.  Instead of going to Sidon, Jesus went straight back to the Sea of Galilee.  Also, there is no mention of Jesus going up a mountain here.  Mark said that Jesus returned from the region of Tyre (Καὶ πάλιν ἐξελθὼν ἐκ τῶν ὁρίων Τύρου) by way of the coastal city of Sidon (ἦλθεν διὰ Σιδῶνος) that was further north.  Then he went towards the Sea of Galilee (εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν τῆς Γαλιλαίας).  However, he went through the middle of the Decapolis region (ἀνὰ μέσον τῶν ὁρίων Δεκαπόλεως), where he had been earlier in Mark, chapter 5:20.  The Decapolis territory was a group of 10 gentile non-Jewish cities north and east of the Jordan River in present day Jordan and Syria that included the towns of Gerasa, Scythopolis, Hippos, Gadara, Pella, Philadelphia, Capitolias, Canatha, Raphana, and Damascus.  Clearly, Jesus had gone through these gentile, non-Jewish areas.

Great crowds (Mt 4:25-4:25)

“Great crowds

Followed Jesus

From Galilee,

From the Decapolis,

From Jerusalem,

From Judea,

And from beyond the Jordan.”

 

καὶ ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ ὄχλοι πολλοὶ ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλιλαίας καὶ Δεκαπόλεως καὶ Ἱεροσολύμων καὶ Ἰουδαίας καὶ πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου.

 

Matthew finished off this unique section by talking about the huge crowds that followed Jesus in Galilee (καὶ ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ ὄχλοι πολλοὶ ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλιλαίας).  However, he added something that had not been talked about.  Matthew said that the people from Decapolis (Δεκαπόλεως), Jerusalem (καὶ Ἱεροσολύμων), Judea (καὶ Ἰουδαίας), and from beyond on the east bank of the Jordan River (καὶ πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου) were following Jesus.  So far, Jesus has not done anything there.  Decapolis was an area of 10 cities or towns east of Galilee, with 9 of these cities on the east side of the Jordan River that included Damascus.  So that the news about Jesus may have spread there, as well on the east side of the Jordan.  However, the mention of Jerusalem and Judea, which were way south, at least 100 miles away, seems like a stretch.