The Jordan River

The Jordan River was the setting for many of the the great events in the Bible. This river falls nearly 2,500 feet from its start near Mount Hermon. The name Jordan, which means "descender" was likely given to the river because of the great fall in altitude.

The Jordan River flows from four streams that appear along the slopes of Mt. Hermon, each a result of the melting snowfalls from the peaks above. From its sources in the North to the river's end at the Dead Sea their is 65 miles but from overhead it looks like a snake, winding and curving, stretching the short distance to more than 160 miles.  The Jordan River starts where the Hasbani River of Lebanon, and Banias River from Syria meet. The Yarmuk River of Syria is an important tributary further downstream. Sea of Galilee is part of the Jordan River system. The geography between Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea constitutes the Ghawr Valley. Most of the Ghawr Valley defines the border between first Jordan and Israel, and then Jordan and Palestine. Dead Sea is the outlet of Jordan River.

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the desert, `Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'" John's clothes were made of camel's hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented.

Matthew 3:1-6 and 13-15