Bible Dictionaries

Morrish Bible Dictionary

Salt Sea

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The lake on the south of Palestine, now commonly called the Dead Sea, because it was for long judged that nothing having life could exist in it; but some inferior organisms (as the polygaster) have been found in it at its northern end. It is called, 'the Salt Sea' in Numbers 34:3,12; Deuteronomy 3:17; Joshua 3:16; 'the Sea of the plain' ('Sea of the Arabah,' R.V.), in Deuteronomy 4:49; 2 Kings 14:25; 'the East Sea' in Ezekiel 47:18; Joel 2:20; and simply, 'the Sea' in Ezekiel 47:8 . The term, 'Salt Sea' is very appropriate; for it contains much more salt than is found in ordinary sea water, which makes it extremely nauseous. It is also very heavy, so that a person cannot sink in it; and after bathing it leaves a crust of salt on the flesh.

The river Jordan and some streams run into the Salt Sea, but there is no outlet. The rocks that surround it make the heat there very great, and evaporation must be rapid. Its size is about 48 miles long, and 10 miles across at its widest part. Its surface is at times (for it varies according to the rain) about 1,292 feet below the level of the sea, making it, as far as is known, the lowest lake in existence. Its deepest part is about 1,300 feet below the surface. Altogether it is like no other known lake, and is characteristic of death and dreary desolation.

On the restoration of Israel in a future day a river will issue out of the house, the future temple, which river will go down into the desert and run into this sea, and the waters will be healed. En-gedi (Ain Jidy , about half way along the coast of the Dead Sea, on the west) will be one of the stations of the fishermen. Ezekiel 47:1-10 . A beautiful figure of God's future bringing to life the dead and dry bones of Israel and Judah, and making them the means of life to others.

What connection there is, if any, between the present state of the Salt Seaand the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, is not known. In Genesis 14 the battle of the four kings against the five was in "the vale of Siddim, which is the Salt Sea." Genesis 14:3 . The four kings had come from a distance, but the five kings, of whom the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah were two, were near home; farther than this the connection cannot be traced. This sea is now called Bahr Lut, the 'Sea of Lot.'

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Salt Sea '. Morrish Bible Dictionary. 1897.

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