Ancient Galilee

Ancient Galilee, circa AD 50

Galilee was a region located in northern Israel and the area where Jesus spend most of his time ministering.

Biblical History Edit

Old Testament Edit

Galilee was the site of many battles. At the urging of King Asa of Judah (the Southern Kingdom), Ben-hadad of Damascus attacked Israel (the Northern Kingdom). This resulted was the conquering of "Ijon, Dan, Abel Beth Maakah, and all Kinnereth in addition to Naphtali"[1] King Jehoahaz and King Hazael of Syria fought over the land as well as their sons King Benhadad and King Joash; Joash finally returning the cities to Israel.[2] It was King Jeraboam who finally conquered the whole of Galilee and firmly placed it under the rule of Israel.[3] Unfortunately Israel never turned completely to God and He sent Tiglath-pileser III, King of Assyria, to conquer the land and take its inhabitants captive to Assyria.[4] Only the poorest of the land were left to care for the land.[5] After the exile the people returned to the land but now there were many different people groups living there. While the peoples were Jewish in their religion and patriotism, they were a strangely mingled group.[6] This mixed origin explains the differences in speech with, as well as the contempt for them by, the South.[7]

New Testament Edit

After the reign of King Herod the Great, the rule of Galilee was given to his son Antipas who reigned from 4 BC to AD 40 (almost the whole of Jesus' life). At the time of Christ, Galilee was divided up into Upper (mostly mountains) and Lower Galilee (more level and fertile).[8] Much of Jesus' ministry took place in Galilee, including the cities of Nazareth, Nain, Cana, Capernaum, and the region around the Sea of Galilee.

References Edit

  1. 1 Kings 15:20
  2. 2 Kings 10:32; 13:22
  3. 2 Kings 14:25
  4. 2 Kings 15:29
  5. 2 Chronicles 30:10
  6. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Galilee
  7. John 1:46; 7:52
  8. ATS Bible Dictionary - Galilee