a city on
the northeast of the marshy plain
of el-Huleh, 120 miles north of Jerusalem,
and 20 miles north of the Sea of Galilee,
at the "upper source" of the Jordan,
and near the base of Mount Hermon.
It is mentioned in Matt. 16:13
and Mark 8:27
as the northern limit of our Lord's public ministry. According to some its original name was Baal-Gad
), or Baal-Hermon
; 1 Chr. 5:23
), when it was a Canaanite sanctuary
It was afterwards called Panium or Paneas, from a deep
cavern full of water near the town. This name was given to the cavern by the Greeks of the Macedonian kingdom of Antioch
because of its likeness to the grottos of Greece,
which were always associated with the worship
of their god
Pan. Its modern name is Banias. Here Herod built a temple,
which he dedicated to Augustus Caesar.
This town was afterwards enlarged and embellished by Herod Philip,
of whose territory it formed a part, and was called by him Caesarea Philippi,
partly after his own name, and partly after that of the emperor Tiberius Caesar. It is thus distinguished from the Caesarea of Palestine.