Sea of Galilee

The Sea of Galilee is the largest freshwater lake in Israel.  In Hebrew it is known as lake Kinneret, from the Hebrew word for harp since the flat western shore and curving eastern shore resemble the shape of the instrument.  The lake provides 50% of Israel’s drinking water and is piped all over the country. Today as in antiquity, the main economic activities of the region are agriculture and fishing.  Since Byzantine times, it has also been a place of pilgrimage and tourism.  Fifteen harbors from the time of Jesus have been discovered.  Today “St Peters Fish,” also known as Tilapia, are fished commercially from the lake for tourist consumption.  The name “St. Peter” references a New Testament story in which Jesus instructs Peter to pay the temple tax with a coin from the mouth of a fish.