All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim
Or "of fields", or "ploughed lands" F2, a fruitful vale abounding with corn; or of gardens or paradises, as the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem, being full of gardens and orchards, and was as the garden of the Lord, even as Eden, see ( Genesis 13:10 ) ; though Aben Ezra thinks it had its name from the slime or bitumen, of which there was great plenty in it, see ( Genesis 14:10 ) . Now the above five kings, as they all dwelt in the plain, they entered into a confederacy, met together, and joined their forces in this vale, to oppose the four kings that were come to make war with them, as being an advantageous place, as they judged, perhaps on more accounts than one; and here they stayed to receive the enemy, and give him battle, see ( Genesis 14:8 ) ; which is the salt sea;
afterwards so called, not at this time, for then it would not have been fit for armies to be drawn up in battle array in it; but it was so called in the times of Moses, and after this fine vale was turned into a bituminous lake, and had its name from the saltness of the waters of the lake, or from the city Melach, or city of salt, which was near it, ( Joshua 15:62 ) .
F2 (Mydvh qme la) "valle amaenissimorum agrorum", Munster; "in planitie agrorum", Fagius; so Jarchi; "in valle occationum", Hiller. Onomastic. Sacr. p. 937. "dicta ab agris occatis", Schmidt.