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". Biblical commentator Albert Barnes suggested that "trees were rare in most parts of Palestine, but plentiful in the Jordan Valley".[28]. Most polluted is the 100-kilometre downstream stretch—a meandering stream from above the confluence with the Yarmouk to the Dead Sea. It is regarded as sacred not only by Christians but also by Jews and Muslims. The Jordan was crossed by Elijah and Elisha on dry ground (2 Kings 2:8, 2:14). The valley that the Jordan has cut into the plain is between about 1,300 and 10,000 feet (400 and 3,000 metres) wide and about 50 to 200 feet (15 to 60 metres) deep. Opposite Jericho, it was called "the Jordan of Jericho" (Numbers 34:15; 35:1). After 1948 the river marked the frontier between Israel and Jordan from just south of the Sea of Galilee to the point where the Yābis River flows into it from the east (left) bank. [23] In the past, one of the main water resources in Jordan was the Jordan River, with a flow of 1.3 billion m3 per year (BCM/yr). The Jordan River’s plain then spreads out to a width of about 15 miles (24 km) and becomes very regular. Jordan a river flowing southward for 320 km (200 miles) from the Anti-Lebanon Mountains through the Sea of Galilee into the Dead Sea. When his enemies sought to capture him, Jesus took refuge at the river in the place John had first baptised (John 10:39–40). John the Baptist baptized Christ in the River Jordan. [18] The full text of W. F. Lynch's 1849 book Narrative of the United States' Expedition to the River Jordan and the Dead Sea is available online. 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. 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. Yet the tribes on the east side of the Jordan River—Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh—constructed an altar in Joshua 22. Jordan and the Golan Heights border the river to the east, while the West Bank and Israel lie to its west. Jordan is home to many biblical sites including, among others, the Jordan River where Jesus was babtised by John the Baptist, Mount Nebo where Moses died, as well as the sinful cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. 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. https://www.britannica.com/place/Jordan-River, Jordan River - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Jordan River - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Tourists flock to see the River Jordan, one of the world’s most celebrated and holiest of rivers. [21], Recent literature shows the role of power asymmetries and of discourses and narratives in shaping hydropolitics along the Jordan River Basin.[22]. 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. [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. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. When we cross the Jordan, we are transformed into the nature of Christ! That is why the river is important for Judaism. The 50 MCM/yr that Israel provides from Lake Tiberias as part of the 1994 peace treaty was meant to compensate for this loss. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The Jordan is a unique river where many miraculous events occurred (Joshua 4:19-20). Jordan River in Poetry and Prophecy Although the bordering plateaus receive relatively abundant rainfall, the Jordan Valley itself is not well watered. In biblical times, the river Jordan was both a source of life and a great barrier. Of evaporation losses and the West Bank and the beginning of autumn 3:13! Constant theme in spiritual songs sung by African-Americans, and in which Jesus baptised! 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