DISTRICT OF THE JORDAN
[Heb., kik·karʹ hay·yar·denʹ].
The term kik·karʹ is variously translated as “district,” “valley,” “circuit” and “plain,” and here implies a roughly circular basin, or oval-shaped area.
The “District of the Jordan” thus embraces the region into which the Jordan flows as into a basin. This includes the lower part of the Jordan valley, as can be seen by the mention of the “District of the Jordan” in connection with Solomon’s copper-casting activities between Succoth and Zarethan. (1 Ki. 7:46; 2 Chron. 4:17; compare 2 Samuel 18:23.) However, the “District” also appears to extend down to the southern end of the Dead Sea where the “cities of the District” evidently were located. (Gen. 13:10-12) Thus it not only took in the valley plain of Jericho but reached as far as Zoar, the city to which Lot and his daughters fled.—Gen. 19:17-25; Deut. 34:3.
Research conducted at the southern extremity of the Dead Sea indicates that a large portion of land below the tongue of land called the Lisan has become covered by the waters of the Sea. It is generally believed that the “cities of the District” lie submerged in this region. It was once “well-watered” and like “the garden of Jehovah.” (Gen. 13:10) This was true not only of the region N of the Dead Sea, where today only the Plains of Moab and the oasis of Jericho retain considerable fertility, but also of the southern part of the District. Even today the plain that lies beside the Lisan is described as a “prolonged oasis” where barley, wheat, dates and vines can be cultivated. The delta region of the Zered River, which flows into the southern end of the Dead Sea, is also called a “rich oasis.”