Jordan River

Yardenit Baptismal Site on the Jordan River

Abram and Lot Separate (Genesis 13)

13 Abram went north out of Egypt to the southern part of Canaan with his wife and everything he owned, and Lot went with him. 2 Abram was a very rich man, with sheep, goats, and cattle, as well as silver and gold. 3 Then he left there and moved from place to place, going toward Bethel. He reached the place between Bethel and Ai where he had camped before4 and had built an altar. There he worshiped the Lord.

5 Lot also had sheep, goats, and cattle, as well as his own family and servants. 6 And so there was not enough pasture land for the two of them to stay together, because they had too many animals. 7 So quarrels broke out between the men who took care of Abram’s animals and those who took care of Lot’s animals. (At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were still living in the land.)

8 Then Abram said to Lot, “We are relatives, and your men and my men shouldn’t be quarreling. 9 So let’s separate. Choose any part of the land you want. You go one way, and I’ll go the other.”

10 Lot looked around and saw that the whole Jordan Valley, all the way to Zoar, had plenty of water, like the Garden of theLord or like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord had destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose the whole Jordan Valley for himself and moved away toward the east. That is how the two men parted. 12 Abram stayed in the land of Canaan, and Lot settled among the cities in the valley and camped near Sodom, 13 whose people were wicked and sinned against the Lord.

Jacob Prepares to Meet Esau (Genesis 32)

32 As Jacob went on his way, some angels met him. 2 When he saw them, he said, “This is God’s camp”; so he named the place Mahanaim.

3 Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the country of Edom. 4 He instructed them to say: “I, Jacob, your obedient servant, report to my master Esau that I have been staying with Laban and that I have delayed my return until now. 5 I own cattle, donkeys, sheep, goats, and slaves. I am sending you word, sir, in the hope of gaining your favor.”

6 When the messengers came back to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and he is already on his way to meet you. He has four hundred men with him.” 7 Jacob was frightened and worried. He divided into two groups the people who were with him, and also his sheep, goats, cattle, and camels. 8 He thought, “If Esau comes and attacks the first group, the other may be able to escape.”

9 Then Jacob prayed, “God of my grandfather Abraham and God of my father Isaac, hear me! You told me, Lord, to go back to my land and to my relatives, and you would make everything go well for me. 10 I am not worth all the kindness and faithfulness that you have shown me, your servant. I crossed the Jordan with nothing but a walking stick, and now I have come back with these two groups. 11 Save me, I pray, from my brother Esau. I am afraid—afraid that he is coming to attack us and destroy us all, even the women and children. 12 Remember that you promised to make everything go well for me and to give me more descendants than anyone could count, as many as the grains of sand along the seashore.”

The Death and Burial of Jacob (Genesis 50)

50 Joseph threw himself on his father, crying and kissing his face. 2 Then Joseph gave orders to embalm his father’s body.3 It took forty days, the normal time for embalming. The Egyptians mourned for him seventy days.

4 When the time of mourning was over, Joseph said to the king’s officials, “Please take this message to the king: 5 ‘When my father was about to die, he made me promise him that I would bury him in the tomb which he had prepared in the land of Canaan. So please let me go and bury my father, and then I will come back.’”

6 The king answered, “Go and bury your father, as you promised you would.”

7 So Joseph went to bury his father. All the king’s officials, the senior men of his court, and all the leading men of Egypt went with Joseph. 8 His family, his brothers, and the rest of his father’s family all went with him. Only their small children and their sheep, goats, and cattle stayed in the region of Goshen.9 Men in chariots and men on horseback also went with him; it was a huge group.

10 When they came to the threshing place at Atad east of the Jordan, they mourned loudly for a long time, and Joseph performed mourning ceremonies for seven days. 11 When the citizens of Canaan saw those people mourning at Atad, they said, “What a solemn ceremony of mourning the Egyptians are holding!” That is why the place was named Abel Mizraim.

12 So Jacob’s sons did as he had commanded them; 13 they carried his body to Canaan and buried it in the cave at Machpelah east of Mamre in the field which Abraham had bought from Ephron the Hittite for a burial ground. 14 After Joseph had buried his father, he returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had gone with him for the funeral.

God’s Laws Written on Stones (Deuteronomy 27)

27 Then Moses, together with the leaders of Israel, said to the people, “Obey all the instructions that I am giving you today. 2 On the day you cross the Jordan River and enter the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you are to set up some large stones, cover them with plaster, 3 and write on them all these laws and teachings. When you have entered the rich and fertile land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you, 4 and you are on the other side of the Jordan, set up these stones on Mount Ebal, as I am instructing you today, and cover them with plaster. 5 Build an altar there made of stones that have had no iron tools used on them, 6 because any altar you build for the Lord your God must be made of uncut stones. There you are to offer the sacrifices that are to be burned, 7 and there you are to sacrifice and eat your fellowship offerings and be grateful in the presence of the Lordyour God. 8 On the stones covered with plaster write clearly every word of God’s laws.”

9 Then Moses, together with the levitical priests, said to all the people of Israel, “Give me your attention, people of Israel, and listen to me. Today you have become the people of the Lordyour God; 10 so obey him and keep all his laws that I am giving you today.”

God Commands Joshua to Conquer Canaan (Joshua 1)

1 After the death of the Lord’s servant Moses, the Lord spoke to Moses’ helper, Joshua son of Nun. 2 He said, “My servant Moses is dead. Get ready now, you and all the people of Israel, and cross the Jordan River into the land that I am giving them.3 As I told Moses, I have given you and all my people the entire land that you will be marching over. 4 Your borders will reach from the desert in the south to the Lebanon Mountains in the north; from the great Euphrates River in the east, through the Hittite country, to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.5 Joshua, no one will be able to defeat you as long as you live. I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will always be with you; I will never abandon you. 6 Be determined and confident, for you will be the leader of these people as they occupy this land which I promised their ancestors. 7 Just be determined, be confident; and make sure that you obey the whole Law that my servant Moses gave you. Do not neglect any part of it and you will succeed wherever you go. 8 Be sure that the book of the Law is always read in your worship. Study it day and night, and make sure that you obey everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Remember that I have commanded you to be determined and confident! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go.”

The People of Israel Cross the Jordan (Joshua 3)

1 The next morning Joshua and all the people of Israel got up early, left the camp at Acacia, and went to the Jordan, where they camped while waiting to cross it. 2 Three days later the leaders went through the camp 3 and told the people, “When you see the priests carrying the Covenant Box of the Lord your God, break camp and follow them. 4 You have never been here before, so they will show you the way to go. But do not get near the Covenant Box; stay about half a mile behind it.”

5 Joshua told the people, “Purify yourselves, because tomorrow the Lord will perform miracles among you.” 6 Then he told the priests to take the Covenant Box and go with it ahead of the people. They did as he said.

7 The Lord said to Joshua, “What I do today will make all the people of Israel begin to honor you as a great man, and they will realize that I am with you as I was with Moses. 8 Tell the priests carrying the Covenant Box that when they reach the river, they must wade in and stand near the bank.”

9 Then Joshua said to the people, “Come here and listen to what the Lord your God has to say. 10 As you advance, he will surely drive out the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, and the Jebusites. You will know that the living God is among you 11 when the Covenant Box of the Lord of all the earth crosses the Jordan ahead of you. 12 Now choose twelve men, one from each of the tribes of Israel. 13 When the priests who carry the Covenant Box of the Lord of all the earth put their feet in the water, the Jordan will stop flowing, and the water coming downstream will pile up in one place.”

14-15 It was harvest time, and the river was in flood.

When the people left the camp to cross the Jordan, the priests went ahead of them, carrying the Covenant Box. As soon as the priests stepped into the river, 16 the water stopped flowing and piled up, far upstream at Adam, the city beside Zarethan. The flow downstream to the Dead Sea was completely cut off, and the people were able to cross over near Jericho. 17 While the people walked across on dry ground, the priests carrying the Lord’s Covenant Box stood on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan until all the people had crossed over.

Memorial Stones Are Set Up (Joshua 4)

1 When the whole nation had crossed the Jordan, the Lordsaid to Joshua, 2 “Choose twelve men, one from each tribe,3 and command them to take twelve stones out of the middle of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests were standing. Tell them to carry these stones with them and to put them down where you camp tonight.”

4 Then Joshua called the twelve men he had chosen, 5 and he told them, “Go into the Jordan ahead of the Covenant Box of the Lord your God. Each one of you take a stone on your shoulder, one for each of the tribes of Israel. 6 These stones will remind the people of what the Lord has done. In the future, when your children ask what these stones mean to you,7 you will tell them that the water of the Jordan stopped flowing when the Lord’s Covenant Box crossed the river. These stones will always remind the people of Israel of what happened here.”

8 The men followed Joshua’s orders. As the Lord had commanded Joshua, they took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, one for each of the tribes of Israel, carried them to the camping place, and put them down there. 9 Joshua also set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, where the priests carrying the Covenant Box had stood. (Those stones are still there.) 10 The priests stood in the middle of the Jordan until everything had been done that the Lord ordered Joshua to tell the people to do. This is what Moses had commanded.

The people hurried across the river. 11 When they were all on the other side, the priests with the Lord’s Covenant Box went on ahead of the people. 12 The men of the tribes of Reuben and Gad and of half the tribe of Manasseh, ready for battle, crossed ahead of the rest of the people, as Moses had told them to do. 13 In the presence of the Lord about forty thousand men ready for war crossed over to the plain near Jericho. 14 What the Lord did that day made the people of Israel consider Joshua a great man. They honored him all his life, just as they had honored Moses.

15 Then the Lord told Joshua 16 to command the priests carrying the Covenant Box to come up out of the Jordan.17 Joshua did so, 18 and when the priests reached the riverbank, the river began flowing once more and flooded its banks again.

19 The people crossed the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month and camped at Gilgal, east of Jericho. 20 There Joshua set up the twelve stones taken from the Jordan. 21 And he said to the people of Israel, “In the future, when your children ask you what these stones mean, 22 you will tell them about the time when Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground. 23 Tell them that the Lord your God dried up the water of the Jordan for you until you had crossed, just as he dried up the Red Sea for us. 24 Because of this everyone on earth will know how great the Lord’s power is, and you will honor the Lord your God forever.”

Gideon (Judges 6)

33 Then all the Midianites, the Amalekites, and the desert tribes assembled, crossed the Jordan River, and camped in Jezreel Valley. 34 The spirit of the Lord took control of Gideon, and he blew a trumpet to call the men of the clan of Abiezer to follow him. 35 He sent messengers throughout the territory of both parts of Manasseh to call them to follow him. He sent messengers to the tribes of Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, and they also came to join him.

David Starts Back to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 19)

Meanwhile all the Israelites had fled to their own hometowns.9 All over the country they started quarreling among themselves. “King David saved us from our enemies,” they said to one another. “He rescued us from the Philistines, but now he has fled from Absalom and left the country. 10 We anointed Absalom as our king, but he has been killed in battle. So why doesn’t somebody try to bring King David back?”

11 The news of what the Israelites were saying reached King David. So he sent the priests Zadok and Abiathar to ask the leaders of Judah, “Why should you be the last to help bring the king back to his palace? 12 You are my relatives, my own flesh and blood; why should you be the last to bring me back?”13 David also told them to say to Amasa, “You are my relative. From now on I am putting you in charge of the army in place of Joab. May God strike me dead if I don’t!” 14 David’s words won the complete loyalty of all the men of Judah, and they sent him word to return with all his officials.

15 On his way back the king was met at the Jordan River by the men of Judah, who had come to Gilgal to escort him across the river. 16 At the same time the Benjaminite Shimei son of Gera from Bahurim hurried to the Jordan to meet King David. 17 He had with him a thousand men from the tribe of Benjamin. And Ziba, the servant of Saul’s family, also came with his fifteen sons and twenty servants, and they arrived at the Jordan before the king. 18 They crossed the river to escort the royal party across and to do whatever the king wanted.

David’s Last Instructions to Solomon (1 Kings 2)

2 When David was about to die, he called his son Solomon and gave him his last instructions: 2 “My time to die has come. Be confident and determined, 3 and do what the Lord your God orders you to do. Obey all his laws and commands, as written in the Law of Moses, so that wherever you go you may prosper in everything you do. 4 If you obey him, the Lord will keep the promise he made when he told me that my descendants would rule Israel as long as they were careful to obey his commands faithfully with all their heart and soul.

5 “There is something else. You remember what Joab did to me by killing the two commanders of Israel’s armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. You remember how he murdered them in time of peace as revenge for deaths they had caused in time of war. He killed innocent men, and now I bear the responsibility for what he did, and I suffer the consequences.6 You know what to do; you must not let him die a natural death.

7 “But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai from Gilead and take care of them, because they were kind to me when I was fleeing from your brother Absalom.

8 “There is also Shimei son of Gera, from the town of Bahurim in Benjamin. He cursed me bitterly the day I went to Mahanaim, but when he met me at the Jordan River, I gave him my solemn promise in the name of the Lord that I would not have him killed. 9 But you must not let him go unpunished. You know what to do, and you must see to it that he is put to death.”

Yardenit Baptismal Site on the Jordan River

The Preaching of John the Baptist (Matthew 3)

3 At that time John the Baptist came to the desert of Judea and started preaching. 2 “Turn away from your sins,” he said, “because the Kingdom of heaven is near!” 3 John was the man the prophet Isaiah was talking about when he said,

“Someone is shouting in the desert,
‘Prepare a road for the Lord;
make a straight path for him to travel!’”

4 John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair; he wore a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.5 People came to him from Jerusalem, from the whole province of Judea, and from all over the country near the Jordan River.6 They confessed their sins, and he baptized them in the Jordan.

7 When John saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to him to be baptized, he said to them, “You snakes—who told you that you could escape from the punishment God is about to send? 8 Do those things that will show that you have turned from your sins. 9 And don’t think you can escape punishment by saying that Abraham is your ancestor. I tell you that God can take these rocks and make descendants for Abraham! 10 The ax is ready to cut down the trees at the roots; every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown in the fire. 11 I baptize you with water to show that you have repented, but the one who will come after me will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. He is much greater than I am; and I am not good enough even to carry his sandals. 12 He has his winnowing shovel with him to thresh out all the grain. He will gather his wheat into his barn, but he will burn the chaff in a fire that never goes out.”

The Baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3)

13 At that time Jesus arrived from Galilee and came to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to make him change his mind. “I ought to be baptized by you,” John said, “and yet you have come to me!”

15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so for now. For in this way we shall do all that God requires.” So John agreed.

16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he came up out of the water. Then heaven was opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and lighting on him. 17 Then a voice said from heaven, “This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased.”

 

 

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