Bethany Beyond the Jordan
The ‘Pilgrim of Bordeaux’, in AD 333 the first known Christian pilgrim in the Holy Land, wrote of seeing ‘the place where our Lord was baptized by John, and above the far bank at the same place is the hillock from which Elijah was taken up to heaven’.
The prophet Elijah hid from King Ahab in Wadi Cherith, where ravens brought him food twice daily, ‘and he drank from the Wadi’ (I Ki. 17:5-6). Wadi Kharar in the Jordan Valley, with its spring, has been tentatively identified with Wadi Cherith, and a small hill nearby has for centuries been called Tell Mar Elias (the mound of Saint Elijah), commemorating his ascent to heaven in a whirlwind, with ‘a chariot of fire and horses of fire’ (2 Ki. 2:11).