GERRENIANS, GERRHENIANS gûr rĕn’ e ənz (Γερρηνων, A Γεννηρων). Lysias, in fighting against Judas Maccabeus in 162 b.c., was forced to return to Syria because of a deterioration of affairs in Antioch. Before going N he made peace with the Jews and left Hegemonides in command from Ptolemais to the (land/city) of the Gerrenians (2 Macc 13:24 KJV). Both the text and the exact geographical reference are problematic. Because the context seems to call for a location in the S near the Egyp. frontier, it is commonly taken to be Gerar (qv., APOT I, p. 151). The Syr. understands this place to be Gezer (q.v.). Gerrha, which might be the obvious choice on the basis of the Gr. spelling, lay inside Egyp. territory, and so is impossible.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

The name indicates the southern limit of the territory assigned by Antiochus Eupator to the government of Judas Maccabeus when he "left Hegemonides governor from Ptolemais even unto the Gerrenians" (2 Macc 13:24, the King James Version "Gerrhenians"). It is not easy to say exactly who the Gerrenians were. They were wrongly associated by Grotius with the town Gerrha, and are with more probability connected with the ancient city of Gerar, Southeast of Gaza. One manuscript reads Gerarenon, which could easily be corrupted into Gerrenon, and would place the government of Hegemonides between Ptolemais and Gerar.

J. Hutchison