The Sea Between The Lands
The Israelites were generally not a seafaring people during the time of Bible History. They were however well familiar with the Mediterranean Sea that formed the western border of the land of Israel. It was known to them variously as "the sea" (Joshua 16:8), the "Western Sea" (Deuteronomy 11:24), or the "Sea of the Philistines" (Exodus 23:31). The name Mediterranean is from the Latin words meaning the sea between the lands i.e. medius means middle, and terra means land.
Some facts and figures:
- The Mediterranean Sea is an "inland ocean," extending from Gibraltar in the west to Israel in the east. It touches upon Europe, Africa and Asia, the Crossroads Of The Earth in ancient times.
- It is approximately 2,300 miles / 3,700 kilometers long, and from 100 to 600 miles / 160 to 965 kilometers wide.
- Its greatest depth is approximately 14,400 feet / 4,390 meters, off Cape Matapan.
- It connects with the Atlantic Ocean through the Strait of Gibraltar, the Black Sea by the Dardanelles, and the Red Sea by the Suez Canal.
- Many ancient civilizations were connected with the Mediterranean, including Phoenicia (see Tyre), Egypt, Rome, Greece, and Philistia (see Old Testament Gaza).
- King Solomon had Cedars Of Lebanon floated in rafts down the Mediterranean coast. They were used for construction of the Temple (1 Kings 5:9) (see Temples).
- The apostle Paul traveled extensively over the Mediterranean Sea during his missionary journeys in which he established himself as a leader in the new Christian Church. See Paul's First Missionary Journey and
Paul's Second Missionary Journey and
Paul's Third Missionary Journey.
Fact Finder: From what Mediterranean seaport did Jonah depart?
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