Jordan River

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The Jordan River (American English) or River Jordan (British English) (Hebrew: נהר הירדן Nehar haYarden, Arabic: نهر الأردنNahr al-Urdun) is a river in Southwest Asia flowing to the Dead Sea. In Judaism, the river serves as the eastern border of the "Eretz Yisra'el", the Land of Israel. In Christian tradition, Jesus was baptised here by John the Baptist. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan takes its name from this river.

The Jordan River is 251 kilometres (156 miles) long.


Physical characteristics


  • The Hasbani (Arabic: الحاصباني Hasbani, Hebrew: שניר Snir), which flows from Lebanon.
  • The Banias (Arabic: بانياس Banias, Hebrew: חרמון Hermon), arising from a spring at Banias at the foot of Mount Hermon.
  • The Dan (Hebrew: דן Dan, Arabic: اللدان Leddan), whose source is also at the base of Mount Hermon.
  • The Iyon (Hebrew: עיון Iyon, Arabic: دردره Dardara or براغيث Braghith), which flows from Lebanon.


The river drops rapidly in a 75 kilometre run to swampy Lake Hula, which is slightly above sea level. Exiting the lake, it drops much more in 25 kilometres to the Sea of Galilee. The last section has less gradient, and the river meanders before entering the Dead Sea, about 422 metres below sea level, which has no outlet. Two major tributaries enter from the east during this last section: the Yarmouk River and Jabbok River.

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