Rain fell for two weeks in Israel, breaking a 50-year record for the highest amount of precipitation in northern Israel on Thursday, according to the Israel Meteorological Service. A record was also broken in southern Israel where, according to the meteorological service, 5 inches fell, breaking a 76-year-old record
According to the Bible, the landscape changed with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, which turned the valley into a wasteland. The Bible also describes the area as fertile and well-watered in its narrative of Lot looking out onto the valley where the Dead Sea is now:
Indeed, Biblical prophecy also holds that water will flow east from Jerusalem into the Dead Sea, filling it up with fish and the surrounding desert with life:
“Then said he unto me: ‘These waters issue forth toward the eastern region and shall go down into the Arabah; and when they shall enter into the sea into the sea of the putrid waters the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass that every living creature wherewith it swarmeth whithersoever the rivers shall come shall live; and there shall be a very great multitude of fish; for these waters are come thither that all things be healed and may live whithersoever the river cometh.” (Ezekiel 47:8-9)
The topography of Israel is such that this Biblical vision is quite realistic. On a map, Jerusalem and the Dead Seas look to be adjacent and they are near to each other as the crow flies. However, Jerusalem is perched on a mountaintop 2,400 feet above sea level. The surface of the Dead Sea is 1,388 feet below sea level, making it Earth’s lowest elevation on land. The centerline of Israel is almost entirely a mountain ridge, meaning that any rainfall necessarily flows either to the Mediterranean in the west or towards the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. The soil of the Dead Sea valley is non-porous which leads to dangerous flash flooding.