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The waters of this lake lie in a deep basin, surrounded on all sides with lofty hills, excepting only the narrow entrance and outlets of the Jordan at each extreme; for which reason, longcontinued tempests from any one quarter are unknown here; and this lake, like the Dead Sea, with which it communicates, is, for the same reason, never violently agitated for any length of time. The same local features, however, render it occasionally subject to whirlwinds, squalls, and sudden gusts from the hollow of the mountains, which, as in every other similar basin, are of momentary duration, and the most furious gust is instantly succeeded by a calm.*
From the supposed site of Gennesareth, we continued our way along the edge of the lake in nearly an eastern direction, and in about half an hour, reached a place called Tahhbahh, where only one Arab family resides, at a cornmill near the water. There are several hot springs here, of the same nature as those at El Hami, below Oom Kais, but still more copious.
* "And they launched forth. But as they sailed, Jesus fell asleep, and there came down a storm of wind on the lake, and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him and awoke him, and said, Master, Master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water, and there was a calm." St. Luke, viii. 23.
Around them are remains of four large baths, each supplied by its own separate spring, and each having an aqueduct for carrying off its superfluous waters into the lake, from the edge of which they are distant about three hundred yards.
The most perfect of these baths is an open octangular basin of excellent masonry, stuccoed on the inside, being one hundred and five paces in circumference, and about twenty-five feet in depth. We descended to it by a narrow flight of ten stone steps, which lead to a platform about twelve feet square, and elevated considerably above the bottom of the bath, so that the bathers might go from thence into deeper water below. This large basin is now nearly filled with tall reeds, growing up from the bottom; but its aqueduct, which is still perfect, and arched near the end, carries down a full and rapid stream to turn the mill erected at its further end. On the sides of this aqueduct are seen incrustations similar to those described on the aqueduct of Tyre, leading from the cisterns of Solomon at Ras-el-ayn, and occasioned, no doubt, by the same cause. The whole of the work, both of the baths and its aqueduct, appears to be Roman; and it is executed with the care and solidity which generally marks the architectural labours of that people. At a short distance
beyond this, to the eastward, is a small circular building called Hemmam-el-Aioobe, or the Bath of Job, but it is apparently of the same age as those near it.
It was almost noon when we reached Talhhewn, a station of Arabs, where we alighted to refresh this place is said to have been formerly called Caphernaoom, but at present it is known only by the name of Tal-hhewn, or Tal-hhewm, as it is differently pronounced. It is seated close upon the edge of the lake, having the town of Tiberias to bear exactly S.S.W. by compass, distant apparently from nine to twelve miles in a straight line; the vale of Jericho, wide open, bearing S. by W. from twelve to fifteen miles from its upper edge; an ancient castle, called El-Hussán, in the mountains S. E. by S., from eight to ten miles; and the entrance of the Jordan, from the northward, E. N. E., from four to five miles.
The description which Josephus has left us of this lake is like all the other pictures drawn by him, admirably faithful in the detail of local features. "Now this lake of Gennesareth is so called from the country adjoining to it. Its breadth is forty furlongs, and its length one hundred and forty; its waters are sweet, and very agreeable for drinking, for they are finer
than the thick waters of other fens; the lake is also pure, and on every side ends directly at the shores, and at the sand; and it is also of a temperate nature when you draw it up, and of a more gentle nature than river or fountain water, and yet always cooler than one could expect in so diffuse a place as this is. Now, when this water is kept in the open air, it is as cold as that snow which the country people are accustomed to make by night in summer. There are several kinds of fish in it, different both to the taste and the sight from those elsewhere." *
All these features are drawn with an accuracy that could only have been attained by one resident in the country; the size is still nearly the same, the borders of the lake still end at the beach, or the sands, at the feet of the mountains which environ it. Its waters are still as sweet and temperate as ever, and the lake abounds with great numbers of fish of various sizes and kinds.
In more early times, the sea of Galilee, or lake of Gennesareth, was called the sea of Chinņereth, from a city of that name seated on it, belonging to the children of Naphtali †, and the
*Josephus, Wars of the Jews, 1. iii. c. 10. s. 7.
edge of this sea on the other side Jordan, eastward, was made the western boundary of the portion of Gad, who occupied all the cities of Gilead, and half the land of the children of Ammon. Gennesareth is most probably the ori ginal name of this sea of Chinnereth, gradually corrupted; Galilee was the name given to the lake from its situation on the eastern borders of that division of Palestine; and Tiberias, which is its most modern name, must have been bestowed on it after the building of that city by Herod. This last, both the town and the lake still retain, under the Arabic form of Tabareeah ; and the present inhabitants, like the earliest ones, call their water a sea, and reckon it, and the Dead Sea to the south of them, to be the two largest known, except the great ocean. Diodorus Siculus, in his account of the marvellous properties of the Lake Asphaltes, fails not to remark the great singularity of the bitterness of its waters; though there are, as he says, great rivers whose waters are exceedingly sweet, which empty themselves into it t; and this may be strictly said of the Zerkah, the Hieromax, and the Jordan, the two last of which empty themselves first into the lake of Tiberias, and then go
* Joshua, xiii. 24. to 27.
† Diod. Sic. l. ii. c. 4., and l. xix. c. 6.