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Bible Cities: Dead Sea
Ancient Dead Sea or Salt Sea

Map of the Ancient Dead Sea


Ancient Dead Sea or Salt Sea - Map of New Testament Israel DEAD SEA, Not so called until the second century. In Old Testament "the Salt Sea," and "Sea of the Plain."

Dead Sea in Easton's Bible Dictionary the name given by Greek writers of the second century to that inland sea called in Scripture the "salt sea" (Gen. 14:3; Num. 34:12), the "sea of the plain" (Deut. 3:17), the "east sea" (Ezek. 47:18; Joel 2:20), and simply "the sea" (Ezek. 47:8). The Arabs call it Bahr Lut, i.e., the Sea of Lot. It lies about 16 miles in a straight line to the east of Jerusalem. Its surface is 1,292 feet below the surface of the Mediterranean Sea. It covers an area of about 300 square miles. Its depth varies from 1,310 to 11 feet. From various phenomena that have been observed, its bottom appears to be still subsiding. It is about 53 miles long, and of an average breadth of 10 miles. It has no outlet, the great heat of that region causing such rapid evaporation that its average depth, notwithstanding the rivers that run into it (see JORDAN -T0002112), is maintained with little variation. The Jordan alone discharges into it no less than six million tons of water every twenty-four hours. The waters of the Dead Sea contain 24.6 per cent. of mineral salts, about seven times as much as in ordinary sea- water; thus they are unusually buoyant. Chloride of magnesium is most abundant; next to that chloride of sodium (common salt). But terraces of alluvial deposits in the deep valley of the Jordan show that formerly one great lake extended from the Waters of Merom to the foot of the watershed in the Arabah. The waters were then about 1,400 feet above the present level of the Dead Sea, or slightly above that of the Mediterranean, and at that time were much less salt. Nothing living can exist in this sea. "The fish carried down by the Jordan at once die, nor can even mussels or corals live in it; but it is a fable that no bird can fly over it, or that there are no living creatures on its banks. Dr. Tristram found on the shores three kinds of kingfishers, gulls, ducks, and grebes, which he says live on the fish which enter the sea in shoals, and presently die. He collected one hundred and eighteen species of birds, some new to science, on the shores, or swimming or flying over the waters. The cane-brakes which fringe it at some parts are the homes of about forty species of mammalia, several of them animals unknown in England; and innumerable tropical or semi-tropical plants perfume the atmosphere wherever fresh water can reach. The climate is perfect and most delicious, and indeed there is perhaps no place in the world where a sanatorium could be established with so much prospect of benefit as at Ain Jidi (Engedi).", Geikie's Hours, etc.

Dead Sea in Fausset's Bible Dictionary The name in the Old Testament is never this, but "the Salt Sea" , "sea of the plain." frontSALT SEA.)

Dead Sea in Naves Topical Bible (Lies southeast of Jerusalem) -Called SALT SEA Ge 14:3; Nu 34:12 -SEA OF THE PLAIN De 3:17; 4:49; Jos 3:16 -EAST SEA Joe 2:20 -FORMER SEA Zec 14:8 -Prophecy concerning Eze 47:7-10,18

Dead Sea in Smiths Bible Dictionary This name nowhere occurs in the Bible, and appears not to have existed until the second century after Christ. [See SEA, THE SALT]

Dead Sea in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE I. PRESENT AREA II. FORMER ENLARGEMENT III. LEVEL OF THE DEAD SEA IN EARLY HISTORIC TIMES IV. CONSTITUTION OF THE WATER V. CLIMATE VI. ROADS VII. MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS 1. The Plain of the Jordan 2. Ain Jidi (En-gedi) 3. The Fortress of Masada 4. Jebel Usdum (Mount of Sodom) 5. Vale of Siddim 6. El-Lisan VIII. HISTORY LITERATURE The name given by Greek and Latin writers to the remarkable inland lake occupying the deepest part of the depression of the ARABAH (which see). In the Bible it is called the Salt Sea (Gen 14:3; Dt 3:17); the Sea of the Plain (`Ardbhah). (Josh 3:16); and the (East) Eastern Sea (Ezek 47:18; Joel 2:20). Among the Arabs it is still called Bahr Lut (Sea of Lot). By the time of Josephus it was called Lake Asphaltires (Ant., I, ix) from the quantities of bitumen or asphalt occasionally washed upon its shores and found in some of the tributary wadies. I. Present Area. The length of the lake from North to South is 47 miles; its greatest width is 10 miles narrowing down to less than 2 miles opposite Point Molyneux on el-Lisan. Its area is approximately 300 square miles. From various levelings its surface is found to be 1,292 ft. below that of the Mediterranean, while its greatest depth, near the eastern shore 10 miles South of the mouth of the Jordan is 1,278 ft. But the level varies from 10 to 15 ft. semiannually, and more at longer intervals; and we are not sure from which one of these levels the above figures have been derived. Throughout the northern half of the lake on the East side the descent to the extreme depth is very rapid; while from the western side the depth increases more gradually, especially at the extreme northern end, where the lake has been filled in by the delta of the Jordan. About two-thirds of the distance to the southern end, the peninsula, el-Lisan ("the Tongue"), projects from the East more than half-way across the lake, being in the shape, however, of a boot rather than a tongue, with the toe to the North, forming a bay between it and the eastern mainland. The head of this bay has been largely filled in by the debris brought down by Wady Kerak, and Wady Ben Hamid, and shoals very gradually down to the greatest depths to the North. The toe of this peninsula is named Point Costigan, and the heel, Point Molyneux, after two travelers who lost their lives about the middle of the 19th century in pioneer attempts to explore the lake. Over the entire area South of Point Molyneux, the water is shallow, being nowhere more than 15 ft. deep, and for the most part not over 10 ft., and in some places less than 6 ft. In high water, the lake extends a mile or more beyond low-water mark, over the Mud Flat (Sebkah) at the south end. From the history of the crossing of the Jordan by Joshua and the expedition of Chedorlaomer when Lot was captured, it is evident that the outlines of the sea were essentially the same 3,500 years ago as they are now, showing that there has been no radical change in climatic conditions since then. II. Former Enlargement. But if we go back a few thousand years into prehistoric times the evidence is abundant that the valley has witnessed remarkable climatic changes (see ARABAH). At Ain Abu Werideh, about 40 miles beyond the south end of the lake, Hull in 1883 discovered deposits of an abandoned shore line 1,400 ft. above its level (see ARABAH). A pronounced abandoned shore line at the 650 ft. level had been observed first by Tristram, and noted afterward by many travelers. But from the more detailed examination made by Professor Ellsworth Huntington in 1909 (see Israel and Its Transformation) five abandoned shore lines of marked size have been determined, surrounding the valley at the following approximate heights above the present level of the lake: 1,430, 640, 430, 300 and 250 ft. He writes that "at its greatest extent the sea stretched at least 30 miles south of its present termination, while northward it probably covered the Sea of Galilee and the Waters of Merom, and sent an arm into the Vale of Jezreel. .... Lacustrine deposits exist in the Jordan valley shortly south of the Sea of Galilee. A mile north of Jisr el-Mujamiyeh, as the modern railroad bridge...

Salt Sea Scripture - Genesis 14:3 All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea.

Salt Sea Scripture - Joshua 15:2 And their south border was from the shore of the salt sea, from the bay that looketh southward:

Salt Sea Scripture - Joshua 18:19 And the border passed along to the side of Bethhoglah northward: and the outgoings of the border were at the north bay of the salt sea at the south end of Jordan: this [was] the south coast.

Salt Sea Scripture - Numbers 34:3 Then your south quarter shall be from the wilderness of Zin along by the coast of Edom, and your south border shall be the outmost coast of the salt sea eastward:

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