Jordan River


Jordan River


Banks of the Jordan River

Jordan River

(Joshua 1:2) (Matthew 3:6)

The Jordan River was of prime importance both in the Old and in the New Testament.

“Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.” (Joshua 1:2)

“And were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.” (Matthew 3:6)

The Jordan River is the largest river in Israel, 250 km. long. Its name derives from the Hebrew Yarden (the river that descends), since its journey from the foothills of Mt. Hermon to the Dead Sea involves a drop of 800 meters to the lowest point on earth. The river flows from north to south.

Its primary sources are:  Nahal Hermon (Banyas), Nahal Dan and Nahal Senir (Hatzbani). As it flows down to the  Sea of Galilee and finally into the Dead Sea it is fed by many lateral tributaries, the largest being the Yarmuk River.

Crossed by Joshua and repeatedly by Jacob, the Jordan is perhaps the most famous Biblical place name, the river that divides the Promised Land from the desert to the east. It has been sanctified by both Jewish and Christian traditions. In its waters Jesus was baptized by John.

As a vital water source and a natural boundary, the river has often been a subject of contention.


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