Saturday, October 15, 2016

Just How Large Is The Sea Of Galilee Anyway?


Was reading about Jesus' 5th sign, walking on the waves on the Sea of Galilee, John 6:15-21. When the sea is mentioned in the Bible, I often forget that most of the time it is referring to a massive lake, rather than a body of water like the Pacific or Atlantic ocean, or the Mediterranean Sea. In verse 16, it says that "And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea" (KJV).

I remembered that this is referring to a relatively small land-locked body of water. I wondered, Just how large is the Sea of Galilee anyway? I realized that because they knew very little, if anything, about the topography of the Earth, this massive water feature would naturally be a sea to them. So what is the area and some interesting facts about this water area with the 3 names?

I thought that there were only 3 names that it is known by:
  • Sea of Galilee
  • Sea of Tiberius
  • Sea of Gennesaret
According to BiblePlaces.com, it is also known as:
  • Sea of Chinnereth
  • Ginnosar
  • Bahr Tubariya.
This site states that this sea is "more properly designated a lake," and that it is "13 miles long and 7 miles wide." I am not good at judging distance, but that doesn't sound very large to me. I think Lake Gennesaret is smaller than I thought.

Wikipedia, my fav place to do research (though it is not academically accepted), states that Lake Chinnereth "is approximately:
  • 53 km (33 mi) in circumference,
  • about 21 km (13 mi) long,
  • and 13 km (8.1 mi) wide
  • area is 166.7 km2 (64.4 sq mi) at its fullest,
  • and its maximum depth is approximately 43 m (141 feet)."
It doesn't seem very deep either. I wonder how there could have been waves so scary, on a body of water this size, so as to terrify the disciples, some of who were experienced fishermen? Do you think Jesus whipped up those waves to build their faith? At one point on shore at least, the opposite shore can be seen, showing how small the lake is. And when they got into the boat, they traveled from Tiberius to Capernaum, which would be north, along the coast. I don't know how far out they had to go to reach a navigable depth before they turned north, but it seems that they could not have ever been out of sight of land.

An interesting mystery! But, where Jesus is there are mysteries galore, and revelations, lol. Wikipedia states that The Sea of Galilee was also called the Sea of Minya.


Sources:
Wikipedia
BiblePlaces.com
King James Bible

Image: Wikipedia

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