Jordan River: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

River Jordan (Hebrew: נהר הירדן, nehar hayarden
Arabic: نهر الأردنnahr al-urdun
)
River
Name origin: Greek: Ιορδάνης < Hebrew: ירדן (yardén, descender) < ירד (yarad, to descend)[1][2]
Country Israel and Jordan
Tributaries
 - left Banias River, Dan River
 - right Hasbani River, Iyon River
Landmarks Sea of Galilee, Dead Sea
Mouth Dead Sea
Length 251 km (156 mi)
The Jordan River runs along the border between Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan

The Jordan River (American English) or River Jordan (British English) (Hebrew: נהר הירדן nehar hayarden, Arabic: نهر الأردنnahr al-urdun) is a river in Southwest Asia flowing to the Dead Sea. It is one of the world's most sacred rivers.[3] In Judaism, the river serves as the eastern border of the "Eretz Yisra'el", the Land of Israel. In Christian tradition, Jesus was baptized here by John the Baptist.

The Jordan River is 251 kilometres (156 miles) long.

Contents

Physical characteristics

Advertisements

Tributaries

  • The Hasbani (Arabic: الحاصباني Hasbani, Hebrew: שניר Snir), which flows from Lebanon.
  • The Banias (Arabic: بانياس Banias, Hebrew: חרמון Hermon), arising from a spring at Banias at the foot of Mount Hermon.
  • The Dan (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. Exiting the lake, it drops much more in 25 kilometres to the Sea of Galilee. The last section has less gradient, and the river meanders before entering the Dead Sea, about 422 metres below sea level, which has no outlet. Two major tributaries enter from the east during this last section: the Yarmouk River and Jabbok River.

Its section north of the Sea of Galilee (Hebrew: כינרת kinneret, Arabic: Bohayrat Tabaraya, meaning Lake of Tiberias) is within the boundaries of Israel, and forms the western boundary of the Golan Heights. South of the lake, it forms the border between the Kingdom of Jordan (to the east) and Israel and the West Bank (to the west).

Human impact

Hand-colored postcard of the River Jordan, by Karimeh Abbud, circa 1925.

In 1964, Israel began operating a dam that diverts water from the Sea of Galilee, a major Jordan River water provider, to the National Water Carrier. Also in 1964, Jordan constructed a channel that diverted water from the Yarmouk River, another main tributary of the Jordan River. Syria has also built reservoirs that catch the Yarmouk's waters. Environmentalists blame Israel, Jordan and Syria for extensive damage to the Jordan River ecosystem.[3]

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.

In September 2006, a problem arose with contamination: just downstream, raw sewage began flowing into the water. Small sections of the Jordan's upper portion, near the Sea of Galilee, 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. Environmentalists say the practice has almost destroyed the river's ecosystem. Rescuing the river could take decades, according to environmentalists.[3] In 2007, Friends of the Earth Middle East 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.[4]

Importance

The waters of the Jordan River are an important resource to the dry lands in the area and are a bone of contention among Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinians.

Transport

Route 90, part of which is named after Rehavam Zeevi, connects the northern and southern tips of Israel and parallels the Jordan River on the western side.

Biblical importance

Tanakh

In the Hebrew Bible 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" (Genesis 13:10). There is no regular description of the Jordan in the Bible; only scattered and indefinite references to it are given. Jacob crossed it and its tributary, the Jabbok (the modern Al-Zarqa), in order to reach Haran (Genesis 32:11, 32:23-24). 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).

Opposite Jericho, it was called "the Jordan of Jericho" (Numbers 34:15; 35:1). 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). 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). In the plain of the Jordan, between Succoth and Zarthan, is the clay ground where Solomon had his brass-foundries (1 Kings 7:46).

In biblical history, the Jordan appears as the scene of several miracles, the first taking place when the Jordan, near Jericho, was crossed by the Israelites under Joshua (Joshua 3:15-17). 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 Jordan was crossed by Elijah and Elisha on dry ground (2 Kings 2:8, 2:14). Elisha performed two other miracles at the Jordan: he healed Naaman 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 (2 Kings 5:14; 6:6).

The Jordan was crossed by Judas Maccabeus and his brother Jonathan Maccabaeus during their war with the Nabatæans (1 Maccabees 5:24). A little later the Jordan was the scene of the battle between Jonathan and Bacchides, in which the latter was defeated (1 Maccabees 9:42-49).

New Testament

The excavated remains of Bethabara, in modern-day Jordan, where John the Baptist is believed to have conducted his ministry.

The New Testament states that John the Baptist baptized unto repentance[5] in the Jordan (Matthew 3:5-6; Mark1:5; Luke 3:3; John1:28). This is recounted as having taken place at Bethabara (John 1:28).

Jesus came to be baptized by him there (Matthew 3:13; Mark 1:9; Luke 3:21, 4:1). 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).

The prophesy of Isaiah regarding the Messiah which names the Jordan (Isaiah 9:1-2) is recounted in Matthew 4:15.

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). When his enemies sought to capture him, Jesus took refuge at Jordan in the place John had first baptized (John 10:39-40).

Gallery

Symbolic importance

The Jordan is a frequent symbol in folk, gospel, and spiritual music, or in poetic or literary works.

Because the Israelites made a difficult and hazardous journey from slavery in Egypt 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. The Jordan also can signify death itself, with the crossing from life into Paradise or Heaven.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Jordan". NetBible. http://next.bible.org/dictionaries/Jordan. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  2. ^ James Strong et alii (1890). "Jordanes". Strong's Greek Dictionary. http://www.abibleconcordance.com/41G-2400.htm. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  3. ^ a b c Ramit Plushnick-Masti. "Raw Sewage Taints Sacred Jordan River". Associated Press. http://www.livescience.com/environment/060911_ap_Jordan_Baptism.html. Retrieved 2007-04-10. 
  4. ^ "Endangered Jordan",Dateline World Jewry, World Jewish Congress, September, 2007
  5. ^ Cf. Acts 19:4

External links

Coordinates: 33°11′12″N 35°37′09″E / 33.18667°N 35.61917°E / 33.18667; 35.61917


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

JORDAN (the down-corner; Arab. esh-Sheri'a, the wateringplace), the only river of Palestine and one of the most remarkable in the world. It flows from north to south in a deep trough-like valley, the Aulon of the Greeks and Ghor of the Arabs, which is usually believed to follow the line of a fault or fracture of the earth's crust. Most geologists hold that the valley is part of an old sea-bed, traces of which remain in numerous shingle-banks and beach-levels. This, they say, once extended to the Red Sea and even over N.E. Africa. Shrinkage caused the pelagic limestone bottom to be upheaved in two ridges, between which occurred a long fracture, which can now be traced from Coelesyria down the Wadi Araba to the Gulf of Akaba. The Jordan valley in its lower part keeps about the old level of the sea-bottom and is therefore a remnant of the Miocene world. This theory, however, is not universally accepted, some authorities preferring to assume a succession of more strictly local elevations and depressions, connected with the recent volcanic activity of the Jaulan and Lija districts on the east bank, which brought the contours finally to their actual form. In any case the number of distinct sea-beaches seems to imply a succession of convulsive changes, more recent than the great Miocene upheaval, which are responsible for the shrinkage of the water into the three isolated pans now found. For more than two-thirds of its course the Jordan lies below the level of the sea. It has never been navigable, no important town has ever been built on its banks, and it runs into an inland sea which has no port and is destitute of aquatic life. Throughout history it has exerted a separatist influence, roughly dividing the settled from the nomadic populations; and the crossing of Jordan, one way or the other, was always an event in the history of Israel. In Hebrew times its valley was regarded as a "wilderness" and, except in the Roman era, seems always to have been as sparsely inhabited as now. From its sources to the Dead Sea it rushes down a continuous inclined plane, broken here and there by rapids and small falls; between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea its sinuosity is so great that in a direct distance of 65 m. it traverses at least 200 m. The mean fall is about 9 ft. in the mile. The Jordan has two great sources, one in Tell el-Kadi (Dan) whence springs the Nahr Leddan, a stream 12 ft. broad at its birth; the other at Banias (anc. Paneas, Caesarea-Philippi), some 4 m. N., where the Nahr Banias issues from a cave, about 30 ft. broad. But two longer streams with less water contest their claim, the Nahr Barrighit from Coelesyria, which rises near the springs of the Litany, and the Nahr Hasbany from Hermon. The four streams unite below the fortress of Banias, which once held the gate of the valley, and flow into a marshy tract now called Huleh (Semechonitis, and perhaps Merom of Joshua. There the Jordan begins to fall below sea-level, rushing down 680 ft. in 9 m. to a delta, which opens into the Sea of Galilee. Thereafter it follows a valley which is usually not above 4 m. broad, but opens out twice into the small plains of Bethshan and Jericho. The river actually flows in a depression, the Zor, from a quarter to 2 m. wide, which it has hollowed out for itself in the bed of the Ghor. During the rainy season (January and February), when the Jordan overflows its banks, the Zor is flooded, but when the water falls it produces rich crops. The floor of the Ghor falls gently to the Zor, and is intersected by deep channels, which have been cut by the small streams and winter torrents that traverse it on their way to the Jordan. As far south as Kurn Surtabeh most of the valley is fertile, and even between that point and the Dead Sea there are several wellwatered oases. In summer the heat in the Ghor is intense, 110 F. in the shade, but in winter the temperature falls to 40°, and sometimes to 32° at night. During the seasons of rain and melting snow the river is very full, and liable to freshets. After twelve hours' rain it has been known to rise from 4 to 5 ft., and to fall as rapidly. In 1257 the Jordan was dammed up for several hours by a landslip, probably due to heavy rain. On leaving the Sea of Galilee the water is quite clear, but it soon assumes a tawny colour from the soft marl which it washes away from its banks and deposits in the Dead Sea. On the whole it is an unpleasant foul stream running between poisonous banks, and as such it seems to have been regarded by the Jews and other Syrians. The Hebrew poets did not sing its praises, and others compared it unfavourably with the clear rivers of Damascus. The clay of the valley was used for brickmaking, and Solomon established brassfoundries there. From crusading times to this day it has grown sugar-cane. In Roman times it had extensive palm-groves and some small towns (e.g. Livias or Julias opposite Jericho) and villages. The Jordan is crossed by two stone bridges - one north of Lake Huleh, the other between that lake and the Sea of Galilee - and by a wooden bridge on the road from Jerusalem to Gilead and Moab. During the Roman period, and almost to the end of the Arab supremacy, there were bridges on all the great lines of communication between eastern and western Palestine, and ferries at other places. The depth of water varies greatly with the season. When not in flood the river is often fordable, and between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea there are then more than fifty fords - some of them of historic interest. The only difficulty is occasioned by the erratic zigzag current. The natural products of the Jordan valley - a tropical oasis sunk in the temperate zone, and overhung by Alpine Hermon - are unique. Papyrus grows in Lake Huleh, and rice and cereals thrive on its shores, whilst below the Sea of Galilee the vegetation is almost tropical. The flora and fauna present a large infusion of Ethiopian types; and the fish, with which the river is abundantly stocked, have a great affinity with those of the rivers and lakes of east Africa. Ere the Jordan enters the Dead Sea, its valley has become very barren and forbidding. It reaches the lake at a minus level of 1290 ft., the depression continuing downwards to twice that depth in the bed of the Dead Sea. It receives two affluents, with perennial waters, on the left, the Yarmuk (Hieromax) which flows in from the volcanic Jaulan a little south of the Sea of Galilee, and the Zerka (Jabbok) which comes from the Belka district to a point more than half-way down the lower course. On the right the Jalud descends from the plain of Esdraelon to near Beisan, and the Far`a from near Nablus. Various salt springs rise in the lower valley. The rest of the tributaries are wadis, dry except after rains.

Such human life as may be found in the valley now is mainly migratory. The Samaritan villagers use it in winter as pastureground, and, with the Circassians and Arabs of the east bank, cultivate plots here and there. They retire on the approach of summer. Jericho is the only considerable settlement in the lower valley, and it lies some distance west of the stream on the lower slopes of the Judaean heights.

See W. F. Lynch, Narrative of the U.S. Expedition, &c. (1849); H. B. Tristram, Land of Israel (1865); J. Macgregor, Rob Roy on the Jordan (1870); A. Neubauer, La Geographie du Talmud (1868); E. Robinson, Physical Geography of the Holy Land (1865); E. Hull, Mount Seir, &c. (1885), and Memoir on the Geology of Arabia Petraea, &c. (1886); G. A. Smith, Hist. Geography of the Holy Land (1894); W. Libbey and F. E. Hoskins, The Jordan Valley, &c. (1905). See also PALESTINE. (C. W. W.; D. G. H.)


<< Wilhelm Jordan

Jordanes >>


Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

Heb. Yarden, "the descender;" Arab. Nahr-esh-Sheriah, "the watering-place" the chief river of Palestine. It flows from north to south down a deep valley in the center of the country. The name descender is significant of the fact that there is along its whole course a descent to its banks; or it may simply denote the rapidity with which it "descends" to the Dead Sea.

It originates in the snows of Hermon, which feed its perennial fountains. Two sources are generally spoken of.

  1. From the western base of a hill on which once stood the city of Dan, the northern border-city of Palestine, there gushes forth a considerable fountain called the Leddan, which is the largest fountain in Syria and the principal source of the Jordan.
  2. Beside the ruins of Banias, the ancient Caesarea Philippi and the yet more ancient Panium, is a lofty cliff of limestone, at the base of which is a fountain. This is the other source of the Jordan, and has always been regarded by the Jews as its true source. It rushes down to the plain in a foaming torrent, and joins the Leddan about 5 miles south of Dan (Tell-el-Kady).
  3. But besides these two historical fountains there is a third, called the Hasbany, which rises in the bottom of a valley at the western base of Hermon, 12 miles north of Tell-el-Kady. It joins the main stream about a mile below the junction of the Leddan and the Banias. The river thus formed is at this point about 45 feet wide, and flows in a channel from 12 to 20 feet below the plain. After this it flows, "with a swift current and a much-twisted course," through a marshy plain for some 6 miles, when it falls into the Lake Huleh, "the waters of Merom" (q.v.).

During this part of its course the Jordan has descended about 1,100 feet. At Banias it is 1,080 feet above sea-level. Flowing from the southern extremity of Lake Huleh, here almost on a level with the sea, it flows for 2 miles "through a waste of islets and papyrus," and then for 9 miles through a narrow gorge in a foaming torrent onward to the Sea of Galilee (q.v.).

"In the whole valley of the Jordan from the Lake Huleh to the Sea of Galilee there is not a single settled inhabitant. Along the whole eastern bank of the river and the lakes, from the base of Hermon to the ravine of Hieromax, a region of great fertility, 30 miles long by 7 or 8 wide, there are only some three inhabited villages. The western bank is almost as desolate. Ruins are numerous enough. Every mile or two is an old site of town or village, now well nigh hid beneath a dense jungle of thorns and thistles. The words of Scripture here recur to us with peculiar force: 'I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation...And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it...And your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate' (Lev. 26:31-34).", Dr. Porter's Handbook.

From the Sea of Galilee, at the level of 682 feet below the Mediterranean, the river flows through a long, low plain called "the region of Jordan" (Mt 3:5), and by the modern Arabs the Ghor, or "sunken plain." This section is properly the Jordan of Scripture. Down through the midst of the "plain of Jordan" there winds a ravine varying in breadth from 200 yards to half a mile, and in depth from 40 to 150 feet. Through it the Jordan flows in a rapid, rugged, tortuous course down to the Dead Sea. The whole distance from the southern extremity of the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea is in a straight line about 65 miles, but following the windings of the river about 200 miles, during which it falls 618 feet. The total length of the Jordan from Banias is about 104 miles in a straight line, during which it falls 2,380 feet.

There are two considerable affluents which enter the river between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, both from the east.

  1. The Wady Mandhur, called the Yarmuk by the Rabbins and the Hieromax by the Greeks. It formed the boundary between Bashan and Gilead. It drains the plateau of the Hauran.
  2. The Jabbok or Wady Zerka, formerly the northern boundary of Ammon. It enters the Jordan about 20 miles north of Jericho.

The first historical notice of the Jordan is in the account of the separation of Abraham and Lot (Gen 13:10). "Lot beheld the plain of Jordan as the garden of the Lord." Jacob crossed and recrossed "this Jordan" (Gen 32:10). The Israelites passed over it as "on dry ground" (Josh. 3:17; Ps. 114:3). Twice afterwards its waters were miraculously divided at the same spot by Elijah and Elisha (2 Kings 2:8, 14).

The Jordan is mentioned in the Old Testament about 180, and in the New Testament 15 times. The chief events in gospel history connected with it are

  1. John the Baptist's ministry, when "there went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and were baptized of him in Jordan" (Mt 3:6).
  2. Jesus also "was baptized of John in Jordan" (Mk 1:9).
This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

what mentions this? (please help by turning references to this page into wiki links)

Facts about Jordan RiverRDF feed

Simple English

This article is about the Jordan River and its valley in western Asia. For other meanings, see Jordan River (disambiguation) and Jordan Valley (disambiguation).

River Jordan (Arabic: نهر الأردنnahr al-urdun
Hebrew: נהר הירדן, nehar hayarden
)
River
Name origin: Greek: Ιορδάνης < Hebrew: ירדן (yardén, descender) < ירד (yarad, to descend)[1][2]
Country Israel and Jordan
Tributaries
 - left Banias River, Dan River
 - right Hasbani River, Iyon River
Landmarks Sea of Galilee, Dead Sea
Length 251 km (156 mi)
The Jordan River runs along the border between Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan

[[File:|thumb|left|Northern part of the Great Rift Valley as seen from space (NASA)]]

File:Jordan
The Jordan River

The Jordan River (Hebrew: נהר הירדן nehar hayarden, Arabic: نهر الأردن nahr al-urdun) is a river in Southwest Asia that flows through the Great Rift Valley into the Dead Sea. Many people think it is one of the world's most sacred rivers.

It is 251 kilometers (156 miles) long. Its tributaries are

  1. The Hasbani (Hebrew: שניר senir, Arabic: الحاصباني hasbani), which flows from Lebanon.
  2. The Banias (Hebrew: חרמון hermon, Arabic: بانياس banias), that comes from a spring at Banias at the foot of Mount Hermon.
  3. The Dan (Hebrew: דן dan, Arabic: اللدان leddan) with its source at the foot of Mount Hermon.
  4. The Ayoun (Hebrew: עיון ayoun, Arabic: عيون ayoun), which flows from Lebanon.

The four rivers join to form the Jordan in northern Israel, near kibbutz Sede Nehemya. The Jordan drops quickly in a 75 kilometer run to Lake Hula, which is a little below sea level in the Galilee sea. Then it drops much more in about 25 kilometers to the Sea of Galilee. The last section has less gradient, and the river begins to twist before it enters the Dead Sea, which is about 400 meters below sea level and has no outlet. Two major tributaries enter this last section from the east: the Yarmouk River and Jabbok River.

In 1964 Israel began operating a dam that takes water from the Sea of Galilee, a major Jordan River water provider, to the national water carrier. Also in 1964 Jordan built a channel that takes water from the Yarmouk River, a main tributary of the Jordan River. This caused great damage to the ecosystem. Syria has also built reservoirs that catch the Yarmouk's waters.

In modern times, 70% to 90% of the waters is used for human purposes and the flow is much smaller. 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.

The waters of the Jordan are a very important resource to the dry lands of the area and are a bone of contention between Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinians.

Contents

In the Bible

In the Hebrew Bible, the Jordan is referred to as the source of fertility to a large plain ("Kikkar ha-Yarden"), called "the garden of God" (Genesis 13:10). There is no regular description of the Jordan in the Bible. The New Testament states that John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan (Matt. 3:13).

Symbolic importance

[[File:|thumb|right|Men awaiting baptism in the Jordan River near Lake Kinneret in Israel- the traditional baptism site of Jesus Christ.]] The Jordan is a frequent symbol in folk, gospel, and spiritual music, or in poetic or literary works.

Because the Israelites made a difficult journey from slavery in Egypt to freedom in The Promised Land, the Jordan can be a symbol of freedom. The actual crossing is the final step of the journey, which is then complete. The Jordan also can mean death itself, with the crossing from life into Paradise or Heaven.

References

  1. "Jordan". NetBible. http://next.bible.org/dictionaries/Jordan. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  2. James Strong et alii (1890). "Jordanes". Strong's Greek Dictionary. http://www.abibleconcordance.com/41G-2400.htm. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 

Other websites


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message