The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias, is the largest freshwater lake in Israel, and it is approximately 53 km in circumference, about 21 km long, and 13 km wide. 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 lake has been called by different names throughout its history, usually depending on the dominant settlement on its shores. With changing fate of the towns, the lake's name also changed.
Lake or Sea of Kinneret
The modern Hebrew name, Kinneret, comes from the Old Testament or Hebrew Tanakh "sea of Kinneret" in Numbers 34:11 and Joshua 13:27. This name was also found in the scripts of Ugarit, in the Aqhat Epic. Kinneret was listed among the "fenced cities" in Joshua 19:35. A persistent, though likely erroneous popular etymology of the name presumes that the name Kinneret may originate from the Hebrew word kinnor ("harp" or "lyre"), in view of the shape of the lake
Lake of Gennesaret
All Old and New Testament writers use the term "sea", with the exception of Luke who calls it "the Lake of Gennesaret" (Luke 5:1), from the Greek limnē Gennēsare.
Sea of Ginosar
The Babylonian Talmud, as well as Flavius Josephus mention the sea by the name "Sea of Ginosar" after the small fertile plain of Ginosar that lies on its western side.
Sea of Galilee, Sea of Tiberias, Lake Tiberias
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 1st century CE name. Sea of Tiberias is also the name mentioned in Roman texts and in the Jerusalem Talmud, and was adopted into Arabic as About this sound Buhairet Tabariyya, "Lake Tiberias".
Today, tourism is the Sea of Galilee's most important economic activity with the entire region being a popular holiday destination. The many historical and spiritual sites around the lake, especially its main town Tiberias, are visited by millions of local and foreign tourists annually. The Sea of Galilee attracts many Christian pilgrims, because, according to the New Testament, many of the miracles of Jesus occurred on its shores—including his walking on water, calming the storm, and feeding five thousand people in Tabgha.
Another key attraction is the site where the Sea of Galilee's water flows into the Jordan River, to which thousands of pilgrims from all over the world come to be baptized every year.
Tourists also partake in the building of rafts on Lavnun Beach, called Rafsodia. Here many different age groups work together to build a raft with their bare hands and then sail that raft across the sea.