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Monday, July 15 2013
What Does The Bible Call The Dead Sea?
"The border shall go down to Jordan, and the goings out of it shall be at the Salt Sea"
The Dead Sea (as it is popularly known today; the term is not used in the King James Version) is a large inland body of salt water that measures about 80 kilometers / 50 miles long and 16 kilometers / 10 miles wide. It is located about 19 kilometers / 12 miles east of Jerusalem. In Bible History, it is variously known as the Salt Sea, the Sea of the Plain, or the Eastern Sea. It today forms part of the international boundary between Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan. It can be seen in the bottom-right area of the photograph below; the extensive present-day mineral harvesting operations in the southern section are plainly seen from space.
The surface of the Dead Sea is 393 meters / 1,290 feet below the sea-level surface of the Mediterranean Sea, which is only about 80 kilometers / 50 miles to the west. The depth of the Dead Sea ranges from only 3 meters / 10 feet to an abysmal 396 meters / 1,300 feet. Although its primary source is the freshwater Jordan River that flows into the Dead Sea on its northern shore, the Dead Sea has no outlet, while the extremely high rate of evaporation from the heat of its wide-open, below sea level, desert location causes a high evaporation rate that removes water while leaving behind the salt and other minerals that are naturally found in fresh water. The result is that the "Salt Sea" has a very high salt level - about 5 times that of ocean water.
The first Biblical mention of the Salt Sea is in Genesis, "in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea."
"14:1 And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations; 14:2 That these made war with Bera king of Sodom [see also A Biography Of Abraham: The Battles Of Sodom], and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar. 14:3 All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea." (Genesis 14:1-3 KJV)
The LORD (see The Kingdom Of The LORD God to understand Who "the LORD God" actually was - and is) declared the Salt Sea to be one of the boundaries of the land of Israel.
"34:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Moses; also Deuteronomy: The Law and History Lessons By Moses], saying, 34:2 Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land of Canaan; this is the land that shall fall unto you for an inheritance, even the land of Canaan with the coasts thereof:
"Living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea"
Although the flow of the Jordan River was high at the time ("for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest"), the river was stopped upstream to permit the Israelites to cross the Jordan into the promised land (see Milk and Honey) on dry ground. The flow of the Jordan into the Dead Sea, which was just south of where the Israelites crossed the river, was also stopped at that time.
"3:15 And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest, 3:16 That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho.
The future of the Dead Sea is destined to be much brighter and productive, although some areas of salt will remain for useful purpose. Speaking of "the river of living waters" that will flow to both the Dead and Mediterranean Seas from Jerusalem after the return of Jesus Christ:
"14:4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south ... 14:8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea [RSV "the eastern sea" i.e. the Dead/Salt Sea], and half of them toward the hinder sea [RSV "the western sea" i.e. the Mediterranean Sea]: in summer and in winter shall it be. 14:9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one." (Zechariah 14:4,8-9 KJV)
Fact Finder: What will the world be like when the Messiah returns and completes all that God has sent Him to do?
This Day In History, July 15
1099: Middle East Muslims surrendered Jerusalem to the European armies of the First Crusade (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad). The "Christian" Crusaders then massacred thousands of Muslim men, women and children.
1207: King John of England expelled the Canterbury monks for their support of Stephen Langton.
1381: John Ball, a rebel leader in the Peasants' Revolt in England, was hanged, drawn and quartered.
1410: The Battle of Grunwald in Prussia; The king of Poland, Wladyslaw Jagiello, with an army of 39,000 Poles, Lithuanians, Ukrainians and supported by Tartars and troops from Romanian Wallachia, defeated a force of 27,000 Teutonic Knights under the order's grand master, Ulrich von Jungingen. Despite the decisiveness of the victory (half of the Teutonic knights were killed, the rest captured), the conditions of peace were mild. The Teutonic knights agreed to withdraw from part of Lithuania and guaranteed free trade on the Vistula. The Battle of Grunwald is held in high regard in Polish history. The battle is referred to as The Battle of Tannenberg by the Germans.
1662: Charles II granted a charter to establish the Royal Society in London.
1685: The Duke of Monmouth was executed on Tower Hill in England after his army was defeated at Sedgemore.
1792: Francis II (Hapsburg) became the Holy Roman emperor (see The Holy Roman Empire).
1799: During Napoleon's Egyptian Campaign, the Rosetta Stone was discovered in the Egyptian village of Rosetta (see also The Word Of God In The Tongues Of Man).
1815: Napoleon surrendered 4 weeks after Battle of Waterloo; he was then exiled as a prisoner to St. Helena.
1823: In Rome, the church known as St Paul's Outside the Walls was destroyed by a fire. Its original edifice was erected in 324 by the Roman emperor Constantine (See Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).
1869: Margarine was patented in France by Hippolyte Mege Mouries.
1870: Manitoba became a Province of the Canadian Federation.
1878: The first telephone exchange in the British Empire was opened in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The principles of the telephone were invented by Scottish-born Alexander Graham Bell at his home in nearby Brantford, Ontario (Daily Bible Study is written about 20 miles from the Bell Homestead which is now a museum).
1888: The volcanic eruption of Mount Bandai killed 500 people in Japan.
1918: During the First World War, the second Battle of the Marne began (see also A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1944: During the Second World War, Greenwich Observatory was damaged by bombing.
1965: The Mariner IV spacecraft sent back the first close-up pictures of Mars.
1974: In Cyprus, Greek Junta-sponsored nationalists launched a coup that deposed President Makarios.
2000: Owen Maynard died at age 75. The Canadian aeronautical engineer was one of the 31 Canadian Arrow engineers who went to work for NASA on the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. Maynard was directly involved in the design of the lunar module that landed on the moon.