3. The Scythopolitan country.

There was a fourth, and that the greatest, passage betwixt Chammath and Jericho, but at a great distance from either; for the finding out of which, we are to consider what is intimated, 1 Kings 4:12: "And all Beth-shean, which is by Zartanah beneath Jezreel." And again, 1 Kings 7:46: "In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay-ground, between Succoth and Zarthan." We will begin with Beth-shean.

I. Beth-shean, or Scythopolis, was in the lot of Manasseh, Judges 1:27. "Neither did Manasses drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shean, which is Scythopolis." So that it was within the limits of Samaria, though indeed one of the Decapolitan cities, and within the jurisdiction of the Gentiles, as we have shewed elsewhere.

II. It was the utmost bound of Samaria towards Galilee. "The bounds of Galilee on the south is Samaria and Scythopolis, as far as the river Jordan."

III. The city was half a league's distance from Jordan, saith Borchard, and yet extends its jurisdiction beyond Jordan. That of Aethicus, in his Cosmography, is well known: "The river Jordan hath its head in mount Libanus, runs about the lake of Tiberias; from whence going out, hath its current through the midst of Scythopolis, and issues in the Dead Sea." Jordan divided Scythopolis in the midst; not the city (for that was at some considerable distance from the river), but the country itself; so that part of the country was on this, and part on the other side Jordan.

It was a noble city of the Syro-Grecians, and had considerable jurisdiction, not only within the confines of Manasses, but extended itself beyond, even to Perea.