The Crossing of Jordan


The fact that we may now know with considerable certainty just how this miracle was performed should not in the least detract from its value. With God nothing would be a miracle, since He of His own power is able to accomplish His will in every respect. Many things are miracles simply because we do not understand the Divine processes. We are miracles ourselves, fearfully and wonderfully made. The growth of the plant, the flower, or even a blade of grass, is a miracle to us—something wholly beyond our power, and in a general way considerably beyond our comprehension as a process.

The account tells plainly that the heaping up of the waters was in the direction of the city Adam. This place has been located certainly by Professor Wright as situated seventeen miles above Jericho, on the Jordan. The waters became in a heap, a lake, the Professor assures us, by reason of a land‑slide which choked the narrow passage of the river where there were steep banks. The character of the soil in that vicinity would be favourable to the blocking of the narrow channel of the Jordan there by the slipping of the hill sides. Indeed history tells us that a similar slide took place in the same vicinity in A.D.1267, damming up the Jordan for several hours and leaving the bed of the river below quite dry, the waters draining off to the Dead Sea.

Professor Wright says, "So striking in this conformity of the facts to the conditions indicated by the Biblical account, that geologists can find but little difficulty in believing the written record. At the same time, the written record is so precise itself, and so free from fantastic elements that the literary critic cannot well consider it as anything but the original, unvarnished tale of an eyewitness."

"The marvel of the story is that the Divine marching orders were so timed as to suit the circumstances and conditions exactly."

The above words were written a generation ago. In our own day the drying up of Jordan has occurred again, at exactly the same place. At this district Adam, now known as El Damieh, the river flows between clay banks forty feet high, and landslides into the river are frequent. During the earthquake of 1927 these banks collapsed and dammed the river so that no water flowed down for more than twenty‑one hours. As is remarked above, the essence of the miracle is not the drying up of the river, but the Divine oversight which caused it to happen at just the time Israel needed a means of making a safe passage across the river.