Golan was the most northerly of the three cities of refuge east of the Jordan River (Deuteronomy 4:43). Manasseh gave this city to the Gershonite Levites (Joshua 21:27). According to the Bible, the Israelites conquered Golan from the Amorites. The city was known to Josephus. Near Golan, Alexander Jannaeus was ambushed by Obodas, king of the Arabians, and his army. It formed the eastern boundary of Galilee and was part of the tetrarchy of Philip. It was described by Eusebius in his Onomasticon as a large village that gave its name to the surrounding country.
Archaeologists have speculated that the ancient city of Golan may be Sahm el-Jaulān, a large village 4 miles (6.4 km) east of Nahr ‛Allān and 4 miles (6.4 km) southeast of Tsīl, where ruins were found from the early Byzantine era.
- Rami Arav, Richard A. Freund (2004). Bethsaida: A City by the North Shore of the Sea of Galilee, vol. 3 (v. 3) (Paperback ed.). Truman State University Press. p. 42. ISBN 1-931112-39-8.