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("house of a ford or passage") (See Judges 7:24), where John was when he baptized Jesus (John 1:28; compare John 1:29-30-35). The same as frontBETH-NIMRAH, "the house of leopards," now Beyt-nemir. Thence Elijah ascended. The leopards having come back after their temporary ejectment, during which the name Bethabara prevailed, the place resumed its original name. But perhaps the name means rather, "house of pure water." The Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, and Alexandrinus, the three oldest manuscripts, read "Bethany," which also may mean "house of a ferryboat," i.e. a passage. Yet Origen prefers the reading Bethabara. Some explain Bethany = boathouse, virtually = Bethabara.
        Lieut. Conder places the Bethabara of Judges at the traditional site, the pilgrims' bathing place near Kasr el Yahud, E. of Jericho, within easy reach of Jerusalem. But he shows there is an objection to placing Bethabara's) far S., for Christ's baptism. A site is required within 30 miles of Cana of Galilee; for (John 1:43) "the day following (the events at Bethabara, John 1:28-36) Jesus would go forth into Galilee," and on the third day (John 2) was in Cana. Now just one mile N. of wady Jalud, two days journey from Nazareth and Cana (25 miles), is Makhadhet Abara, "the ford of crossing over." The great road on the N. side of wady Jalud to Gilead and S. Hauran passes over by it. The nearness to Galilee, and the openness of the sides of the river here, leaving a broader space for the crowd seeking baptism, favor the view. The name Bethabara might probably belong to more points than one where Jordan is forded.

Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew Robert M.A., D.D., "Definition for 'bethabara' Fausset's Bible Dictionary". - Fausset's; 1878.

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