There is no more popular river among Christians around the world than the Jordan River in Israel.
The only one common that can be found in a Christian of the I, XI and XXI centuries is the desire to wash away his sins in sacred water. Believers of all faiths merge into one eternal pilgrimage stream, as the Banias, Dan and Snir rivers flowing from Mount Hermon merge to form the Jordan.
A person may well not know the content of all the commandments or the names of all the apostles, but everyone knows that the Jordan River is the place of baptism of Jesus. And the need not to be baptized, but at least to bathe in it is completely understandable. Small spiritual millimeter to get closer to God the Son.
The Jewish people attitude to this river is also very serious. If you look at the Jordan River on a map, you can see that it permeates the body of the Holy Land from top to bottom. From north to south – like a huge blood vessel, or rather an aquifer, which is vital for a hot Country.
Jordan River – The Flow of Time
The Jordan River is shallow and in places very narrow, but its length is 252 km, and the path ends in the Dead Sea. In addition, the main river of Israel, even before the coming of Christ, was “noted” in the Old Testament as the border of the Promised Land. By the will of the LORD, the Jordan River behaves like a rational being, helping the Jews. The waters parted before the people of the warrior-leader Joshua, who carried the Ark of the Covenant.
It was enough for the Prophet Elijah to hit the water with his cloak in order to cross the river dry land together with his disciple and spiritual heir Elisha. We know Elisha under the name of the prophet Elisha. With the help of the Jordan river the LORD helped him to work miracles. Elisha made the iron ax, throwing some tree branch into the water. He healed the chief commander of the Syrian troops Naaman, who suffered not from some minor ailment, but leprosy.
In those days and long after – leprosy was a death sentence, and death from it was painful and ugly. Elisha told Naaman only seven times to wash his body in the Jordan river waters – and the leprosy was gone without a trace. Most likely, it is from there, and not from Byzantine times, there is a belief that the water of the river has healing properties.
Ancient Cities by the river
The Jordan River flows through the history of mankind. Looking at the map, it is possible to mark settlements and now nonexistent settlements since the Paleolithic era. This is Tel Ovadia Cave, where stone axes were found. Stone dish with Egyptian motifs from Beit Yerah. Sphinx of Tel Hazor. Tel Hazor is large city of the Purple country of Canaan. It is older than this sphinx and is mentioned in the Sumerian texts.
In the area of Skifopolis, Hellenic Zeus hid his illegitimate and bad-looking son Dionysus from the wrath of his legitimate wife Hera. The ruins of the Roman temple of Apollo on Tel Kedesh, next to the remains of an ancient Jews settlement of the Levi tribe. In Bethsaida, Jesus worked miracles, in Capernaum he preached in the synagogue.
The ruins of the Caliph Hisham’s Palace near modern Jericho. The remains of the one that Joshua conquered.
XII century stone squares are the remains of the Belvoir Crusader Fortress, which restrained the Muslim onslaught from the east for 20 years. Only in 1220 Amir al-Malik, ruler of Damascus, completely ruined the castle.
Therefore, not only pilgrims seek to visit the Jordan Valley, but also those who are interested in history at least on a professional, even amateur level. Someone is ready to come for the stones left from ancient Judea, someone for the sake of Roman columns.
Jordan River – Extreme tourism.
If you prefer a very active vacation, go to the tourist center of Kfar Blum. Here you will be offered rafting on inflatable boats or kayaks in the rapids of Jordan river.
The cost of a family calm rafting is 75 nis. per person, high-speed – 109. You can also choose high-speed rope descent into the water, rock climbing, archery and walk along the suspension bridges staggering under your feet.
Jordan River Today.
The Israeli authorities have allocated the most convenient place for pilgrims aspiring to the waters of the Jordan – Yardenit Bay. Here, relatively clean water, and everything is arranged: descents to the water, locker rooms, showers. And also toilets, free parking, a restaurant and cafe, souvenir shops.
But the place of baptism of Jesus Christ on the Jordan River is not related to Yardenit.
According to the Bible, John and Jesus met in Bethabara, with which the area of the current Beit Avara was associated.
Yardenit was chosen because it was the only safe place where the Jordan was not controlled the Palestinian Authority.
Часто иорданскую воду набирают в бутылки: кому реликвия и память о поездке, кому хочется «освятить» с ее помощью свое жилье, а кто и верит в исцеление от болезней с ее помощью.
Но пить ее вы будете, только если умираете от жажды в Иудейской пустыне! Во всех иных случаях не стоит. Чистота ее точно такая же, как во всех популярных местах купания толпы людей – то есть крайне сомнительная.
Jordan River: Border of Hostility.
You need to remember where the Jordan River is located and its border role. The Palestinian Authority consists of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and therefore there is no silence and peace.
And if tourism for the West Bank is one of the conditions for the survival of the local population, then Gaza Strip, which since 2007 has been completely controlled by the terrorist Muslim organization Hamas. Gaza is a very ancient Palestinian city that would certainly be interesting to tourists, but it is not safe there.
Shrines of Palestine
Holly Bethlehem, which contains many Christian shrines – the Basilica of the Nativity, the Greek Catholic Church of the Virgin, the Syrian Church of St. Joseph and other shrines.
In ancient Hebron, a sacred place for Muslims, Jews and Christians – the Cave of the Patriarchs with the burial places of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their wives. It is divided in half by gratings and bulletproof glass.
On the West Bank of the Jordan River in the Judean Desert, there is also the Mar Saba Monastery.
Yardenit complex – Opening hours:
- Weekdays: 08.00 am to 18.00 pm.
- Friday and Eve of Holidays: from 08.00 am to 17.00 pm.
How to get there on your own
• From Jerusalem: regular buses No. 961, 963, 964.
• From the northern cities of the country – there are a lot of buses along highway 90.
Yardenit official website – www.yardenit.com
Cost is Free payment.