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[516] 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 to 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 of the year 1 and the rest of the fruits as they become ripe together through the whole year; for besides the good temperature of the air, it is also watered from a most fertile fountain. The people of the country call it Capharnaum. Some have thought it to be a vein of the Nile, because it produces the Coracin fish as well as that lake does which is near to Alexandria. The length of this country extends itself along the banks of this lake that bears the same name for thirty furlongs, and is in breadth twenty, And this is the nature of that place.

1 It may be worth our while to observe here, that near this lake of Gennesareth grapes and figs hang on the trees ten months of the year. We may observe also, that in Cyril of Jerusalem, Cateehes. 18. sect. 3, which was delivered not long before Easter, there were no fresh leaves of fig trees, nor bunches of fresh grapes in Judea; so that when St. Mark says, ch. 11. ver. 13, that our Savior, soon after the same time of the year, came and "found leaves" on a fig tree near Jerusalem, but "no figs, because the time of" new "figs" ripening "was not yet," he says very true; nor were they therefore other than old leaves which our Savior saw, and old figs which he expected, and which even with us commonly hang on the trees all winter long.

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