In ancient and modern times, the most northerly district of Israel west of the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee. Galilee is about sixty miles (ninety-seven kilometers) long by thirty miles (forty-eight kilometers) wide. Anciently, it contained some of the best land and the busiest towns of Israel. Important highways leading to Damascus, Egypt, and eastern Israel passed through Galilee. Its excellent climate and fertile soil produced large crops of olives, wheat, barley, and grapes. Fisheries by the Sea of Galilee provided a large export trade and were a great source of wealth. The Savior spent much of His time in Galilee.
The Sea of Galilee is located in northern Israel. It was also called the Sea of Chinnereth in the Old Testament and the Lake of Gennesaret or Tiberias in the New Testament. Jesus taught several sermons there (Matt. 13:2). The sea is pear-shaped, 12.5 miles (20 kilometers) long and 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) wide at its greatest width. It lies 680 feet (207 meters) below sea level, which often causes the surrounding air to be quite hot. Cold air rushing down from the hills and meeting the hot air above the water often produces sudden storms (Luke 8:22–24).