After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.…
Three miles east of Shechem, at the head of the great Wady Farah, which has in all ages been the highway from the Damiet ford of the Jordan to Sheehem, there are great springs marking this spot. They rise in open ground amidst bare and unattractive hills, and flow down the slope, through a skirting of oleanders, in a strong brook which grows deeper on its way from the addition of numerous small streams. The village of Salim is a wretched collection of small huts, square and flat-roofed, with a tree, large for Palestine, near them, enclosed within a stone wall for preservation, and with a few olives dotting the bare slopes. Looking westward, the eye crosses the great plain and travels up the valley of Shechem, but around Salim itself there is nothing at all attractive. To make the identification complete there is a village called Ainun four miles north of the principal stream. With abundant water flowing all the year round, a central position, free space for the crowds, and a situation on the edge of the descent to the Jordan, of which the waters of the neighbourhood are, south of the plain of Esdraelon, the main tributary on the west, no position more favourable in every way could have been chosen by the Baptist for his work. That he once raised his earnest voice in regions now so silent and forlorn casts an interest over the landscape more powerful than it could otherwise have had, even had it possessed great natural attractions.
(C. Geikie, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.