Saving the Jordan River

Bible and archaeology news

“Lot looked about him, and saw that the plain of the Jordan was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord”
Genesis 13:10

“Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him.”
Matthew 3:13

The polluted Jordan River. Photo by Yaron Kaminsky, printed in Haaretz

The Jordan River is the setting of some of the Bible’s most iconic scenes. A visit to the river, however, reveals a different landscape from the Biblical depictions. Agricultural waste and runoff from nearby communities pollute the water, and dams on the Jordan and Yarmouk Rivers have reduced the water flow to four percent of its volume in the early 20th century. On Tuesday, the Israeli paper Haaretz announced that the “Environmental Protection Ministry and the Ministry for the Development of the Negev and Galilee are expected within weeks to submit a plan to the cabinet to allocate NIS 99 million” to clean the Jordan river. Friends of the Earth-Middle East, an Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian environmental group, have worked with each government to create rehabilitation plans involving waste management plants and the redevelopment of the damaged ecological corridor around the river.

Read more in Haaretz.

Other than Israel, no country has as many Biblical sites and associations as Jordan: Mount Nebo, from where Moses gazed at the Promised Land; Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John baptized Jesus; Lot’s Cave, where Lot and his daughters sought refuge after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; and many more. Travel with us across the Jordan River in our free eBook Exploring Jordan.


Related Bible History Daily Stories:

Baptismal Site “Bethany Beyond the Jordan” Added to UNESCO World Heritage List

Israel Opens Site Associated with Jesus’ Baptism

The Dead Sea is Dying


Posted in News, Biblical Archaeology Places.

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