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Jordan River 3

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Jordan River 3
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Photo Comments

This photo was taken at the Jordanian Baptismal site just a few miles north of where the Jordan enters the Dead Sea.  The photo was taken at the beginning of July.

Note the dense vegetation on both sides of the river. This actually was more extensive in ancient times and was covered with a dense thicket of vegetation including poplars, tamarisks, willows, cane and reed. It was a dangerous area for robbers, lions, leopards and jackals lurked in its cover.

Today the flow of the Jordan is only a meager portion of what it used to be for the Israelis pump water out of the Sea of Galilee for drinking and agricultural purposes, and only let a very small portion flow out the southwest end of the Sea of Galilee. In addition the Jordanians divert a major portion of the Yarmuk River for similar uses, and this river was a major source of water for the Jordan.

Prior to all of these diversionary usages the Jordan was about 100 ft. [30 m.] wide and 3 to 10 ft. [1 to 3 m.] deep — swelling in the floods of spring to almost a mile [1.6 km.] in places—in the spring of the year during the latter rains and the melting snow in the northern part of Israel.

Image from the Zondervan Atlas of the Bible, p. 59