Sea of Galilee, Northern District, Israel
The fabulous Sea of Galilee is Israel’s largest freshwater lake. The sea is about 13 miles long, 7 miles wide, 150 feet deep, and lies 650 feet below sea level.
The Sea of Galilee is currently surrounded by Israel from about the 3 o’clock position to the 12 o’clock position, and by the Golan Heights from 12 to 3. It’s a primary source of drinking water for Israel as well as a popular area for recreation and tourism.
It is fed by the Jordan River, which then drains to the south and flows to the Dead Sea (aka: Salt Sea). Lately, a lack of rain has threatened the water level in the Sea of Galilee and induced the proliferation of desalination units. It’s also a significant site in the New Testament.
In the time of Christ, the region of Galilee sat to the west of the Sea of Galilee, Decapolis to the southeast, and Bashan to the northeast. The Sea of Galilee went by different names in the New Testament: the Lake of Gennesaret (Luke 5:1) and the Sea of Tiberias (John 6:1); in the Old Testament, it was called the Sea of Chinneroth (Joshua 12:3, ESV). The Sea of Galilee was known for fishing, trade, and sudden, violent storms. The differences in climate and elevation between the sea and the eastern mountains cause strong winds comparable to those on Lake Erie in the United States.
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