2021 - 2022
The Dead Sea is a salt lake bordered by Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. It lies in the Jordan Rift Valley, and its main tributary is the Jordan River. Its surface and shores are 430.5 meters (1,412 ft) below sea level, Earth's lowest elevation on land. It is 304 m (997 ft) deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. With a salinity of 342 g/kg, or 34.2% (in 2011), it is one of the world's saltiest bodies of water– 9.6 times as salty as the ocean – and has a density of 1.24 kg/liters, which makes swimming similar to floating. This salinity makes for a harsh environment in which plants and animals cannot flourish, hence its name. The Dead Sea's main, northern basin is 50 kilometers (31 miles) long and 15 kilometers (9 miles) wide at its widest point. Just northwest of the Dead Sea is Jericho. Somewhere, perhaps on the southeastern shore, would be the cities mentioned in the Book of Genesis which were said to have been destroyed in the time of Abraham: Sodom and Gomorra (Genesis 18) and the three other "Cities of the Plain", Admah, Zeboim and Zoar (Deuteronomy 29:23). Zoar escaped destruction when Abraham's nephew Lot escaped to Zoar from Sodom (Genesis 19:21–22). Before the destruction, the Dead Sea was a valley full of natural tar pits, which was called the vale of Siddim. King David was said to have hidden from Saul at Ein Gedi nearby.
In Ezekiel 47:8-9 there is a specific prophecy that the sea will "be healed and made fresh", becoming a normal lake capable of supporting marine life. A similar prophecy is stated in Zechariah 14:8, which says that "living waters will go out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea [likely the Dead Sea] and half to the western sea.