Hebrew : הגליל, transliteration _HaGalil_);
Arabic : الجليل, translit. _al-Jalīl_) is a region in
Israel . The term
Galilee traditionally refers to the
mountainous part, divided into
Upper Galilee (
Hebrew : גליל
עליון _Galil Elyon_) and
Lower Galilee (
Hebrew : גליל
תחתון _Galil Tahton_). In the modern common usage, Galilee
refers to all of the area that is beyond
Mount Carmel to the
northeast, extending from Dan to the north, at the base of Mount
Hermon , along
Mount Lebanon to the ridges of
Mount Carmel and Mount
Gilboa north of
Jenin to the south, and from the Jordan Rift
the east across the plains of the
Jezreel Valley and Acre to the
shores of the
Mediterranean Sea and the coastal plain in the west,
Beth Shean 's valley, Sea of Galilee\'s valley , and Hula
Valley , although it usually does not include
Haifa 's immediate
northern suburbs. By this definition it overlaps with much of the
administrative Northern District of the country (which also includes
Golan Heights and part of
Menashe Heights but not Qiryat Tiv\'on
Hebrew : גליל מערבי _Galil
Ma'aravi_) is a common term referring to the western part of the Upper
Galilee and its shore, and usually also the northwestern part of the
Lower Galilee, mostly overlapping with Acre sub district. Galilee
Panhandle is a common term referring to the "panhandle" in the east
that extends to the north, where
Lebanon is to the west, and includes
Hula Valley and
Ramot Naftali mountains of the Upper Galilee.
Historically, the part of
Southern Lebanon south of the east-west
section of the
Litani River also belonged to the region of Galilee,
but the present article mainly deals with the Israeli part of the
* 1 Etymology
* 2 Geography
* 3 History
* 3.1 Ancient and classic antiquity
* 3.2 Middle Ages
* 3.3 Ottoman era
* 3.4 British administration and Israeli rule
* 4 Demography
* 5 Tourism
* 6 Cuisine
* 7 Subregions
* 8 Gallery
* 9 See also
* 10 References
* 11 Further reading
The region's Israelite name is from the
Hebrew root _galil_, an
ultimately unique word for "district", and usually "circle". The
Hebrew form used in Isaiah 8:23 (or 9:1 in different Biblical
versions) is in the construct state, "_g'lil hagoyim_", meaning
Galilee of the Nations", i.e. the part of
Galilee inhabited by
Gentiles at the time that the book was written.
The region in turn gave rise to the English name for the "Sea of
Galilee" referred to as such in many languages including ancient
Arabic. In the
Hebrew language, the lake is referred to as Kinneret
(Numbers 34:11, etc.), from
Hebrew _kinnor_, "harp ", describing its
Lake of Gennesaret (Luke 5:1, etc.), from
_ge_, "valley ", and either _netser_, "branch ", or _natsor_, "to
guard", "to watch" (the name which may have been a reference to
Nazareth town, alternatively renamed the
Sea of Tiberias (John 6:1,
etc.), from the town of
Tiberias at its southwestern end, named after
Tiberius following the first-century CE Roman Emperor's
Greek derived name. These are the three names used in originally
internal Jewish-authored literature rather than the "Sea of Galilee".
However, Jews did use "the Galilee" to refer to the whole region
(Aramaic הגלילי), including its lake.
Galilee consists of rocky terrain, at heights of between 500
and 700 m. Several high mountains are in the region, including Mount
Mount Meron , which have relatively low temperatures and
high rainfall. As a result of this climate, flora and wildlife thrive
in the region, while many birds annually migrate from colder climates
to Africa and back through the Hula–Jordan corridor. The streams and
waterfalls, the latter mainly in Upper Galilee, along with vast fields
of greenery and colourful wildflowers, as well as numerous towns of
biblical importance, make the region a popular tourist destination .
Due to its high rainfall (900–1200 mm), mild temperatures and high
mountains (Mount Meron's elevation is 1,000–1,208 m), the upper
Galilee region contains some distinctive flora and fauna: prickly
Juniperus oxycedrus _), Lebanese cedar (_
Cedrus libani _),
which grows in a small grove on Mount Meron, cyclamens , paeonias ,
Rhododendron ponticum _ which sometimes appears on Meron.
ANCIENT AND CLASSIC ANTIQUITY
_ Map of Galilee, circa_ 50 CE
Jesus and the miraculous
catch of fish , in the
Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee
According to the
Galilee was named by the Israelites and was
the tribal region of Naphthali and Dan, at times overlapping the Tribe
of Asher 's land. However, Dan was dispersed among the whole people
rather than isolated to the lands of Dan, as the Tribe of Dan was the
hereditary local law enforcement and judiciary for the whole nation.
Galilee is just referred to as Naphthali.
Chapter 9 of
1 Kings states that
Solomon rewarded his Phoenician
King Hiram I of
Sidon , with twenty cities in the land of
Galilee, which would then have been either settled by foreigners
during and after the reign of Hiram, or by those who had been forcibly
deported there by later conquerors such as the Assyrians . Hiram, to
reciprocate previous gifts given to
David , accepted the upland plain
among the mountains of Naphtali and renamed it "the land of
for a time.
In Roman times, the client kingdom of
Judea was divided into
Samaria , the Paralia (Palestine ), and Galilee, which comprised the
whole northern section of the country, and was the largest of the
three regions under the
Tetrarchy (Judea) . After
Judea became a Roman
province in 6, C.E.,
Galilee briefly became a part of it, then
separated from it for two to three centuries.
Galilee region was presumably the home of
Jesus during at least
30 years of his life. Much of the first three Gospels of the New
Testament give an account of Jesus' public ministry in this province,
particularly in the towns of
Galilee is also
cited as the place where
Jesus performed many public miracles,
including curing a blind man. After the death of
Jesus , some accounts
suggest his disciples returned to
Galilee and their experience of His
resurrection took place there.
Many of the important
Tannaim , the Rabbinic sages whose views are
recorded in the Mishnah and Talmud, claim to have also spent their
lives there, including Honi Ha-Ma\'agel ,
Jose the Galilean , and
Galilean , among many others. Traditional rabbinic sources
assert that the followers of the rabbis from the
Galilee were widely
reputed to believe their teachers (rabbis) were miracle workers, as
opposed to those from
Persia , and
Babylon , who rarely are
credited with miracles. Many are cited for their large number of
students and followers throughout the
Jewish people among the common
Galilee among the
Jewish population was known as a
wellspring of miracle workers and mystical philosophers of all types,
especially just prior to the major split between Jesus\' followers and
those who opposed
Jesus . According to the Talmud, one of the most
important founders of the modern
Johanan ben Zakai , was
Simeon bar Yochai , one of the most famed of all the
Tannaim, hid from the Romans in the Galilee, and dug tunnels there to
hide. Many miracles are ascribed to him during his
Judea proper. In medieval
Hebrew legend, he may have
Zohar while there.
The archaeological discoveries of synagogues from the Hellenistic and
Roman period in the
Galilee show strong Phoenician influences, and a
high level of tolerance for other cultures, relative to other Jewish
sacred sites from the period, the latter being "cleansed of
Galilee retained a
Jewish majority until at least
the seventh century.
Arab caliphate took control of the region in 638, it became
Jund al-Urdunn (District of Jordan). Its major towns were
Tiberias (which was capital of the district—
Baysan , Acre ,
Saffuriya , and Kabul .
The Shia Fatimids conquered the region in the 10th century; a
breakaway sect, venerating the
Fatimid caliph al-Hakim , formed the
Druze religion, centered in
Mount Lebanon and partially Galilee.
During the Crusades ,
Galilee was organized into the Principality of
Galilee , one of the most important Crusader seigneuries.
Jewish population of
Galilee increased significantly following
their expulsion from Spain and welcome from the
Ottoman Empire . The
community for a time made
Safed an international center of cloth
weaving and manufacturing, as well as a key site for
Today it remains one of Judaism's four holy cities and a center for
In the mid-18th century,
Galilee was caught up in a struggle between
Zahir al-Umar and the Ottoman authorities who were
Damascus . Zahir ruled
Galilee for 25 years until Ottoman
Jezzar Pasha conquered the region in 1775.
In 1831, the Galilee, a part of
Ottoman Syria , switched hands from
Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt until 1840. During this period,
aggressive social and politic policies were introduced, which led to a
Arab revolt . In the process of this revolt the Jewish
Sefad was greatly reduced, in the event of
by the rebels. The
Arab rebels were subsequently defeated by the
Egyptian troops, though in 1838, the
Galilee led another
uprising . In 1834 and 1837 , major earthquakes leveled most of the
towns, resulting in great loss of life. In 1866, Galilee's first
Nazareth Hospital , was founded under the leadership of
American-Armenian missionary Dr.
Kaloost Vartan , assisted by German
John Zeller . The territory of the Ottoman Beirut
Vilayet , encompassing the
In the early 20th century,
Galilee remained part of Ottoman Syria. It
was administered as the southernmost territory of the Beirut Vilayet
(established in 1888).
BRITISH ADMINISTRATION AND ISRAELI RULE
Following the defeat of the
Ottoman Empire in
World War I
World War I , and the
Armistice of Mudros , it came under British rule, as part of the
Occupied Enemy Territory Administration . Shortly after, in 1920, the
region was included in the British Mandate territory, officially a
part of Mandatory Palestine from 1923.
1948 Arab–Israeli war , nearly the whole of
under Israel's control. A large portion of the population fled or was
forced to leave, leaving dozens of entire villages empty; however, a
Arab community remained based in and near the cities of
Nazareth, Acre ,
Sakhnin , and Shefa-\'Amr , due to some
extent to a successful rapprochement with the Druze. The kibbutzim
Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee were sometimes shelled by the
Syrian army 's
Israel seized the
Golan Heights in the 1967 Six-Day
During the 1970s and the early 1980s, the Palestine Liberation
Organization (PLO) launched several attacks on towns and villages of
the Upper and Western
Operation Litani (1979) and
Operation Peace For Galilee (1982) with
the stated objectives of destroying the PLO infrastructure in Lebanon
and protecting the citizens of the Galilee.
Israel occupied much of
Lebanon until 1985, when it withdrew to a narrow security
buffer zone .
Hezbollah , and earlier Amal , continued to fight the
Israeli Defence Forces , sometimes shelling
Upper Galilee communities
with Katyusha rockets. In May 2000, Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak
unilaterally withdrew IDF troops from southern Lebanon, maintaining a
security force on the Israeli side of the international border
recognized by the
United Nations . However, clashes between Hezbollah
Israel continued along the border, and UN observers condemned both
for their attacks.
Israel-Lebanon conflict was characterized by round-the-clock
Katyusha rocket attacks (with a greatly extended range) by Hezbollah
on the whole of Galilee, with long-range, ground-launched missiles
hitting as far south as the
Sharon Plain ,
Jezreel Valley , and Jordan
Valley below the Sea of Galilee.
Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee as seen from the
Moshava Kinneret Sign in
front of the Galil Jewish–
Arab School , a joint Arab-
school in the
Galilee For more details on this topic, see
The largest cities in the region are Acre, Nahariya, Nazareth, Safed,
Shaghur , Shefa-\'Amr ,
Afula , and Tiberias. The port city
Haifa serves as a commercial center for the whole region.
Because of its hilly terrain, most of the people in the
in small villages connected by relatively few roads. A railroad runs
Nahariya along the Mediterranean coast , and a fork to the
east is due to operate in 2015. The main sources of livelihood
throughout the area are agriculture and tourism. Industrial parks are
being developed, bringing further employment opportunities to the
local population which includes many recent immigrants. The Israeli
government is contributing funding to the private initiative, the
Galilee Finance Facility, organised by the
Milken Institute and Koret
Economic Development Fund .
Galilee is home to a large
Arab population, comprising a Muslim
majority and two smaller populations, of
Arab Christians ,
of comparable sizes. Both Israeli
Druze and Christians have their
majorities in the Galilee. Other notable minorities are the Bedouin,
the Maronites and the Circassians .
The north-central portion of the
Galilee is also known as Central
Galilee, stretching from the border with
Lebanon to the northern edge
of the Jezreel Valley, including the cities of
Nazareth and Sakhnin,
Arab majority of 75% with most of the
Jewish population living
in hilltop cities like Upper
Nazareth . The northern half of the
central Lower Galilee, surrounding
Sakhnin is known as the
"Heart of the Galilee". The eastern
Galilee is nearly 100% Jewish.
This part includes the
Finger of the Galilee , the Jordan River
Valley, and the shores the Sea of Galilee, and contains two of
Four Holy Cities . The southern part of the Galilee,
including Jezreel Valley, and the Gilboa region are also nearly 100%
Jewish, with a few small
Arab villages near the
West Bank border.
About 80% of the population of the Western
Galilee is Jewish, all the
way up to the Lebanese border. Jews also form a small majority in the
Upper Galilee with a significant minority
Druze and Christians).
Jewish Agency has attempted to increase the
Jewish population in
this area, but the non-
Jewish population also has a high growth rate,
As of 2006 , there were 1.2 million residents in Galilee, of which
46.9% were Jewish.
Galilee is attracting significant internal migration
of Haredi Jews , who are increasingly moving to the
Galilee and Negev
as an answer to rising housing prices in central Israel.
Galilee is a popular destination for domestic and foreign tourists
who enjoy its scenic, recreational, and gastronomic offerings. The
Galilee attracts many Christian pilgrims , as many of the miracles of
Jesus occurred, according to the
New Testament , on the shores of the
Sea of Galilee—including his walking on water , calming the storm ,
and feeding five thousand people in
Tabgha . In addition, numerous
sites of biblical importance are located in the Galilee, such as
Megiddo , Jezreel Valley, Mount Tabor, Hazor ,
Horns of Hattin , and
A popular hiking trail known as the _yam leyam_, or sea-to-sea,
starts hikers at the Mediterranean. They then hike through the Galilee
mountains, Tabor, Neria, and Meron, until their final destination, the
Kinneret (Sea of Galilee).
In April 2011,
Israel unveiled the "
Jesus Trail ", a 40-mile (60-km)
hiking trail in the
Galilee for Christian pilgrims. The trail includes
a network of footpaths, roads, and bicycle paths linking sites central
to the lives of
Jesus and his disciples, including
Tabgha , the
traditional site of Jesus' miracle of the loaves and fishes, and the
Mount of Beatitudes , where he delivered his Sermon on the Mount. It
Capernaum on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus
espoused his teachings. The
Church of the Transfiguration on
Many kibbutzim and moshav families operate _Zimmern _ (German:
"rooms", the local term for a Bed and breakfasts ). Numerous festivals
are held throughout the year, especially in the autumn and spring
holiday seasons. These include the Acre (Acco) Festival of Alternative
Theater, the olive harvest festival, and music festivals featuring
Anglo-American folk, klezmer , Renaissance, and chamber music .
The cuisine of the
Galilee is very diverse. The meals are lighter
than in the central and southern regions. Dairy products are heavily
consumed (especially the
Safed cheese that originated in the mountains
Upper Galilee ). Herbs like thyme, mint, parsley, basil, and
rosemary are very common with everything including dips, meat, fish,
stews and cheese. In the eastern part of the Galilee, freshwater fish
as much as meat (especially the tilapia that lives in the Sea of
Galilee, Jordan river, and other streams in the region), fish filled
with thyme and grilled with rosemary to flavor, or stuffed with
oregano leaves, then topped with parsley and served with lemon to
squash. This technique exists in other parts of the country including
the coasts of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. A specialty of the
region is a baked Tilapia flavored with celery, mint and a lot of
lemon juice. Baked fish with tahini is also common in
the coastal Galileans prefer to replace the tahini with yogurt and add
sumac on top.
Galilee is famous for its olives, pomegranates, wine and
Labneh w'Za\'atar which is served with pita bread, meat
stews with wine, pomegranates and herbs such as akub, parsley, khalmit
, mint, fennel, etc. are common.
Galilean kubba is usually flavored
with cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, concentrated pomegranate juice ,
onion, parsley and pine nuts and served as meze with tahini dip.
Kebabs are also made almost in the same way with sumac replacing
cardamom and with carob sometimes replacing the pomegranate juice.
Because of its climate, beef has become more popular than lamb,
although both are still eaten there. Dates are popular in the tropical
climate of the Eastern
Galilee - like rest of the eastern parts of the
Galilee is often divided into these subregions:
* LOWER GALILEE covers the area north of the Valleys (Jezreel ,
Valley ) and south of the Beit HaKerem
Its borders to the east on the Jordan Rift
Valley . It contains the
Arab village of
* UPPER GALILEE extends from the Beit HaKerem
Valley northwards into
southern Lebanon. Its eastern border is the
Hula Valley and the Sea of
Galilee separating it from the Golan Heights. To the west it reaches
to the Coastal Plain which separates it from the Mediterranean.
* The JEZREEL VALLEY
* JORDAN VALLEY
Valley of BEIT SHE\\'AN
* SEA OF GALILEE and its valley
* The HULA VALLEY
* MOUNT GILBOA
Galilee in its minimal definition refers to the coastal
plain just west of the Upper Galilee, also known as Plain of Asher, or
Plain of the Galilee, which stretches from north of Acre to Rosh
HaNikra on the Israel-
Lebanon border , and in the common broad
definition adds the western part of Upper Galilee, and usually the
northwestern part of
Lower Galilee as well, corresponding more or less
to Acre sub district or the Northern District .
* The "
Galilee Panhandle " (
Hebrew : אצבע הגליל,
_Etzba HaGalil_, lit. "Finger of Galilee") is a panhandle along the
Valley ; it contains the towns of
Qiryat Shemona ,
and the Dan and
Panorama from Ari Mountain in the
Panorama of the Harod
Valley , the eastern extension of the Jezreel
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for GALILEE _.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to GALILEE _.
Northern District (Israel)
Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee
* Tourism in
The Koenig Memorandum
* ^ Room, Adrian, 2nd Ed.(2006)) "" p.138.
* ^ "Map of the Twelve Tribes of
Jewish Virtual Library".
jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 2015-05-18.
* ^ Gen. 49:16 earliest reference among others
* ^ History of Phoenicia, by George Rawlinson 1889,
the hegemony of Tyre (B.C. 1252-877)
Mark 14 :28 and 16:7
* ^ Mishnah Ta'anit 3:8 is one example in it Honi prays for rain,
dancing and drawing circles and geometric patterns, on behalf of the
Jewish agricultural community, and receiving rain for the original
Hebrew of one version of that story. Honi does other
miracles for the people of the
Galilee elsewhere in
* ^ Scharfstein, S. (2004). _
Jewish History and You_. Ktav Pub
Incorporated. p. 24. ISBN 9780881258066 . Retrieved 2015-05-18.
* ^ "releases/2007/11/071121100831". sciencedaily.com. Retrieved
* ^ Le Strange, Guy. (1890) _Palestine Under the Moslems_ pp.30-32.
* ^ "The
Jewish Agency for Israel". jafi.org.il. Archived from the
original on 2009-12-22. Retrieved 2015-05-18.
* ^ "Places To Visit In Israel". govisitisrae. Retrieved
* ^ "
Galilee in Jesus\' Time Was a Center of Change". Ancient
History. Retrieved 2013-07-25.
* ^ Matthew Krieger (November 19, 2007). "Gov\'t expected to join
financing of huge northern development project".
The Jerusalem Post .
Archived from the original on August 13, 2011. Retrieved 2007-11-20.
Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (2013). "LOCALITIES(1) AND
POPULATION, BY POPULATION GROUP, DISTRICT, SUB-DISTRICT AND NATURAL
REGION". STATISTICAL ABSTRACT OF ISRAEL (PDF) (Report). Retrieved
* ^ "In Galilee, Israeli Arabs finding greener grass in Jewish
Jewish Telegraphic Agency _. Nov 3, 2008. Retrieved
Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (2013). "SOURCES OF
POPULATION GROWTH, BY DISTRICT, POPULATION GROUP AND RELIGION".
STATISTICAL ABSTRACT OF ISRAEL (PDF) (Report). Retrieved 2014-06-16.
Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (2002). The
Israel (PDF) (Report). Statistilite. 27. sec. 23. Retrieved
* ^ "30 settlements planned for Negev and Galilee". 2003-08-08.
* ^ Ofer Petersburg (December 12, 2007). "
Jewish population in
Ynet . Archived from the original on December 9,
2012. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
* ^ "Haredim \'taking over\' periphery -
Ynetnews". ynetnews.com. Retrieved 2015-05-18.
* ^ Daniel Estrin, Canadian Press (April 15, 2011). "
hiking trail in
Galilee for Christian pilgrims".
Yahoo! News .
Archived from the original on 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2011-05-16.
* ^ "Acco Festival". accofestival.co.il. Retrieved 2015-05-18.
_ This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public
domain : Easton, Matthew George (1897). "Galilee". Easton\'s Bible
Dictionary _ (New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons.
* Aviam, M., "Galilee: The Hellenistic to Byzantine Periods," in
_The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land_,
vol. 2 (4 vols) (Jerusalem: IES / Carta), 1993, 452–458.
* Meyers, Eric M. (ed), _
Galilee through the Centuries: Confluence
of Cultures_ (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1999) (Duke Judaic Studies
* Chancey, A. M., _Myth of a Gentile Galilee: The Population of
New Testament Studies_ (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 2002) (Society of
New Testament Monograph Series 118).
* Aviam, M., "First-century
Jewish Galilee: An archaeological
perspective," in Edwards, D.R. (ed.), _Religion and Society in Roman
Palestine: Old Questions, New Approaches_ (New York / London:
Routledge, 2004), 7–27.
* Aviam, M., _Jews, Pagans and Christians in the Galilee_ (Rochester
NY: University of Rochester Press, 2004) (Land of
* Chancey, Mark A., _Greco-Roman Culture and the
Galilee of Jesus_
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006) (Society for New
Testament Studies Monograph Series, 134).
* Freyne, Sean, "
Judea in the First Century," in
Margaret M. Mitchell and Frances M. Young (eds), _Cambridge History of
Christianity. Vol. 1. Origins to Constantine_ (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 2006) (Cambridge History of Christianity), 163-194.
* Zangenberg, Jürgen, Harold W. Attridge and Dale B. Martin (eds),
_Religion, Ethnicity and Identity in Ancient Galilee: A Region in
Transition_ (Tübingen, Mohr Siebeck, 2007) (Wissenschaftliche
Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, 210).
David A., "Population, Architecture, and Economy in Lower
Galilean Villages and Towns in the First Century AD: A Brief Survey,"
in John D. Wineland, Mark Ziese, James Riley Estep Jr. (eds), _My
Father's World: Celebrating the Life of Reuben G. Bullard_ (Eugene
(OR), Wipf electronically published on jerusalemperspective.com.
Northern District of
* Beit She\'an
* Basmat Tab\'un
* Bu\'eine Nujeidat
Kaukab Abu al-Hija
* Yesud HaMa\'ala
* Beit She\'an
* Bustan al-Marj
* Northern Jordan
Valley (Emek HaYarden)
* Ma\'ale Yosef
* Mateh Asher
* Merom HaGalil
* Mevo\'ot HaHermon
Coordinates : 32°45′36″N 35°31′37″E / 32.7600°N
35.5270°E / 32.7600; 35.5270 Retrieved from
Galilee additional terms
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