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The Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias, Chinnereth, Chinneroth, or Lake of Gennesaret, was a lake that featured prominently in the Gospels. Jesus traveled to the Sea of Galilee to call several of His disciples to His ministry, including Peter, James, and John. The lake was a popular location for fishermen as it was freshwater. The lake is mentioned many times in the Gospels, as Jesus traveled there often.

Etymology

Galilee usually refers to the mountainous region west and north of the Sea of Galilee. During Roman times, the region came to cover the area of the Jordan River immediately north of the lake as well. In Hebrew, galil means "district" or "cylinder." The Romans named the lake Galilee.

However, the original Hebrew name for the lake was Kinneret, sometimes written as Kinnereth. The root of this name is kinnor, or harp, referring to the shape of the lake. Gennesaret, another name for the lake, comes from ge (valley) and netsor (branch) or natsor, (to guard, to watch). The name Tiberias comes from the town on it's southwestern shore, in turn named after the Roman emperor Tiberius.

Location

The Sea of Galilee is located in northern Israel, along the Jordan River. The Golan Heights are to its east.

History

The Bible first records the lake in Numbers 34:11, when God tells Moses the borders of Israel[1]. The lake is called Chinnereth in Numbers and Joshua[2], and also Chinneroth in Joshua 12:3[3]. Kinneret is also the name of a fenced city, referenced in Joshua during the naming of the inheritance of Naphtali[4].

The lake is not referenced again until Matthew, when Joseph moved into Nazareth after being warned of God in a dream not to return to Bethlehem[5]. After Jesus is baptized by John the Baptist and begins His earthly ministry, He comes to the Sea of Galilee and calls Peter and Andrew to follow Him[6][7]. Jesus performed miracles on a mountain overlooking the lake[8], fed the five thousand[9], taught in Capernaum[10], and healed the deaf man[11].

Jesus also took many boats out on the lake with His disciples. Some of the most well-known instances are when Jesus calmed the storm[12], and when He walked on the water[13]. The lake also was the location of the miracle of the draught of fishes[14]. After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples on the shore of the lake[15].

Verses

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