Jordan River
Meaning of Bible Names

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Jordan River
Bible Meaning: Descender
Strong's Concordance #H3383

At least four water sources, arising at the foothills of Mount Hermon, come together to form the Jordan River. In modern times, the river itself begins just south of the ancient Israelite city of Dan where the Hasbani and Dan Rivers meet.

Northern Jordan River Map

The straight-line distance between the start of the Jordan to the Sea of Galilee is about 21 miles (33.7 kilometers). From the southern end of Galilee, where the river continues it southward journey, to where it enters the Dead Sea is about 65.7 miles (105.7 kilometers). Because of its many twists and turns, however, the course of the river itself is much longer.

The Jordan is the longest and most important river of Canaan. Running north to south, it delineated the boundary between the western and eastern lands given by God to Israel.

Miracles at the river

In 1405 B.C., under the leadership of Joshua, the Israelites crossed the Jordan en masse on dry ground miraculously provided by God (Joshua 3)! They then, after keeping the Passover, initiated a series of battles that lasted seven years in order to claim their land inheritance.

Elijah, with Elisha following him, miraculously parted the Jordan and crossed over it before a chariot of fire took him to a safe place (2Kings 2).

Naaman the Syrian, who had leprosy, was healed after he followed Elisha's instructions to wash in the river (2Kings 5). A short time later, the prophet caused a lost ax head to float on the Jordan (2Kings 6).

Southern Jordan River Map

New Testament events

The Jordan River is the location where John the Baptist began his ministry of calling the people to repent of their sins (Matthew 3:5).

John, after preaching for six months, baptized Jesus at Bethabara which is located on the eastern side of the river (John 1:28 - 34, Luke 4:1).

Important verses

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.

Deuteronomy 9:1
Hear, O Israel: Thou art to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven . . .

Joshua 3:11, 13
Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan . . .

And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above: and they shall stand upon an heap.

Joshua 22:4
And now the LORD your God hath given rest unto your brethren, as he promised them: therefore now return ye, and get you unto your tents, and unto the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you on the other side Jordan.

Judges 7:24
And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan.

2Kings 2:6
And Elijah said unto him (Elisha), 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.

2Kings 5:14
Then went he (Naaman) down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God (Elisha): and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

Luke 3:3
And he (John the Baptist) came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins . . .

Luke 4:1 - 2
And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost (Spirit) returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil.

John 3:26
And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.

John 10:40
And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized: and there he (Jesus) abode.

Further Bible study:


Meaning of Biblical Names
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Series Notes
Scripture quotes are taken from
the King James translation.
The meaning and definition of each listing
is derived from a variety of sources.


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