The Salt Sea

The Dead Sea is a large inland lake which measures about 50 miles / 80 kilometers long and 10 miles / 16 kilometers) wide. It's located in Judea, in southeastern Israel, approximately 12 miles / 19 kilometers east of Jerusalem (see Bible Places). Known through The Bible as the Salt Sea, the Sea of the Plain, or the Eastern Sea, it today forms part of the international boundary with the Kingdom of Jordan.

The Dead Sea has numerous extremes. Its surface is 1,290 feet / 393 meters below the surface of The Mediterranean Sea, which is just 50 miles / 80 kilometers to the west. It's only 10 feet / 3 meters at its shallowest, but reaches a depth of 1,300 feet / 396 meters at its deepest. The salt content of the Dead Sea has been measured as 5 times that of the oceans. The high salinity is the reason that very little life is found in the waters - it truly is a dead sea.

The Jordan River is the main source of water for the Dead Sea, with a few smaller rivers also emptying into it. Despite the constant inflow, and the fact that it has no outlet, the level of the Dead Sea changes very little over the year. This is the result of the extremely high rate of evaporation from the heat of its wide-open, below sea level, desert location. The water quickly evaporates, but the salt remains.

The future of the Dead Sea is destined to be much brighter and productive. Speaking of "the river of living waters" (Ezekiel 47:1-6) that will flow to both the Dead and Mediterranean Seas from Jerusalem after The Return Of Jesus Christ, we read:

"And he said to me, "This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah; and when it enters the stagnant waters of the sea, the water will become fresh. And wherever the river goes every living creature which swarms will live, and there will be very many fish; for this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes."

"Fishermen will stand beside the sea; from En-gedi to En-eglaim it will be a place for the spreading of nets; its fish will be of very many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea. But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they are to be left for salt."

"And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing." (Ezekiel 47:8-12 RSV)

Fact Finder: What was the name of Abraham's nephew who was rescued by angels from Sodom just before it was destroyed by God?
Genesis 19:1,16
Note: Sodom and Gomorrah were located somewhere near the southern section of the Dead Sea.
See also The Destruction Of Sodom and Lot

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