Bible Meaning: A circle, circuit, district
Strong's Concordance #H1551, #G1056
The region of Galilee was composed primarily of territory given to the tribe of Naphtali as a Promised Land inheritance.
The Sea of Galilee is a synonymous reference to the Sea of Chinnereth (Numbers 34:11) or Chinneroth (Joshua 12:3), the Sea of Tiberias (John 6:1) and Lake Gennesaret (Luke 5:1).
The questionable value of the Galilee region for cultivation was known in the Old Testament. King Solomon, as a gift of gratitude toward Tyre for providing quality building materials for the temple and royal palaces, gave its king twenty cities in the region (1Kings 9:11). Tyre's king, after visiting the land, declared them "Cabul," a word meaning sterile or good for nothing (1Kings 9:12 - 13)! The cities were returned to Solomon.
Herod Antipas was given rule over Galilee and Perea after the death of his father Herod the Great in 4 B.C. His reign until 39 A.D. spanned the entire life and ministry of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ.
New Testament cities within this area include Nazareth (Luke 1:26), Nain (Luke 7:11), Cana (John 2), Chorazin (Matthew 11:21), Capernaum (Matthew 4:13), Gennesaret (Matthew 14:34), Dalmanutha (Mark 8:10) and others.
The designation "Sea of Galilee," for all its familiarity among Christians, is used only five times in the entirety of the New Testament (Matthew 4:18, 15:29, Mark 1:16, 7:31, John 6:1).
Jesus' relationship with the region, including his calling of several fishermen (Peter, Andrew, James, John), lent to the use of the Icththus (fish) symbol to represent Christians. Please see our other article on this region for more information on this fascinating area!
And out of the tribe of Naphtali, Kedesh in Galilee with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer: and Hammothdor with her suburbs, and Kartan with her suburbs: three cities.
(Now Hiram the king of Tyre had furnished Solomon with cedar trees and fir trees, and with gold, according to all his desire,) that then king Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee.
Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.
But when he (Joseph) 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.
And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men.
But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.
He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee . . .
John 2:1, 11
And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee: and the mother of Jesus was there . . . This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana . . . and manifested forth his glory: and his disciples believed on him.
Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Body of water
And the coast shall go down from Shepham to Riblah, on the east side of Ain: and the border shall descend, and shall reach unto the side of the sea of Chinnereth eastward.
And from the plain to the sea of Chinneroth on the east, and unto the sea of the plain, even the salt sea on the east, the way to Bethjeshimoth: and from the south, under Ashdothpisgah.
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.
Now it came to pass, while the multitude pressed upon him and heard the word of God, that he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret.
After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.