From the writings of the first century Roman-Jewish historian Jospehus:

"The country also that lies over against this lake hath the same name of Gennesareth; its nature is wonderful as well as its beauty; its soil is so fruitful that all sorts of trees can grow upon it, and the inhabitants accordingly plant all sorts of trees there; for the temper of the air is so well mixed, that it agrees very well with those several sorts, particularly walnuts, which require the coldest air, flourish there in vast plenty; there are palm-trees also, which grow best in hot air; fig-trees also and olives grow near them, which yet require an air that is more temperate. One may call this place the ambition of nature, where it forces those plants that are naturally enemies of one another to agree together; it is a happy contention of the seasons as if every one of them laid claim to this country; for it not only nourishes different sorts of autumnal fruit beyond men's expectation, but preserves them a great while; it supplies men with the principal fruits, with grapes and figs continually, during ten months in the year and the rest of the fruits as they become ripe together, through the whole year; for besides the the good temperature of the air, it is also watered from a most fertile fountain that the people call Capharnaum."

Paraphrased: "...the banks of this lake that bear the same name (Gennesareth) extend for some 30 furlongs long by 20 furlongs long (3.75 miles X 2.5 miles)."

This description by Roman-Jewish first century author is important to the student of Biblical geography as it provides a description of Capharnaum/Capernaum as a town with its western boundary as far as the Heptagon springs of Tabgha one of the sources of Lake Tiberius/Sea of Galilee's water. It also provides a description of first century plantings on this plain that is about 700 feet below sea level at the lake shore. The climate is sub-tropical there. Some scholars indicated Gennesareth may have been a corrupted pronunciation of Chennereth. The Hebrews called the Sea of Galilee Yam Chennereth. The word yam is used for both lake an sea. The word chennereth means harp as the lake appeared to be harp shaped to them. 

Today there are mangoes, olives, bananas, citrus, avocados, grain, vegetables and palms growing on the plain of Gennesareth. Near sea level along the road to Arbel National Park, directly above the fertile plain, they grow olives, grain and peaches or nectarines.

World English Bible (WEB) Public Domain:

Proverbs 20:4
The sluggard will not plow by reason of the winter;
therefore he shall beg in harvest, and have nothing.

Luke 3:9
Even now the ax also lies at the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire (John the Baptist).

Amos 9:13
“Behold, the days come,” says Yahweh, “that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the one treading grapes him who sows seed; and sweet wine will drip from the mountains, and flow from the hills.

Micah 4:3
and he will judge between many peoples,
and will decide concerning strong nations afar off.
They will beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not lift up sword against nation,
neither will they learn war any more.

Luke 9:62
Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Jeremiah 31:12
They shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow to the goodness of Yahweh, to the grain, and to the new wine, and to the oil, and to the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus testified that God sends rains on both the fields of the righteous and the fields of the unjust.

Matthew 5:43:  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you only greet your friends, what more do you do than others? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

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Written by David Q. Hall






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