Yardenit Baptism Site - The Jordan River

About the Yardenit Baptism Site

From the Golan Heights rivers start to pour. Some of these rivers are the Dan, Hermon (Banian) and Snir rivers. These three come together to form the Jordan River, which then flows for 250km. From the north, the Jordan River runs southbound to its termination point, the Dead Sea. The river flows through the Sea of Galilee and down through the Jordan Valley on its journey, where in its early days it runs though beautiful landscapes of thriving greenery and fantastic landscapes. During the summer many people come to visit the river to enjoy its waters, bringing kayaks and rafts to use. 

The Bible talks of the Jordan River where it is mentioned many different times in various stories. An example of this is where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist within the Jordan River’s waters and the people of Israel had to cross the Jordan River to reach the Promised Land. 

 

The Jordan River. Where is it Found in the Bible?

The Jordan River is mentioned throughout the bible and has many recognitions in various stories. Within the old Testament it is referenced to as the Garden of the Lord, found in Genesis 13:10, and also in Genesis 32:11 where Jordan crosses the Jordan River whilst heading for Haran. The place that Elisha performed various miracles happened at the Jordan River, as did the place where Solomon crafted the brass-foundries, in the clay ground in the plains of the river (referenced from Kings 7:45-46). 

It is said in the New Testament on several occasions that John the Baptist performed many baptisms within the river, one of whom was Jesus himself. This is hailed as the most significant event that occurred within the Jordan River. 

 

The Baptism of the Son of God

It is not said whereabouts the baptism of Jesus occurred, but it is said that within the Book of Matthew (Mat 3:13-17) that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist within the river. There are many beliefs as to where the exact baptism took place, with some stating that it was in the Galilee where Yardenit sits today and others hold Qasr el Yahud near Jericho to be the site where the baptism happened. Another belief is that it was the Al-Maghtas where Jesus was baptized. With these differences aside, all agree that the baptism took place within the waters of the River Jordan. 

 

The Baptism Site – Yardenit

Some believe that Yardenit is the site where Jesus was baptized. At the site, the Sea of Galilee flows into the River Jordan to form part of the river. Today there are precautions in place to allow for safe baptisms to happen within the River Jordan, including some steps and hand rails to the Christian Pilgrims to safely reach the waters. The Christan Pilgrims also enter the waters whilst singing songs of praise and prayers. There have been various additions to the site including some showers and restrooms, and a restaurant with a gift shop. Showers have been included as some people do submerge themselves within the water, so to clean themselves before they leave, they can use the shower. 

 

The Baptism Site - Qasr el Yahud

There are others who believe that Jesus was baptized within the southern region near to the Dead Sea. There are two beliefs here, where one set of people believe that he was baptized within the Qasr el Yahud, on the western bank of the river, and others who believe he was baptized in the Al-Maghtas on the eastern bank. These two sites have other beliefs too, where the Qasr el Yahud is thought of as the point where the Jews set off before crossing the river and where Elijah the Prophet then ascended into Heaven. 

The Qasr el Yahud is not as easily accessible as the northern found Yardenit, but there have been various provisions put in place, such as rails and steps into the water, to aid those who want to enter the water. A visitor center has also been built at the site to share information and allow for various purchases.

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