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Some facts you might not know about the Jordan River and its waters

 

  • The Jordan River is mentioned about two hundred times, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. Many of those references are connected with miracles and healing.
  • Already during the first centuries pilgrims to the Holy Land would carry home with them water from the Jordan River, to sprinkle on their fields and orchards, for a blessing. They also used to sprinkle Jordan water on the deck of ships that took them back home.
  • The Jordan River was a constant theme in spiritual songs sung by African-Americans, and for them it represented freedom. 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. Slaves compared their plight with the plight of the people of Israel and prayed for salvation such as their salvation.
  • The three sources from which the Jordan gets its waters are the Banias River – Paneas (this is the place at which Peter received the key to the Kingdom of Heaven from the hand of Jesus); the Hatzbani River (Nachal Snir); and the Dan River. These get their water from the thawing snow from the mountains of Lebanon and Hermon (Mount Hermon, near to Mount Betarim, where the Divine promise was given to Abraham – the Place of the Old Covenant).
  • The Jordan River has two “parts”: the northern and more mountainous part spills into the north of the Sea of Galilee, near to Beit Saida. The southern part exits from the Sea of Galilee (this is where the Yardenit baptism site is located) and it flows southwards, towards the Dead Sea. The total length of the river is about 100 miles (by air) and about 150 miles, including its many twists and turns.

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