The Sources Of The Jordan, The Lake El-Hûleh, And The Adjacent Country -- By: W. M. Thomson

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 003:9 (Feb 1846)
Article: The Sources Of The Jordan, The Lake El-Hûleh, And The Adjacent Country
Author: W. M. Thomson


The Sources Of The Jordan, The Lake El-Hûleh, And The Adjacent Country

Rev. W. M. Thomson

The Dead Sea, the Lake of Tiberias, and the interesting valley of the Jordan, have been so frequently visited and so well described by recent travellers, that the topography of all that region has become familiar to almost every one. The case is different with the Lake Hûleh, the sour-

ces of the Jordan, and the regions adjacent. Having enjoyed the pleasure of a hasty excursion among these interesting localities, I now throw together some extracts from notes taken at the time, in the hope that they may not be unacceptable to the readers of your valuable publication. I commence my extracts with our departure from Hasbeiya.

Sept 20th, 1843. We left the palace of the Emîrs of Hasbeiya, (a Muslim branch of the house of Shehâb, distinct from those who have so long governed in Lebanon,) about sunrise, and in half an hour reached the fountain of the Hasbâny. Our path led us across the bed of a winter torrent, which comes down from the mountains on the east of Hasbeiya. and over a rocky hill covered with lava boulders. The fountain lies nearly N. W. from the town, and boils up from the bottom of a shallow pool, some eight or ten rods in circumference. The water is immediately turned, by a strong stone dam, into a wide millrace. This is undoubtedly the most distant fountain, and therefore the true source of the Jordan. It at once, even in this dry season, forms a considerable stream. It meanders for the first three miles through a narrow, but very lovely and highly cultivated valley. Its margin is protected and adorned with the green fringe and dense shade of the sycamore, button, and willow trees, while innumerable fish sport in its cool and crystal bosom. It then sinks rapidly down a constantly deepening gorge of dark basalt for about six miles, when it reaches the level of the great volcanic plain extending to the marsh above the Hûleh. Thus far the direction is nearly south; but it now bears a little westward, and in eight or ten miles, falls into the marsh about midway between the eastern and western mountains. Pursuing a southern direction through the middle of the marsh for about ten miles, it enters the Lake Hûleh not far from its N. W. corner, having been immensely enlarged by the waters from the great fountains of Bâniâs, Tell el-Kâdy, el-Mellâhah, Derakît or Belât, and innumerable other springs. The distance from the fountain of Hasbâny to the lake cannot be less than twenty-five miles, and nearly in a straight direction. The Hûleh may be eight miles long; and the river after it issues from the lake preserves the same southerly course, until it falls into the sea of Tiberias. The great fountain of Hasbâny, theref...

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