The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias (Hebrew:
יָם כִּנֶּרֶת, Judeo-Aramaic: יַמּא דטבריא, is the largest freshwater lake in Israel,
and it is approximately 53 km (33 miles) in circumference, about 21 km (13 miles)
long, and 13 km (8.1 miles) wide. The lake has a total area of 166 km2 (64 sq miles),
and a maximum depth of approximately 43 m (141 feet). At 211.315 metres (693.29 ft)
below sea level, it is the lowest freshwater lake on Earth and the second-lowest
lake overall (after the Dead Sea, a saltwater lake). The lake is fed partly by underground
springs although its main source is the Jordan River which flows through it from
north to south.
The modern name, Kinneret, comes from the Old Testament or Hebrew Tanakh "sea of
Chinnereth" in Numbers 34:11 and Joshua 13:27, and spelled "Chinneroth" in Joshua
11:2. This name was also found in the scripts of Ugarit, in the Aqhat Epic. Chinnereth
was listed among the "fenced cities" in Joshua 19:35. The name Kinneret may originate
from the Hebrew word kinnor ("harp" or "lyre")), in view of the shape of the lake.
In the New Testament the term "sea of Galilee" is used in the gospel of Matthew 4:18;
15:29, the gospel of Mark 1:16; 7:31, and in the gospel of John 6:1 as "the sea of
Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias", the late first century name. Sea of Tiberias
is also the name mentioned in Roman texts and in the Jerusalem Talmud.
All Bible writers use the term "sea" (Hebrew yam or Greek thalassa) except the gospel
of Luke, written to Theophilus of Macedonia, where it is called "the lake of Genneseret"
in Luke 5:1, from the Greek λίμνην Γεννησαρέτ, (limnen Genneseret), the "Grecized
form of Chinnereth" according to Easton, who says Genneseret means "a garden of riches".
The Babylonian Talmud, as well as Flavius Josephus mention the sea by the name "Sea
of Ginnosar" after the small fertile plain of Gennesereth that lies on its western