the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Fausset's Bible Dictionary
ZARETAN, ZARTHAN, ZEREDATHA. Joshua 3:16.
1. Adam, the city by which the upper Jordan waters remained during Israel's passage, was "by the side of Zaretan." The name still appears in the Arabic 'Αin Ζahrah , three miles W. of Beisan. The Tell Sarem is a large mound three miles S. of Betsan. Much clay is found between this and Dabbet Sakut or Succoth. Adam means "red earth". Perhaps this Zaretan is identical with...
2. The place in the circle of the Jordan between which and Succoth. (1 Kings 7:46). Solomon cast in clay the brazen articles for the temple; in 2 Chronicles 4:17, Zeredatha. Knobel identifies Zarthan with Kurn Sartabeh. (See .)
Not far from this spot was apparently the "house of the ferry," which gave its name to Bethabara. Bethabarah is evidently the modern ford 'Abarah (i.e. passage) just above where the Julud river, flowing down the valley of Jezreel and by Beisan (Bethshean) debouches into the Jordan; here only the name is found, and nowhere else. Bethabara, "the house of the ferry," was beyond Jordan; but the ferry or ford was doubtless the place of Christ's baptism.
The name and site did not originate from Christian tradition, for this makes the fords of Jericho the scene of John's baptisms (John 1:28). Christ could not possibly have traveled in one day (John 2:1) John 2:80 miles from the vicinity of Jericho to Cana; but He could easily have traveled 22 miles from the ford Abarah to Kerr Kenna (Cana); no place on Jordan is nearer or more accessible to Cana. If with oldest manuscripts we read "Bethany," John 1:28, the name will connect itself with Bashan and Batanaea, and the 'Abarah ford is near the hills of Bashan, whereas the Jericho fords are far away. (Palestine Exploration Quarterly Statement, July 1878, p. 120-121.)
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Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Zaretan'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​fbd/​z/zaretan.html. 1949.