View of the Promised Land


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Middle East » Jordan
February 14th 2017
Published: February 15th 2017
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"Go up to this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab opposite Jericho, and look at the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the sons of Israel for a possession. (Deuteronomy 32:49)



Today we journeyed south of Amman to Madaba, Mount Nebo, the Dead Sea. Along our trek we climbed to mountain tops, prayed in ancient churches, learned the art of mosaics, had a traditional Jordanian meal at our guide's home, ventured into the hills to meet a Bedouin tribe, and saw even more of this amazing country.


Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


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View of Jordan Valley from Mt NeboView of Jordan Valley from Mt Nebo
View of Jordan Valley from Mt Nebo

After 40 years leading the headstrong Israelites in the desert, Moses stood on the windswept summit of Mount Nebo and viewed the Promised Land of Canaan — after having been told by God “you shall not cross over there”. Moses died there in the land of Moab “but no one knows his burial place to this day”. Moses did, however, eventually reach the Promised Land. He and Elijah were seen with Jesus at the latter’s Transfiguration (Luke 9:28-36).
View from Mount NeboView from Mount Nebo
View from Mount Nebo

On a clear day you can see…the Dead Sea, Jordan River Valley, Jericho, Bethlehem and the distant hills of Jerusalem.
Mount Nebo – serpentine cross sculptureMount Nebo – serpentine cross sculpture
Mount Nebo – serpentine cross sculpture

It imaginatively merges the life-saving bronze serpent set up by Moses into the desert (Numbers 21:4-9) and the cross upon which Jesus was crucified.
Mt Nebo - Memorial Church of MosesMt Nebo - Memorial Church of Moses
Mt Nebo - Memorial Church of Moses

Early Christians from Jerusalem made it a place of pilgrimage. In the 3rd or 4th century monks from Egypt built a small church on one of its peaks, Siyagha (a name meaning monastery), to commemorate the end of Moses’ life. By the end of the 4th century, an empty “tomb of Moses” was being shown to pilgrims on the mountain.
Mt Nebo - Alter at the Memorial Church of MosesMt Nebo - Alter at the Memorial Church of Moses
Mt Nebo - Alter at the Memorial Church of Moses

Recently rebuilt on top of Mt Nebo.
View of church from the alterView of church from the alter
View of church from the alter

It is like a religious museum
Memorial Church of Moses - Celebrating MassMemorial Church of Moses - Celebrating Mass
Memorial Church of Moses - Celebrating Mass

Father James celebrating mass
Memorial Church of Moses- Viewing platformMemorial Church of Moses- Viewing platform
Memorial Church of Moses- Viewing platform

View of the Byzantine mosaics within the church
Memorial Church of Moses - MosaicMemorial Church of Moses - Mosaic
Memorial Church of Moses - Mosaic

Mosaic floor - hunters and various animals
Madaba - St George's ChurchMadaba - St George's Church
Madaba - St George's Church

Madaba was an important town in the early centuries of the Christian era. It was on the King’s Highway trade route. In 746, about 200 years after the mosaic map was constructed, Madaba was largely destroyed by an earthquake and subsequently abandoned.
St George's Church St George's Church
St George's Church

The town was still in ruins and uninhabited in the early 1880s when a group of Christians from Karak, 140km south of Amman, decided to move there to escape conflict with Muslims in their home town. The new settlers were removing debris from an old church in 1884, so they could build a new one on the site, when they discovered the remains of the map. They incorporated the surviving fragments into the new St George’s Church.
St George's Church - Mosiac MapSt George's Church - Mosiac Map
St George's Church - Mosiac Map

This is the oldest map of Palestine in existence. This mosaic map contains over 1 million pieces. Crafted in AD 560, the map has 157 captions (in Greek) depicting all the major biblical sites of the Middle East from Egypt to Palestine
Mosiac FactoryMosiac Factory
Mosiac Factory

Our day was filled with seeing so many exquisite mosaics. We had the opportunity to stop at a Mosiac Factory and see how they were made. It is a labor intensive process to create a masterpiece...one tile at a time
Machaerus – a fortified hilltop palaceMachaerus – a fortified hilltop palace
Machaerus – a fortified hilltop palace

Where John the Baptist was imprisoned (2 yrs) and beheaded shortly before Passover. All that remains are several pillars on top of the mountain.
Machaerus - cavesMachaerus - caves
Machaerus - caves

Since Machaerus was reputed to be the fortress where John the Baptist was imprisoned and beheaded, hermits in later centuries lived in the caves below the fortress
Bedouin familyBedouin family
Bedouin family

Many of the Bedouin people still prefer to live in tents


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