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In Greek, polis means city. From it has come numerous city names and city designations, ancient and modern, such as metropolis which is derived from two Greek words, metros, meaning a mother, and polis meaning city i.e. metropolis means mother city, that is, a city that is the political, economic and cultural center of nearby smaller cities. There are a number of Bible Places that have "polis" as part of their name; all are found in the New Testament because it was written (mostly) in Greek.


Zion The Decapolis, from the Greek meaning the "Ten Cities," was a district on the east and south-east of The Sea Of Galilee consisting of ten cities which were mainly inhabited by Greeks in the New Testament era. They were Scythopolis, Hippos, Gadara, Pella, Philadelphia, Gerasa, Dion, Canatha, Raphana, and Damascus. The people of the Decapolis were well-familiar with the Messiah:

"And there followed Him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan." (Matthew 4:25 KJV)

Neapolis, meaning new city, was a city in Thrace at which Paul first landed in Europe (see Paul's Second Missionary Journey). It served as the seaport of the inland town of Philippi, which was about 10 miles away.

"And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them. Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis" (Acts 16:9-11 KJV)

Amphipolis, meaning "city on both sides," was a Macedonian city through which Paul passed on the way from Philippi to Thessalonica:

"Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a Synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures [see also Which Bible Did Jesus Use?], opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ." (Acts 17:1-3 KJV)

Hierapolis, meaning "sacred city," was a city of Phrygia where there was a Christian church under the care of Epaphras:

"Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God [see Works Means Obedience]. For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea and them in Hierapolis." (Colossians 4:12-13 KJV)

Nicopolis, meaning "city of victory," was where Paul spent, or intended to spend, the winter:

"When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter. Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them. And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful." (Titus 3:12-14 KJV)

Fact Finder: (a) Metropolis means "mother city." Is the spiritual city of Jerusalem, "the Jerusalem that is above," the "mother of us all"? (b) How can a city, "the Jerusalem above," be the mother of God's people? (c) When does the New Jerusalem come to earth?
(a) Galatians 4:26 (b) See Daughter of Zion (c) See The City To Come

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