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Tabgha

Tabgha (also spelled Tabhka) is not a city, but a small area on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, not far from Capernaum. In ancient times, Tabgha was known as Heptapegon - "Place of the Seven Springs." These seven springs produce warm water, which increases the production of algae in this part of the lake, which attracts more fish. Fishermen have thus flocked to Heptapegon for thousands of years.


By the 4th century AD, Heptapegon had become a popular place for Byzantine pilgrims to rest and have their picnics, thanks to its shady trees and excellent fishing. The site is an important pilgrimage place: according to the tradition, Jesus performed here two miracles: first feeding of the multitude: feeding 5000 with 5 loaves of bread and two fish (Mathew 14: 13-21; Mark 6: 30-44; John 6: 1-15), apparition of Jesus to the Apostles after the resurrection (John 21, 1-17).

Key Sites
Church of Loaves and Fishes  Church of the Multiplication
The church is modern but stands on the site of 4th and 5th-century churches. It preserves a splendid early Christian mosaic as well as the traditional stone on which the miraculous meal was laid. A church of the Feeding of the Five Thousand was first built on this site in c.350. The church was small (15.5m x 9.5m) and on a slightly different orientation than the later versions.


The church was significantly enlarged around 480 an inscription attributes its building to the patriarch Matryrios (478-86) which included the addition of the splendid floor mosaic. The mosaics were repaired in the 6th century and the church was destroyed around 685 AD.


The site was bought by the Deutsche Verien vom Heilige Lande and excavated in 1932; a protective cover was built over the mosaics in 1936. In 1982 this was replaced by the modern Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes that stands today, which is a faithful reconstruction of the original. 
Under the altar table is a block of limestone (1 x 0.6 x 0.14m) venerated as the table of the Lord. This rock is believed to be the place on which Jesus laid the loaves. In front of the altar is a lovely restored mosaic of two fish flanking a basket of loaves.

Biblical references -Feeding of the Multitude:
Mathew 14: 13-21:

14:13 When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities.
14:14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
14:15 And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.
14:16 But Jesus said unto them, they need not depart; give ye them to eat.
14:17 and they say unto him, we have here but five loaves, and two fishes.
14:18 He said, bring them hither to me.
14:19 and he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
14:20 and they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
14:21 and they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.

Mark 6: 30-44
6:30 And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.
6:31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
6:32 And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.
6:33 And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him.
6:34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.
6:35 And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed: 6:36 Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.
6:37 He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat? 6:38 He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, five, and two fishes.
6:39 And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass.
6:40 And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.
6:41 And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.
6:42 and they did all eat, and were filled.
6:43 and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.
6:44 and they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.

John 6: 1-15
6:1 After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.
6:2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.
6:3 And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.
6:4 and the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.
6:5 When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread that these may eat?
6:6 And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.
6:7 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.
6:8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him,
6:9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?
6:10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.
6:11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.
6:12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.
6:13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.
6:14 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, this is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.
6:15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.


Biblical References- Apparition of Jesus to the Apostles after the resurrection:

John 21: 1-17

21:1 After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise showed he himself.
21:2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.
21:3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go fishing. They say unto him, we also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
21:4 But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
21:5 Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, no.
21:6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
21:7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.
21:8 And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.
21:9 As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.
21:10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.
21:11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.
21:12 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, who art thou? Knowing that it was the Lord.
21:13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.
21:14 This is now the third time that Jesus showed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.
21:15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
21:16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Biblical references -Feeding of the Multitude:
Mathew 14: 13-21:

14:13 When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities.
14:14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
14:15 And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.
14:16 But Jesus said unto them, they need not depart; give ye them to eat.
14:17 and they say unto him, we have here but five loaves, and two fishes.
14:18 He said, bring them hither to me.
14:19 and he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
14:20 and they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
14:21 and they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.

Mark 6: 30-44
6:30 And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.
6:31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
6:32 And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.
6:33 And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him.
6:34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.
6:35 And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed: 6:36 Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.
6:37 He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat? 6:38 He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, five, and two fishes.
6:39 And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass.
6:40 And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.
6:41 And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.
6:42 and they did all eat, and were filled.
6:43 and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.
6:44 and they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.

John 6: 1-15
6:1 After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.
6:2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.
6:3 And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.
6:4 and the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.
6:5 When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread that these may eat?
6:6 And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.
6:7 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.
6:8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him,
6:9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?
6:10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.
6:11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.
6:12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.
6:13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.
6:14 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, this is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.
6:15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

Biblical References- Apparition of Jesus to the Apostles after the resurrection:

John 21: 1-17
21:1 After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise showed he himself.
21:2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.
21:3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go fishing. They say unto him, we also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
21:4 But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
21:5 Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, no.
21:6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
21:7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.
21:8 And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.
21:9 As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.
21:10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.
21:11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.
21:12 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, who art thou? Knowing that it was the Lord.
21:13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.
21:14 This is now the third time that Jesus showed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.
21:15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
21:16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.



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