Reference: Tiberias, Sea Of
called also the Sea of Galilee (q.v.) and of Gennesaret. In the Old Testament it is called the Sea of Chinnereth or Chinneroth. John (Joh 21:1) is the only evangelist who so designates this lake. His doing so incidentally confirms the opinion that he wrote after the other evangelists, and at a period subsequent to the taking of Jerusalem (A.D. 70). Tiberias had by this time become an important city, having been spared by the Romans, and made the capital of the province when Jerusalem was destroyed. It thus naturally gave its name to the lake.
John's (Joh 6:1; 21:1) designation as better understood by the Gentile Romans, etc., whom he addressed. (See GALILEE, SEA or, the local designation.) Lieut. Kitchener makes the depth 682.554 ft. The neighbouring Kurn Hattin is an extinct volcano, and the plain is strewn with basalt and debris. He thinks Khirbet Minyeh the site of Capernaum. Josephus says the fountain Capharnaum waters the plain. This may correspond to the modern Ain et Tabighah, the water of which being brought past Khirbet Minyeh waters the plain, and would naturally take its name Capharnaum from that place (presuming that it was Capernaum). The source is only three quarters of a mile away, whereas it is one mile and three quarters from Tel Hum and all the water was carried in an opposite direction, so that it could hardly have taken its name from Tel Hum. In Joh 6:16, etc., we read "the disciples went by ship over the sea toward Capernaum (the same side as Tiberias), and the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew"; then Jesus walked on the sea to them, and "immediately the ship was at the land where they went."
The day following, when the people on the other side of the sea (the eastern side) saw that there was none other boat there save the one whereinto His disciples were entered, ... howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias, nigh unto the place where they did eat bread ... they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum seeking for Jesus; and when they had found Him on the other side ... they said, ... When camest Thou here?" In Mt 14:22 "Jesus constrained His disciples to get into a ship and go unto the other side. And He went up into a mountain apart to pray .... But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves, for the wind was contrary." It might seem strange that the people did not suppose Jesus had used one of the return boats which had come from Tiberias, to cross back to that side in the night.
Matthew undesignedly shows why they could not suppose so, namely, because "the wind was contrary," i.e. blowing from Tiberias and Capernaum; owing to this the ships, probably fishing vessels, were driven to the opposite side for shelter for the night, for what else could have taken to the desert eastern side so many boats as sufficed to convey the people across (Mt 14:24) back again? Their question, "Rabbi, when camest Thou here?" implies plainly that under the circumstances they considered that His crossing in the night could only have been by some extraordinary means. The mention of many ships coming from Tiberias explains also how the people could take shipping to Capernaum after it had been stated there was no other boat there save that which took the disciples. The undesigned harmony of details, incidentally and separately noticed by the two evangelists, confirms their truthfulness, and therefore the miracle of Jesus' walking on the sea. The Gospels - according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke - never use the designation "sea of Tiberias" (still bahr Tubariyeh), but the local name," sea" or "lake of Galilee," which shows they must have written before that became the universal designation, as it had in the time of John's writing.