This morning, up early on the rooftop area of the hotel, it was a delight to hear nothing but a distant incessant chatter of small birds of the air. Eager to sing their dawn chorus as the sun started to climb over the hills of Mt. Hermon on the eastern side of Lake Galilee.
I wander down to the shore to dip my feet for the first time in this most famous historical area of Jesus ministry and wonder what today will bring on the Shabbat.
In the Old Testament, the Sea of Galilee is known as the Sea of Kinnereth. A name that is imaginatively associated with the Hebrew word “kinnor“ meaning a harp; for some the lake is shaped like a harp; for others the music of its waters resembles the sound of a harp.
In the New Testament, both Matthew and Mark call it the Sea of Galilee. John, the Sea of Tiberias and Luke, the Lake of Gennesaret.
The lake is around 700 feet BELOW sea level and 21 kilometres from north to south. 12 kilometres wide at it’s broadest point and there are 22 species of fish to be found.
In Jesus` day, small fishing boats had to watch out for the sudden gusts of wind and rapid exchange of cold and hot air from Mount Hermon and the surrounding valleys which could whip the normally tranquil surface into a frenzy in a matter of minutes. We are advised to keep a pensive eye on the often late afternoon stormy seas.
Some of the events and miracles involved on or around the Sea of Galilee include;
- Jesus rebukes the storm, Mark 4:37-39
- Jesus walks on the water, Matthew 14:25-26
- Jesus and the healing of a demon possessed man at Gerasenes Mark 5:1-17
- Jesus heals a blind man at Bethsaida, Mark 8:22-26
We have planned taking a boat trip late today, I will let you know how it goes tomorrow.