It rarely rains in the Jordan Valley — but thanks to the river, plants grow in abundance. The Ḥula Valley receives about 22 inches (550 mm) a year, whereas only about 3 inches (75 mm) fall north of the Dead Sea. That is why the river is important for Judaism. ", "Water Diplomacy: Creating Value and Building Trust in Transboundary Water Negotiations", "Towards a Living Jordan River: An Environmental Flows Report on the Rehabilitation of the Lower Jordan River", "Appendix C: Historical review of the political riparian issues in the development of the Jordan River and basin management", "Baptism Site "Bethany Beyond the Jordan" (Al-Maghtas)", "Jah Lyrics: Burning Spear - Jordan River Lyrics", "Интервью с солистом группы "Spasenie" Игорем Мухой накануне концерта 1 июня в клубе "Реактор, Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund, SMART – Multilateral project for sustainable water management in the lower Jordan Valley, "Map of the River Jordan and Dead Sea: And the Route of the Party Under the Command of Lieutenant W.F. Its tributaries are: . The New Testament states that John the Baptist baptised unto repentance[29] in the Jordan (Matthew 3:5–6; Mark1:5; Luke 3:3; John1:28). At that point, the river is situated about 210 metres below sea level. Jordan River, which is the river where Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist according to Christian tradition. The Jordan also can signify death itself, with the crossing from life into Paradise or Heaven. For Israel, the water of the Jordan River is an absolute neccessity for drinking water and for irrigation. Following Moses' death, as Joshua led the Israelites across the river, God produced dry land when the priests carrying the Ark of Covenant stepped into the water. Finally, the Jordan drains into the Dead Sea through a gently sloping broad delta. The river was called the Aulon by the Greeks and is sometimes called Al-Sharīʿah (“Watering Place”) by the Arabs. The Jordan River, due primarily to its rich spiritual importance, has provided inspiration for countless songs, hymns, and stories, including the traditional African-American spiritual/folk songs "Michael Row the Boat Ashore", "Deep River", and "Roll, Jordan, Roll". Among many other references, the Jordan River is given this meaning in the text of Old Man River: "Let me go 'way from the Mississippi / Let me go 'way from the white man boss / Show me that stream called the River Jordan / That's the old stream that I long to cross". It is regarded as sacred not only by Christians but also by Jews and Muslims. The surface of the Dead Sea, at an elevation of about 1,410 feet (430 metres) below sea level in the mid-2010s, is the lowest land point on Earth. The valley walls are steep, sheer, and bare, and they are broken only by the gorges of tributary wadis (seasonal watercourses). 11. The Jordan River is a key water source for Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon; water remains a central issue to the Middle East conflict. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. It dates to the 6th century AD. Facts about the River Jordan 2: Christianity In Christianity, River Jordan is also important because John the Baptist baptized Jesus of Nazareth in the river. Jordan River in Poetry and Prophecy Opposite Jericho, it was called "the Jordan of Jericho" (Numbers 34:15; 35:1). This same location today is known as Qasr Al-Yahud, located on the Jordan River just North of where it flows into the Dead Sea. It is 251 kilometres (156 mi) long. The Jordan River holds a number of biblical significances. The Jordan itself is shallow. Remember how Joshua’s men fell at Ai when Achan stole the possessions of Ai. From the east, in Syria, flows the Bāniyās River. It lies in a structural depression and has the lowest elevation of any river in the world. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). The Bareighit receives its supply of water from the hills on the West, which separate the valley from the river Litany, and is the least important … The miracle was dramatic proof that God supported Joshua’s leadership, for it fulfilled Joshua’s promise that God would perform a wonder and it enabled the nation to carry out Joshua’s order to cross the river. The baptism of Jesus is referred to in a hymn by the reformer Martin Luther, "Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam" (1541), base for a cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach, Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam, BWV 7 (1724). The river was called the Aulon by the Greeks and is sometimes called Al-Sharīʿah (“Watering Place”) by the Arabs. Winters along the river are mild, especially in the south, but summers are torrid, again increasingly toward the south. The Jordan River has three principal sources, all of which rise at the foot of Mount Hermon. Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike revere the Jordan. Gelb, I. J. The Jordan River is more than 223 miles (360 km) in length, but, because its course is meandering, the actual distance between its source and the Dead Sea is less than 124 miles (200 km). Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. As a result, the western tribes felt the Law had been violated and intended to go to war against their own people. In the New Testament, John’s baptism of Jesus forms a seminal moment in the life of Christ and marks a defining event in the Christian Church. The Jordan River runs along the border between Jordan, the Palestinian West Bank, Israel and southwestern Syria. Israel and Jordan have signed treaties on Jordan River-related matters. The Jordan River or River Jordan (Arabic: نَهْر الْأُرْدُنّ‎, Nahr al-Urdunn, Hebrew: נְהַר הַיַּרְדֵּן‎, Nahar ha-Yarden; Classical Syriac: ܢܗܪܐ ܕܝܘܪܕܢܢ‎), also known as Nahr Al Sharieat (Arabic: نهر الشريعة‎), is a 251-kilometre-long (156 mi) river in the Middle East that flows roughly north to south through the Sea of Galilee (Hebrew: כנרת Kinneret, Arabic: Bohayrat Tabaraya, meaning Lake of Tiberias) and on to the Dead Sea. In traditional terminology, the upper course (or most of it) is commonly referred to as passing through the "Hula Valley", as opposed to "Upper Jordan Valley"; the Sea of Galilee through which the river passes is a separate entity; and the term Jordan Valley is reserved for the lower course, fed by the Yarmouk and Zarqa Rivers. In the 19th century the River Jordan and the Dead Sea were explored by boat primarily by Christopher Costigan in 1835, Thomas Howard Molyneux in 1847, William Francis Lynch in 1848, and John MacGregor in 1869. [citation needed] It is mentioned in the songs "Eve of Destruction", "Will You Be There", and "The Wayfaring Stranger" and in "Ol' Man River" from the musical Show Boat. [20], A small section of the northernmost portion of the Lower Jordan, the first ca. Omissions? The Jordan Valley constitutes a segment of the extensive East African Rift System, a rift valley running north and south that extends from southern Turkey southward via the Red Sea and into eastern Africa. This is why John was baptizing in "Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there" John 3:23. [25], Conflict about the waters of the Jordan River was a contributing factor to the Six-Day War when, starting in 1965, Syria attempted to divert some of its headwaters in collaboration with Lebanon and Jordan. Begins at the of the Sea of Galilee and flows south until it reaches the Dead Sea Why is the Jordan River important to southwest Asia (ME) Brings drinking water to … Millions of pilgrims make the … The longest of those is the Ḥāṣbānī, which rises in Lebanon, near Ḥāṣbayyā, at an elevation of 1,800 feet (550 metres). Nile irrigates Egypt and Tigris and Euphrates irrigate Iraq . Because of this and the high evaporation rate of the Dead Sea, as well as industrial extraction of salts through evaporation ponds, the Dead Sea is rapidly shrinking. These acts of Baptism are also reported as having taken place at Bethabara (John 1:28). This has led to choosing Al-Maghtas as a UNESCO World Heritage site, which took place in 2015.[30]. On more earthly side Israel polluted Jordan river to the dimay of ecologists. Jordan and the Golan Heights border the river to the east, while the West Bank and Israel lie to its west. Along that stretch, the Jordan’s floodplain is known as the Zūr, and it describes so many meanders that, although it course runs for some 135 miles (215 km), the actual distance it covers between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea is only 65 miles (105 km). John the Baptist baptized Christ in the River Jordan. Early in the biblical narrative, Lot discovers that the “plain of the Jordan was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord” (Gen 13:10) and decides to settle there. It seems that these are the same fords mentioned as being near Beth-barah, where Gideon lay in wait for the Midianites (Judges 7:24). Israel's National Water Carrier, completed in 1964, has delivered water from the Sea of Galilee to the Israeli coastal plain for over four decades, until prolonged drought led to abandoning this solution in favour of desalination. Exiting the now much-diminished lake, it goes through an even steeper drop over the 25 kilometres (16 mi) down to the Sea of Galilee, which it enters at its northern end. The Jordan is a frequent symbol in folk, gospel, and spiritual music, and in poetic and literary works. Yom HaAliyah (Aliyah Day, Hebrew: יום העלייה‎) is an Israeli national holiday celebrated annually on the tenth of the Hebrew month of Nisan to commemorate the Israelites crossing the Jordan River into the Land of Israel while carrying the Ark of the Covenant as recorded in the Hebrew Bible’s Book of Joshua. [citation needed], 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. River Jordan is considered as the site where Israelites went into Promised Land. It is noted as the line of demarcation between the "two tribes and the half tribe" settled to the east (Numbers 34:15) and the "nine tribes and the half tribe of Manasseh" that, led by Joshua, settled to the west (Joshua 13:7, passim). Jordan River, Arabic Nahr Al-Urdun, Hebrew Ha-Yarden, river of southwestern Asia, in the Middle East region. It is a place of many important biblical events. The current is relatively swift, and the river transports a considerable load of silt. [34], Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}33°11′12″N 35°37′09″E / 33.18667°N 35.61917°E / 33.18667; 35.61917, River in West Asia flowing to the Dead Sea, This article is about the river in the Middle East. The prophecy of Isaiah regarding the Messiah which names the Jordan (Isaiah 9:1–2) is also reported in Matthew 4:15. The northern one, Jordan River Crossing or Sheikh Hussein Bridge is near Beit She'an; the southern one, Allenby Bridge (also King Hussein Bridge), is near Jericho. Glossary of Old Akkadian. The 50 MCM/yr that Israel provides from Lake Tiberias as part of the 1994 peace treaty was meant to compensate for this loss. It was about a mile wide opposite Jericho. There is no regular description of the Jordan in the Bible; only scattered and indefinite references to it are given. [12] The first recorded use of the name appears as Yārdon in Anastasi I, an ancient Egyptian papyrus that probably dates to the time of Rameses II. The Jordan is also where John the Baptist bore record of Jesus as the Son of God and Lamb of God (John 1:29–36). Because, according to Jewish tradition, the Israelites made a difficult and hazardous journey from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land, the Jordan can refer to freedom. It’s for that … Scholars have concluded that the site called Al-Maghtas on the east side has long been considered the location for the Baptism of Jesus and a place of pilgrimage though most current pilgrims go to a location on the west side, Qasr el Yahud, also long'established but not as early. Jacob crossed it and its tributary, the Jabbok (the modern Al-Zarqa), on his way back from Haran (Genesis 32:11, 32:23–24). God said, "This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee" (v. 7). Read the article: Sacred Jordan River. The river holds major significance in Judaism and Christianity since the Bible says that the Israelites crossed it into the Promised Land and that Jesus of Nazareth was baptized by John the Baptist in it.[2]. (1973). [32] Earlier, On 15 May 1717, the Empress Maria Theresa was baptised in Vienna by the Papal Nuntius Giorgio Spinola, representing Pope Clement XI, with baptismal water containing a few drops from the River Jordan. Most polluted is the 100-kilometre downstream stretch—a meandering stream from above the confluence with the Yarmouk to the Dead Sea. Both Jordan and t… [13] Early Arab chronicles referred to the river as Al-Urdunn. Tourists flock to see the River Jordan, one of the world’s most celebrated and holiest of rivers. Just inside Israel, those three rivers join together in the Ḥula Valley. The river then drops sharply down to the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. There are two border crossings between Israel and Jordan which cross the river over bridges. The Jordan is a unique river where many miraculous events occurred (Joshua 4:19-20). The context was the crossing of the Jordan by the children of Israel on their way to the Promised Land – and in parallel, crossing the Ohio River by escaped slaves on their way to freedom. In the plain of the Jordan, between Succoth and Zarthan, is the clay ground where Solomon had his brass-foundries (1 Kings 7:46). It was decided to retain the lake and surrounding wetlands area as a protected nature reserve, and some of the plants and animals (notably migratory birds) returned to the region. The actual crossing is the final step of the journey, which is then complete. [19] In 2007, 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. Throughout its course the valley lies much lower than the surrounding landscape, especially in the south, where the surrounding land can rise some 3,000 feet (900 metres) or more above the river. Both Jordan and the West Bank take their names from the river. [19], In modern times, the waters are 70% to 90% used for human purposes[citation needed] and the flow is greatly reduced. The Jordan River or River Jordan (Arabic: نَهْر الْأُرْدُنّ‎, Nahr al-Urdunn, Hebrew: נְהַר הַיַּרְדֵּן‎, Nahar ha-Yarden; Classical Syriac: ܢܗܪܐ ܕܝܘܪܕܢܢ‎), also known as Nahr Al Sharieat (Arabic: نهر الشريعة‎), is a 251-kilometre-long (156 mi) river in the Middle East that flows roughly north to south through the Sea of Galilee (Hebrew: כנרת Kinneret, Arabic: Bohayrat Tabaraya, meaning Lake of Tiberias) and on to the Dead Sea. Jordan receives 50,000,000 cubic metres (1.8×109 cu ft) of water from the river, a quantity which is regulated by the 1994 peace treaty with Israel. 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 (Joshua 22:10, 22:26, et seq.). The river has remained a religious destination and a site for baptisms. The Jordan is fed by rains falling on the neighbouring plateaus; the waters then flow downward through rivers or wadis. It’s a source of life in a similar way to the Nile, though on a much smaller scale. The plain of the Ḥula Valley was formerly occupied by a lake and marshes, but in the 1950s some 23 square miles (60 square km) were drained to form agricultural land. Nahal Bezeq, on the border between Israel and the West Bank, between, Wadi Malih/Milkha from the Samaria Mountains, This page was last edited on 30 December 2020, at 21:24. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. However, after Israel built the National Water Carrier in 1953 and diverted water from Lake Tiberias to Israel's coastal plains and southern desert, the flow of the Lower Jordan River dropped significantly. Menawhile hydroelectric schemes which were built along the Jordan’s co… When we cross the Jordan, we are transformed into the nature of Christ! The New Testament speaks several times about Jesus crossing the Jordan during his ministry (Matthew 19:1; Mark 10:1), and of believers crossing the Jordan to come hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases (Matthew 4:25; Mark 3:7–8). In an instance, in one miraculous event, Elisha told the Syrian general Naaman to wash in the Jordan, seven … Lynch, United States Navy", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jordan_River&oldid=997292238, Articles with dead external links from April 2020, Wikipedia extended-confirmed-protected pages, Articles containing Classical Syriac-language text, Articles with unsourced statements from May 2019, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Be sure not to miss this important site. The Jordan Valley is a strategic area full of natural resources, and it has a great economic value. For other rivers, see, "The Jordan" redirects here. - from the east (6–10 in total)[8], Several hypotheses for the origin of the river's name in Hebrew, Yarden. Yet the miracle magnified Joshua not only by supporting his leadership, but also by setting him on a par with Moses. The Jordan River has played an important role in the history of God’s chosen people, Israel, and by searching the Scriptures we are able to see significant meaning to many events concerning it. The river has remained a religious destination and a site for baptisms. The Jordan River has an upper course from its sources to the Sea of Galilee, and a lower course south of the Sea of Galilee down to the Dead Sea. The streams coming together to create the River Jordan in its upper basin are, west to east: South of the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River receives the waters of further tributaries, the main ones, both coming from the east (Jordan), being, Smaller tributaries or "side wadis" / "side streams" in this segment are, north to south[8] Over its upper course (fed by the Hasbani River, Banias River, Dan River, and the Iyyon Stream), the river drops rapidly in a 75-kilometre (47 mi) run to the once large and swampy Lake Hula, which is slightly above sea level. It is said to be the body of water which the Israelites crossed to reach their promised land and in which Jesus was baptised. In biblical times, the river Jordan was both a source of life and a great barrier. It is significant for Christians because John the Baptist baptised Jesus in the waters of the Jordan. In 2 Kings 6:1–4 the Jordan valley is portrayed as a woodland region. The river rises on the slopes of Mount Hermon, on the border between Syria and Lebanon, and flows southward through northern Israel to the Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberius). The first time that readers come across a reference to the River Jordan is in chapter 26. [11] Another suggestion is that yarden comes from Semitic root yard <√ירד meaning flow down. [citation needed] Jordan River is also the subject of roots reggae artist Burning Spear's song of the same title. At this time of year the snows of Mount Hermon were melting, the Jordan river would overflow its banks, and become as wide as one mile in places. Route 90, part of which is named after Rehavam Zeevi, connects the northern and southern tips of the Israeli-occupied West Bank and parallels the Jordan River on the western side. Rescuing the Jordan could take decades, according to environmentalists. The Jordan River flows through the Jordan Rift Valley into the Kinneret and then continues down into the Dead Sea with no outlet. Although the bordering plateaus receive relatively abundant rainfall, the Jordan Valley itself is not well watered. We cannot win a battle when there is sin in the camp. The Jordan is significant for Jews because the tribes of Israel under Joshua crossed the river on dry ground to enter the Promised Land after years of wandering in the desert. Updates? [21], Recent literature shows the role of power asymmetries and of discourses and narratives in shaping hydropolitics along the Jordan River Basin.[22]. When his enemies sought to capture him, Jesus took refuge at the river in the place John had first baptised (John 10:39–40). Between the two is the Dan River, the waters of which are particularly fresh. The Typical Meaning of the Jordan River by Roel Velema of the Netherlands . Two major tributaries enter from the east during this last section: the Yarmouk River and Zarqa River. [33] Belarusian band Spasenie dedicated its whole album “Crossing the Jordan” to the topic. It is then joined by two more tributaries, the Ḥarod on the right bank and the Yābis on the left. Jordan River. The War of the Kings There are some mentions in the Book of Genesis about a war that pitted four kings against five more in the Dead Sea region. It was in its waters that Jesus was baptized by St. John the Baptist. Please select which sections you would like to print: While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. WHY GOD DRIED UP THE JORDAN 1. The Jordan has a number of fords, and one of them is famous as the place where many Ephraimites were slain by Jephthah (Judges 12:5–6). John baptized Jesus by immersion in the same river where Naaman was cleansed from leprosy. Another important site on the Jordan is near Jericho. (Source: The Oxford Guide to People and Places of the Bible) 12. These days, those wishing to follow in Jesus’s footsteps and be soaked in the Jordan’s waters have to go to specially designated – and relatively pollution free - baptism areas. In the Hebrew Bible the Jordan is referred to as the source of fertility of a large plain ("Kikkar ha-Yarden"), said to be watered like "the garden of the LORD" (Genesis 13:10). To followers of Jesus and The Bible, it is a very holy site, as Jesus was baptized there by John the Baptist and an abundance of biblical battles have been waged there. Continues down into the Dead Sea through a gently sloping broad delta — but thanks the... 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