The Bible is a collection of sacred texts or scriptures. Varying parts of the Bible are considered to be a product of divine inspiration and a record of the relationship between God and humans by Christians, Jews and Rastafarians. What is regarded as canonical text differs depending on traditions and groups; the Hebrew Bible overlaps with the Christian Old Testament. The Christian New Testament is a collection of writings by early Christians, believed to be Jewish disciples of Christ, written in first-century Koine Greek. Among Christian denominations there is some disagreement about what should be included in the canon about the Apocrypha, a list of works that are regarded with varying levels of respect. Attitudes towards the Bible differ among Christian groups. Roman Catholics, high church Anglicans and Eastern Orthodox Christians stress the harmony and importance of the Bible and sacred tradition, while Protestant churches, including Evangelical Anglicans, focus on the idea of sola scriptura, or scripture alone.
This concept arose during the Protestant Reformation, many denominations today support the use of the Bible as the only infallible source of Christian teaching. The Bible has been a massive influence on literature and history in the Western World, where the Gutenberg Bible was the first book printed using movable type. According to the March 2007 edition of Time, the Bible "has done more to shape literature, history and culture than any book written, its influence on world history is unparalleled, shows no signs of abating." With estimated total sales of over 5 billion copies, it is considered to be the most influential and best-selling book of all time. As of the 2000s, it sells 100 million copies annually; the English word Bible is from the Latin biblia, from the same word in Medieval Latin and Late Latin and from Koinē Greek: τὰ βιβλία, translit. Ta biblia "the books". Medieval Latin biblia is short for biblia sacra "holy book", while biblia in Greek and Late Latin is neuter plural, it came to be regarded as a feminine singular noun in medieval Latin, so the word was loaned as a singular into the vernaculars of Western Europe.
Latin biblia sacra "holy books" translates Greek τὰ βιβλία τὰ ἅγια tà biblía tà ágia, "the holy books". The word βιβλίον itself had the literal meaning of "paper" or "scroll" and came to be used as the ordinary word for "book", it is the diminutive of βύβλος byblos, "Egyptian papyrus" so called from the name of the Phoenician sea port Byblos from whence Egyptian papyrus was exported to Greece. The Greek ta biblia was "an expression. Christian use of the term can be traced to c. 223 CE. The biblical scholar F. F. Bruce notes that Chrysostom appears to be the first writer to use the Greek phrase ta biblia to describe both the Old and New Testaments together. By the 2nd century BCE, Jewish groups began calling the books of the Bible the "scriptures" and they referred to them as "holy", or in Hebrew כִּתְבֵי הַקֹּדֶשׁ, Christians now call the Old and New Testaments of the Christian Bible "The Holy Bible" or "the Holy Scriptures"; the Bible was divided into chapters in the 13th century by Stephen Langton and it was divided into verses in the 16th century by French printer Robert Estienne and is now cited by book and verse.
The division of the Hebrew Bible into verses is based on the sof passuk cantillation mark used by the 10th-century Masoretes to record the verse divisions used in earlier oral traditions. The oldest extant copy of a complete Bible is an early 4th-century parchment book preserved in the Vatican Library, it is known as the Codex Vaticanus; the oldest copy of the Tanakh in Hebrew and Aramaic dates from the 10th century CE. The oldest copy of a complete Latin Bible is the Codex Amiatinus. Professor John K. Riches, Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow, says that "the biblical texts themselves are the result of a creative dialogue between ancient traditions and different communities through the ages", "the biblical texts were produced over a period in which the living conditions of the writers – political, cultural and ecological – varied enormously". Timothy H. Lim, a professor of Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism at the University of Edinburgh, says that the Old Testament is "a collection of authoritative texts of divine origin that went through a human process of writing and editing."
He states that it is not a magical book, nor was it written by God and passed to mankind. Parallel to the solidification of the Hebrew canon, only the Torah first and the Tanakh began to be translated into Greek and expanded, now referred to as the Septuagint or the Greek Old Testament. In Christian Bibles, the New Testament Gospels were derived from oral traditions in the second half of the first century CE. Riches says that: Scholars have attempted to reconstruct something of the history of the oral traditions behind the Gospels, but the results have not been too encouraging; the period of transmission is short: less than 40 years passed between the death of Jesus and the writing of Mark's Gospel. This means that there was little time for oral trad
The Don is one of the major Eurasian rivers of Russia and the fifth-longest river in Europe. The Don basin is between the Dnieper basin to the west, the Volga basin to the east, the Oka basin to the north; the Don rises in the town of Novomoskovsk 60 kilometres southeast of Tula, flows for a distance of about 1,870 kilometres to the Sea of Azov. From its source, the river first flows southeast to Voronezh southwest to its mouth; the main city on the river is Rostov on Don. Its main tributary is the Seversky Donets. According to the Kurgan hypothesis, the Volga-Don river region was the homeland of the Proto-Indo-Europeans c. 4000BC. The Don river functioned as a fertile cradle of civilization where the Neolithic farmer culture of the Near East fused with the hunter-gatherer culture of Siberian groups, resulting in the nomadic pastoralism of the Proto-Indo-Europeans. In antiquity, the river was viewed as the border between Europe and Asia by some ancient Greek geographers. In the Book of Jubilees, it is mentioned as being part of the border, beginning with its easternmost point up to its mouth, between the allotments of sons of Noah, that of Japheth to the north and that of Shem to the south.
During the times of the old Scythians it was known in Greek as the Tanaïs and has been a major trading route since. Tanais appears in ancient Greek sources as both the name of the river and of a city on it, situated in the Maeotian marshes. Pliny gives the Scythian name of the Tanais as Silys. According to Plutarch, the Don River was home to the legendary Amazons of Greek mythology; the area around the estuary is speculated to be the source of the Black Death. While the lower Don was well known to ancient geographers, its middle and upper reaches were not mapped with any accuracy before the gradual conquest of the area by Muscovy in the 16th century; the Don Cossacks, who settled the fertile valley of the river in the 16th and 17th centuries, were named after the river. The fort of Donkov was founded by the princes of Ryazan in the late 14th century; the fort stood on the left bank of the Don, about 34 kilometers from the modern town of Dankov, until 1568, when it was destroyed by the Crimean Tatars, but soon restored at a better fortified location.
It is shown as Donko in Mercator's Atlas, Donkov was again relocated in 1618, appearing as Donkagorod in Joan Blaeu's map of 1645. Both Blaeu and Mercator follow the 16th-century cartographic tradition of letting the Don originate in a great lake, labelled Resanskoy ozera by Blaeu. Mercator still follows Giacomo Gastaldo in showing a waterway connecting this lake to Ryazan and the Oka River. Mercator shows Mtsensk as a great city on this waterway, suggesting a system of canals connecting the Don with the Zusha and Upa centered on a settlement Odoium, reported as Odoium lacum in the map made by Baron Augustin von Mayerberg, leader of an embassy to Muscovy in 1661. In modern literature, the Don region was featured in the work And Quiet Flows the Don by Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov, a Nobel-prize winning writer from the stanitsa of Veshenskaya. At its easternmost point, the Don comes near the Volga, the Volga-Don Canal, connecting the two rivers, is a major waterway; the water level of the Don in this area is raised by the Tsimlyansk Dam, forming the Tsimlyansk Reservoir.
For the next 130 kilometres below the Tsimlyansk Dam, the sufficient water depth in the Don River is maintained by the sequence of three dam-and-ship-lock complexes: the Nikolayevsky Ship Lock, Konstantinovsk Ship Lock, the best known of the three, the Kochetovsky Ship Lock. The Kochetovsky Lock, built in 1914–1919 and doubled in 2004–2008, is 7.5 kilometres below the fall of the Seversky Donets into the Don, 131 kilometres upstream of Rostov-on-Don, the Kochetovsky Ship Lock is located. This facility, with its dam, maintains sufficient water level both in its section of the Don and in the lowermost stretch of the Seversky Donets; this is presently the last lock on the Don. In order to improve shipping conditions in the lower reaches of the Don, the waterway authorities support the proposals for the construction of one or two more low dams with locks, in Bagayevsky District and also in Aksaysky District. Main tributaries from source to mouth: Krasivaya Mecha Bystraya Sosna Veduga Voronezh Tikhaya Sosna Bityug Black Kalitva Khopyor – 1,010 kilometres Medveditsa Ilovlya Chir Seversky Donets – 1,053 kilometres Aidar – 264 kilometres Sal Manych Aksay Temernik Don goat And Quiet Flows The Don Rostov railway drawbridge Don at GEOnet Names Server
The Jordan River or River Jordan is a 251-kilometre-long river in the Middle East that flows north to south through the Sea of Galilee and on to the Dead Sea. Jordan and the Golan Heights border the river to the east, while the West Bank and Israel lie to its west. Both Jordan and the West Bank take their names from the river; the river has a major significance in Judaism and Christianity since many believe that the Israelites crossed it into the Promised Land and that Jesus of Nazareth was baptised by John the Baptist in it. The Jordan River has an upper course from its sources to the Sea of Galilee, a lower course south of the Sea of Galilee down to the Dead Sea. In traditional terminology, the upper course is referred to as passing through the "Hula Valley", as opposed to "Upper Jordan Valley". Over its upper course, fed by the Hasbani River in Banias and Dan, the river drops in a 75-kilometre run to the once large and swampy Lake Hula, above sea level. Exiting the now much-diminished lake, it goes through an steeper drop over the 25 kilometres down to the Sea of Galilee, which it enters at its northern end.
The Jordan deposits much of the silt it is carrying within the lake, which it leaves again near its southern tip. At that point, the river is situated about 210 metres below sea level; the last 120-kilometre -long section follows what is termed the "Jordan Valley", which has less gradient so that the river meanders before entering the Dead Sea, a terminal lake about 422 metres below sea level with no outlet. Two major tributaries enter from the east during this last section: the Yarmouk River and Zarqa River, its section north of the Sea of Galilee is within the boundaries of Israel and forms the western boundary of the Golan Heights. South of the lake, it forms the border between the Kingdom of Jordan, Israel; the streams coming together to create the River Jordan in its upper basin are, west to east: Iyyon, a stream which flows from Lebanon. Hasbani, a stream which flows from the north-western foot of Mount Hermon in Lebanon. Dan, a stream whose source is at the base of Mount Hermon. Banias, a stream arising from a spring at Banias at the foot of Mount Hermon.
South of the Sea of Galilee the Jordan River receives the waters of further tributaries, the main ones being Yarmouk River Zarqa RiverSmaller tributaries in this segment are Wadi al-Far'a Wadi Qelt While several hypotheses for the origin of the river's name have been proposed, the most accepted is that it comes from Semitic Yard|on'flow down' <√ירד reflecting the river's declivity. Cognates of the word are found in Aramaic and other Semitic languages; the first recorded use of the name appears as Yārdon in Anastasi I, an ancient Egyptian papyrus that dates to the time of Rameses II. Early Arab chronicles referred to the river as Al-Urdunn. In the 19th century the River Jordan and the Dead Sea were explored by boat by Christopher Costigan in 1835, Thomas Howard Molyneux in 1847, William Francis Lynch in 1848, John MacGregor in 1869; the full text of W. F. Lynch's 1849 book Narrative of the United States' Expedition to the River Jordan and the Dead Sea is available online. In 1964, Israel began operating a pumping station that diverts water from the Sea of Galilee to the National Water Carrier.
In 1964, Jordan constructed a channel that diverted water from the Yarmouk River, another main tributary of the Jordan River to the East Ghor Canal. Syria has built reservoirs that catch the Yarmouk's waters. Environmentalists blame Israel and Syria for extensive damage to the Jordan River ecosystem. In modern times, the waters are 70% to 90% used for human purposes and the flow is reduced; because of this and the high evaporation rate of the Dead Sea, as well as industrial extraction of salts through evaporation ponds, the sea is shrinking. All the shallow waters of the southern end of the sea have been drained in modern times and are now salt flats. A small section of the northernmost portion of the Lower Jordan, the first ca. 3-kilometre below the Sea of Galilee, has been kept pristine for local tourism. Most polluted is the 100-kilometre downstream stretch—a meandering stream from above the confluence with the Yarmouk to the Dead Sea. Environmentalists say the practice of letting sewage and brackish water flow into the river has destroyed its ecosystem.
Rescuing the Jordan could take decades, according to environmentalists. In 2007, Friends of the Earth Middle East named the Jordan River as one of the world's 100 most endangered ecological sites, due in part to lack of cooperation between Israel and neighboring Arab states; the same environmentalist organization had said in a report that the Jordan River could dry up by 2011 unless the decay was stopped. The flow rate of the Jordan River once was 1.3 billion cubic metres per year. Recent literature sho
Israel the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west and Egypt to the southwest; the country contains geographically diverse features within its small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition. Israel has evidence of the earliest migration of hominids out of Africa. Canaanite tribes are archaeologically attested since the Middle Bronze Age, while the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah emerged during the Iron Age; the Neo-Assyrian Empire destroyed Israel around 720 BCE. Judah was conquered by the Babylonian and Hellenistic empires and had existed as Jewish autonomous provinces.
The successful Maccabean Revolt led to an independent Hasmonean kingdom by 110 BCE, which in 63 BCE however became a client state of the Roman Republic that subsequently installed the Herodian dynasty in 37 BCE, in 6 CE created the Roman province of Judea. Judea lasted as a Roman province until the failed Jewish revolts resulted in widespread destruction, expulsion of Jewish population and the renaming of the region from Iudaea to Syria Palaestina. Jewish presence in the region has persisted to a certain extent over the centuries. In the 7th century CE, the Levant was taken from the Byzantine Empire by the Arabs and remained in Muslim control until the First Crusade of 1099, followed by the Ayyubid conquest of 1187; the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt extended its control over the Levant in the 13th century until its defeat by the Ottoman Empire in 1517. During the 19th century, national awakening among Jews led to the establishment of the Zionist movement in the diaspora followed by waves of immigration to Ottoman Syria and British Mandate Palestine.
In 1947, the United Nations adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency, rejected by Arab leaders; the following year, the Jewish Agency declared the independence of the State of Israel, the subsequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War saw Israel's establishment over most of the former Mandate territory, while the West Bank and Gaza were held by neighboring Arab states. Israel has since fought several wars with Arab countries, since the Six-Day War in 1967 held occupied territories including the West Bank, Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip, it extended its laws to the Golan East Jerusalem, but not the West Bank. Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories is the world's longest military occupation in modern times. Efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have not resulted in a final peace agreement. However, peace treaties between Israel and both Egypt and Jordan have been signed.
In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a democratic state. The country has a liberal democracy, with a parliamentary system, proportional representation, universal suffrage; the prime minister is head of government and the Knesset is the legislature. Israel is a developed country and an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member, with the 32nd-largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product as of 2017; the country benefits from a skilled workforce and is among the most educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree. Israel has the highest standard of living in the Middle East, has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. Furthermore, Israel ranked 11th in the UN's 2018 World Happiness Report. Upon independence in 1948, the country formally adopted the name "State of Israel" after other proposed historical and religious names including Eretz Israel and Judea, were considered but rejected.
In the early weeks of independence, the government chose the term "Israeli" to denote a citizen of Israel, with the formal announcement made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Sharett. The names Land of Israel and Children of Israel have been used to refer to the biblical Kingdom of Israel and the entire Jewish people respectively; the name "Israel" in these phrases refers to the patriarch Jacob who, according to the Hebrew Bible, was given the name after he wrestled with the angel of the Lord. Jacob's twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Children of Israel. Jacob and his sons had lived in Canaan but were forced by famine to go into Egypt for four generations, lasting 430 years, until Moses, a great-great grandson of Jacob, led the Israelites back into Canaan during the "Exodus"; the earliest known archaeological artifact to mention the word "Israel" as a collective is the Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt. The area is known as the Holy Land, being holy for all Abrahamic religions including Judaism, Christianity and the Bahá'í Faith.
Under British Mandate, the whole region was known as Palestine (Hebre
The Yarmuk River, sometimes spelled Yarmouk, is the largest tributary of the Jordan River. It runs in Jordan and Israel and drains much of the Hauran plateau, its main tributaries are the ʾawdiya of'Allan and Ruqqad from the north and Zeizun from the east. Although it is narrow and shallow throughout its course, at its mouth it is nearly as wide as the Jordan, measuring thirty feet in breadth and five in depth; the once celebrated Matthew Bridge used to cross the Yarmuk at its confluence with the Jordan. Yarmuk forms a natural border between the plains to the north - Hauran and Golan - and the Gilead mountains to the south, thus it has served as boundary line between political entities. The Yarmukian Culture is a Pottery Neolithic culture that inhabited parts of Jordan, its type site is on the river mouth. Early Bronze Age. Abila is attested in the 14th-century BC Amarna Letters; this is the case for Geshur, assumed to have laid north of the river. Other historical cities on the course of the river are Dara'a, Jalin.
The Aramean kingdoms and the northern Kingdom of Israel, of the Hebrew Bible, might have set their boundary line along the Yarmouk occasionally. Under the Assyrian and Persian empires the province of Ashteroth Karnaim laid to the north, that of Gal'azu to the south. In Hellenistic times, the territory of Hippos was across from those of Gadara and Abila on the south, while Dion sat on the eastern tributaries; the Battle of Yarmouk, where Muslim forces defeated those of the Byzantine Empire and gained control of Syria, took place north of the river in 636. A fork of the Hejaz Railway ran in the river valley from 1905 to 1946, it was deprecated after being bombed by the Jewish Haganah in the Night of the Bridges on 16 June 1946. The hydroplant of Naharayim, on the junction with Jordan River, served Mandatory Palestine from 1932 to 1948. Today, the lower part of the river, close to the Jordan Valley, forms part of the border between Israel and Jordan. Further upstream it forms part of the border between Jordan.
The area of Al-Hamma, or Hamat Gader in the valley is claimed by Syria. The Al-Wehda Dam was constructed on the border between Syria in the 2000s. There are political agreements between Jordan and Syrian and between Jordan and Israel, about the management and allocation of the shared waters of the Yarmouk River; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Isidore. "YARMUK". The Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Wadi Mujib, "almost certainly" known as the biblical Arnon Stream, is a river canyon in Jordan which enters the Dead Sea c 420 metres below sea level. During the last Ice Age the water level of the Dead Sea reached 180 metres below sea level, about 240 metres higher than it is today, it flooded the lower areas of the canyons along its banks, which became bays and begun to accumulate sediments. As the climatic conditions changed, about 20,000 years ago, the water level of the lake dropped, leaving the re-emergent canyons blocked with lake marl. Most canyons managed to resume their lower courses. However, Wadi Mujib, abandoned its former outlet by breaking through a cleft in the sandstone; this narrow cleft became the bottleneck of an enormous drainage basin with a huge discharge. During the years the cleft was scoured deeper and the gorge of Wadi Mujib was formed; the Mujib Reserve of Wadi Mujib is located in the mountainous landscape to the east of the Dead Sea, in the southern part of Jordan valley 90 kilometres south of Amman.
A 212-square-kilometre reserve was created in 1987 by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature and is regionally and internationally important for the bird life that the reserve supports. In 2011, UNESCO declared, it extends to the Kerak and Madaba mountains to the north and south, reaching 900 metres above sea level in some places. This 1,300-metre variation in elevation, combined with the valley's year round water flow from seven tributaries, means that Wadi Mujib enjoys a magnificent biodiversity, still being explored and documented today; the reserve consists of mountainous and sparsely vegetated desert, with cliffs and gorges cutting through plateaus. Perennial, spring-fed streams flow to the shores of the Dead Sea. Over 300 species of plants, 10 species of carnivores and numerous species of permanent and migratory birds have been recorded until this date; some of the remote mountain and valley areas are difficult to reach, thus offer safe havens for rare species of cats and other mountain animals.
The slopes of the mountainous land are sparsely vegetated, with a steppe-type vegetation on plateaus. Groundwater seepage does occur in places along the Dead Sea shore, for example at the hot springs of Zara, which support a luxuriant thicket of Acacia, Tamarix and Nerium, a small marsh; the less severe slopes of the reserve are used by pastoralists for the grazing of sheep and goats. The hot springs of Hammamat Ma'in lie close to the borders of the reserve are used for tourism and recreation; the Jordanian military have a temporary camp in the south of the reserve. The Mujib Dam was completed in 2004 at the bottom of the wadi, where the modern road crosses the river; as a result, a large lake has formed. Today, Wadi Mujib is fed by seven tributaries; as well as resident birds, the reserve is strategically important as a safe stop-over for the huge number of migratory birds which fly annually along the Great Rift Valley between Africa and northeast Europe. It is possible to see the following birds in Mujib: Lammergeier Egyptian vulture Eurasian griffon Levant sparrowhawk Lesser kestrel Sooty falcon Sand partridge Hume's owl Hooded wheatear Blackstart Arabian babbler Striolated bunting Trumpeter finch Dead Sea sparrow Tristram's starling Many carnivores inhabit the various vegetation zones in Mujib, such as the striped hyena and the Syrian wolf.
One of the most important animals in Mujib is the Nubian ibex, a large mountain goat which became threatened as a result of over-hunting. Wadi Mujib, the biblical Arnon stream, has always been an important boundary-line. According to the Pentateuch, it once separated the Moabites from the Amorites. After the Hebrew settlement it divided, theoretically at least, Moab from the tribes of Reuben and Gad, but Moab, in fact, lay as much to the north. To the north, for example, were Aroer, Dibon and other Moabite towns. Under Omri and Ahab, who held part of the Moabite territory, Israel did not hold sway farther south than Ataroth, about ten miles north of the Arnon. Mesha in his inscription says that the Gadites occupied Ataroth, whence he in turn expelled the people of Israel, he mentions his having constructed a road along the Arnon. The ancient importance of the river and of the towns in its vicinity is attested by the numerous ruins of bridges and buildings found upon or near it, its fords are alluded to by the Book of Isaiah.
Its "heights," crowned with the castles of chiefs, were celebrated in verse. Dana Biosphere Reserve Azraq Wetland Reserve Nature Reserves in Jordan The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, Jordan Flora and Fauna of Wadi Mujib