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Galilee, Sea of

Sea of Galilee, Lake Tiberias (tībĬr´ēəs), or Lake Kinneret (kĬn´ərĕt´), lake, 64 sq mi (166 sq km), 14 mi (23 km) long, and 3 to 7 mi (4.8–11.3 km) wide, NE Israel; its surface is c.700 ft (210 m) below sea level. The lake, occupying a downwarped basin, is fed and drained by the Jordan River. The Syria border follows part of the eastern shore, now occupied by Israel as part of the Golan Heights. Mineral springs, some of them hot, discharge into the lake, giving it a saline character. Israel's National Water Carrier Project uses the Sea of Galilee as a reservoir for water pumped south, via the National Water Conduit, to the Negev desert for irrigation and to the coastal plain to recharge the overdrawn watertable. However, despite the project, Israel's water supply in the late 20th cent. was restricted by a drop in the water level due to seasonal drought and increasing demand. In the time of Jesus there was a flourishing fishing industry in the lake; some fishing is still carried on, but the lake has suffered from overfishing. In the Old Testament the Sea of Galilee was called the Sea of Chinnereth or Chinneroth. In the New Testament it is named variously from nearby geographical features—Galilee, Gennesaret, or Tiberias.

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Galilee, Sea of

GALILEE, SEA OF

Freshwater lake located in northeast Israel.

Measuring 64 square miles (166 sq km) in area, the Sea of Galilee (also Lake Tiberias or Kinneret) is located 680 feet (207 m) below sea level and is formed by waters flowing down from the Jordan River. The lake was the source of a thriving fishing industry in the time of Christ, but today only small numbers of fish (called "St. Peter's fish") are caught for local consumption. Deganya, the first Israeli kibbutz, is located on the shore. From the beginning of the British mandate in 1920, the Sea of Galilee was located within the borders of Palestine and, after 1948, the state of Israel. It acts as the principal freshwater source for Israel and supplies the National Water System.

See also National Water System (Israel); Water.


Bibliography

Atlas of Israel: Cartography, Physical and Human Geography, 3d edition. New York: Macmillan, 1985.

Bryan Daves

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Galilee, Sea of

Galilee, Sea of (Lake Tiberius or Yam Kinneret) Freshwater lake in n Israel, fed by the River Jordan. Israel's major reservoir, it is an important fishing ground and the source of water for irrigation of the Negev Desert. The surface is c.215m (705ft) below sea level. Area: 166sq km (64sq mi).

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