The Dead Sea had been a place of historic significance in the ancient past especially, when talking about biblical history. This barren land had been a place of mystery not only because of its very salty waters, but also because of the fact that there were kingdoms established all around this place a long, long time ago. In this article, we are going to discuss the 5 ancient Dead Sea kingdoms that flourished and fell in the distant past. This article aims to provide useful information to know more about the history of the place and how it can be a possible explanation for the water's extreme salinity.
Where Is The Dead Sea Located Actually?
Before we proceed into knowing the 5 ancient Dead Sea kingdoms, let's try to learn more facts about the place. The Dead Sea is not actually a sea (type of body of water), but it is a very big salt lake. The name of the place was derived from the Bible particularly, from the Hebrew word "Yam ha-Melah" which means "sea of salt". Aside from that, it was called "dead" because no living thing can survive in this place because of the high salt content on the water of the land locked body of water that has no capacity to drain the excess waters to the ocean and only through evaporation. That's why the Dead Sea became very salty.
When we talk about the Dead Sea, most of us will think that we can find this place in the Middle East. But where in particular is this place? The Dead Sea is specifically located in the Jordan Rift Valley, in between Israel and Jordan. If you're going to view the Dead Sea map on top, it looks like and enclosed body of water (with the Sea of Galilee on the Northern side). This place is Very significant for many Biblical figures from David to Herod the great (once become his health resort) and to the Egyptians who exported products for mummification purposes.
The Ancient Kingdoms That Surrounded The Dead Sea:
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea was once surrounded by thriving kingdoms, 2 of which became famous an know to be destroyed due to wrath of God because of their wicked ways. Here are the 5 ancient Dead Sea kingdoms that once stood over the place:
1. Engedi - The name literally means the "fountain of a kid". This kingdom is frequently mentioned in the first few books of the Bible. Engedi (or sometimes called "Ein Gedi") is located in the western shores to the south side of the Dead Sea and it flourished at the time of Judah.
2. Zoar - this place is located at the very south of the Dead Sea and it was once ruled by king Shemeber. Zoar is also known as "Bela" which means "destruction" in the Hebrew language.
3. Admah - this kingdom was ruled by king Shinab and its name can be associated to Adam because they both mean "earth". up to this day, the location of Admah is still unknown.
4. Sodom - the name literally means "to scorch" which obviously became the kingdom's fateful demise. the exact location of Sodom is still lest to be determined, but according to ancient text it once lied on the South side of the dead sea. The kingdom was once ruled by king Bera.
5. Gomorrah - the other known kingdom to have suffered a doomed end. This was once ruled by king Birsh and it once lied on the South side as well. The Gomorrah means "a ruined heap" in Hebrew.
According to the Bible, all of the 5 kingdoms where the Dead Sea is located was destroyed and crumble to pieces by God as he rained down fire and brimstone over these locations as punishments for their sins. A Biblical explanation of the sea's high salinity is because the effect of this event that caused some rocks and stoned to turn into salt (reaction to the sulfur in the air) and it was then collected by the sea. This can be well proven when Lot (a Biblical figure) turned into a pillar of salt after looking back at Sodom and Gomorrah.
The remnants of this kingdom can no longer be found in the Dead Sea map, but some ancient text can attest their existence. Hopefully you have gained more knowledge in this article about the 5 ancient Dead Sea kingdoms.