Galilee

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Galilee (Hebrew: הגלילHaGalil, lit: the province, Ancient Greek: Γαλιλαία, Latin: Galileia, Arabic: الجليلal-Jalīl), is a large region in northern Israel which overlaps with much of the administrative North District of the country. Traditionally divided into Upper Galilee (Hebrew: גליל עליוןGalil Elyon), Lower Galilee (Hebrew: גליל תחתוןGalil Tahton), and Western Galilee (Hebrew: גליל מערביGalil Ma'aravi), extending from Dan to the north, at the base of Mount Hermon, along Mount Lebanon to the ridges of Mount Carmel and Mount Gilboa to the south, and from the Jordan Rift Valley to the east across the plains of the Jezreel Valley and Acre to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and the Coastal Plain in the west.

Most of Galilee consists of rocky terrain, at heights of between 500 and 700 meters. There are several high mountains including Mount Tabor and Mount Meron in the region, which have relatively low temperatures and high rainfall. As a result of this climate, flora and wildlife thrive in the region, while many birds annually migrate from colder climates to Africa and back through the Hula–Jordan corridor. The streams and waterfalls, the latter mainly in Upper Galilee, along with vast fields of greenery and colorful wildflowers, as well as numerous towns of biblical importance, make the region a popular tourist destination.

Due to its high rainfall (900–1200 mm), mild temperatures and high mountains (Mount Meron's elevation is 1,000–1,208 meters), the upper Galilee region contains some unique flora and fauna : prickly juniper (Juniperus oxycedrus), Lebanese cedar (Cedrus libani), which grows in a small grove on Mount Meron, cyclamens, paeonias and Rhododendron ponticum which sometimes appears on Meron.

Contents

History

According to the Bible, Solomon rewarded Hiram I for certain services by giving him the gift of an upland plain among the mountains of Naphtali. Hiram called it "the land of Cabul". In Isaiah (8:23/9:1),[1] the region is referred to as "the District of the Nations" (גְּלִיל - הַגּוׁיִם; lit:Glil HaGoyim), with much of this name being retained in its present name of Galil or HaGalil. According to one view, during the Hasmonean period, with the revolt of the Maccabees and the decline of the Seleucid Empire, Galilee was conquered by the newly independent state of Judaea, and the region was resettled by Jews. However, according to another view there were not particularly large-scale population movements during this period, Galilee became Jewish because its population decided to recognize the authority of the Jerusalem temple rather than the Samaritan temple.

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