People Around the Sea Galilee was heavily populated in the first century, especially around the sea. The remains of the area indicate that several villages and towns had populations of more than 5,000 people. Perhaps that is one of the reasons Jesus chose this location for His ministry. Although the people living around the sea interacted to some degree, they tended to form groups. Each group had unique characteristics and lifestyles, which differed greatly from region to region. Jesus often tailored his teachings so that they would be meaningful to the people of the area he was in. At Jesus’ time, the people around the sea were generally divided into four groups: – Religious Jews lived on the northwestern side of the sea, where the cities of Capernaum, Korazin, and Bethsaida were located. – Zealots lived primarily in the town of Gamla, on the northeastern corner of the sea. – Herodions lived on the western side of the sea, in the land of Tiberias. – Pagans lived on the eastern side, in the region known as the Decapolis.


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