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Guide To The Biblical Sites of Jordan

VO: Rebecca Brayton
In this video we take a look at the variety of ancient Biblical sites that can be visited in the country of Jordan.

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Mount Nebo is considered one of the most important Christian sites in Jordan. Mount Nebo is where Moses is said to have gone to get a view of the promised land before he died. The view from the summit provides a panoramic view of Mt. Nebo offers a fantastic view westward, with a vista that includes the Dead Sea, the West Bank, the Jordan River, and, on a clear day, Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

According to both Jewish and Christian tradition, Moses was then buried on this mountain by God himself.
In 2000, Pope John Paul II visited the mountain during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. To symbolize peace, the Pope planted an olive tree beside the Byzantine chapel.

Atop one of Nebo’s two peaks sits a shrine showcasing mosaics which decorated the monastery that once stood at the location. The largest mosaic depicts the monastic activity of wine-making, along with hunters and various animals.

Just outside the building in the Serpentine Cross, a symbol to represent both the bronze serpent created by Moses, and the cross on which Jesus was crucified.

The Jordan River is associated with some of the most important events in the Bible. Historically and religiously, it is considered to be one of the world’s most sacred rivers. Many biblical characters, most notably John the Baptist and Jesus, crossed the river during their lifetimes. To most Christians, the most significant event linked to the River Jordan is the baptism of Christ by John the Baptist. This is the location where John recorded Jesus as the Son of God, Lamb of God. The Baptism site is located at the head of a lush valley just east of the Jordan River. The New Testament refers several times to Jesus crossing the Jordan, and of believers crossing to hear him speak or be healed of their maladies. Jesus also sought refuge near the River when his enemies were trying to capture him.

The Jordan was also the site of many biblical miracles, such as the Israelites crossing under Joshua and the healing of Namaan by Elijah, for example.
Today, believers flock to the Jordan to bask in its waters and be baptized in the same river as Jesus Christ.

Of the mountains that circle Petra, none is more imposing than Aaron’s mountain. It is believed that Moses’ brother Aaron died and was buried on the peak. Although biblical scholars and archaeologists debate whether it is, in fact, the Mount Hor referred to in the Old Testament, Aaron’s story fits strongly with this mountain.

A 14th century mosque stands on the mountain, with its white dome visible from most areas of Petra.

Located roughly 20 miles southwest of Amman, Madaba is best known for its mosaics, especially a large Byzantine-era mosaic map depicting Jordan, Palestine, Egypt and other surrounding regions.
The history of Madaba dates back at least 3500 years. It is mentioned in the Old Testament account of Moses and Exodus, and was also near the location where David beat an Ammonite and Aramean coalition.

The Madaba Map can be found in the Greek Orthodox church of Saint George, and is the oldest surviving chart of the Holy Land. In fact, the map has helped verify biblical locations. It is estimated that the Madaba Map originally consisted of 2.3 million stone tiles and measured a staggering 80 by 15 feet. It is thought that to finish the map, 11,500 man-hours would have been required.

The church of Saint George houses various other mosaic masterpieces. These mosaics were uncovered in the late 19th century. The town had long been deserted, but when people returned and began digging foundations for their houses, the mosaics were unearthed beneath the rubble. It is said that many more mosaics lie buried under the city, waiting to be discovered.

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