Stalled construction

View to Israel fm HKJ 1 copy.JPG

Yesterday I posted a view to Al-Maghtas or the "Baptism site" from the Israeli side of the Jordan River. This morning I dug around and found the opposite view from the Jordanian bank. Note the black goat-hair tent in the lower center and the greenish water of the river in the lower right. Beyond is the platform, stairs, rest rooms and gift shop still under construction by the Israelis. The lower platform leading to the water's edge had not yet been started.

The image was captured in the early 2000s while we were working at the site of Tell Jalul (2004 perhaps?).

If I recall correctly, efforts to complete the Israeli side had stalled due to the Second Intifada. The river could still only be reached from the Jordanian side.

Maybe some of you have images (or memories) of Al-Maghtas when it first opened? I remember being quite excited, as prior to the point in time the only access we had to the Lower Jordan River was immediately south the Sea of Galilee at Yardinit. The normalization of relations between Israel and Jordan brought about by the Oslo Accords seemed to be a huge step forward.


Dr. Mark Ziese, Dean of the School of Bible and Theology at Johnson University, manages the website Bible Land Explorer and teaches regularly in the Biblical heartland. You are invited to join Mark and Vicki for a Mediterranean Cruise aboard the Celebrity Reflection in October, 2018. See the link here for details.