Mount Nebo and Madaba

Biblical history on Mount Nebo, Jordan

 

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Deuteronomy 32:49 Easy-to-Read Version 
“Go to the Abarim Mountains. Go up on Mount Nebo in the land of Moab across from the city of Jericho. Then you can look at the land of Canaan that I am giving to the Israelites to live in.”

 

Mount Nebo is a flat-topped mountain with a cairn, or a collection of stones used to identify a memorial or a landmark. From the top is a beautiful view of the Dead Sea, the Jordan River, Jericho, and Bethlehem.

On Mount Nebo is Giovanni Fantoni’s Brazen Serpent Monument. It symbolizes the serpent Moses took up in the desert as well as the cross.

 

Brazen_Serpent_Sculpture

 

 

The Voice Version helped me better understand this passage. This version is written almost as if it were a play. There is also additional information included. I put in bold print that additional information that appears right in the middle of this version and the verses. 

 

Numbers 20:2-12 The Voice Version

2 They ran out of water and again blamed their leaders, Moses and Aaron.

Israelites (arguing with Moses):   3 It would have been so much better if we had simply died along with the rest of our relatives, Korah, Abiram, and Dathan, right in front of the Eternal One. 4-5 Why in the world would you drag us, the Eternal’s own group, out of Egypt into this wilderness where we’ll soon die and our livestock too? And there aren’t any grains, figs, grapes, or pomegranates, and there isn’t even any water!

 

Will these people never learn? But why should they be any different than the rest of us? We all tend to forget God’s provision, and we focus on the challenge before us. God has been leading them through a region full of challenges. You would think that after 40 years of daily provision from God in the wilderness these people would quit fearing the worst, especially since they have already gone through this very same experience once before—when they came out of Egypt in Exodus 17. Unfortunately, Moses doesn’t follow God’s instruction just as it is delivered to him, so he, too, is unfaithful. Instead of “provision” or “water-of-plenty,” the place is known as Meribah (“rebellion”). They are to remember their lack of faith and their active rebellion against God their savior every time they mention this place.

 

6 After hearing them out, Moses and Aaron walked away. At the congregation tent’s opening, they collapsed to the ground, interceding for the people. Then and there, the Eternal’s glory shone for them to see, 7 and He spoke to Moses.

Eternal One:    8 You and Aaron grab the staff before the covenant chest, gather the whole group so that all the people can see and hear you, and speak to the rock. Tell it to release its water for them to use. In this way, you’ll get water from the rock for everyone to drink, including all the animals.

9 So Moses did that. He took the staff just as God told him to do. 10 Then he and his brother gathered all the people in front of the rock.

Moses (to the Israelites):    Listen up, you rebellious lot. Should we get water for you from this rock?

11 And as he spoke, Moses raised his hand and hit the rock—once, twice—and immediately the water came gushing out. All drank their fill, people and animals alike. 12 But the Eternal One scolded Moses and Aaron for their actions.

Eternal One:    Because you didn’t trust Me and treat Me as holy before the Israelites, you will not lead this group into the land I have given them.

 

It always seemed wrong to me that God didn’t allow Moses to enter the Promised Land. Moses knew the Lord face to face. Moses led God’s People out of slavery in Egypt. Moses brought down the stones upon which God wrote the Ten Commandments.

 

Exodus 31:18 Easy-to-Read Version 

When God finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two stone tablets of the agreement. God had written on the stones with his finger.

 

Deuteronomy 34:10-12 Easy-to-Read Version 

Israel never had another prophet like Moses: The Lord knew Moses face to face. The Lord sent Moses to do powerful miracles in the land of Egypt. Pharaoh, all his officers, and all the people in Egypt saw those miracles. No other prophet ever did as many powerful and amazing things as Moses did for the Israelites to see.

 

What did Moses do that was so wrong? Why wasn’t Moses allowed to go into the Promised Land? The answer of course is in Your Word, Lord. After doing some research and looking carefully at the scriptures, it is very clear what Moses did and did not do.

Moses did not obey God; he was instructed to speak to the rock; Moses struck the rock with his staff not once but twice. Moses angrily struck the rock with the staff; God never intended this miracle to be done in an angry manner. Finally, Moses said ‘we’, meaning he and Aaron, brought the water out of the rock, which they didn’t, it was the Lord’s doing.

 

Deuteronomy 34:5-7 The Living Bible 

So Moses, the disciple of the Lord, died in the land of Moab as the Lord had said. The Lord buried him in a valley near Beth-peor in Moab, but no one knows the exact place.

Moses was 120 years old when he died, yet his eyesight was perfect and he was as strong as a young man.

 

Madaba, is known for it’s amazing mosaics.

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The Madaba Map is one of the oldest maps of the Holy Land. No one is quite sure why the map was created; it clearly was something that took much time and effort, indicating a need or desire to permanently and beautifully record the size and scope of The Holy Lands and surrounding areas.

It is a mosaic map and was discovered in the 1880’s. The map is detailed; there are a few discrepancies, like the size of Jerusalem; it is much larger and located in the center of the map, which emphasizes it’s importance to Christians. The approximate size of the map is 70 feet by 24 feet. The colors used are four shades of red, six shades of blue, and six shades of green. It is estimated that the map is made up of over two million mosaic stones.

 

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What remains of the Madaba Map

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Below on the map is Jerusalem, an exaggerated size because of it’s importance to Christianity.

Madaba_map.jpg

 

 

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