Inland lake at the end of the Jordan Valley on the southeastern border of Canaan with no outlets for water it receives; known as Salt Sea, Sea of the Plain, and Eastern Sea. Its current English name was applied to it through writings after A.D. 100. It is about 50 miles long and 10 miles wide at its widest point. The surface of the sea is 1,292 feet below the level of the Mediterranean Sea. At its deepest point the lake is 1,300 feet deep. At its most shallow, it is only 10 to 15 feet deep.
The main source of water for the sea is the Jordan River, but other smaller rivers empty into the sea also. The Jordan River empties an average of six million tons of water into the sea every 24 hours. Despite this and the fact that the sea has no outlet, the surface does not rise more than 10 to 15 feet. Since the Dead Sea lies below sea level, the heat and aridity of its location cause rapid evaporation of the water.
This, plus other geographical factors, gives it a salt content, that is approximately five times the concentration of the ocean. This makes the body of water one of the world’s saltiest. The salt content also causes a condition in which no form of marine life can live, although some fish have reportedly been found in adjacent less salty pools. The surrounding land area, however, can support vegetation and life. These features of the Dead Sea as well as its location in a hot and arid area inspired the biblical writers to use it as an example of a life apart from the law of God.