Jordan River

The Jordan (? Hebrew נהר הירדן Nəhar ha - Jarden / i, mutatis mutandis " descends the river "; Arab نهر الأردن, DMG Nahr al - Urdunn ) is a river in the Middle East.

With the Israelite conquest of the Jordan was the border of the Kingdom of Israel to the " nations." His crossing as a transition from the hostile strangers in the land of promise is therefore often used as an allegory for the dying, as " beyond the Jordan" in the German idiom.

Geography of the river

The headwaters of the Jordan - the Hasbani in Lebanon, the Dan in northern Israel and the Banyas (also called Hermonfluss ) in the northern Golan Heights - originate in the area surrounding Mount Hermon. They unite in the area around Sede Nehemija to Jordan, then in a north-south direction, the Huleebene Nordgaliläas crosses before it opens at Bethsaida in the Sea of ​​Galilee. South of the lake, he enters the Jordan Rift Valley and takes in its further course, the left side are the only two major tributaries, the Yarmuk and Jabbok on. Southeast of Jericho it empties into the Dead Sea, an endorheic Endsee.

The geographical extent ( distance) of the Jordan River is only about 170 km. But through his strong curve it comes to an actual length of 251 km. Alone, the section between the Sea of ​​Galilee and the Dead Sea has for its numerous bends a length of 210 km, although the two lakes are only 105 km apart.

In his almost entire southern course of the river ( with the exception of the distance from the Sea of ​​Galilee to Beit Shean ) of the Jordan forms the border between Israel and Jordan. In the northern area, it flows along the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights of Syria and claimed.

The Jordan Valley to the Dead Sea is a geological depression and is highly prone to earthquakes as a grave breach.

The geology and hydrology of the Jordan and its environment, see Palestine ( region).

Political significance

Due to its limit position of the Bank plays an important role in the politics of the Middle East. The Jordan leads all year round comparatively large amount of water. Israel views of the river and the Sea of ​​Galilee as a central element of the drinking water supply, the other riparian countries (Lebanon, Syria and Jordan) in turn require a fair share of the water of the river system.

The relationship between Israel and Jordan, the river was able to contribute to peace. Article 6 of the Israeli- Jordanian peace treaty, which was signed by King Hussein of Jordan, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and U.S. President Bill Clinton on 26 October 1994 in Washington, contains the contractual assurance that Jordan larger quantities of water from the river may be found. In relation to Israel, Syria, Jordan wears closer to the crisis: concern, Syria, Israel could "the water abgraben ", is a key reason that Israel refuses to return the Golan Heights.

See also: Jordan water issue

Water use

The Jordan River is the main source of fresh water for both Israel and Jordan. Thus, from 1200 million cubic meters of water, which leads to the Jordan in the year, taken from Israel alone from the Sea of ​​Galilee 500 million m³. This water is used primarily for agricultural irrigation in the Negev desert, to supply the city with drinking water. Due to the constant water removal of the Jordan degenerates over to trickle from wastewater. Annually, only 200 million cubic meters of water into the Dead Sea, which leads to a dramatic decrease in its water level.

Religious significance

In Judaism, the Bank has importance as the river, the people of Israel crossed at the Conquest of Canaan after the walk through the desert under the leadership of Joshua ( Jos 3 EU).

In the area around Jericho, the site is located, in which the Baptist was baptized according to the New Testament tradition Jesus by John. Through this important event for Christians of Jordan became a highly frequented pilgrimage destination with numerous Taufstellen, such as in Yardenit at the south end of the lake of Galilee.