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Mount Nebo

Listed under Judaeo-Christian Places in Amman, Jordan.

  • Photo of Mount Nebo
  • Photo of Mount Nebo
Photo of Mount Nebo
Photo by flickr user OceanCreep
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Despite the dangers it presents, people are still drawn to the Holy Land to see the places referred to in many of the world’s religious texts. From the top of Mount Nebo in Jordan, you can see as far as the Jordan’s valley, the Red Sea, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Jericho, or at least once they had been carefully pointed out by a guide, just like Moses did when instructed to climb the mountain for his view of the promised land.

In Jewish and Christian tradition God buried Moses on Mount Nebo at the mountain’s highest point where the ancient remains of a church and monastery now sit. A modern chapel has been built on top but you can still see the remains of the mosaic patterns and more importantly the six tombs which have been hollowed into the rocks below, where some Americans visiting on the same day as myself insisted Moses had been buried (even though the tombs and church date from the forth century.). For the story of Moses’ death have a look at Deuteronomy (34:1-7), which it is a good idea to review before you venture onto the mountain's rocky paths.

Also on top of the mount are an olive tree planted by Pope John Paul II and a sculpture made by an Italian artist which is a cross of serpents in bronze. This is a centuries old pilgrimage and not to be missed due to waring factions, even though it can be a difficult decision to make a trip to the Middle East these days, but well worth your while if you have the courage. Since the 70’s, September, when there is a particular feast and occasion, has been the busiest months for pilgrims. The walk itself is quite gentle. Long, but you have no doubt seen images of Moses and know that he was a man of wisdom and advanced years when he climbed the mountain, so not unfeasibly steep.

Written by  Jared Tollis.

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