Yardenit baptismal is a popular site in the
south end of the Sea of Galilee. At this site, or to the south of
this site, was the place where Jesus was baptized by John the baptist, an
important event in the life of Jesus.
Matthew 3 13: "Then Jesus
came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.
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Yardenit ("little Jordan") is a popular Baptism site. Here,
the water flows into the Jordan river, eventually flowing into the
located more than 100KM to the south. This site is believed by some traditions
to be the actual site where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist (Matthew
3: 13 : "Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John").
Many Christian pilgrims stop at this site
and perform baptism ceremonies, normally in small groups and accompanied by
the group's pastor. It is a remarkable and charming site - and should not be
The site is located at
the southern exit of the Sea of Galilee, just behind the gate of the
Dam that is used on rainy winters to lower the level of the lake.
The baptism site has a large parking lot, convenient dressing rooms,
stairway to walk down into the waters, a restaurant and a shop.
The site where the baptism takes place is seen in the following photo,
looking towards the north (the sea of Galilee).
Click on the photo to view it in higher
In the following photo the group's pastor reads about baptism, and
later sprinkles water with a branch on each member.
Other visitors dress in white robes and dip in the Jordan river.
A gathering of several hundred pilgrims in the site. There are about
400,000 visitors to the site each year, and is opened to all faiths and sects.
The baptism of Jesus by John the
Baptist is described in Matthew (3:13-17), told briefly in Mark
(1:9-11), mentioned in Luke (3:21-22), and implied in John
(1:29-34). In these texts John performs an important ritual :
announcing that Jesus is the Son of God and the Messiah.
John 1: 28-34
"These things were done in
Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing. The
next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the
Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of
whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for
he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made
manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And
John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven
like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that
sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou
shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is
he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record
that this is the Son of God.."
Matthew 3: 13-17
" Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.
But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you
come to me?" Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this
to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was
baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and
he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And
a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well
"At that time Jesus came
from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. As Jesus
was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit
descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my
Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."
"When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And
as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in
bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I
love; with you I am well pleased."
Since the New Testament texts do not provide an identification with a known
landmark, there are several traditions on the site along the long Jordan
river. Some point to the Yardenit area closer to the sea of Galilee, some go
south to Beit Shean, others to the section near
Jericho near the
Likelihood of Yardenit as the Baptism site:
According to these texts, the baptism site is probably close to the sea of
Galilee, since all the biblical texts do not describe a long journey from the
Galilee to the place of baptism. Thus, Yardenit, or its vicinity, is a logical
According to KJV version of John, the place was called "Bethabara".
In Hebrew this may mean "the house of the crossing" of the river of Jordan.
There were many crossings along the river, and a probable place will be closer
to the Sea of Galilee.
Beth-Abara is referred in the old testament in conjunction
with the Jordan river, so it is very likely to be the same site. In the story
of the victory of Judge Gideon over the Midians (Judges 7: 24):
Where is this place? An Arabic site of crossing of the Jordan may have
preserved the name - Makhadet Abara (crossing of Abara), one mile north of the
valley of Harod near Beit Shean, which is 20 KM south of Yardenit. Another
traditional site is on the Jordan river near
Entrance to the
According to other versions of John, the place is near Bethany. This village's
exact location is not clear.
Etymology (behind the name):
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