Galilee (Hebrew: הגליל HaGalil, lit: the province, Ancient Greek: Γαλιλαία, Latin: Galileia, Arabic: الجليل al-Jalīl), is a large region in northern Israel which overlaps with much of the administrative North District of the country. Traditionally divided into Upper Galilee (Hebrew: גליל עליון Galil Elyon), Lower Galilee (Hebrew: גליל תחתון Galil Tahton), and Western Galilee (Hebrew: גליל מערבי Galil Ma'aravi), extending from Dan to the north, at the base of Mount Hermon, along Mount Lebanon to the ridges of Mount Carmel and Mount Gilboa to the south, and from the Jordan Rift Valley to 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.
Most of Galilee consists of rocky terrain, at heights of between 500 and 700 metres. There are several high mountains including Mount Tabor and Mount Meron in the region, 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 metres), the upper Galilee region contains some unique flora and fauna: prickly juniper (Juniperus oxycedrus), Lebanese cedar (Cedrus libani), which grows in a small grove on Mount Meron, cyclamens, paeonias and Rhododendron ponticum which sometimes appears on Meron.
According to the Bible, Solomon rewarded Hiram I for certain services by giving him the gift of an upland plain among the mountains of Naphtali. Hiram called it "the land of Cabul". The region takes its name from the Hebrew galil, "district", "circle", a noun which, in the construct state, requires a genitival noun. Hence the Biblical "Galilee of the Nations", Hebrew"galil goyim"(Isaiah 9:1). The "nations" would have been the foreigners who came to settle there, or who had been forcibly deported there. The region in turn gave the English name "Sea of Galilee" to the Kinneret (Numbers 34:11, etc.), from Hebrew kinnor, "harp", describing its shape, Lake of Gennesaret (Luke 5:1, etc.), from Ginosar (Hebrew) ge", valley", and either netser, "branch", or natsor, "to guard", "to watch" (the name which may have given that of Nazareth, and Sea of Tiberias (John 6:1, etc.), from the town of Tiberias at its southwestern end; named for the first century A.D. emperor Tiberias.
In Roman times, the country was divided into Judea, Samaria, and Galilee, which comprised the whole northern section of the country, and was the largest of the three regions. Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great, ruled Galilee as tetrarch.
The Galilee region was presumably the home of Jesus during at least 30 years of his life. The first three Gospels of the New Testament are mainly an account of Jesus' public ministry in this province, particularly in the towns of Nazareth and Capernaum. Galilee is also cited as the place where Jesus cured a blind man.
After the Arab caliphate took control of the region in 638, it became part of Jund al-Urrdun (District of Jordan). Its major towns were Tiberias — which was capital of the district—Qadas, 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, centred in and to north of, Galilee. Eastern Galilee, however, retained a Jewish majority for most of its history. During the Crusades, Galilee was organized into the Principality of Galilee, one of the most important Crusader seigneuries.
The 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 Jewish learning. Today it remains one of Judaism's four holy cities and a center for kabbalah.
In the mid 18th century, Galilee was caught up in a struggle between the Bedouin leader Dhaher al-Omar and the Ottoman authorities who were centred in Damascus. Al-Omar ruled Galilee for 25 years until Ottoman loyalist Jezzar Pasha conquered the region in 1775.
In 1831 the Galilee, a part of Ottoman Syria, switched hands from Ottomans to Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt until 1840. During this period aggressive social and politic policies were introduced, which led to a violent 1834 Arab revolt. In the process of this revolt the Jewish community of Sefad was greatly reduced, in an event of Sefad Plunder by the rebels. The Arab rebels were subsequently defeated by the Egyptian troops, though in 1838 the Druze of Galilee led another uprising. In 1834 and 1837 major earthquakes leveled most of the towns, resulting in great loss of life.
20th and 21st Century
In the early 20th century, Galilee was inhabited by Arab Christians, Arab Muslims, Druze and Jews, whilst the Ottomans also settled minorities from elsewhere in their empire including Circassians and Bosniaks. Two Circassian villages exist in the Galilee region today. The Jewish population was increased significantly by Zionist immigration.
After the 1948 Arab–Israeli war nearly the whole of Galilee came under Israel's control. A large portion of the population fled or were forced to leave, leaving dozens of entire villages empty; however, a large Israeli Arab community remained based in and near the cities of Nazareth, Acre, Tamra, Sakhnin and Shefa-'Amr, due to some extent to a successful rapprochement with the Druze. The kibbutzim around the Sea of Galilee were sometimes shelled by the Syrian army's artillery until Israel seized the Golan Heights in the 1967 Six-Day War.
During the 1970s and the early 1980s, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) launched several attacks on towns of the Upper and Western Galilee from Lebanon. Israel initiated 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 Southern Lebanon until 1985 when it withdrew to a narrow security buffer zone.
Until the year 2000, 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 UN. However, clashes between Hezbollah and Israel continued along the border, and UN observers condemned both for their attacks.
The 2006 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.
Because of its hilly terrain, most of the settlements in the Galilee are small villages connected by relatively few roads. A railroad runs south from Nahariya along the Mediterranean coast. The main sources of livelihood throughout the area are in the fields of 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, with a particularly large Druze population. The central portion of the Galilee also known as the "Heart of the Galilee" stretching from the border with Lebanon to the northern edge of the Jezreel Valley including the cities of Nazareth, Sakhnin, Shaghur, Tamra and Kafr Kanna has an Arab population of 75% with most of the Jewish population living in small hilltop towns, and cities like Karmiel, and Ma'alot. Meanwhile the eastern Galilee including the Finger of the Galilee, the Jordan River Valley, and the Region around the Sea of Galilee are nearly 100% Jewish. The Southern part of the Galilee; including Jezreel Valley, and the Gilboa region are also nearly 100% Jewish with only a few small Arab villages near the West Bank border. At the same time about 80% of the population of the Western Galilee is Jewish. The region directly under the Lebanese Border, especially in the Northwest is largely Jewish as well. The Jewish Agency has attempted to increase the Jewish population in this area, but the non-Jewish population continues to grow. In 2006, out of the 1.2 million residents in the Galilee area some 53.1% were of various minorities, while only 46.9% were Jewish.
Galilee is a popular destination for domestic and foreign tourists who enjoy its scenery, 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 his 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 more.
On April 2011, Israel unveiled the "Jesus Trail", a 40 mile (60-kilometre) 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 ends at Capernaum on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus espoused his teachings.
Many kibbutzim and moshav families operate Zimmers (German: "room", the local term for a B&B). 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.
Galilee is often divided into the following sub-regions:
- Western Galilee, also known the "Northern Coastal Plain", stretches from north of Haifa up to Rosh HaNikra on the Israel-Lebanon border.
- Lower Galilee covers the area from Mount Carmel and Mount Gilboa in the south to the Beit HaKerem Valley in the north. Its eastern border is the Jordan River.
- Upper Galilee extends from the Beit HaKerem Valley northwards into southern Lebanon. Its eastern border is the Sea of Galilee and the mountains of the Golan Heights. The "Finger of Galilee" (Hebrew: אצבע הגליל, Etzba HaGalil) is a panhandle along the Hulah Valley; it contains the towns Metulla and Qiryat Shemona and the rivers of Dan and Banias; also the Arab village of Cana.
- ^ Room, Adrian, 2nd Ed.(2006)) "" p.138.
- ^ Le Strange, Guy. (1890)) Palestine Under the Moslems pp.30-32.
- ^ Safed/Tsfat
- ^ Matthew Krieger (November 19, 2007). "Gov't expected to join financing of huge northern development project". The Jerusalem Post. http://fr.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1195127516602&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull. Retrieved 2007-11-20.
- ^ "30 settlements planned for Negev and Galilee". 2003-08-08. http://www.jewishsf.com/content/2-0-/module/displaystory/story_id/20778/edition_id/426/format/html/displaystory.html. Retrieved 2008-01-19.
- ^ Ofer Petersburg (December 12, 2007). "Jewish population in Galilee declining". Ynet. http://www.ynet.co.il/english/articles/0,7340,L-3481768,00.html. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
- ^ Daniel Estrin, Canadian Press (April 15, 2011). "Israel unveils hiking trail in Galilee for Christian pilgrims". Yahoo! News. http://ca.news.yahoo.com/israel-unveils-hiking-trail-galilee-christian-pilgrims-20110415-093756-814.html. Retrieved 2011-05-16.
- ^ Acco Festival
- This article incorporates text from Easton's Bible Dictionary (1897), a publication now in the public domain.
- 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 1).
- Chancey, A. M., Myth of a Gentile Galilee: The Population of Galilee and 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 Galilee 1).
- 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, "Galilee and 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).
- Fiensy, 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 & Stock, 2011), 101-119.
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GALILEE — (Heb. הַגָּלִיל, Ha Galil), the northernmost region of Ereẓ Israel. Name The name Galilee is derived from the Hebrew galil which comes from the root גלל ( to roll ), and thus means a circle. It appears in the Bible in the combination Gelil ha… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
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Galilee — • The native land of Jesus Christ, where He began His ministry and performed many of His works, and whence He drew His Apostles Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Galilee Galilee … Catholic encyclopedia
Galilee — Galilée Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Galilée est le nom francisé du savant italien Galileo Galilei. La Galilée est une région du Moyen Orient. Sciences Les termes suivants doivent… … Wikipédia en Français
Galilee — ist der Name verschiedener Ortschaften in den Vereinigten Staaten: Galilee (Arkansas), eine Ortschaft im Crittenden County, im US Bundesstaat Arkansas Galilee (New Jersey), eine Ortschaft im Monmouth County, im US Bundesstaat New Jersey Galilee… … Deutsch Wikipedia
galilee — [gal′ə lē΄] n. [ME galilie < ML galilaea < L Galilaea, Galilee: ? because, being at the less sacred western end, it was compared with the scriptural “Galilee of the Gentiles”] a porch or chapel at the western entrance of certain medieval… … English World dictionary
Galilee — Gal i*lee, n. [Supposed to have been so termed in allusion to the scriptural Galilee of the Gentiles. cf. OF. galil[ e]e.] (Arch.) A porch or waiting room, usually at the west end of an abbey church, where the monks collected on returning from… … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
Galilee — northernmost province of Palestine, late 12c., from L. Galilaea, Gk. Galilaia, from Heb. Haggalil, lit. The District, a compressed form of Gelil haggoyim the District of Nations (Cf. Isa. viii:23). The adj. Galilean is used both of Christ (1630s) … Etymology dictionary
Galilee — [gal′ə lē΄] [L Galilaea < Gr Galilaia < Heb hagalil < gelil ( hagoyim), lit., district (of the Gentiles)] 1. region of N Israel 2. Sea of lake in NE Israel, on the Syrian border: c. 13 mi (21 km) long … English World dictionary
galilee — /gal euh lee /, n. a porch or vestibule, often on the ground floor of a tower, at the entrance of some English churches. [1585 95; < ML galilaea porch of a church, lit., GALILEE; perh. alluding to Galilee as a country of Gentiles (as opposed to… … Universalium