Mediterranean Sea
Dictionary of Bible Names

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Mediterranean Sea
Bible Meaning: None

The Bible does not contain the name "Mediterranean Sea" to describe the large body of water that marked ancient Israel's western border. It, however, does use several phrases in the King James that refer to the same thing.

Biblical synonyms for the Mediterranean Sea include simply "the sea" (Joshua 16:8, Numbers 13:29, Joshua 5:1, 11, 46, etc.) or "the great sea" (Numbers 34:6, Joshua 1:4, 9:1, 15:12, 23:4, Ezekiel 47:10, etc.). It was also called "the uttermost (utmost) sea" (Deuteronomy 11:24, 34:2).

The Mediterranean was also referenced as the sea "of the Philistines" (Exodus 23:31) or "of Joppa" (Ezra 3:7).


How big is it?

The Mediterranean covers a surface area of about 953,286 square miles (2.469 million square kilometers), making it the tenth largest body of water on the planet. Its water, from Gibraltar to the southeastern coast of Turkey (west to east), stretches roughly 2,500 miles (4,023 kilometers). Its current maximum depth of 17,280 feet (5,267 meters) is found in its Ionian Sea area.

Map of Mediterranean Sea

Important verses

Exodus 23:28, 31
And I (God) will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.

And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines (Mediterranean), and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee.

Numbers 34:2, 6
Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land of Canaan; (this is the land that shall fall unto you for an inheritance, even the land of Canaan with the coasts thereof:) . . .

And as for the western border, ye shall even have the great sea (Mediterranean) for a border: this shall be your west border.

Deuteronomy 11:24
Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea (Mediterranean) shall your coast be.

Joshua 15:11 - 12
And the border went out unto the side of Ekron northward: and the border was drawn to Shicron, and passed along to mount Baalah, and went out unto Jabneel; and the goings out of the border were at the sea.

And the west border was to the great sea (Mediterranean), and the coast thereof. This is the coast of the children of Judah round about according to their families.

Joshua 16:5, 8
And the border of the children of Ephraim according to their families was thus . . . The border went out from Tappuah westward unto the river Kanah; and the goings out thereof were at the sea (Mediterranean). This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Ephraim by their families.

Ezra 3:7
They gave money also unto the masons, and to the carpenters; and meat, and drink, and oil, unto them of Zidon, and to them of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea of Joppa (Mediterranean Sea), according to the grant that they had of Cyrus king of Persia.

Additional Studies


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Series Notes
Scripture references are based
on the King James translation.



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