Stand Where Moses Stood – Visiting Mount Nebo In Jordan

History background of Moses Mount Nebo

Mount Nebo is the highest point of the Abarim mountain range that passes through Jordan and which culminates in the Arabian desert in the south. Located in Madaba, East of the Dead Sea, Mount Nebo is a revered holy area.

Moses, who led the group of people “Israelites” in an exodus out of Egypt across the desert for more than 40 years, stood on the summit of Mount Nebo and was granted a view of the Promised Land. Moses’ life ended and dead after that, and the area was believed to be the burial place of the prophet, in the exact location remains unknown.

Mount Nebo is an important part of Jordan tours. visitors can climb to the summit of the 800-meter of Nebo Mount and view a great panorama of parts of the Islamic holy Land, apparent on a clear day. once you will reach the summit you can have a view of the Dead Sea, the West of Jericho in the Jordan River valley, and the hills of Jerusalem. Mount Nebo, in addition to being an honorable place of pilgrimage.

What is the significance of Mount Nebo in the Bible?

During the last phase of Israel’s journey to the Promised area, the Israelites stay in Moab near Mount named  Nebo. Before Moses died, God called him to climb to the top of Mount Nebo: “On that same day God told Moses, ‘climb into the Abarim Range to Mount Nebo, across from Jericho, and view Canaan, the land I am giving the Israelites as their possession.

There on the mountain that you have climbed, you will die and be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people … You will see the land only from a distance; you will not enter the land I am giving to the people of Israel’” (Deuteronomy 32:48–52). This same account at Mount Nebo is first mentioned in the Bible in Numbers 27:12–14.

The Lord told Moses that he would die on Nebo overlooking Canaan. Moses’ prayer to see the Promised Land would be answered, but he would not enter the land because of what happened when he struck the rock at Meribah Kadesh (Deuteronomy 3:23–28). Moses and Aaron had failed God that day with their anger and lack of trust.

Monastery , the church and architecture

On the highest rocky outcrop of Mount Nebo (Seeag, “monastery”) are the remains of a Byzantine church and monastery. It was built by old Christians in the 4th century in honor of Moses but maybe have been rebuilt on top of an older structure.

The church, first mentioned in a pilgrim’s account dated 394 AD, follows the same basilica pattern. The word “basilica” now denotes a title of honor to church buildings, but in old Rome, it was used to explain any large roofed public general building: market, conference halls, courts.

Later, it came to denote a form of this building, an open hall, and fields with side aisles and a raised stand at one or both ends.

In Christian Roman “architecture”, the basilica also appeared, or a semicircular recess in a wall, to contain the raised platform or stands. In a temple it would hold the statue of a deity; in a judicial building, it would contain the magistrate. This form was built by old early Christians for their religious worship.

pilgrims on the Mount Nebo

As Christianity prevalent, pilgrims began reaching Mount Nebo, and the church was rebuilt and expanded to fit the increasing numbers of visitors. The Byzantine Basilica became part of a monastery. It continued to be a basic area of pilgrimage for 600 years until they abandoned the area in the 16th century.

The neglected church and monastery were unearthed in excavations in the 1930s, and in 1993 the area was purchased by the Franciscans, a religious order within the Catholic Church founded by St Francis of Assisi. After several hundred years, it is once again an active monastery, encompassing the Franciscan Archaeological Institute.

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