Province of Galilee
GALILEE, located in northern Palestine, was a prosperous and well populated province in Bible times. To this day its geographic features are inviting—the deep blue Sea of Galilee, the rugged northern terrain, and the fertile plains. Here in this picturesque region, Jesus spent most of his earthly life, being raised in the Galilean city of Nazareth.—Mt 2:21-23; Lu 2:51, 52.
Farming, sheepherding, and fishing were common occupations among the Galileans, and this is reflected in many of Jesus’ parables. A hardworking, industrious people, the common Galileans were looked down upon by the Pharisees and chief priests at Jerusalem. Their distinct accent made the Galileans easily recognizable to their fellow Jews.—Mt 26:73.
Galilee was the scene of some of the outstanding events of Jesus’ ministry. On a mountainside near Capernaum, Jesus gave his famous Sermon on the Mount. (Mt 5:1, 2) Here in Galilee, he miraculously healed many persons.—Mr 1:32-34; 6:53-56; Joh 4:46-54.
How were Jesus’ preaching and miracles received in Galilee? When he preached in his hometown, Nazareth, the people at first ‘marveled at the winsome words proceeding out of his mouth.’ But after Jesus compared them to the Israelites in the days of Elijah and Elisha, they sought to kill him. (Lu 4:22-30) The Galileans in general, though, were very responsive to Jesus’ ministry. Thus, it was from Galileans that his early disciples were drawn, and all of his apostles (with the possible exception of Judas Iscariot) were Galilean. (Mt 4:18-22; Lu 6:12-16) The crowd of about 120 disciples that received the holy spirit on the day of Pentecost 33 C.E. were Galileans.—Ac 1:15; 2:1-7.