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Wednesday, 22 November 2017
The Galilee PDF Print E-mail

Galilee

There were three Roman provinces of Palestine: Galilee, Samaria and Judea. The most northerly of these was the Galilee, measuring about 50 miles (80k) north to south, and 30 miles (58k) east to west. The northern border was with SyroPhoenicia,  to the south was the Valley of Jezreel,  east was to the Sea of Galilee and to the west was the Plain of Acre.

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Galilee was the highest region in the country, with a mild climate. Winter rains, numerous and abundant springs and rich soils made it ideal for agriculture. It was traversed by important trade routes which further contributed to the prosperity of the region. Chief exports were olive oil, grains and fish. After invasion by Assyria in 732 B.C. it became inhabited by mixed races, and was known among the Jews as 'Galilee of the Gentiles'  Isaiah 8:23 - 9: 6. The Galileans spoke with their own distinct accent and dialect and were held in some contempt by the more orthodox and racially pure Judean Jews

Palestine was conquered by Pompey in 64 B.C., and later it became part of Herod's kingdom. After Herod's death in 4 B.C. Galilee and Perea passed to his son, Herod Antipas, who became Tetrarch. It was he who founded the city of Tiberias, which became the political capital of Galilee. He had James executed and Peter arrested Acts 12: 18-25 . After his death in 39 A.D. he was succeeded by Herod 1 (Herod Agrippa) who ruled with the title of 'king' until 44 A.D. This was the Herod encountered by Paul. Acts 25: 13-27

Galilee was the boyhood home of Jesus, the setting for his hidden years and for most of his public ministry. He lived in Nazareth Matthew 21: 8-11, and was rejected by his own people there Luke 4: 16-30 . Capernaum in Galilee became the focal point of his ministry Matthew 4: 12-17 . All of the apostles, except for Judas Iscariot, came from the Galilee Matthew 4: 18-25, John 1: 35-45, Acts 2: 5-13. He performed his first miracle at Cana John 2: 1-11. Most of the 33 great miracles took place in Galilee, and 19 of the 32 parables were spoken there.

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At the last supper Jesus promised to go before them to Galilee after He had risen. Mark 14: 25-28. After his resurrection an angel informed the disciples that Jesus had gone before them to Galilee where they would see him as he had promised Mark 16: 5-8.