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Monday, May 28 2012

The Cities Of Lake Galilee

At the time of the first coming of the Messiah (see A History Of Jerusalem: The Coming Of The Messiah), the Roman-occupied (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars and The Boundary Law) land of Israel was divided into three military/political zones: Judea, in the southernmost area, where Jerusalem and Bethlehem are located, Samaria, in the central area, and Galilee, as the northernmost area. Within Galilee is the famous "Valley of Armageddon" which is visible from the hills of Nazareth, where the Messiah lived most of His human lifetime.


"2:19 But when Herod [see A History Of Jerusalem: The Herodian Dynasty and Whatever Happened To Those Romans?] was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt [see The Flight Into Egypt], 2:20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life [see also Jesus And John: Similarities And Differences].

2:21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. 2:22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: 2:23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene." (Matthew 2:19-23 KJV)

Also in Galilee is the Sea of Galilee, which is actually a freshwater lake, from which the Jordan River flows southward.

"8:22 Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship [see The Ships Of Galilee] with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. 8:23 But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.

8:24 And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish.

Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. 8:25 And he said unto them, Where is your faith?

And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him. 8:26 And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee." (Luke 8:22-26 KJV)

While the Messiah would have visited the freshwater Sea of Galilee, to the east of Nazareth, and the seawater Mediterranean Sea, to the west of Nazareth, He lived most of His life inland, in the hill country of Nazareth. It was only when His Ministry began that He was forced to leave Nazareth by those who responded violently to the Truth that He taught. From inland Nazareth He moved to Capernaum, on the north shore of the Lake of Galilee.

The Messiah was driven away from Nazareth right after "the temptation of Christ" in which Satan failed to do, to Jesus of Nazareth, what he had done to the first humans in the Garden of Eden (see The Church In The Garden).


"4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 4:2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.

4:3 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.

4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God [see Nisan 14: The Messiah's Manna and What Does Word of God Mean To You?].

4:5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 4:6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it [see Satan's Fall: From Conservative To Liberal and Who's Hiding On Your Wall?]. 4:7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.

4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

4:9 And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple [see also The Holy Place In History And Prophecy], and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: 4:10 For it is written,

He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: 4:11 And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

4:12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

4:13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

4:14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. 4:15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all." (Luke 4:1-15 KJV)

It was the hill upon which Nazareth is located, that provides the view of the Valley of Armageddon, that the people of the town used to drive the Messiah away i.e. they "led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong."


"4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day [see Why Observe The True Sabbath?], and stood up for to read. 4:17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

"4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 4:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

4:20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 4:21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

4:22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?

4:23 And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.

4:24 And he said, Verily, I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. 4:25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; 4:26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. 4:27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.

4:28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 4:29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. 4:30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way,

4:31 And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days. 4:32 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power." (Luke 4:16-32 KJV)

"He went into a ship with His disciples: and He said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake"

From that time on, the Messiah lived near the "sea," the lake where fishermen were found.

The Ruins Of Capernaum

"4:13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: 4:14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,

4:15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; 4:16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

4:18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 4:20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

4:21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. 4:22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him." (Matthew 4:13-22 KJV)

Capernaum remained as the Messiah's Galilee home for the rest of His human lifetime. Did that make it a "blessed place"? It certainly could have, if they hadn't repeated what Nazareth had done. While they apparently didn't violently drive Him away, as happened at Nazareth, their refusal to heed His miraculous presence resulted in a condemnation from Him - the immediate results of which are seen in the ruins of Capernaum.

"11:23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

11:24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee." (Matthew 11:23 KJV)

As the Messiah journeyed, either around the lake, or down to Jerusalem, He encountered other towns on the shore of the lake. One of the most famous is Magdala, the home town of Mary of Magdala - the woman who became the first human witness of the resurrection of the Son of God.

Magdala was the town where the Messiah went after His miraculous feeding of a great multitude i.e. He "took ship, and came into the coasts of Magdala."


"15:32 Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.

15:33 And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?

15:34 And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye?

And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes.

15:35 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. 15:36 And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. 15:37 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full. 15:38 And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children. 15:39 And he sent away the multitude, and took ship, and came into the coasts of Magdala." (Matthew 15:32-39 KJV)

Mary of Magdala was among those who witnessed the Sacrifice of the Lamb of God (most of the other women were family of Jesus: His mother Mary, and His aunt, Salome, who was the sister of His mother Mary and the mother of the apostle John i.e. John watched the Crucifixion standing next to his mother Salome and his aunt Mary; see Aunt Mary?).

"15:40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; 15:41 (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.

15:42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath [see The Two Sabbaths Of Passover Week], 15:43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus." (Mark 15:40-43 KJV)

Mary of Magdala, who had been with the Messiah since "he was in Galilee," became the first human to see and speak with the risen Messiah.

Mary Of Magdala

"20:1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark [i.e. there was no "sunrise resurrection" - the Tomb was already empty, when they discovered it already empty, because the Resurrection actually occurred just before sunset on the previous afternoon; see Why Observe The True Sabbath?], unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. 20:2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

20:3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. 20:4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. 20:5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. 20:6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, 20:7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. 20:8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. 20:9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

20:10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. 20:11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, 20:12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

20:13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou?

She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. 20:14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.

20:15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?

She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

20:16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

20:18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her." (John 20:1-18 KJV)

Tiberias was another city that the Messiah would have travelled through, most particularly on His journeys to Jerusalem. The Romans had renamed the ancient city there as Tiberias, after the Roman Emperor Tiberius. As such, the Sea of Galilee itself was sometimes alluded to as "the sea of Tiberias." As with the other towns along the shore of the lake, Tiberias was the scene of a number of the Messiah's miracles and teachings.


"6:1 After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. 6:2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. 6:3 And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. 6:4 And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.

6:5 When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? 6:6 And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.

6:7 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.

6:8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, 6:9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?

6:10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 6:11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.

6:12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. 6:13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.

6:14 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.

6:15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone. 6:16 And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, 6:17 And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. 6:18 And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. 6:19 So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. 6:20 But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. 6:21 Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.

6:22 The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone; 6:23 (Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:) 6:24 When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus.

6:25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?

6:26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (John 6:1-29 KJV)

Fact Finder: What prophecy, involving a "great fish," did the Messiah say was the only sign that He was the Messiah?
See The Joppa Lessons Of Jonah And Peter

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This Day In History, May 28

585 BC: The "Battle of the Eclipse" outside of Sardis in western Turkey; the sight of a solar eclipse, as predicted by the Greek scientist Thales, caused a truce to be called between Alyattes and Cyaxares (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids).

1156: William of Sicily put down a revolt against his rule, defeating the Byzantine fleet at Brindisi.

1503: James IV of Scotland married Margaret Tudor according to a Papal Bull ("bulletin") issued by Pope Alexander VI.

1533: Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury (who had been appointed to the position after being the Boleyn family's pastor), declared the marriage of King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn to be valid, contrary to the decree of Pope Clement VII.

1859: The bell known as "Big Ben" was transported on a carriage, pulled by 16 horses, from the Whitechapel Bell Foundry to Westminster.

1588: In an attempt to return England to Papal authority, the Spanish Armada, with 130 ships and 30,000 troops, left Lisbon (the Armada was destroyed at sea by the Royal Navy).

1898: In Italy, The Shroud of Turin was first photographed in Turin's Cathedral, where it had been housed for 320 years.

1934: The Dionne quintuplets (Cecile, Annette, Yvonne, Emilie, Marie) were born in Callender, Ontario. They became the first quintuplets to survive infancy.

1940: The evacuation of the Allied armies from Dunkirk began. By its completion on the night of June 2, a total of 224,585 British and 112,546 French and Belgian troops had been saved from death or capture. In a speech directed at Adolf Hitler, warning of the bloody mauling that a German invasion force would face if it crossed the Channel, Prime Minister Winston Churchill said in Parliament "we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender"

1948: During the Israel War of Independence, the Jews surrendered the "Old City" of Jerusalem to King Abdullah's Arab Legion (see A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace).

1972: The Watergate burglary: White House "plumbers" (a team of political "operatives" established by Richard Nixon to stop information "leaks" from within his regime) broke into Democratic National Headquarters.

1972: The Duke of Windsor, who had abdicated the English throne to marry the divorced U.S. "socialite" Wallis Warfield Simpson, died in Paris.

1982: Pope John Paul II arrived in Britain on the first visit there by a Pope since 1531.

1995: A magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck the Russian town of Neftegorsk, killing 2,000 people.

1998: In response to nuclear weapons testing by India, Pakistan conducted a series of nuclear detonations of its own.

2004: Foreign occupation forces in Iraq "approved" the "democratic choice" of Ayad Allawi as Prime Minister of Iraq.


Copyright © Wayne Blank