There was a double Gadara. One at the shore of the Mediterranean sea: that was first called Gezer, 1 Kings 9:15. In Josephus, "Simon destroyed the city Gazara, and Joppe, and Jamnia."--And in the Book of the Maccabees, "And he fortified Joppe, which is on the sea, and Gazara, which is on the borders of Azotus."
At length, according to the idiom of the Syrian dialect, Zain passed into Daleth; and instead of Gazara, it was called Gadara. Hence Strabo, after the mention of Jamnia, saith, "and there is Gadaris, then Azotus and Ascalon." And a little after; "Philodemus the Epicurean was a Gadarene, and so was Meleager and Menippus, surnamed the 'ridiculous student,' and Theodorus the rhetorician," &c.
But the other Gadara, which we seek, was in Perea, and was the metropolis of Perea. "Being come into the parts of Gadara, the strong metropolis of Perea." They are the words of Josephus.
It was sixty furlongs distant from Tiberias, by the measure of the same author.
"Gadara, the river Hieramax [Jarmoc, of which before] flowing by it, and now called Hippodion." Some reckon it among the cities of the country of Decapolis.
Another city, also 'Gergesa' by name, was so near to it, that that which in Mark is called 'the country of the Gadarenes,' chapter 5:1,--in Matthew is 'the country of the Gergesenes,' chapter 8:28: which whether it took its name from the Girgashites, the posterity of Canaan,--or from the clayish nature of the soil, (Gargishta, signifying clay,)--we leave to the more learned to be decided. The Chaldee certainly renders that thick dirt, which is in the Hebrew the clay ground, 1 Kings 7:46.
The Jerusalem writers say, that the Girgashites, when Joshua came, and proclaimed, "He that will go out hence, let him go,"--betook themselves into Africa.