Jordan River


The Jordan River is fed by headwaters that start near the base of Mount Hermon, on what is now the Syria-Lebanon border. After descending into the Sea of Galilee, it continues south to the Dead Sea. The river winds through 124 miles of the Rift Valley, which is an average of 6 miles wide and mostly dry apart from the river. Often to the shock of visitors, it is a rather small river with an average width of 100 feet and a depth ranging from 2 to 10 feet. The river served as the dividing line between eastern and western Palestine in antiquity. Most notably, in the Hebrew Bible the crossing of the Jordan is symbolic for the entry of the Israelites into the promised land. In the New Testament, John the Baptist baptized hordes of people, including Jesus, in the Jordan. Produced by

The historical period from the beginning of Western civilization to the start of the Middle Ages.

A West Semitic language, in which most of the Hebrew Bible is written except for parts of Daniel and Ezra. Hebrew is regarded as the spoken language of ancient Israel but is largely replaced by Aramaic in the Persian period.

A collection of first-century Jewish and early Christian writings that, along with the Old Testament, makes up the Christian Bible.

Another name often used for the area of Israel and Judah, derived from the Latin term for the Roman province of Palaestina; ultimately, the name derives from the name of the Philistine people.

The land that Yahweh promised to Abraham in Genesis, also called Canaan.

 NEH Logo
Bible Odyssey has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.