Bethany beyond the Jordan lies on the banks of the Jordan River.
According to tradition, this is both the site where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and was therefore “spiritually born”, and also the site marking the location of Elijah’s ascension to heaven in a fiery chariot after he and Elisha crossed the Jordan: “Now Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up, and struck the water; and it was divided this way and that so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground.” (2 Kings 2:8). Lastly, this is the place where the Children of Israel crossed the Jordan River and entered the Holy Land after their 40 years of wandering in the desert. It was here that: “…as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come down from upstream, and they shall stand as a heap.” (Josh 3:13). Today Bethany beyond the Jordan is a scenic and peaceful spot for contemplation, and for baptisms.
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