The northern part of Palestine. A smallish area—72 km. (45 miles) long—on the west of the Golan Heights and south and east of Lebanon, first occurring in the OT in Josh. 20: 7 and called by Isaiah (9: 1) a land of foreigners. It saw various fortunes after the settlement of several Israelite tribes in the 12th cent. BCE, which David consolidated. However, twenty Galilean towns were handed over by Solomon to Hiram of Tyre in exchange for timber and gold (1 Kgs. 9: 11). There were invasions by Egypt in 924 BCE and Assyria in 853 BCE and thirteen cities were captured in 732 BCE (2 Kgs. 15: 29). As an Assyrian province the country became part of Samaria. It returned to Judah under the Maccabeans but was later absorbed into the Roman Empire by Pompey in 63 BCE. Herod the Great was given Galilee as part of his kingdom (40–4 BCE) and on his death it was joined to Perea as the tetrarchy of Herod Antipas (to 39 CE). Nazareth and Capernaum, where Jesus preached and taught (Matt. 4: 15; Luke 4: 31), are in Galilee and the inhabitants spoke with a northern accent (Matt. 26: 73). It was a very fertile, agricultural region, and it exported olive oil to many areas of the Jewish diaspora which lacked this important commodity, and was economically self-sufficient. Its people were regarded as ‘uppity’ by Judeans (John 1: 46) and rebellious by the Romans (Acts 5: 37). Matt. 4: 12–13 refers to it as the land of Zebulun and Naphtali but the tribal dispositions had by NT times only antiquarian interest. More important is the description ‘Galilee of the Gentiles’ (Matt. 4: 15), for many Gentiles were settled in the region: Matthew thus foreshadows the Church's future mission to the Gentiles. During the Jewish war of 66–70 CE Josephus was the general in charge of Jewish forces in Galilee. He was taken prisoner by the advancing Romans.