A previously unknown river in the Israeli wilderness was revealed to the world on Sunday night. Channel 11 Kan News, Israel’s public broadcasting channel, reported on a six-mile-long river that wound its way through deep desert canyons near the Dead Sea. The region is particularly arid and very little natural water exists there. The river is within the concession area of the Dead Sea Works, an Israeli potash plant in Sodom on the coast of the Dead Sea within private land where casual hikers are restricted.
אי שם בישראל מסתתר אוצר לאומי, נהר סודי ומהפנט שאף אחד לא מכיר. אם חשבתם להיות הראשונים שמבקרים בו, כדאי שתשקלו שוב – כי זה עלול להסתיים בשדה מוקשים.#הנהר_הסודי – פרויקט מיוחד של @orenaharoni1. ממחר ב-#חדשותהערב pic.twitter.com/EfaFrOnzIB
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) January 19, 2020
To make matters worse, the Kan broadcast warned the curious viewers that the area contains unmapped minefields.
The newly discovered river hosts a multitude of unique natural features, rare flora and fauna that exist in the desert environment. But the site is already in danger. The program on Kan News claimed that the work being done by the Dead Sea Works exceeds what is permitted by environmental laws and is based on flawed data. Future programs will investigate this claim.
Indeed, Biblical prophecy foretells of the appearance of a river similar to this “hidden river” flowing east from Jerusalem into the Dead Sea, filling it up with fish and the surrounding desert with life:
“As the man went on eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand amot and led me across the water; the water was ankle deep. hen he measured off another thousand and led me across the water; the water was knee deep. He measured off a further thousand and led me across the water; the water was up to the waist. hen he measured yet another thousand, it was a stream I could not cross; for the water had swollen into a stream that could not be crossed except by swim…Then said he unto me: ‘These waters issue forth toward the eastern region and shall go down into the Arabah; and when they shall enter into the sea into the sea of the putrid waters the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass that every living creature wherewith it swarmeth whithersoever the rivers shall come shall live; and there shall be a very great multitude of fish; for these waters are come thither that all things be healed and may live whithersoever the river cometh.” Ezekiel 47:3-9
The discovery of a hidden river in Israel invokes visions of a different and unique river whose discovery will unleash pre-Messiah natural phenomena that include giants called the Sambatyon. Though mentioned in several historical texts as lying near Damascus, the river has yet to be positively identified. According to Jewish legend, the river has the unique quality of not flowing on the Sabbath.
The Talmud (Sanh. 65b)relates how Rabbi Akiba referenced the River Smabatyon in his explanation to the evil Roman governor Tineius Rufus about why Shabbat was superior to any other day.
Josephus Flavius, a first-century Romano-Jewish scholar, related that Titus witnessed the River Sambatyon when he marched from Beirut to Syria while driving before him the Jewish captives.
“He then saw a river . . . of such a nature as deserves to be recorded in history,” Josephus wrote. “It runs in the middle between Arcea, belonging to Agrippa’s kingdom, and Raphanea. It hath somewhat very peculiar in 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; . . . after which days it runs on the seventh day as it did before; . . . it hath also been observed to keep this order perpetually and exactly; whence it is that they call it the Sabbatic River [“Sabbation” or “Sambation”]—that name being taken from the sacred seventh day among the Jews.”
Pliny the Elder, a Roman author, naturalist and philosopher, described the Sambatyon in his book, Historia Naturalis, in which he wrote that the river runs rapidly for six days in the week and stops on the seventh.
Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, the preeminent Lithuanian Torah scholar from the 18th century known as the Vilna Gaon, connected the Sambatyon River with Nephilim and the final days of the Messiah.
The Nephilim were giants described in Genesis. One group of Nephilim who didn’t mingle with man settled beyond the Sambatyon River in order to hide them and separate them from mankind. According to rabbinic literature, the Sambation is the mythical river beyond which the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel were exiled by the Assyrian king Shalmaneser. The Nephilim are described in Jewish literature as being very holy, observing all the commandments. They will remain hidden until the final battle for Mount Zion, at which time they will come to help Israel in the battle.
Below is a video of the river: