Jordan River

Jordan River baptism
Jordan River baptism
Israel today
Israel today

The Jordan River in the Middle East is best known in the Bible for the site where John the Baptist baptized Jesus.  In modern times the Jordan River is known for another reason.  The Jordan River has been part of a long-running border dispute between Israel and Jordan since 1967.

When Israel joined the United Nations in 1949, a large chunk of land on the west bank of the Jordan River (area on the map marked, “West Bank”) was part of Jordan, not Israel.  But, when Jordan invaded Israel in 1967, known as the Six Day War, the Israelis pushed Jordan back, and didn’t stop at the 1949 border, Israel pushed Jordan back to the eastern side of  the Jordan River.  The Israelis have controlled the West Bank ever since.

Our Holy Land tour stopped at a site believed to be where Jesus was baptized.  But for the bull rushes, the river looks like the Papio Creek in eastern Nebraska: not very wide, moving slowly and filled with silt.  A Jordanian military outpost was on the opposite bank, less than 50 yards away, providing a healthy dose of reality as we tried to imagine the site 2,000 years ago.

Thought for the Day:  The most heinous and the most cruel crimes of which history has record have been committed under the cover of religion or equally noble motives.                                                                                                                                       Gandhi

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