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Dead Sea

Also known as the Salt Sea. Located at the southern end of the Jordan valley, 53 miles long, with an average breadth of 9 miles, its surface being 1290 feet below the Mediterranean, and its greatest depth 1300 feet. It is fed by the Jordan and by several smaller streams and has no outlet except by evaporation. All the mineral salts that the streams bring down are consequently accumulated, and this accounts for the extreme bitterness of the water. Its shores are memorable as the scene of God’s judgment on the cities of the plain: Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim, and Zoar or Bela (see Gen. 14:2; 19:25; Deut. 29:23). The position of these cities is uncertain; they have been placed by some scholars at the northern end (so as to be within view of Bethel) and by others at the southern end.