Jordan River

Jordan River

Overview
The Jordan River or River Jordan (British English
British English
British English, or English , is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere...

) (Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

: נהר הירדן Nehar haYarden, Nahr al-Urdun) is a 251 kilometres (156 mi) long river
River
A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water. Small rivers may also be called by several other names, including...

 in West Asia flowing to the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
The Dead Sea , also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface. The Dead Sea is deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world...

. Currently, the river serves as the eastern border of the State of Israel, though it differs from the eastern border of "Eretz Yisra'el", the Land of Israel
Land of Israel
The Land of Israel is the Biblical name for the territory roughly corresponding to the area encompassed by the Southern Levant, also known as Canaan and Palestine, Promised Land and Holy Land. The belief that the area is a God-given homeland of the Jewish people is based on the narrative of the...

. In Christian tradition, Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 was baptised
Baptism of Jesus
The baptism of Jesus marks the beginning of Jesus Christ's public ministry. This event is recorded in the Canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. In John 1:29-33 rather than a direct narrative, the Baptist bears witness to the episode...

 in it by John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 takes its name from this river.
  • The Hasbani
    Hasbani River
    The Hasbani River , also known as Snir Stream within Israel, is a tributary of the Jordan river.The Hasbani River derives most of its discharge from two springs in Lebanon, the Wazzani and the Haqzbieh, the latter being a group of springs on the uppermost Hasbani...

     (Arabic: الحاصباني Hasbani, Hebrew: שניר Snir), which flows from Lebanon
    Lebanon
    Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

    .
  • The Banias
    Banias
    Banias is an archaeological site by the ancient city of Caesarea Philippi, located at the foot of Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights...

     (Arabic: بانياس Banias, Hebrew: חרמון Hermon), arising from a spring at Banias at the foot of Mount Hermon
    Mount Hermon
    Mount Hermon is a mountain cluster in the Anti-Lebanon mountain range. Its summit straddles the border between Syria and Lebanon and, at 2,814 m above sea level, is the highest point in Syria. On the top there is “Hermon Hotel”, in the buffer zone between Syria and Israeli-occupied...

    .
  • The Dan
    Dan River (Israel)
    The Dan River is the largest tributary of the Jordan river, whose source is located at the base of Mount Hermon. The river is so named after the Israelite city of Dan, which was captured by the Tribe of Dan during the Judges period. The tribe of Dan conquered the city, then named Laish and then...

     (Hebrew: דן Dan, Arabic: اللدان Leddan), whose source is also at the base of Mount Hermon.
  • The Iyon (Hebrew: עיון Iyon, Arabic: دردره Dardara or براغيث Braghith), which flows from Lebanon.


The river drops rapidly in a 75 kilometre run to swampy Lake Hula, which is slightly above sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

.
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Encyclopedia
The Jordan River or River Jordan (British English
British English
British English, or English , is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere...

) (Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

: נהר הירדן Nehar haYarden, Nahr al-Urdun) is a 251 kilometres (156 mi) long river
River
A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water. Small rivers may also be called by several other names, including...

 in West Asia flowing to the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
The Dead Sea , also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface. The Dead Sea is deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world...

. Currently, the river serves as the eastern border of the State of Israel, though it differs from the eastern border of "Eretz Yisra'el", the Land of Israel
Land of Israel
The Land of Israel is the Biblical name for the territory roughly corresponding to the area encompassed by the Southern Levant, also known as Canaan and Palestine, Promised Land and Holy Land. The belief that the area is a God-given homeland of the Jewish people is based on the narrative of the...

. In Christian tradition, Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 was baptised
Baptism of Jesus
The baptism of Jesus marks the beginning of Jesus Christ's public ministry. This event is recorded in the Canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. In John 1:29-33 rather than a direct narrative, the Baptist bears witness to the episode...

 in it by John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 takes its name from this river.

Tributaries

  • The Hasbani
    Hasbani River
    The Hasbani River , also known as Snir Stream within Israel, is a tributary of the Jordan river.The Hasbani River derives most of its discharge from two springs in Lebanon, the Wazzani and the Haqzbieh, the latter being a group of springs on the uppermost Hasbani...

     (Arabic: الحاصباني Hasbani, Hebrew: שניר Snir), which flows from Lebanon
    Lebanon
    Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

    .
  • The Banias
    Banias
    Banias is an archaeological site by the ancient city of Caesarea Philippi, located at the foot of Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights...

     (Arabic: بانياس Banias, Hebrew: חרמון Hermon), arising from a spring at Banias at the foot of Mount Hermon
    Mount Hermon
    Mount Hermon is a mountain cluster in the Anti-Lebanon mountain range. Its summit straddles the border between Syria and Lebanon and, at 2,814 m above sea level, is the highest point in Syria. On the top there is “Hermon Hotel”, in the buffer zone between Syria and Israeli-occupied...

    .
  • The Dan
    Dan River (Israel)
    The Dan River is the largest tributary of the Jordan river, whose source is located at the base of Mount Hermon. The river is so named after the Israelite city of Dan, which was captured by the Tribe of Dan during the Judges period. The tribe of Dan conquered the city, then named Laish and then...

     (Hebrew: דן Dan, Arabic: اللدان Leddan), whose source is also at the base of Mount Hermon.
  • The Iyon (Hebrew: עיון Iyon, Arabic: دردره Dardara or براغيث Braghith), which flows from Lebanon.

Course


The river drops rapidly in a 75 kilometre run to swampy Lake Hula, which is slightly above sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

. Exiting the lake, it drops much more in 25 kilometres to the Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias , is the largest freshwater lake in Israel, and it is approximately in circumference, about long, and wide. The lake has a total area of , and a maximum depth of approximately 43 m...

. The last section has less gradient
Stream gradient
Stream gradient is the grade measured by the ratio of drop in a stream per unit distance, usually expressed as feet per mile or metres per kilometre.-Hydrology and geology:A high gradient indicates a steep slope and rapid flow of water Stream gradient is the grade (slope) measured by the ratio of...

, and the river meander
Meander
A meander in general is a bend in a sinuous watercourse. A meander is formed when the moving water in a stream erodes the outer banks and widens its valley. A stream of any volume may assume a meandering course, alternately eroding sediments from the outside of a bend and depositing them on the...

s before entering the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
The Dead Sea , also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface. The Dead Sea is deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world...

, about 422 metres below sea level, which has no outlet. Two major tributaries
Tributary
A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a main stem river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean...

 enter from the east during this last section: the Yarmouk River
Yarmouk River
The Yarmouk River is the largest tributary of the Jordan River. It drains much of the Hauran Plateau. It is one of three main tributaries which enter the Jordan between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. To the south, are the Jabbok/Zarqa and the Arnon/Wadi Mujib) rivers...

 and Jabbok River.

Its section north of the Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias , is the largest freshwater lake in Israel, and it is approximately in circumference, about long, and wide. The lake has a total area of , and a maximum depth of approximately 43 m...

 (Hebrew: כינרת kinneret, Arabic: Bohayrat Tabaraya, meaning Lake of Tiberias) is within the boundaries of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, and forms the western boundary of the Golan Heights. South of the lake, it forms the border between the Kingdom of Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 (to the east) and Israel and the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 (to the west).

Human impact



In 1964, Israel began operating a dam
Dam
A dam is a barrier that impounds water or underground streams. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water, while other structures such as floodgates or levees are used to manage or prevent water flow into specific land regions. Hydropower and pumped-storage hydroelectricity are...

 that diverts water from the Sea of Galilee, a major Jordan River water provider, to the National Water Carrier
National Water Carrier of Israel
The National Water Carrier of Israel is the largest water project in Israel. Its main task is to transfer water from the Sea of Galilee in the north of the country to the highly populated center and arid south and to enable efficient use of water and regulation of the water supply in the country...

. Also in 1964, Jordan constructed a channel
Channel (geography)
In physical geography, a channel is the physical confine of a river, slough or ocean strait consisting of a bed and banks.A channel is also the natural or human-made deeper course through a reef, sand bar, bay, or any shallow body of water...

 that diverted water from the Yarmouk River
Yarmouk River
The Yarmouk River is the largest tributary of the Jordan River. It drains much of the Hauran Plateau. It is one of three main tributaries which enter the Jordan between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. To the south, are the Jabbok/Zarqa and the Arnon/Wadi Mujib) rivers...

, another main tributary of the Jordan River. Syria has also built reservoirs that catch the Yarmouk's waters. Environmentalists blame Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 and Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 for extensive damage to the Jordan River ecosystem.

In modern times, the waters are 70% to 90% used for human purposes and the flow is much reduced. Because of this and the high evaporation rate of the Dead Sea, the sea is shrinking. All the shallow waters of the southern end of the sea have been drained in modern times and are now salt flats.

Small sections of the Jordan's upper portion, near the Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias , is the largest freshwater lake in Israel, and it is approximately in circumference, about long, and wide. The lake has a total area of , and a maximum depth of approximately 43 m...

, have been kept pristine for baptisms. Most polluted is the 60-mile downstream stretch - a meandering stream from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
The Dead Sea , also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface. The Dead Sea is deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world...

. Environmentalists say the practice has almost destroyed the river's ecosystem
Ecosystem
An ecosystem is a biological environment consisting of all the organisms living in a particular area, as well as all the nonliving , physical components of the environment with which the organisms interact, such as air, soil, water and sunlight....

. Rescuing the river could take decades, according to environmentalists. In 2007, Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Earth International is an international network of environmental organizations in 76 countries.FOEI is assisted by a small secretariat which provides support for the network and its agreed major campaigns...

 Middle East (FoEME) named the Jordan River as one of the world's 100 most endangered ecological sites, due in part to lack of cooperation between Israel and neighboring Arab states. The same environmentalist organization said in a report that the Jordan River could dry up by 2011 unless the decay is stopped. The flow rate of the Jordan River once was 1.3 billion cubic metres per year; as of 2010, just 20 to 30 million cubic metres per year flow into the Dead Sea. For comparison, the total amount of desalinated water produced by Israel by 2012 will be about 500 million cubic metres per year.

Importance


The waters of the Jordan River are an important resource to the dry lands in the area and are a source of conflict among Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and the Palestinians
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 which began with 1951 Syrian border clashes. Mediation by the Eisenhower administration failed because Arab states would not agree to diverting 33% of water to Israel while only 23% originated there. For Israel the Jordan, including the Yarmouk, supplies 40% of its fresh water, of which 70% is used in agriculture, while 80% of the water derived from renewable resources of the mountain aquifers in the region are also exploited by Israel. The National Water Carrier Project was begun in 1956 and completed in 1964; it combined all previous water projects and delivered water to the dry Mitzpe Ramon
Mitzpe Ramon
Mitzpe Ramon is a town in the Negev desert of southern Israel. It is situated on the northern ridge at an elevation of 860 meters overlooking a sizable erosion cirque known as the Ramon Crater.-History:...

 in the south. Soon after, Syria and Jordan decided to divert the Jordan water at the source. The diversion works would have reduced the installed capacity of Israel's carrier by about 35%, and Israel's overall water supply by about 11%. In April 1967 Israel conducted air raids into Syria to halt this work, and two months later the Six Day War followed. The use of Jordan River's water as a vital regional resource was the cause of the war confirmed by Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon is an Israeli statesman and retired general, who served as Israel’s 11th Prime Minister. He has been in a permanent vegetative state since suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006....

 who has said,
People generally regard June 5, 1967, as the day the Six Day War began. That is the official date, but in reality it started two and a half years earlier on the day Israel decided to act against the diversion of the Jordan River.

Transport


Route 90, part of which is named after Rehavam Zeevi
Rehavam Zeevi
' 20 June 1926 - 17 October 2001) was an Israeli general, politician, and historian who founded the right-wing nationalist Moledet party, mainly advocating population transfer....

, connects the northern and southern tips of Israel and parallels the Jordan River on the western side.

Biblical importance



Hebrew Bible


In the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

 the Jordan is referred to as the source of fertility to a large plain ("Kikkar ha-Yarden"), and it is said to be like "the garden of God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

" (Genesis ). There is no regular description of the Jordan in the Bible; only scattered and indefinite references to it are given. Jacob
Jacob
Jacob "heel" or "leg-puller"), also later known as Israel , as described in the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, the New Testament and the Qur'an was the third patriarch of the Hebrew people with whom God made a covenant, and ancestor of the tribes of Israel, which were named after his descendants.In the...

 crossed it and its tributary, the Jabbok (the modern Al-Zarqa), to reach Haran
Haran
Haran or Aran is a figure in Book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible. Haran was born in Ur Kaśdim , the son of Terah and thus a descendant of Shem. Haran's brothers were Abram/Abraham and Nahor...

 . It is noted as the line of demarcation between the "two tribes and the half tribe" settled to the east
Transjordan (Bible)
The Transjordan is used to describe an area of land in the Southern Levant lying east of the Jordan River that is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. The area is said to form part of an ill-defined area known as the land of Israel...

 (Numbers
Book of Numbers
The Book of Numbers is the fourth book of the Hebrew Bible, and the fourth of five books of the Jewish Torah/Pentateuch....

 ) and the "nine tribes and the half tribe of Manasseh" that, led by Joshua
Joshua
Joshua , is a minor figure in the Torah, being one of the spies for Israel and in few passages as Moses's assistant. He turns to be the central character in the Hebrew Bible's Book of Joshua...

, settled to the west .

Opposite Jericho
Jericho
Jericho ; is a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories. It is the capital of the Jericho Governorate and has a population of more than 20,000. Situated well below sea level on an east-west route north of the Dead Sea, Jericho is the lowest permanently...

, it was called "the Jordan of Jericho" . The Jordan has a number of fords
Ford (crossing)
A ford is a shallow place with good footing where a river or stream may be crossed by wading or in a vehicle. A ford is mostly a natural phenomenon, in contrast to a low water crossing, which is an artificial bridge that allows crossing a river or stream when water is low.The names of many towns...

, and one of them is famous as the place where many Ephraimites were slain by Jephthah (Judges
Book of Judges
The Book of Judges is the seventh book of the Hebrew bible and the Christian Old Testament. Its title describes its contents: it contains the history of Biblical judges, divinely inspired prophets whose direct knowledge of Yahweh allows them to act as decision-makers for the Israelites, as...

 ). It seems that these are the same fords mentioned as being near Beth-barah, where Gideon lay in wait for the Midian
Midian
Midian , Madyan , or Madiam is a geographical place and a people mentioned in the Bible and in the Qur'an. It is believed to be in northwest Saudi Arabia on the east shore of the Gulf of Aqaba and the northern Red Sea...

ites . In the plain of the Jordan, between Succoth
Sukkot
Sukkot is a Biblical holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei . It is one of the three biblically mandated festivals Shalosh regalim on which Hebrews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.The holiday lasts seven days...

 and Zarthan, is the clay ground where Solomon had his brass-foundries (1 Kings
Books of Kings
The Book of Kings presents a narrative history of ancient Israel and Judah from the death of David to the release of his successor Jehoiachin from imprisonment in Babylon, a period of some 400 years...

 ).

In biblical history, the Jordan appears as the scene of several miracle
Miracle
A miracle often denotes an event attributed to divine intervention. Alternatively, it may be an event attributed to a miracle worker, saint, or religious leader. A miracle is sometimes thought of as a perceptible interruption of the laws of nature. Others suggest that a god may work with the laws...

s, the first taking place when the Jordan, near Jericho, was crossed by the Israelites under Joshua . Later the two tribes and the half tribe that settled east of the Jordan built a large altar on its banks as "a witness" between them and the other tribes . The Jordan was crossed by Elijah and Elisha
Elisha
Elisha is a prophet mentioned in the Hebrew Bible and the Qur'an. His name is commonly transliterated into English as Elisha via Hebrew, Eliseus via Greek and Latin, or Alyasa via Arabic.-Biblical biography:...

 on dry ground . Elisha performed two other miracles at the Jordan: he healed Naaman
Naaman
Naaman was a commander of the armies of Ben-Hadad II in the time of Joram, king of Israel. He is mentioned in of the Tanakh. According to the narrative, he was afflicted with tzaraath...

 by having him bathe in its waters, and he made the axe head of one of the "children of the prophets" float, by throwing a piece of wood into the water .

The Jordan was crossed by Judas Maccabeus
Judas Maccabeus
Judah Maccabee was a Kohen and a son of the Jewish priest Mattathias...

 and his brother Jonathan Maccabaeus
Jonathan Maccabaeus
Jonathan Apphus was leader of the Hasmonean Dynasty of Judea from 161 to 143 BCE. The name Apphus could mean = "the dissembler", "the Wary", or "the diplomat", in allusion to a trait prominent in him -Leader of the Jews:...

 during their war with the Nabataeans (1 Maccabees
1 Maccabees
The First book of Maccabees is a book written in Hebrew by a Jewish author after the restoration of an independent Jewish kingdom, about the latter part of the 2nd century BC. The original Hebrew is lost and the most important surviving version is the Greek translation contained in the Septuagint...

 ). A little later the Jordan was the scene of the battle between Jonathan and Bacchides, in which the latter was defeated .

New Testament


The New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 states that John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

 baptised unto repentance in the Jordan (Matthew 3:5
Matthew 3:5
Matthew 3:5 is the fifth verse of the third chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. The verse occurs in the section introducing John the Baptist with this verse describing his popularity in the region....

-6
Matthew 3:6
Matthew 3:6 is the sixth verse of the third chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. The verse occurs in the section introducing John the Baptist with this verse describing his baptisms....

; Mark
Gospel of Mark
The Gospel According to Mark , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Mark or simply Mark, is the second book of the New Testament. This canonical account of the life of Jesus of Nazareth is one of the three synoptic gospels. It was thought to be an epitome, which accounts for its place as the second...

; Luke
Gospel of Luke
The Gospel According to Luke , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Luke or simply Luke, is the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels. This synoptic gospel is an account of the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. It details his story from the events of his birth to his Ascension.The...

 ; John
Gospel of John
The Gospel According to John , commonly referred to as the Gospel of John or simply John, and often referred to in New Testament scholarship as the Fourth Gospel, is an account of the public ministry of Jesus...

). This is recounted as having taken place at Bethabara
Bethabara
This entry incorporates text from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia with some modernisation.Bethabara , in modern-day Jordan: According to the King James Version This entry incorporates text from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia with some modernisation.Bethabara...

 .

Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 came to be baptised
Baptism of Jesus
The baptism of Jesus marks the beginning of Jesus Christ's public ministry. This event is recorded in the Canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. In John 1:29-33 rather than a direct narrative, the Baptist bears witness to the episode...

 by him there (Matthew 3:13
Matthew 3:13
Matthew 3:13 is the thirteenth verse of the third chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. The verse introduces the section describing the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist....

; ; ). The Jordan is also where John the Baptist bore record of Jesus as the Son of God
Son of God
"Son of God" is a phrase which according to most Christian denominations, Trinitarian in belief, refers to the relationship between Jesus and God, specifically as "God the Son"...

 and Lamb of God
Lamb of God
The title Lamb of God appears in the Gospel of John, with the exclamation of John the Baptist: "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" in John 1:29 when he sees Jesus....

 .

The prophesy
Prophecy
Prophecy is a process in which one or more messages that have been communicated to a prophet are then communicated to others. Such messages typically involve divine inspiration, interpretation, or revelation of conditioned events to come as well as testimonies or repeated revelations that the...

 of Isaiah
Isaiah
Isaiah ; Greek: ', Ēsaïās ; "Yahu is salvation") was a prophet in the 8th-century BC Kingdom of Judah.Jews and Christians consider the Book of Isaiah a part of their Biblical canon; he is the first listed of the neviim akharonim, the later prophets. Many of the New Testament teachings of Jesus...

 regarding the Messiah
Messiah
A messiah is a redeemer figure expected or foretold in one form or another by a religion. Slightly more widely, a messiah is any redeemer figure. Messianic beliefs or theories generally relate to eschatological improvement of the state of humanity or the world, in other words the World to...

 which names the Jordan is recounted in .

The New Testament speaks several times about Jesus crossing the Jordan during his ministry , and of believers crossing the Jordan to come hear him preach
Sermon
A sermon is an oration by a prophet or member of the clergy. Sermons address a Biblical, theological, religious, or moral topic, usually expounding on a type of belief, law or behavior within both past and present contexts...

 and to be healed
Miracle
A miracle often denotes an event attributed to divine intervention. Alternatively, it may be an event attributed to a miracle worker, saint, or religious leader. A miracle is sometimes thought of as a perceptible interruption of the laws of nature. Others suggest that a god may work with the laws...

 of their diseases . When his enemies sought to capture him, Jesus took refuge at Jordan in the place John had first baptised .

Symbolic importance


The Jordan is a frequent symbol in folk
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

, gospel
Gospel music
Gospel music is music that is written to express either personal, spiritual or a communal belief regarding Christian life, as well as to give a Christian alternative to mainstream secular music....

, and spiritual music
Spiritual (music)
Spirituals are religious songs which were created by enslaved African people in America.-Terminology and origin:...

, or in poetic
Poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

 or literary
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

 works.

Because the Israelites made a difficult and hazardous journey from slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

 in Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 to freedom in The Promised Land, the Jordan can refer to freedom. The actual crossing is the final step of the journey, which is then complete.

Because of the baptism of Jesus, water from the Jordan is employed for the christening of heirs and princes in several Christian royal houses, such as the cases of Simeon of Bulgaria
Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
Simeon Borisov of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Tsar Simeon II or Simeon II of Bulgaria is an important political and royal figure in Bulgaria...

 or James Ogilvy
James Ogilvy
James Robert Bruce Ogilvy is the elder child and only son of the late Sir Angus Ogilvy and Princess Alexandra of Kent. He was born in Thatched House Lodge, Richmond Park, Surrey and was the first of four babies born to royals in 1964. When he was born he was 13th in the line of succession to the...

.

In popular culture


The song "Ol' Man River
Ol' Man River
"Ol' Man River" is a song in the 1927 musical Show Boat that expresses the African American hardship and struggles of the time with the endless, uncaring flow of the Mississippi River; it is sung from the point-of-view of a dock worker on a showboat, and is the most famous song from the show...

" from the musical Show Boat
Show Boat
Show Boat is a musical in two acts with music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. It was originally produced in New York in 1927 and in London in 1928, and was based on the 1926 novel of the same name by Edna Ferber. The plot chronicles the lives of those living and working...

mentions "Show me dat stream called de river Jordan, / Dat's de ol' stream dat I long to cross."
It is also referenced in the song " Eve of Destruction."

See also

  • Jordan River Crossing
    Jordan River Crossing
    The Jordan River Crossing is an international border crossing between Irbid, Jordan and Beit She'an, Israel. Opened in November, 1994 it is currently one of three entry/exit points between the two countries that handles tourists.-Transportation to and from the terminal:There is no public...

  • Jordan Rift Valley
    Jordan Rift Valley
    The Jordan Rift Valley is an elongated depression located in modern-day Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories. This geographic region includes the Jordan River, Jordan Valley, Hula Valley, Lake Tiberias and the Dead Sea, the lowest land elevation on Earth...

  • Jordan Valley (Middle East)
    Jordan Valley (Middle East)
    The Jordan Valley forms part of the larger Jordan Rift Valley. It is 120 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide, where it runs from Lake Tiberias in the north to northern Dead Sea in the south. It runs for an additional 155 kilometer south of the Dead Sea to Aqaba, an area also known as Wadi...

  • Khirbet Dikke
    Khirbet Dikke
    The ed-Dikke Synagogue, located 3km north of the Sea of Galilee on the eastern bank of the Jordan River, was an ancient synagogue dating from around the 5th century CE.-History:...

     ancient synagogue

External links