A dog takes a dip in now full Sea of Galilee. These trees were only recently on dry land! (AP Photo)

A dog takes a dip in now full Sea of Galilee. These trees were only recently on dry land! (AP Photo)

The Sea of Galilee, also known as Lake Kinneret, in northern Israel (AP)

The Sea of Galilee, also known as Lake Kinneret, in northern Israel (AP)

A map of Israel, showing the Sea of Galilee in the north

A map of Israel, showing the Sea of Galilee in the north

Sunset over the Sea of Galilee

Sunset over the Sea of Galilee

He Sends the Rain!

Posted: July 1, 2020

Last winter was extra rainy for Israel. The skies opened and filled up the Sea of Galilee. It hasn’t been this full in over 20 years. That’s a big deal for a big lake that has been running out of water!

In Northeastern Israel, the Sea of Galilee lies between Galilee and the Gowan Heights. Locals call it Lake Kinneret. The lake provides 25% of the country’s water. Unfortunately, more demand for water and many dry winters caused the lake to shrink over the decades. Local newspapers post regular water level updates.

The lake’s water comes from the Jordan River and underground springs. Winter rains replenished those springs.

The Gospels brim with stories from the Sea of Galilee. Jesus called four disciples there. He calmed choppy waves, fed thousands of people, walked on its waters, and taught the Sermon on the Mount by the lake. Jesus compared water and thirst to spiritual needs. His words and His love bring life to thirsty hearts.

“It’s full of water and we are very excited,” Idan Greenbaum says of the Sea. He’s head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council.

In April of 2017, the Sea of Galilee’s water level dropped to 698 feet below sea level. That was an all-time record low. Three years later, it is at 685 feet below sea level. The 13-foot difference may not seem like much. But it has transformed the landscape. Islands are under water. Dry docks are floating again.

The Sea of Galilee is the lowest freshwater lake in the world. That doesn’t mean its water level is the lowest––especially not this year. The lake is low in terms of its position on Earth. The lake sits below sea level. Only one other lake in the world sits lower. That’s the Dead Sea––a saltwater lake. 

It is a blessing that Lake Kinneret is full again. Might this be how it looked when Jesus walked there?