A DIRT GUY FROM ISRAEL sent me a comment this week adding weight to a theory I reported in the Bible video When the Jordan River Stopped for Joshua.
In that video I reported a theory about how the Jordan River stopped so Joshua and the Jews could cross into the Promised Land during the springtime flood season.
Here’s what the Bible says happened:
“As soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge, the water above that point began backing up a great distance away at a town called Adam” (Joshua 3:15-16).
The theory is that an earthquake shook loose dirt cliffs upriver, damming the river long enough for the Jews to cross. It has happened many times in recorded history. In 1927 it happened at the very spot where the Bible says it happened, the city of Adam, some 20 miles (32 km) upriver of Jericho. The landslide dammed the river for 21 hours.
Here’s what the dirt guy said about the theory, with bracketed notes I added:
Not only logical, but absolutely possible. I personally saw a similar event near Nahraim, about two kilometers [a little over a mile] south of the point were the Yarmuk River joins the Jordan River [north of the ancient city of Adam]. A cliff some 100 feet high slid into the river and closed the streambed for several hours. A herd of cattle that grazed on one bank crossed the river to feed on the other side. Some 5-6 hours later the rising water above the slide cut through the temporary dam and within 24 hours all was normal.
The dirt guy is University of Minnesota-educated Abba Niv, regional engineer at the Israeli Soil Conservation Service.
The earthquake theory is just that – a theory. But for many newcomers to the Bible, it’s encouraging to know that this miracle story makes perfect sense to an Israeli who knows his dirt.
For more about the Jordan River
- Youtube video: When the Jordan River stopped for Joshua
- Jericho quake zone: Bible & science
- A Quick Guided Tour Through the Bible, page 57
- The Complete Guide to the Bible, page 65.
- The Complete Visual Bible, page 79.
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