Riblah (that we may note this by the way) by the Targumists is rendered Daphne. They, upon Numbers 34:11, for that which is in the Hebrew, "And the border shall go down to Riblah," render it, "And the border shall go down to Daphne." See also Aruch in Daphne. But this certainly is not that Daphne of which Josephus here speaks; which will sufficiently appear by those things that follow. But as to the things before us: --
I. Both he and the Talmudists assign Panium or Paneas to be the spring of Jordan; nor do they name another.
"Near Panium, as they call it (saith he), is a most delightful cave in a mountain; and under it the land hollowing itself into a huge vale, full of standing waters. Over it a great mountain hangs; and under the cave, rise the springs of the river Jordan."
And again, "By the springs of Jordan: now the place is called Panium."
And elsewhere, "Panium seems to be the fountain of Jordan": and more may be read there.
The Talmudists write thus; "Rabh saith, Jordan riseth out of the cave of Pamias: and so is the tradition."
"R. Isaac saith, Leshem is Pamias." The Gloss is, "Leshem is a city which the Danites subdued (Judg 18:29): Pamias is a place whence Jordan ariseth."
And Pliny, "The river of Jordan ariseth out of the fountain Paneas."
II. That fountain of Jordan was the so-much-famed fountain of 'little Jordan,' as it is called. For so it is plainly collected from Josephus. Concerning the Danites invading Laish, or Leshem, which being subdued they called Dan, he speaks thus; "But they, travelling a day's journey through the great plain of Sidon, not far from mount Libanus, and the springs of lesser Jordan, observe the land to be good and fruitful, and shew it unto their tribe; who, invading it with an army, build the city Dan."
In like manner speaking of Jeroboam, he saith these things; "He built two temples for the golden calves, -- one in Beth-el, the other in Dan, which is at the springs of little Jordan."
You may certainly wonder and be amazed that the fountain of Little Jordan should be so famed and known; and in the mean time, the fountain of Great Jordan to lie hid, not to be spoken of, and to be buried in eternal obscurity. What! is the less worthy of so much fame; and the greater, of none at all? Let us have liberty to speak freely what we think, with the leave of chorographers.
I. It does not appear that any other river of Jordan flows into the lake Samochonitis beside that which ariseth from Paneas. In what author will you find the least sign of such a river? But only that such a conjecture crept into the maps, and into the minds of men, out of the before alleged words of Josephus, misconceived.
II. We think, therefore, that Jordan is called the Greater and the Less, not upon any account of two fountains, or two rivers, different and distant from one another; but upon account of the distinct greatness of the same river. Jordan, rising out of Paneas, was called Little, until it flowed into the lake Samochonitis; but afterward coming out of that lake, when it had obtained a great increase from that lake, it was thenceforth called Jordan the Greater. Samochonitis received Little Jordan, and sent forth the Great. For since both that lake and the country adjacent was very fenny, as appears out of Josephus, -- the lake was not so much increased by Jordan flowing into it, as it increased Jordan flowing out of it. "Moors and fenny places possess the parts about the lake Samochonitis." The river, therefore, below Samochonitis seems to be called 'Jordan'; above Samochonitis, 'Little Jordan.'
Caesarea Philippi was built at Paneas, the fountain of Jordan: which let the maps observe that they place it not too remote thence. "Philip built the city Caesarea in Paneas, at the springs of the Jordan." And also, "Having finished Paneas, he named it Caesarea."