Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sea of Galilee, part 1 of 2

The Sea of Galilee is known by several names. The Gospel of John calls it the Sea of Tiberias, Tiberias being the Roman resort city on the north western side. It is also referred to as the Lake of Gennesaret in other places in the Bible. We stayed fro a couple of days at the Kibbutz near Ginosaur (modern derivative of Gennesaret.)

The Sea of Galilee is the lowest freshwater lake on earth. The Jordan river flows into it and out of it south towards the Dead Sea. Most of the fishing is done along the northern rim. Few fish live farther south. This is why most of the cities are on the Northern Rim, as it was also a trade route.

 We were told it was about 8 miles by 16 miles. It is hard to tell from my photographs but you can see the mountains on the sides of the northern rim from the middle of the lake. It was sort of overcast and a bit foggy the day we took a boat trip out onto the Sea of Galilee. But the oddly spooky thing about it was that most of the mountains around the lake are very steep and are extinct Volcanoes, so they are very dark igneous rock. In fact, the first night we were there, we walked down to the water and could see a bunch of lights on the mountain on the far side of the lake. We asked the old guy sitting on the bench what it was, and he smiled as he said, "Well, you hear any bombs exploding in the middle of the night into the water, that's where they come from...That's the Golan Heights!"

Click to Enlarge

Thus, the mountains appear almost black in the distance even in broad daylight, not unlike the Black Hills of South Dakota from afar if you are familiar with them. When you are out on the water, its a very different feel. I can completely understand the passages in the bible where the Disciples get freaked out in a storm or when Jesus is walking towards them on the water and they think he's a ghost. I could see how that would be a very scary place in the storm because it is already dark and foreboding even on days when the sun is shining.

To view the photographs I took, click here. (Photobucket is acting weird and won't let me live post the HTML code for the album at the moment.)

For fun, I shot a short video when we were out on the boat on the Sea of Galilee, and you will see what I mean:


Perhaps the most meaningful image I saw was not actually on the water, but this little bit I found on the stone jetty/dock as we were walking back from the boat. I think the picture says it all:

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