Cove of the Sower

Also known as Sower's Cove

Cove of the Sower

Located mid-way between Capernaum and Tabgha, major centers of Jesus’ ministry, this cove has been noted for its acoustical properties.

Mark 4 records a time when Jesus was teaching a large crowd and pushed out in a boat in order to speak to them.  Some suggest this cove is an ideal location for teaching the crowds.

View from the water

An acoustical study of the cove was done by B. Cobbey Crisler and is published as “The Acoustics and Crowd Capacity of Natural Theaters in Palestine” inBiblical Archaeologist Dec 1976, pp. 128-41.   He concludes that 5,000-7,000 people could fit in the area below the road.  More than double that could fit in the entire area of the hillside.

This audio file was recorded from approximately the position from which this photograph was taken. The speaker is standing on the shoreline (near the tree). This sound file has not been edited in any way and will give you some idea of how the sound carries.

Up the Slope

From this vantage point, a person on the shoreline is a mere speck.  I’ve done this experiment more than a dozen times and every time the idea that sound will carry from the water’s edge to the top of the slope is greeted with skepticism.  How can you hear him when you can hardly see him?

From the shoreline

Does it work?  Can a person stand at the top of the hill and hear a speaker at water’s edge?  On a non-windy day when there are not cars passing by on the road, the answer is yes.  Again and again, groups scattered across the hillside have heard the speaker’s voice, distinctly and without trouble in understanding each word.  Furthermore, conversations between distant people are quite possible in this cove.

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Related Websites

At BiblePlaces.com, see the related sites of Sea of Galilee, Bethsaida, Capernaum, Chorazin, Mt. of Beatitudes, and Tabgha.

Sower’s Cove (Walking in Their Sandals)  Gives easy-to-read information on the location, biblical significance, etc.  Features links to photographs and on-line scripture references.  Includes a link to a supplemental article.

Sower’s Cove (Holy Land Photos)  Features several photos.  Click on each thumbnail to reveal text and larger images.

B. Cobbey Crisler: A Biographical Sketch (Crisler Biblical Institute)  A biography of the man who studied and published the acoustical properties of this cove.