Galilee is a Sea and and in early times a district. Galil in Hebrew, means "a circle" and the district originally applied to 20 cities in Solomon's Time. The Lake of Genesareth or Gennesaret, the sea of Kinnereth, the Sea of Tiberius and the Sea of Galilee are all the same. The sea of Galilee is located in what was northern Palestine during the first century. It is about 13 and a half miles long by seven and a half miles wide and in places would reach to a depth of 160 feet. The Sea of Galilee is actually an inland lake 69 feet below sea level, fed primarily by the Jordan river. The low altitude contributes to the almost tropical weather. The hills around Galilee slope down to the waters edge except in the North West where there was a fertile plain. In the first century, the area included all the northern part of Palestine lying west of the Jordan and north of Samaria. Divided into upper and lower, the former lying north of the territory of the tribe of Zebulan, and abounding in mountains; the latter being more level and fertile, and very populous. What was called the Galilee of the Gentiles is supposed to be Upper Galilee.

Josephus told of 240 cities and villages, least of which around 15,000 residents. Altogether including the small towns, there were about 440. Josephus mentions Tiberias, Sepphoris, and Gabara, as the principal cities, though Capernaum and Nazareth are more frequently mentioned in the gospels. Everywhere in Josephus' descriptions, as in the gospels, we hear of an eager, energetic people and a land never "destitute of men, of courage or of a large population". The area rivalled Egypt in grains and cereals, wine, oil and fruit.

The setting of the lake and its shores were beautiful in those days, and here were situated the summer homes of wealthy Jews, Herodians, and Romans. Wildflowers are loveliest in Galilee and grow beyond the shoreline of pebbles and shells. Green hills would rise high around most of the lake. About the lake the land is so fruitful that all sorts of trees can grow upon it. It is exceptionally fertile for growing crops and the temper of the air is so well mixed that it agrees very well with "different sorts" especially walnuts, palm trees, fig trees and olives. Particularly lovely is that portion of the lakeside, which is watered from a most fertile fountain, which the people of the country call Capharnaum. The lake abounded with freshwater fish.

Palestine and especially Galilee was filled with the sick and suffering and with those pathological types, dumb, epileptics, and the semi-insane were numerous. Galilee was on the road to everywhere. Many roads crossed Galilee from the Decapolis to the coast, constant trade fisherman and Greek exporters, the very coins everywhere thrust Greek upon the Jews of Galilee. There were so many Gentiles that it was contemptuously called "Galilee of the Gentiles." Hiram called the area disgusting, thus the destiny of Galilee was to be despised with its mixed population and strange accent, populated with Phoenicians, Arabs, Greeks. Galilee was a traditional hotbed of dissent. Judeans tended to look down on their agricultural northern neighbors, as though they were a little more rustic and not as knowledgeable as those who lived closer to Jerusalem. The Galileans were accounted brae and industrious; though other Jews affected to consider them as not only stupid and unpolished, but also seditious, and therefore proper objects of contempt.

Jesus' mother tongue is the Aramaic of Galilee. Hebrew was at that time no longer a spoken language, but rather only the language of religion and of scholars. Galilee turned a deaf ear to the preachers proclaiming Jesus.
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