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Oceans and Seas
Sea of Galilee

Why is the Sea of Galilee actually called a sea?


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July 30, 2008 12:37AM

In general use, the word "sea" is used to refer to large bodies of salt water, such as the oceans and partially landlocked waters such as the Mediterranean Sea or landlocked bodies such as the Caspian Sea. However, "sea" is also occasionally used to refer to large fresh water bodies, such as the Sea of Galilee. The Hebrew word is "yam" - "from an unused root meaning "to roar." The name is used in Hebrew to refer to a sea (as breaking in noisy surf) or a large body of water. The Sea of Galilee often has storms that raise the surf to a rather noisy pitch. So perhaps this is the reason why the ancients called it a 'sea'.