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Iturea, Trachonitis, Batanea, Gaulanitis, and Auranitis in the first century C.E.
Batanaea or Batanea (the Hellenized/Latinised form of Bashan) was an area of the Biblical Holy Land, north-east of the Jordan Rivermarker, to the east of Trachonitis. It was one of the four post-Exile divisions of the area of Bashan. Now known as Ard-el-Bathanyeh, it runs north-south along the east side of the Lejah and the Hauran, from Salkhadmarker on the south, to Tells Khaledyeh and Asfar on the north. It is, on average, 12 miles wide, and for 30 miles along it extends the Gebel Hauran, a range of hills, whose central plateau is 2670 ft. above sea level and whose highest point is 6400 ft. Its highest peak may be the "Hill of Basan" referred to in Psalm 68:15.

In the first century BCE the land was acquired by Herod the Great, and on his death in 4 BC passed to his son Philip as part of his inheritance. In some sources Philip is referred to as Tetrarch of Batanea with the capital at Caesarea Philippimarker, though his lands were more extensive than this.

On his death in 34 A.D. Batanea passed to Herod Agrippa I, and in 53 CE to his son, Herod Agrippa II. Following his death, however, it was annexed to the Roman province of Syria.

D. A. Carson, in his commentary on the Gospel of John, says that the "Bethany across the Jordan" of John 1:28 (referenced again in John 11), is actually Batanaea, transliterated across Aramaic to Greek.


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