The Jordan River is a 251-kilometre-long (156 mi) river in the Middle East that flows roughly north to south through the Sea of Galilee and on to the Dead Sea. Jordan and the Golan Heights border the river to the east, while the West Bank and Israel lie to its west. Both Jordan and the West Bank take their names from the river.
The river holds major significance in Judaism and Christianity since the Bible says that the Israelites crossed it into the Promised Land and that Jesus of Nazareth was baptized by John the Baptist in it.
Bethany beyond the Jordan River, where John the Baptist preached and baptized during the early days of his ministry, has recently been revealed following archaeological surveys and excavations along the length of Wadi Al-Kharrar since 1996.
Combined evidence from the biblical text, Byzantine and medieval writers' accounts, and most recent archaeological works, place the tradition of John the Baptist's mission, including the baptism of Jesus, adjacent to and directly east of the Jordan River.