Great Sea (Mediterranean)

Great Sea (Mediterranean) and surrounding area

Maps Created using Biblemapper 3.0

Additional data from

You are free to use up to 50 Biblos coprighted maps (small or large) for your website or presentation. Please credit
Numbers 34:6 "'For the western border, you shall have the great sea and the border of it : this shall be your west border.

Numbers 34:7 "'This shall be your north border: from the great sea you shall mark out for you Mount Hor;

Joshua 1:4 From the wilderness, and this Lebanon, even to the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your border.

Joshua 9:1 It happened, when all the kings who were beyond the Jordan, in the hill country, and in the lowland, and on all the shore of the great sea in front of Lebanon, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard of it

Joshua 15:12 The west border was to the shore of the great sea. This is the border of the children of Judah according to their families.

Joshua 15:47 Ashdod, its towns and its villages; Gaza, its towns and its villages; to the brook of Egypt, and the great sea with its coastline.

Joshua 23:4 Behold, I have allotted to you these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from the Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, even to the great sea toward the going down of the sun.

Ezekiel 47:10 It shall happen, that fishermen shall stand by it: from En Gedi even to En Eglaim shall be a place for the spreading of nets; their fish shall be after their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many.

Ezekiel 47:15 This shall be the border of the land: On the north side, from the great sea, by the way of Hethlon, to the entrance of Zedad;

Ezekiel 47:19 The south side southward shall be from Tamar as far as the waters of Meriboth Kadesh, to the brook of Egypt, to the great sea. This is the south side southward.

Ezekiel 47:20 The west side shall be the great sea, from the south border as far as over against the entrance of Hamath. This is the west side.

Ezekiel 48:28 By the border of Gad, at the south side southward, the border shall be even from Tamar to the waters of Meribath Kadesh, to the brook of Egypt, to the great sea.


(ha-yam ha-gadhol):

1. Names of the Sea:

This is the name given to the Mediterranean, which formed the western boundary of Palestine (Numbers 34:6 Joshua 15:12, 47 Ezekiel 47:19; Ezekiel 48:28). It is also called "the hinder sea" (Hebrew ha-yam ha-'aharon), i.e. the western sea (Deuteronomy 11:24; Deuteronomy 34:2 Joel 2:20 Zechariah 14:8), and "the sea of the Philis" (Exodus 23:31), which, of course, applies especially to the part washing the shore of Philistia, from Jaffa southward. Generally, when the word "sea" is used, and no other is definitely indicated, the Mediterranean is intended (Genesis 49:13 Numbers 13:29, etc.). It was the largest sheet of water with which the Hebrews had any acquaintance. Its gleaming mirror, stretching away to the sunset, could be seen from many an inland height.

2. Israel and the Sea:

It bulked large in the minds of the landsmen-for Israel produced few mariners-impressing itself upon their speech, so that "seaward" was the common term for "westward" (Exodus 26:22 Joshua 5:1, etc.). Its mystery and wonder, the raging of the storm, and the sound of "sorrow on the sea," borne to their upland ears, infected them with a strange dread of its wide waters, to which the seer of Patmos gave the last Scriptural expression in his vision of the new earth, where "the sea is no more" (Revelation 21:1).

3. The Coast Line:

Along the coast lay the tribal territories assigned to Asher, Zebulun, Manasseh, Dan and Judah. Many of the cities along the shore they failed to possess, however, and much of the land. The coast line offered little facility for the making of harbors. The one seaport of which in ancient times the Hebrews seem to have made much use was Joppa-the modern Jaffa (2 Chronicles 2:16, etc.). From this place, probably, argosies of Solomon turned their prows westward. Here, at least, "ships of Tarshish" were wont to set out upon their adventurous voyages (Jonah 1:3). The ships on this sea figure in the beautiful vision of Isaiah (60:8).


4. The Sea in the New Testament:

The boy Jesus, from the heights above Nazareth, must often have looked on the waters of the great sea, as they broke in foam on the curving shore, from the roots of Carmel to the point at Acre. Once only in His journeyings, so far as we know, did He approach the sea, namely on His ever-memorable visit to the "borders of Tyre and Sidon" (Matthew 15:21 Mark 7:24). The sea, in all its moods, was well known to the great apostle of the Gentiles. The three shipwrecks, which he suffered (2 Corinthians 11:25), were doubtless due to the power of its angry billows over the frail craft of those old days.


5. Debt of Palestine to the Sea:

The land owes much to the great sea. During the hot months of summer, a soft breeze from the water springs up at dawn, fanning all the seaward face of the Central Range. At sunset the chilled air slips down the slopes and the higher strata drift toward the uplands, charged with priceless moisture, giving rise to the refreshing dews which make the Palestinian morning so sweet.


W. Ewing

Top of Page
Top of Page