Mount Nebo is the place of legend, Moses stood looking over Israel knowing he’d never get there. I know the story of the exodus from Egypt and I never quite understood why it took 40 years. Yes, they had a lot of people with them with the need to stop while babies were born or while people died or just to have a break, or even because there was food in the area and they needed time to stock up but things didn’t quite gell for me until I was actually there. The area is still reasonably small compared to Australia, it’s rather like taking 40 years to walk through Victoria picking up food as and when one can but there were issues I never really appreciated.
Let’s look first at the weather, as I write it’s 3am on a summer morning with a temperature of 26°C in some areas and an expected temperature of around 30 to 40°C, it’s hotter in the south than the north and the summer can last from April to October with it being too hot to do much from June to September. Then there are the inhabitants of the area, some of whom were uncomfortable having the Jews walking through their lands so they blocked them and made them go around, multiple countries made them do this. Then there’s the land itself, a lot of it is desert and while there were more trees in those days it was still a desert, the Ottoman Empire played a very large role in removing many trees, I heard the same story in both Jordan and Israel so I have no doubt it’s true. Apparently the Ottoman Empire wanted the trees removed so they taxed the trees so people removed them to reduce their taxes which explains why there are virtually no buildings made of trees as it would have been far more expensive than stone.
Anyway, there a few buildings on Mount Nebo. It has been used for religious purposes at times and is currently a museum.
Looking at the photo above you get some idea (past the trees) of the barren countryside and you get to look towards Israel. Our Jordanian guide took us up to the top on our way down to Petra.
Absolutely awesome mosaic floors. We saw more in the township of Madaba and I’ll show you a couple more photos in due course.
There has been a lot of archeaology work done at Mount Nebo and this photo shows you just a little.
Mount Nebo is not just a Jewish place but is also a Christian Holy Place and is kept by the Franciscans.
The Stele of Mesha is written using the Phoenician Alphabet and was written around 840 BCE.