The River Jordan by the London Reading Book

The River Jordan.

The river Jordan rises in the mountains of Lebanon, and falls into the little Lake Merom, on the banks of which Joshua describes the hostile Kings as pitching to fight against Israel. After passing through this lake, it runs down a rocky valley with great noise and rapidity to the Lake of Tiberias. In this part of its course the stream is almost hidden by shady trees, which grow on each side. As the river approaches the Lake of Tiberias it widens, and passes through it with a current that may be clearly seen during a great part of its course. It then reaches a valley, which is the lowest ground in the whole of Syria, many hundred feet below the level of the Mediterranean Sea. It is so well sheltered by the high land on both sides, that the heat thus produced and the moisture of the river make the spot very rich and fertile. This lovely plain is five or six miles across in parts, but widens as it nears the Dead Sea, whose waters cover the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, destroyed for the wickedness of their inhabitants.