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Biblical Jordan

The part of the Holyland on the eastern side of the Jordan River, in the country of Jordan, is blessed with the rich spiritual heritage of the full story of Salvation as recorded in the Bible. Abraham, Job, Moses, Ruth, Elijah, John the Baptist, Jesus Christ (pbut), Paul and other leading figures from the Bible performed pivotal elements of their divinely-ordained mission in the ancient landscape now within the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The Sacred Heart, Jabal Amman Church

This is why increasing numbers of religious pilgrims today begin their pilgrimages in Jordan and continue into ancient Canaan, modern Palestine and Israel, for in so doing, they retrace the entire saga of God's revelation to mankind and the development of the Abrahamic faiths.

In and around southern Jordan, God first manifested Himself to human beings, as documented in the narratives related to Abraham, Job, and Moses (pbut). Subsequently, this land witnessed the missions of numerous prophets, the completion of the First Covenant through Moses (pbuh) and the Israelites, and the launching of the Christian faith through the Second Covenant, heralded by John the Baptist and completed through Jesus Christ (pbut).

The very name of the country and its famous river of baptism and spiritual cleansing - Jordan, retains the unique heritage of the land where God repeatedly interacted with human beings and sent them His message of righteousness, love and peace.

Madaba Church Entrance

Biblical Jordan Pages

Retracing Biblical History
The Patriarchs in Jordan
Jacob and Esau
Moses and the Exodus
Exodus Stations in Jordan
After the Exodus
Elijah and Elisha
New Testament Events
John and Jesus
The Decapolis in Jordan
Early Churches

The heartland of this spiritual landscape that witnessed the unfolding of God's Salvation History is the area alongside the Dead Sea and the Jordan River, in today's west-central Jordan. This area was called the "Plains of Moab" in the Old Testament and formed part of the region of "Peraea" in the New Testament. This is the only area in the Holyland that combines the traditions of Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist, and Jesus Christ (pbut), key figures in God's redemption of humankind and call for human righteousness.

Other than the central covenants that God made with humankind through Moses and Jesus (pbut), Jordan is also where Jacob (pbuh) wrestled with the angel of God, Job (pbuh) suffered and was rewarded for his faith, and Elijah (pbuh) ascended to Heaven.

This is where Moses (pbuh) delivered God's Law to humankind, including the great commandments to "love God", "pursue justice and only justice", and to "choose life". And here is where Jesus (pbuh) was baptized by John (pbuh) and anointed by God, where he called his first disciples, and where the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit manifested itself explicitly during the baptism along the Jordan River.

In the land of Jordan, God frequently appeared and encountered humankind in the form of a whirlwind, a cloud of light or dust, an angel, or a voice speaking with the prophets. One biblical passage (Habbakuk 3:3) says explicitly that "God come from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran". Deuteronomy 33:2 notes that "The Lord come from Sinai, and dawned down on them from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran". Teman, Seir and Paran are in the area of Edom, in southern Jordan.

Biblical Jordan, the Land of Peace and Refuge

God repeatedly designated Jordan as a land of peace and refuge, where Ruth, Elijah, David, Jesus, John the Baptist and the first Christian communities, among others, found safety and peace. Most of the great biblical prophets journeyed from the east bank of the Jordan River to the west, symbolically moving from the "wilderness" where men and women are tested, to the promised Holyland, the Kingdom of God.

Among these leading figures whose journeys took them from the east to the west banks of the Jordan River were Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Elijah, John the Baptist and Jesus (pbut).

Most of the holy sites in Jordan where the biblical prophets performed miracles or reached out to ordinary people are identified, excavated and easily accessible to visitors today. New sites are discovered every year.

Religious pilgrims and visitors to Jordan often can visit archaeological excavations and share in the excitement of identifying ancient remains of places where John the Baptist (pbuh) preached and heralded the arrival of the Messiah, Jesus (pbuh) performed miracles, Elijah (pbuh) lived by faith and Moses (pbuh) completed his mission from God.

Continue to: Retracing Biblical History

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