GAULANITIS gôl’ ə nī’ tĭs (Γαυλανι̂τις). A district E of the , from Hippos in the S to Seleucia in the N. The name derives from the ancient town of Golan (Γαυλών; גּוֹלָ֥ן), located by archeologists about seventeen m. E of the Sea of Galilee near the modern Arab town Sheikh Sa’d.
Moses designated Golan as one of three cities of refuge “beyond the Jordan....Golan in Bashan for the Manassites” (
The city is not mentioned in the NT, although there is an interesting parallel between Acts and Josephus. Josephus identifies a certain revolutionary leader Judas as from Gaulanitis (Jos. Antiq. XVIII. i. 1) whereas Luke identified him as a Galilean (
During the Herodian dynasty, Gaulanitis was inherited by Philip after Herod’s death, and continued as a part of his tetrarchy from 4 b.c. until a.d. 34. Philip’s capital was Bethsaida, rebuilt and renamed Bethsaida Julias for the daughter of Augustus Ceasar. Jesus traveled freely in this area (
It passed to the rule of Agrippa I in a.d. 37 until his death in a.d. 44. In a.d. 53, received it and continued to hold it until the Jewish revolt began in a.d. 66. The area was subject to the early campaign of the Romans against the Jewish revolutionaries (Jos. War IV. i. 1).
The land is part of the E Jordan plateau country and the soil is fertile. During the time of Christ the area was heavily populated.
E. G. Kraeling, Rand McNally Bible Atlas.