Jordan River Cross Section Map of the Jordan River with Hills and Cross Section
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Map of the Jordan River with Hills and Cross Section

The profile of the Jordan River between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. Click here to see a cross section of the modern city of Jerusalem as seen from the south, with some Biblical locations.

Joshua 4:23 - For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over:

Mark 1:4-5 "John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the River of Jordan, confessing their sins."

Jordan River in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE

6. The Zor:
In a direct line it is only 70 miles from Lake Galilee to the Dead Sea, and this is the total length of the lower plain (the Zor); but so numerous are the windings of the river across the flood plain from one bluff to the other that the length of the river is fully 200 miles. Col. Lynch reported the occurrence of 27 rapids, which wholly interrupted navigation, and many others which rendered it difficult. The major part of the descent below Lake Galilee takes place before reaching Damieh, 1,140 ft. below the Mediterranean. While the bluffs of the Ghor upon either side of the Zor, are nearly continuous and uniform below Damieh, above this point they are much dissected by the erosion of tributary streams. Still, nearly everywhere, an extended view brings to light the original uniform level of the sedimentary deposits formed when the valley was filled with water to a height of 650 ft. (see ARABAH; DEAD SEA).
The river itself averages about 100 ft. in width when confined strictly within its channel, but in the early spring months the flood plain of the Zor is completely overflowed, bringing into its thickets a great amount of driftwood which increases the difficulty of penetrating it, and temporarily drives out ferocious animals to infest the neighboring country. Full Article

Also see The Jordan Valley

Jordan River in Smith's Bible Dictionary

        (the descender), the one river of Palestine, has a course of little more than 200 miles, from the roots of Anti-Lebanon to the head of the Dead Sea. (136 miles in a straight line. --Schaff.) It is the river of the "great plain" of Palestine --the "descender," if not "the river of God" in the book of Psalms, at least that of his chosen people throughout their history. There were fords over against Jericho, to which point the men of Jericho pursued the spies. Jos 2:7 comp. Judg 3:28
        Higher up where the fords or passages of Bethbarah, where Gideon lay in wait for the Midianites, Jud 7:24 and where the men of Gilead slew the Ephraimites. ch. Jud 12:6 These fords undoubtedly witnessed the first recorded passage of the Jordan in the Old Testament. Ge 32:10 Jordan was next crossed, over against Jericho, by Joshua. Jos 4:12,13 From their vicinity to Jerusalem the lower fords were much used. David, it is probable, passed over them in one instance to fight the Syrians. 2Sa 10:17; 17:22 Thus there were two customary places at which the Jordan was fordable; and it must have been at one of these, if not at both, that baptism was afterward administered by St. John and by the disciples of our Lord. Where our Lord was baptized is not stated expressly, but it was probably at the upper ford. These fords were rendered so much more precious in those days from two circumstances. First, it does not appear that there were then any bridges thrown over or boats regularly established on the Jordan; and secondly, because "Jordan overflowed all his banks all the time of harvest." Jos 3:15 The channel or bed of the river became brimful, so that the level of the water and of the banks was then the same. (Dr. Selah Merrill, in his book "Galilee in the Time of Christ" (1881), says, "Near Tarichaea, just below the point where the Jordan leaves the lake (of Galilee), there was (in Christ's time) a splendid bridge across the river, supported by ten piers." --ED.) The last feature which remains to be noticed in the scriptural account of the Jordan is its frequent mention as a boundary: "over Jordan," "this" and "the other side," or "beyond Jordan," were expressions as familiar to the Israelites as "across the water," "this" and "the other side of the Channel" are to English ears. In one sense indeed, that is, in so far as it was the eastern boundary of the land of Canaan, it was the eastern boundary of the promised land. Nu 34:12 The Jordan rises from several sources near Panium (Banias), and passes through the lakes of Merom (Huleh) and Gennesaret. The two principal features in its course are its descent and its windings. From its fountain heads to the Dead Sea it rushes down one continuous inclined plane, only broken by a series of rapids or precipitous falls. Between the Lake of Gennesaret and the Dead Sea there are 27 rapids. The depression of the Lake of Gennesaret below the level of the Mediterranean is 653 feet, and that of the Dead Sea 1316 feet. (The whole descent from its source to the Dead Sea is 3000 feet. Its width varies form 45 to 180 feet, and it is from 3 to 12 feet deep. -Schaff.) Its sinuosity is not so remarkable in the upper part of its course. The only tributaries to the Jordan below Gennesaret are the Yarmuk (Hieromax) and the Zerka (Jabbok). Not a single city ever crowned the banks of the Jordan. Still Bethshan and Jericho to the west, Gerasa, Pella and Gadara to the east of it were important cities, and caused a good deal of traffic between the two opposite banks. The physical features of the Ghor, through which the Jordan flows, are treated of under PALESTINE.
 Full Article

The Bible and Maps

The Bible Mentions Much Concerning "Jordan" River

Judges 7:25 - And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan.

Joshua 13:23 - And the border of the children of Reuben was Jordan, and the border [thereof]. This [was] the inheritance of the children of Reuben after their families, the cities and the villages thereof.

Jeremiah 12:5 - If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and [if] in the land of peace, [wherein] thou trustedst, [they wearied thee], then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?

Joshua 18:12 - And their border on the north side was from Jordan; and the border went up to the side of Jericho on the north side, and went up through the mountains westward; and the goings out thereof were at the wilderness of Bethaven.

Joshua 22:25 - For the LORD hath made Jordan a border between us and you, ye children of Reuben and children of Gad; ye have no part in the LORD: so shall your children make our children cease from fearing the LORD.

Numbers 35:14 - Ye shall give three cities on this side Jordan, and three cities shall ye give in the land of Canaan, [which] shall be cities of refuge.

Joshua 4:23 - For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over:

2 Kings 2:6 - And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the LORD hath sent me to Jordan. And he said, [As] the LORD liveth, and [as] thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on.

1 Chronicles 19:17 - And it was told David; and he gathered all Israel, and passed over Jordan, and came upon them, and set [the battle] in array against them. So when David had put the battle in array against the Syrians, they fought with him.

Joshua 4:8 - And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the LORD spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there.

1 Samuel 31:7 - And when the men of Israel that [were] on the other side of the valley, and [they] that [were] on the other side Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities, and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.

Joshua 4:10 - For the priests which bare the ark stood in the midst of Jordan, until every thing was finished that the LORD commanded Joshua to speak unto the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua: and the people hasted and passed over.

Joshua 22:11 - And the children of Israel heard say, Behold, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh have built an altar over against the land of Canaan, in the borders of Jordan, at the passage of the children of Israel.

Joshua 12:7 - And these [are] the kings of the country which Joshua and the children of Israel smote on this side Jordan on the west, from Baalgad in the valley of Lebanon even unto the mount Halak, that goeth up to Seir; which Joshua gave unto the tribes of Israel [for] a possession according to their divisions;

Ezekiel 47:18 - And the east side ye shall measure from Hauran, and from Damascus, and from Gilead, and from the land of Israel [by] Jordan, from the border unto the east sea. And [this is] the east side.

Joshua 1:15 - Until the LORD have given your brethren rest, as [he hath given] you, and they also have possessed the land which the LORD your God giveth them: then ye shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD'S servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sunrising.

Joshua 3:14 - And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people;

Psalms 114:5 - What [ailed] thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? thou Jordan, [that] thou wast driven back?

Joshua 18:7 - But the Levites have no part among you; for the priesthood of the LORD [is] their inheritance: and Gad, and Reuben, and half the tribe of Manasseh, have received their inheritance beyond Jordan on the east, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave them.

Joshua 19:34 - And [then] the coast turneth westward to Aznothtabor, and goeth out from thence to Hukkok, and reacheth to Zebulun on the south side, and reacheth to Asher on the west side, and to Judah upon Jordan toward the sunrising.

Joshua 22:7 - Now to the [one] half of the tribe of Manasseh Moses had given [possession] in Bashan: but unto the [other] half thereof gave Joshua among their brethren on this side Jordan westward. And when Joshua sent them away also unto their tents, then he blessed them,

Numbers 32:29 - And Moses said unto them, If the children of Gad and the children of Reuben will pass with you over Jordan, every man armed to battle, before the LORD, and the land shall be subdued before you; then ye shall give them the land of Gilead for a possession:

Deuteronomy 3:27 - Get thee up into the top of Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and behold [it] with thine eyes: for thou shalt not go over this Jordan.

Deuteronomy 12:10 - But [when] ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God giveth you to inherit, and [when] he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety;

Joshua 13:8 - With whom the Reubenites and the Gadites have received their inheritance, which Moses gave them, beyond Jordan eastward, [even] as Moses the servant of the LORD gave them;

Zechariah 11:3 - [There is] a voice of the howling of the shepherds; for their glory is spoiled: a voice of the roaring of young lions; for the pride of Jordan is spoiled.

Joshua 1:11 - Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.

Judges 10:8 - And that year they vexed and oppressed the children of Israel: eighteen years, all the children of Israel that [were] on the other side Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which [is] in Gilead.

Deuteronomy 27:2 - And it shall be on the day when ye shall pass over Jordan unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, that thou shalt set thee up great stones, and plaister them with plaister:

Joshua 18:19 - And the border passed along to the side of Bethhoglah northward: and the outgoings of the border were at the north bay of the salt sea at the south end of Jordan: this [was] the south coast.


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