Mount Nebo

Mount Nebo is an elevated ridge in Jordan, approximately 817 metres (2,680 ft) above sea level, mentioned in the Bible as the place where Moses was granted a view of the Promised Land. The view from the summit provides a panorama of the Holy Land and, to the north, a more limited one of the valley of the River Jordan. The West Bank city of Jericho is usually visible from the summit, as is Jerusalem on a very clear day.

Mount Nebo Distances
Distances to various Holy Land locations from atop Mount Nebo, Jordan

Brazen Serpent
Close to the village of Faysaliyah seven kilometers west of Madaba, Mount Nebo rises from the Transjordanian plateau. It is bound on the east by the Wadi Afrit (which extends into the Wadi el-Kanisah) and the Wadi Judeideh further south and on the north by the Wadi en-Naml and further the Wadi Ayoun Mousa. It is flanked on the west by the Jordan Valley.

Mount Nebo's highest crest reaches an altitude of 800 meters above the surrounding Belqa plateau. The other peaks are slightly lower, all of them rising from 700 meters. Of these, the two most important, historically speaking are the peaks of Siyagha (710m.) on the western side and the peak of el Mukhayyat (790m.) on the S-E. All the year round several streams flow down the sides of the mountain: Ayoun Mousa and Ain Jemmaleh on the north, Ain Judeideh, Kanisah and Ain Hery on the south.

Nebo provides a unique natural balcony for a bird's-eye view of the Holy Land and southern Jordan. If the observer looks to the south, the panorama extends over the Dead Sea and the Desert of Judah. Looking to the west, it includes the Valley of the Jordan with the mountains of Judea and Samaria, and more to the north Jebel Osha and the southern slopes of the Wadi Zerqa. The hills around Amman are plainly visible to the observer in the distance, and on the steep limits of the plateau Hesban and the mountain of Mushaqar.

On very clear days the unaided eye can pick out Bethlehem and not far from there the singular cone that was Herod's fortress of Herodium, the towers and buildings of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives all the way to Ramallah. In the valley of the Jordan Qumran is easily discerned by the side of the Dead Sea, then the oasis of Jericho, Shunet Nimrin, the dams of the Wadi Shueib and the Wadi Kafrein, Tell er-Rameh-Livias, Tuleilat el Ghassul and Suweimeh. On the edge of the plateau near Jebel Osha on the hilly spurs of El Salt Iraq el-Amir is visible.

Mosaic at MountNebo
Mosaic at the church on Mount Nebo : the Theotokos ("Mother of God") Chapel.
Early Byzantine mosaics in the Middle East are a group of Christian mosaics created between the 4th and the 8th centuries in ancient Syria, Palestine and Egypt when the area belonged to the Byzantine Empire. The eastern provinces of the Eastern Roman and later the Byzantine Empires inherited a strong artistic tradition from Late Antiquity. The tradition of making mosaics was carried on in the Umayyad era until the end of the 8th century. The great majority of these works of art were later destroyed but archeological excavations unearthed many surviving examples.

Nebo Mountain
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Nebo Church
The structure atop Mount Nebo, Jordan, that protects the excavated remains of the Basilica of Moses.

Mt Nebo Baptismal
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