Mount Nebo

About 10km northwest of Madaba, a series of peaks referred to collectively as Mount Nebo (in Arabic, Siyagha) comprise one of the holiest sites in Jordan, with a unique resonance for Jews, Christians and Muslims. Having led the Israelites for forty years through the wilderness, Moses finally saw, from this dizzy vantage point, the Promised Land that God had forbidden him to enter. After he died on the mountain, his successor Joshua went on to lead the Israelites across the river into Canaan. In Christian and Jewish tradition, Moses was buried somewhere on or in Mount Nebo, but Muslims (who regard Moses as a prophet) hold that his body was carried across the river and placed in a tomb now lying off the modern Jericho–Jerusalem highway. The lack of earthly remains on Nebo, though, doesn’t temper the drama accompanying a visit to the isolated mountain, and the ancient church on its summit. Besides, the marvellous mosaics on display in the church would be reason enough in themselves to visit.

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written by
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updated 26.04.2021

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