Dead Sea

Jordan (river) (Arabic Al Urdunn, Hebrew Yarden), river in southwest Asia, following a southerly course of about 320 km (about 200 mi) from its source in the Anti-Lebanon Mountains of Lebanon and Syria to its outlet on the Dead Sea. The Jordan rises on the southern slopes of Mount Hermon in southwestern Syria and southeastern Lebanon and flows south through the freshwater Lake Tiberias (Sea of Galilee) in northern Israel. From there it forms the boundary between Jordan on the east and Israel and the disputed West Bank on the west before emptying into the Dead Sea.


John the Baptist, Saint (between 8 and 4 BC-about AD27), according to all four Gospels the precursor of Jesus Christ, born in Judea, the son of the priest Zacharias and Elisabeth, cousin of Mary, the mother of Jesus. John was a Nazarite from birth and prepared for his mission by years of self-discipline in the desert. At about the age of 30 he went into the country around the Jordan River preaching penance to prepare for the imminent coming of the Messiah. He baptized penitents with water as a symbol of the baptism of the Holy Spirit that was to come. With the baptism of Jesus, his office as precursor was accomplished, and his ministry came to a close soon afterward. John angered Herod Antipas, the Judean ruler, by denouncing him for marrying Herodias, the wife of his half brother Herod, and was imprisoned . At the request of Salome, daughter of Herodias and Herod, John was beheaded. In art, John the Baptist is represented as wearing a garment made of hair and often carries a staff and a scroll with the words "Ecce Agnus Dei," or "Behold the Lamb of God," a reference to John 1:29. The feast of his birth is celebrated (in the West) on June 24; the feast of his death, on August 29.   Map page
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