The Hills of Kursi

The Hills of Kursi

There were two main events in the life of Christ that occurred in the hills of Kursi: the feeding of the four thousand and the deliverance of the two possessed of devils. 

And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time? And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters. – Matthew 8:28-32

*Also see Mark 8:1-21

During the time of Christ, the Sea of Galilee served as the border between the jurisdictions of Herod and Philip. Thus a short trip across the top of the pear-shaped sea would take Christ out of Herod’s predominantly Jewish region into that of Philip’s. Kursi is located on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, which is a part of today’s Golan Heights. The hills of this region literally rise up straight out of the Sea of Galilee.

During Christ’s ministry, He performed two miracles involving bread and fish: once on the predominantly Jewish side in Tabgha (the feeding of the 5,000) and the second time on the other side here in Kursi. The Bible calls this region the country of the Gergesenes or literally the land of the repelled ones. There were seven groups of people that Joshua and the Israelites defeated and drove from the land: the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites (Joshua 3:10). These people resettled in this region, and Christ often came to the other side to heal their sick and to teach his disciples. Interestingly enough, there were seven baskets left over after Christ fed the four thousand here in Kursi while there were twelve taken up after the feeding of the 5,000. In John’s Epistle, the details of both of these miraculous events are combined. Why so? Because John chapter six is Christ’s famous discourse on the Bread of Life; Christ was teaching that He was the Bread of Life for both Jew and Gentile alike, and that He was sufficient for the salvation of both. 

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3 Comments

Filed under Off the Bookshelf

3 responses to “The Hills of Kursi

  1. clarboe91

    Is this what you’re going to be speaking on in church sometime soon? I can’t wait! It sounds very interesting.

    • Andy A.

      No, it is not unfortunately. I say “unfortunately” because this was one of my favorite spots on our tour. However, I am looking forward to doing my presentation on the city of Caesarea sometime after the new year.

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