Daily Archives: May 15, 2010

The Cove of the Sower

A few times before I have tried to get some good photos of the cove of the sower, and wrote about it in August, 2008. Saturday I put forth some extra effort to make a good photo at the spot on the north end of the Sea of Galilee called the Cove of the Sower. Some have suggested that this would have been the place where Jesus could speak to large numbers who assembled to hear Him.

Read the full account given by Mark in 4:1-20. Here is the way it begins:

He began to teach again by the sea. And such a very large crowd gathered to Him that He got into a boat in the sea and sat down; and the whole crowd was by the sea on the land.  And He was teaching them many things in parables, and was saying to them in His teaching,  “Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow. (Mark 4:1-3)

Read the parallel accounts in Matthew 14:1-15 and Luke 8:4-10.

B. Cobbey Crisler conducted some experiments at places where the Bible records that large crowds gathered. The attempt was to see if the large number were able to hear a speaker without the aid of modern sound equipment. The places were Kadesh-barnea, Shiloh,  and The Cove of the Sower in Galilee. I suggest you read the entire article (“The Accoustics and Crowd Capacity of Natural Theaters in Palestine.” Biblical Archaeologist, 1976. Vol. 39. Num. 4.

The study indicated that the Cove of the Sower would allow between 5000 and 7000 people to hear.

Over the years different crops have been planted in the area, and this makes it difficult to compare older and more recent photos. The highway runs just above the level of the top of the olive trees. This photo is made looking west.

Cove of the Sower by Ferrell Jenkins

Cove of the Sower. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins

A couple of weeks ago I made the following photo from a boat a short distance south of the shore.

Cove of the Sower From the Sea of Galilee by Ferrell Jenkins.

Cove of the Sower From the Sea of Galilee. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The following sketch from Crisler’s article in Biblical Archaeologist may help you to understand this better.

Cove of Sower sketch from Crisler's article in BA.

Cove of Sower sketch from Crisler's article in Biblical Archaeologist.

The terrain and the crops have changed since Crisler wrote.