The image above is taken from the Greco-Roman ruin of Gadara in the Jordan town of Umm Qais (pronounced oomkise), which was a trade city back in the biblical days. The valley pictured there is not Jordan however, that is Israel, and just to the right, beyond the mountains, is Syria.
Gadara, of course, is where Jesus landed after crossing the Galilee; think Matthew 8:28:
When he came to the other side, to the territory of the Gadarenes,* two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him. They were so savage that no one could travel by that road.
Off the evil spirits went, into the herd of swine.
Umm Qais is about 2 hours outside of Amman and the elevation makes your ears feel like they’re about to pop, which makes this peaceful mountain ruin even quieter and more serene. Walking the long corridors to get to the main trading area it was hard not to feel chills as we learned that Peter most definitely went through this area as he began his mission after the Ascension of Christ.
As we came to the center of the skeleton city, and the view was astounding. Ancient pillars remained of what used to be a temple. A little ways down the hill there were workers leisurely hammering at rocks to make bricks that will be used to restore some sections of crumbling structures in attempt to preserve this beautiful area.
If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.
Here are some numbers:
20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)
As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.
Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!