There is a River mentioned in the Bible called Sambatyon (Sabbation), this particular River was the point where a part of the Ten Tribes were exiled by the Assyrian King, Shalmaneser. Meaning beyond that River they would not pass, and the Bantus inability to pass was intricately involved with the Sabbath. This River, we and many others believe was none other than what is today called Orange River, or Oranjie by current occupants/rulers of parts of the Promised Land, the Boers (South Africa as a country is run by British Law though, but thats another topic altogether). Now if we look at the Orange-Senqu Basin map below, you can use the River as a Border to Midian, Assyria further up and Moab in the East, to the west in the ancient days it consists now parts of Namibia, perhaps Botswana, but also further up. Now the Orange-Senqu basin starts in the Highlands of Lesotho, by a small contributory and starer River river called JORDAN, and then goes over 2,300 km to its mouth, entering the Atlantic Ocean on the Border of Namibia and South Africa. This is one of the largest river basins in Africa, and back in the day (naturally) a River or a mountain range was used as borders between Kingdoms. Remember The Jordan River is described as being the Edge of The Promised Land in our Bibles, so lets dive !
Although in the vernacular Lesotho (Khoemanna), the River is called Senqu River (ǃOrakobab or Khoemana, also known as Korana, in ǃOra or Griqua). Orange comes from House of Orange, which is basically just Voortrekker conquest and renaming. Old names will be restored, it has already started.
Now this River Jordan, rested on the Sabbath. And for anyone one living soul that wants to check this claim, if this is the river of rest or not, can quite easily come and check it for yourself, on the Sabbath. Now what wold you need to find before checking if this River does slow down on the Sabbath? Thats right, you need to find the Sabbath itself (we have many articles on the subject, and it is neither Saturday nor is it Sunday). Now the Sabbath can be be confirmed and supported when you find the day this very River resting on the particular day.
Now lets go to Our Bibles and see what we can find (Exodus 34,10):
10 Then SoNiNi said: “I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, SoNiNi naNiNi, will do for you."
Now if we consult a book called Targum Psuedo-Jonathan (interesting name right), we find other references to the River Sambation (Exodus 34,10):
And He said, Behold, I make covenant that I will not change this people to become an alien people; nevertheless from thee shall proceed a multitude of the righteous; and with all thy people will I do wondrous things in the time when they go into captivity by the rivers of Babel: for I will bring them up from thence, and make them dwell from within the river Sambation; and like wonders shall not be created among all the inhabitants of the earth, nor among any nation. And all the people among whom thou wilt dwell shall see in that day the work of SoNiNi; for terrible is the thing that I will do with thee.
Wether this book can be trusted or not, is another issue. It is interesting none the less, that the River is mentioned by name. And we see (from a little known version of the same 5 first books of the Bible) that the People of Ntu (The Bantus) would go into exile into Babylon and they would live in the land on the other side of the Sambation (we feel is the Orange River or River Jordan).
We will see quotes that says it would be a rapid moving river that throws stones for 6 days, sand and flame. And it would be impossible to cross, but stops it violent stream on every Sabbath, the day the Bantus are not permitted to travel, and hence the origin of the name, Sabbath River. Pliny the Elder, in his book Natural History said that there is a river in Judea (which puts Judas land covering Lesotho and up in towards the Free State) that dries up every Sabbath (1856: 480). He does not mention the river Sambation by name, but his statement seems to refer to this mysterious Sabbath river.
Josephus, in his book The Jewish War (7:96-99) said that Titus saw the Sambation river when coming down from Assyria:
"Now, Titus Caesar tarried some time at Berytus, as we told you before. He then left there, and exhibited magnificent shows in all those cities of Syria through which he went, and made use of the captive Jews as public instances of the destruction of that nation. He then saw a river as he went along, of such a nature as deserves to be recorded in history; it runs in the middle between Arcea, belonging to Agrippa’s kingdom, and Raphanea.
It has something very peculiar about it; for when it runs, its current is strong, and has plenty of water; after which its springs fail for six days together, and leave its channel dry, as anyone may see; after those days it runs on the seventh day as it did before, and as though it had undergone no change at all: it has also been observed to keep this order perpetually and exactly; hence it is that they call it the Sabbatic River, that name being taken from the sacred seventh day among the Jews."
Now in an old article in the Jewish Encyclopaedia mentions the river in connection with Alexander the Great:
"Among the different versions of the Alexander legend is one which states that Alexander, when he was journeying toward the south of Egypt, arrived at a river which flowed with water for three days and with sand for three days, and that this was the Sambation of the Jews."
What is interesting is that Alexander ventured South of Egypt, headed down towards Southern Africa. Remember this is not a biblical quote, but from writings of men not inspired. They might have set north and south by then, but even they say that they went south of Egypt, meaning down into Africa.
We can then draw a line and use the River as a benchmark to set all these borders of the 12 Tribes on each side and towards the Sea. So Sambation, the Resting River, we think is the River Jordan which could very well be the Senqu River or Orange River. If you remember from Targum Pseudo-Jonathan Exodus 34,10:
"I will take them from there and place them on the other side of the Sambatyon River."
The Sabbath River.... And compare this with the Orange River (perhaps even parts of the River Vaal) crossing southern Africa, starting from the East in Lesotho highlands and ending in Namibia in the far West.
If we consult sources outside of the Bible, we see Pliny the Elder he wrote in Natural History the River flowed for 6 days and stopped to rest on the Sabbath. The traits of this River did prevent the 10 Tribes from leaving their place of Exile, after all they could not cross the river during their six days of the week, left only the seventh Sabbath day HOWEVER travel was not permitted on the Sabbath, which leaves only a small window of opportunity to cross this vast River.
Now If we consult Josephus confusion will enter as he said the River was still on weekdays but flowed only on the Sabbath. Josephus said that Titus marched with his armies from Assyria. Josephus furthermore he describes it as running between Acre, at the northern extremity of Lebanon and Raphanea, this is what he wrote (Wars 7,96-99):
"It has an astonishing peculiarity. For, when it flows, it is a copious stream with a current far from sluggish; then all at once its sources fail, and for the space of six days it presents the spectacle of a dry bed; again, as though no change had occurred, it pours forth on the seventh day just as before. And it has always been observed to keep strictly to this order; whence they have called it the Sabbatical river, so naming it after the sacred seventh day of the Jews".
Now this description surely does not support how the ten tribes could not have crossed during the weekdays, which means Josephus probably was at a different part of the Jordan or got his days mixed up, we don't know. The days might even have been feast days, which might slow down the River for a full week.
What we can see is that, the River Jordan that springs out of the Highlands of Lesotho is very likely the beginning of THE RIVER JORDAN today called Orange River (And parts of Vaal) that crosses southern Africa, with masses of land to the East and West, North and South. A very important marker for when you start to draw lines between the land allotted to the 12 Tribes of The Promised Land.
Now lastly for Scriptures, we see many mentions of Jordan River as THE source of fertility of a large plain watered like the Garden of SoNiNi, as we read in Genesis 13,10:
10 Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of SoNiNi, like the land of Egypt. (This was before SoNiNi destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)
We can see here that Egypt, now desert, was greener back then, and may perhaps have stretched far and deep into Central Africa. Now we can read further in the Genesis verses, and start to make out a map, based on what we now know from Jordan being Orange River (and parts of Vaal river) going towards the East. The formation of the land revealing the cities of the Plains of Moab, Sodoma and Gomorra, may very well be in the parts of Pretoria (Alexandria) and Johannesburg and such large areas of flat land you find up in Gauteng (Genesis 13,11-13):
11 So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: 12 Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom.13 Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against SoNiNi.
Below is a feeble attempt, of giving an approximate location of the various Tribes and some important points in The Promised Land. Most likely both Juda and Simeon was further to the West. But we put them there so you could see their names, at least. Issaka, Ashe, Zebulwane and Nobuhlali on the coast, towards Dan at the very far East end. The rest would be spread inland South Africa, in the different modern provinces: Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal, Free State, Northern Cape (but also up into Botswana and Namibia). We are very much open for revisions and suggestions, as we well know the tribes did move around, but this is what it could have looked like before Jerusalem fell.
Now we do not have a regular description of the Jordan River, as it was such and is today a vast River that cut through the land, dividing it North from South, and even East from West, as the Orange River (Senqu) does today. Now if you include more of these tributaries you will have a very different map, and also there is the question of the cardinal directions that seem to have changed. However, this is the best we could do at this moment in time.
Now using what we know, we see that Jacob crossed its tributary River, which today would most likely be the Vaal River that meets with Orange-Senqu River after it starts its spring actually called Jordan on the borders between Lesotho and the Eastern Cape. Jacob would have crossed this river on his way back from Haran (Genesis 32). We can note that the River would have served as a line of demarcation between the two tribes (Rueben and Gad) and the half tribe (Manasse) that settled to the East, and the rest of the nine tribes in the West, as we read in numbers 34,15:
13 Moses commanded the Israelites: “Assign this land by lot as an inheritance. SoNiNi has ordered that it be given to the nine and a half tribes, 14 because the families of the tribe of Reuben, the tribe of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasse have received their inheritance. 15 These two and a half tribes have received their inheritance east of the Jordan across from Jericho, toward the sunrise.”
AND making a note of what we see, of the fact that these tribes was EAST of Jordan, meaning on the upper side of the Jordan according to the map above. The other and remaining 9 tribes and the half tribe Manasse, as led by Joshua settled to the West of Jordan (Joshua 13,6-7):
6 “As for all the inhabitants of the mountain regions from Lebanon to Misrephoth Maim, that is, all the Sidonians, I myself will drive them out before the Bantus. Be sure to allocate this land to Israel for an inheritance, as I have instructed you,7 and divide it as an inheritance among the nine tribes and half of the tribe of Manasseh.”
These remaining tribes would be below the Jordan as Scripture and the map indicates (we will publish this map soon). Now to the East of Jordan, we find Jericho, also still on maps today, and went by the name of the Jordan of Jericho (Vaal River), as quoted in Numbers 34,15 we would find there Rueben (Robeni), Gad (Gada) and half tribe Manasse.
We read on in Numbers 35 (Levite towns, which is a study of its own), these towns then may be talking about the violent cities we do find on the plains of Moab there today, Johannesburg, Pretoria and the likes:
35 On the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho, SoNiNi said to Moses, 2 “Command the Israelites to give the Levites towns to live in from the inheritance the Israelites will possess. And give them pasturelands around the towns. 3 Then they will have towns to live in and pasturelands for the cattle they own and all their other animals.
4 “The pasturelands around the towns that you give the Levites will extend a thousand cubits from the town wall. 5 Outside the town, measure two thousand cubits on the east side, two thousand on the south side, two thousand on the west and two thousand on the north, with the town in the centre. They will have this area as pastureland for the towns.
Furthermore it talks about these being cities of refuge (Numbers 35,6-8):
6 “Six of the towns you give the Levites will be cities of refuge, to which a person who has killed someone may flee. In addition, give them forty-two other towns. 7 In all you must give the Levites forty-eight towns, together with their pasturelands. 8 The towns you give the Levites from the land the Bantus possess are to be given in proportion to the inheritance of each tribe: Take many towns from a tribe that has many, but few from one that has few.”
So on the East side of Jordan, there will most likely be many descendants of Levi as he was given a great number of towns there. The River Jordan also had a number of strongholds along its banks, one of these was the famous place of where Ephraim was slain by Jephta, mentioned Judges 12,5-6:
5 The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan leading to Ephraim, and whenever a survivor of Ephraim said, “Let me cross over,” the men of Gilead asked him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he replied, “No,” 6 they said, “All right, say ‘Shibboleth.’” If he said, “Sibboleth,” because he could not pronounce the word correctly, they seized him and killed him at the fords of the Jordan. Forty-two thousand Ephraimites were killed at that time.
7 Jephthah led Israel six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died and was buried in a town in Gilead.
Now this could be the same strongholds mentioned being near Beth-Bara, the place where Gideon lay in wait for the Midianites, as mentioned in Judges 7,24:
24 Gideon sent messengers throughout the hill country of Ephraim, saying, “Come down against the Midianites and seize the waters of the Jordan ahead of them as far as Beth Barah.”
Now on the plains of Jordan, between Sukkot and Zarthan, we find the descriptions of the clay ground where Solomon had his brass and copper foundries, as mentioned in Kings 7,40-47 as Huram and Solomon was working on SoNiNis Temple (which must have been quite the sight):
So Huram finished all the work he had undertaken for King Solomon in the temple of SoNiNi:
41 the two pillars; the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars; the two sets of network decorating the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars; 42 the four hundred pomegranates for the two sets of network (two rows of pomegranates for each network decorating the bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars); 43 the ten stands with their ten basins; 44 the Sea and the twelve bulls under it; 45 the pots, shovels and sprinkling bowls.
All these objects that Huram made for King Solomon for the temple of SoNiNi were of burnished bronze. 46 The king had them cast in clay molds in the plain of the Jordan between Sukkoth and Zarethan. 47 Solomon left all these things unweighed, because there were so many; the weight of the bronze was not determined."
Now these areas on the East side of the Jordan, appears to have been the scene of plenty of miracles and important events, one at Jericho, were many Bantus crossed over, under Joshua 3,15-17:
15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge,16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.17 The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of SoNiNi stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground."
We find here we important details about Jordan, that during Harvest month (first fruits and onwards) the River would flood. Also we find the name of a Sea of Araba - The Dead Sea, which is either the Sea where the Jordan flows out (then Great Sea today Atlantic Ocean) OR there was a large inland lake around the salts flats of what is today Botswana and down into South Africa. More on Jordans banks we find that two tribes along with Manasse, built a large altar on the Jordan, as a witness between them and the other tribes (Joshua 22,10-26):
10 When they came to Geliloth near the Jordan in the land of Canaan, the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh built an imposing altar there by the Jordan. 11 And when the Israelites heard that they had built the altar on the border of Canaan at Geliloth near the Jordan on the Israelite side, 12 the whole assembly of Israel gathered at Shiloh to go to war against them.
13 So the Israelites sent Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, to the land of Gilead—to Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasse. 14 With him they sent ten of the chief men, one from each of the tribes of Israel, each the head of a family division among the Israelite clans.
15 When they went to Gilead—to Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh—they said to them: 16 “The whole assembly of SoNiNi says: ‘How could you break faith with the God of Israel like this? How could you turn away from SoNiNi and build yourselves an altar in rebellion against him now? 17 Was not the sin of Peor enough for us? Up to this very day we have not cleansed ourselves from that sin, even though a plague fell on the community of SoNiNi! 18 And are you now turning away from SoNini naNiNi?
"‘If you rebel against SoNiNi today, tomorrow he will be angry with the whole community of Israel. 19 If the land you possess is defiled, come over to SoNiNi’s land, where SoNiNi’s tabernacle stands, and share the land with us. But do not rebel against SoNiNi or against us by building an altar for yourselves, other than the altar of SoNiNi na NiNi. 20 When Achan son of Zerah was unfaithful in regard to the devoted things, did not wrath come on the whole community of Israel? He was not the only one who died for his sin.’"
21 Then Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh replied to the heads of the clans of Israel:
22 “The Mighty One, SoNiNi naNiNi! The Mighty One, SoNiNi naNiNi! He knows! And let Israel know! If this has been in rebellion or disobedience to SoNiNi, do not spare us this day. 23 If we have built our own altar to turn away from SoNiNi and to offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, or to sacrifice fellowship offerings on it, may SoNiNi himself call us to account.
24 “No! We did it for fear that some day your descendants might say to ours, ‘What do you have to do with SoNiNi na NiNi of The Promised Land? 25 SoNiNi has made the Jordan a boundary between us and you—you Reubenites and Gadites! You have no share in the SoNiNi.’ So your descendants might cause ours to stop fearing SoNiNi.
26 “That is why we said, ‘Let us get ready and build an altar—but not for burnt offerings or sacrifices.’ 27 On the contrary, it is to be a witness between us and you and the generations that follow, that we will worship SoNiNi at his sanctuary with our burnt offerings, sacrifices and fellowship offerings. Then in the future your descendants will not be able to say to ours, ‘You have no share in SoNiNi.’
28 “And we said, ‘If they ever say this to us, or to our descendants, we will answer: Look at the replica of the SoNiNi’s altar, which our ancestors built, not for burnt offerings and sacrifices, but as a witness between us and you.’
29 “Far be it from us to rebel against the Lord and turn away from him today by building an altar for burnt offerings, grain offerings and sacrifices, other than the altar of SoNiNi naNiNi that stands before his tabernacle.”
30 When Phinehas the priest and the leaders of the community—the heads of the clans of the Israelites—heard what Reuben, Gad and Manasseh had to say, they were pleased. 31 And Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, said to Reuben, Gad and Manasseh, “Today we know that SoNiNi is with us, because you have not been unfaithful to SoNiNi in this matter. Now you have rescued the Israelites from SoNiNi’s hand.”
32 Then Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, and the leaders returned to Canaan from their meeting with the Reubenites and Gadites in Gilead and reported to the Israelites. 33 They were glad to hear the report and praised God. And they talked no more about going to war against them to devastate the country where the Reubenites and the Gadites lived. 34 And the Reubenites and the Gadites gave the altar this name: A Witness Between Us—that SoNiNi is God."