The New York Times news service makes known the truth that industry is to get the Dead Sea Potash. Part of the Dead Sea is to be converted into a large evaporation pan by United States contractors. Construction Aggregates Corporation of Chicago received a contract to build 25 miles of dike to inclose 2,500 acres at the southern end of the sea, near biblical Sodom. The hot, dry climate in the region, which is 1,300 feet below sea level, causes evaporation.
Israel's potash production is now 185,000 tons. The development is expected to increase it to 700,000 tons in three years. Most of the production is for export as domestic consumption is only two thousand tons a year.
The Dead Sea works are a government-owned project. The evaporation pans are now on land, south of the sea. However, the Jordanian border and the surrounding hills prevented further expansion on the surface and forced the planners to use the sea.
Here is a case of gain from the dead—and not, as Socrates once said, "a state of nothingness." Shakespeare might speak of this as "changeful potency." Surely, we can say with old Thomas Carlyle: "The age of miracles is forever here." Another spark of "the enchanting miracles of change."
As the people of industry work near biblical Sodom, I hope they will give thought to the truth that once, in the centuries gone forever into the tomb of Time, "there came two angels to Sodom at even. And Lot, who sat in the gate of Sodom, seeing the angels, rose up to meet them—and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground" (Genesis 19:1).
And I hope someone will put the truth of those Bible words in the hearts of those who work near biblical Sodom and Gomorrah:
And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; (Genesis 18:20).
The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. . . .
And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the Lord: and he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace (Genesis 19:23-25, 27,28).