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Thursday, January 18 2018

Galilee: Life In The Circle

"The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; 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"

"Galilee" is the English-language rendering of the Hebrew words, pronounced gaw-leel and gaw-lee-law, that were used to refer to a region or district in general, but came to be applied specifically for the now-famous northern section of the land of Israel. The words literally mean a circle.

There are many possible explanations for why the name was chosen. It could have been simply because most defined areas in ancient times were unlikely to be square or rectangular, so circular was a more-exact description. But why then was the term applied to that particular area?

It could be because the geography of the area, with the mountains of Lebanon to the north, the plains of "Armageddon" to the south, and major bodies of water to the west and east made it into a roughly circular geographic area. Another possibility is that the area could have been named after the roughly circular shape of the Sea of Galilee (which is actually a freshwater lake).

Galilee The term Galilee was first recorded in the Scriptures relatively early, in the time of Joshua, when it was already firmly known by that name (see also Joshua 20: Cities Of Justice).

"20:7 And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Kirjatharba, which is Hebron, in the mountain of Judah." (Joshua 20:7 KJV)

Joseph (pronounced yoo-sef - there is no "J" sound in Hebrew e.g. "Jerusalem" is pronounced yer-roo-shaw-lay-im)) and Mary (in Hebrew, Miriam - the same name as Moses' sister) were established residents of Galilee when they were chosen by the LORD to become the parents of the Messiah. Their ancestry was nevertheless from Judea, so when Augustus (see The Roman Emperors: Augustus) declared that famous census, they made the journey from Galilee (see also The King Who Was Born In A Barn).

"2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2:2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 2:3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 2:5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 2:6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son [see Does Rome Have Christ's Birth Certificate?], and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." (Luke 2:1-7 KJV)

It is highly unlikely that Joseph and Mary expected to be away from Galilee for years, rather than a week or two. Nevertheless, in due time they returned - two of them had left, but three of them returned: "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."

"2:19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in 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.

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)

Even when the Messiah left the wooded hill country of Nazareth (see Hometowns: Nazareth), He remained in Galilee with His move to the lakeshore town of Capernaum (see Hometowns: Capernaum; see also Hometowns: Magdala and Hometowns: Bethsaida).

"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." (Matthew 4:13-17 KJV)

Fact Finder: How did the Messiah's lifetime in Galilee shape His life and Ministry?
See The Early Days Of The Galilee Ministry and The Kinsfolk Of Jesus Of Nazareth

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This Day In History, January 18

350: Generallus Magnentius deposed Roman Emperor Constans and proclaimed himself Emperor (see The Politics Of Rome and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars; also Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

1126: Emperor Huizong abdicated the throne of China in favour of his son Qinzong. The Chinese painting below was done in that same century (see also The First Chinese American War).

Ancient China

1486: Henry VII of England married Elizabeth, daughter of Edward IV, uniting the houses of Lancaster and York.

York England

1535: Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded Lima, the present-day capital of Peru.

1670: Welsh privateer Henry Morgan captured Panama. Morgan's checkered career included years as a pirate and as an Admiral of the England's Royal Navy.


1701: Frederick III, the elector of Brandenburg, became the king of Prussia.

1778: English explorer James Cook discovered the Hawaiian Islands. They were initially called the Sandwich Islands, after the First Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Sandwich.

Captain James Cook

1871: The proclamation of the Second German Reich (empire). Otto von Bismarck named King Wilhelm I of Prussia as German emperor ("Deutscher Kaiser", meaning German Caesar; see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation) in The Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, near Paris. North and south Germany were united. Bismarck consolidated Germany under the (Protestant) Prussian Hohenzollerns, assumed the office of Reich Chancellor and was made a prince. The Second Reich lasted for 47 years, until the end of the First World War in 1918. Adolf Hitler called his regime the Third Reich (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion and The Terrorist Attack That Enabled Hitler To Become A Dictator).

Otto von Bismarck

1886: Hockey ("Field Hockey") was established with the formation of The Hockey Association in England. Ice hockey in its modern-day form is regarded by most historians to have been invented by British soldiers and immigrants to Canada around the same time (the "National" in the National Hockey League originally meant Canada, in which all of the first teams were located).

1919: Two months after the First World War (1914-1918; see also The Assassination That Triggered Two World Wars) ended, the Versailles Peace Conference opened in Paris with Prime Minister David Lloyd-George of Britain, President Woodrow Wilson of the U.S. (the U.S. entered the 1914-1918 war only during the last 18 months from April 1917, after the greatest battles had been fought) and Prime Minister George Clemencea of France. Kaiser Wilhelm had abdicated and departed for exile in Netherlands where the Dutch refused to extradite him for trial as a promoter of the war. The Weimar Republic was established.

1944: During the Second World War (1939-1945), Soviet forces liberated Leningrad, thereby ending a three-year Nazi "Siege of Leningrad" (see Russia Or Europe - Who Has Been The Invader?).

1967: Albert DeSalvo, the "Boston Strangler," was convicted of numerous crimes and is sentenced to life imprisonment.

1974: Israel and Egypt signed peace agreements to officially end the Yom Kippur War which had began on the previous October 6 (see also Israel's Wars In The Twentieth Century).

1977: Medical researchers identified a previously-unknown bacteria as the cause of "Legionnaires' disease" (see also Leviticus 13: Bacteria).

1995: The European Parliament endorsed the new 20-strong European Commission, marking the Strasbourg-based assembly's political birth.

2000: The Tagish Lake meteorite impacted the Earth in northern Canada. It was estimated to have been 4 meters in diameter and weighed 56 tons when it entered the atmosphere and exploded. Over 500 fragments have been found.

2005: The Airbus A380, the world's largest commercial airliner, was unveiled at a ceremony in Toulouse, France. The full-length double-deck airliner has a capacity of up to 853 passengers.

Airbus A380


Copyright © Wayne Blank