Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mount Nebo

Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo . . .and the Lord showed him all the land. . .The Lord then said to him, "This is the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that I would give to their descendants.  I have let you feast your eyes upon it, but you shall not cross over."  So there, in the land of Moab, Moses, the servant of the Lord, died as the Lord had said.


Travelers from all over the world include Mt. Nebo on their Holy Land tour.  It is located 10 km west of Madaba in Jordan.  The views of the Promised Land are breathtakingly beautiful and we spent a happy couple of hours up here soaking it all in.

The little church is now a monastery run by the Franciscans.  The original church was built in the 4th century in honor of Moses.  No one knows for sure where he was buried, but the above verse from the Bible indicates it was up here somewhere.  The modern sculpture of Mose's staff marks the possible location.

The mosaic floor in the new baptistery is fascinating. The scenes are not biblical, but of every day men hunting animals.  The animals, however, are purely fictitious.  I had the feeling the artist had heard of the zebras, giraffes and lions that had been caught and transported to Rome, but had never seen them.  One man holds a giant ostrichlike animal on a leash; another holds a cross between a camel and a giraffe.

We continued our trip through Jordan, stopping every few kilometers, utterly spellbound by its beauty.  I'm glad Moses got to see it! 

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