King Solomon, as a reward to King Hiram of Tyre for providing trees and other goods and services for Israel's building projects, gave him the gift of an upland plain among the mountains of Naphtali (see 2Samuel 5:11, 1Chronicles 14:1, 1Kings 5:1-11, 9:10-13). Hiram was dissatisfied with the gift, and called it "the land of Cabul" (1Kings 9:13) which means "land of dissatisfaction" or "land that is good for nothing." The Jews called it GALIL. Solomon rebuilt the cities in this area after Hiram gave him back the land (2Chronicles 8:2). It continued long to be occupied by the original inhabitants, and hence came to be called "Galilee of the Gentiles" (Matthew 4:15).
At the time of Christ Galilee embraced more than one-third of Western Palestine. The land of Palestine itself was divided into three provinces, Judea, Samaria, and Galilee (see Acts 9:31) with Galilee being the largest of the three. In New Testament times this area included cities such as Jezreel, Megiddo, Endor, Nain, Nazareth, Cana, Hazor, Tiberias and Capernaum. Geological features include the plain of Jezreel (known as the great battlefield of Palestine), the Mount of Megiddo (from where the term Armageddon is derived), and Mt. Tabor.
The region of Galilee was the focal point of many events and teachings in Jesus' ministry. Out of thirty-two beautiful parables no less than nineteen were spoken in this area. Twenty-five out of Jesus' thirty-three great miracles were wrought in this province. Jesus' first public miracle was at the wedding in Cana, as well as his last one performed on the Galilean shore after his resurrection. It was from Galilee that Jesus gave his well-known message called "The Sermon on the Mount." (Matthew 5-7; Luke 6:20-49).