One of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world, the Dea Sea is shared by Israel, Jordan and the West Bank. This famous landmark is a healing bath to millions of people from all over the world, who come to heal, soothe and pamper themselves in the mineral-rich waters. Breathtaking in its beauty, surrounded by the Judean Desert, deep cliffs with red and sandy colored walls, and cobalt blue-white waters. In the bible, the Dead Sea is known as the "Salt Sea" or the "Sea of Arabah" due to its high mineral content where nothing can live it in. Other names also appear, such as the Valley of Siddim or Shedim. During biblical times this sea was mostly known to be a barrier of traffic to Judah from the east.
The “Valley of Siddim” was apparently the name of the land now covered by the Dead Sea, one of the world’s richest areas in mineral content (perhaps reflected by the presence of “many asphalt pits,” v. 10). How the valley filled in to become a great body of water is not known, though it appears the flow of the Jordan River out of the south end of the valley into the Arabah was blocked, damming the river. That could have been caused by upheaval related to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Ted Cabal, ed., The Apologetics Study Bible, Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2007, paragraph 728.
The name Dead Sea given by Greek and Latin writers to the remarkable inland lake occupying the deepest part of the depression of the ARABAH (which see). In the Bible it is called the Salt Sea (Gen 14:3; Dt 3:17); the Sea of the Plain (עֲרָבָה). (Josh 3:16); and the (East) Eastern Sea (Ezk 47:18; Joel 2:20). Among the Arabs it is still called Bahr Lut (Sea of Lot). By the time of Josephus it was called Lake Asphaltires (Ant., I, ix) from the quantities of bitumen or asphalt occasionally washed upon its shores and found in some of the tributary wadies.
“Dead Sea, the,” ISBE, paragraph 15728.
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; That these made war with Bera king 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. All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea. Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled.
Genesis 14:1–4 KJV
The Dead Sea Scrolls
The Dead Sea Scrolls is a collection of ancient manuscripts discovered in and around the cliffs along the Western shore of the Dead Sea.
The expression Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) embraces all epigraphic remains discovered since 1947 over a 75 km stretch from Wadi ed-Daliyeh 25 km North of the Dead Sea southward to Masada, mostly inside ancient refuge caves. Strictly speaking, only those manuscripts discovered in the vicinity of Khirbet Qumran. At present, this includes approximately 800 manuscripts from eleven caves, many extremely fragmentary.