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SIDDIM, VALE OF:

The etymology of "Siddim" is uncertain (see G. A. Smith, "Historical Geog. of the Holy Land," p. 503), though Targ. Onḳ. renders it "vale of fields." It is mentioned in Gen. xiv. 3, 8, 10, verse 3 identifying it with the Dead Sea—a geological impossibility, inasmuch as the Dead Sea was in existence long before Abraham's time ("Z. D. P. V." 1896, pp. 1-59; 1898, pp. 65-83); hence this verse is generally rejected as a late gloss. Hommel ("Die Altisraelitische Ueberlieferung," p. 164) describes the place as a region rich in asphalt, and which, as a result of some natural convulsion, was flooded by the waters of the Dead Sea. It is famed as the meeting-place of the confederation against Chedorlaomer.

E. G. H. E. I. N.
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