Dead Sea

   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), 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.

Easton's Bible Dictionary. . 1897.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • DEAD SEA — (Heb. יָם הַמֶּלַח, Yam ha Melaḥ; Salt Sea ), an inland lake in central Ereẓ Israel. It was created in the Upper Pleistocene Age by the drying up of the Rift Valley Sea (except for the southern end which probably dates to historical times). The… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Dead Sea — mid 13c., from DEAD (Cf. dead) + SEA (Cf. sea); its water is 26 percent salt (as opposed to 3 or 4 percent in most oceans) and supports practically no life. In the Bible it was the Salt Sea (Heb. yam hammelah), also Sea of the Plain and East Sea …   Etymology dictionary

  • Dead Sea — the Dead Sea a large lake between Israel and Jordan. It is over 25% salt, so people can float in it very easily …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Dead Sea — Dead′ Sea′ n. geg a salt lake between Israel and Jordan: the lowest lake in the world. ab. 390 sq. mi. (1010 sq. km); 1293 ft. (394 m) below sea level …   From formal English to slang

  • Dead Sea — inland body of salt water on the Israeli Jordanian border: c. 390 sq mi (1,010 sq km); surface, c. 1,349 ft (411 m) below sea level (the lowest known point on earth) …   English World dictionary

  • Dead Sea — • The name given to the lake that lies on the south eastern border of Palestine Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Dead Sea — For the Brian Keene book of the same name, see Dead Sea (novel). Dead Sea A view from the Israeli side looking across to Jordan Coord …   Wikipedia

  • Dead Sea — a salt lake between Israel and Jordan: the lowest lake in the world. 46 mi. (74 km) long; 10 mi. (16 km) wide; 1293 ft. (394 m) below sea level. * * * Arabic Al Baḥr al Mayyit Hebrew Yam Ha Melaḥ ancient Lacus Asphaltites Landlocked salt lake… …   Universalium

  • Dead Sea —    The lowest point on earth. Located about 30 miles east of Jerusalem and shared by Jordan and Israel, it is 49 miles long and 11 miles wide, has a 1,309 foot maximum depth, and is 1,299 feet below sea level. Its salty water has a high content… …   Historical Dictionary of Israel

  • Dead Sea — or biblical Salt Sea or Latin Lacus Asphaltites geographical name salt lake about 50 miles (80 kilometers) long on boundary between Israel & Jordan area 370 square miles (962 square kilometers), surface 1312 feet (400 meters) below sea level …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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