Our Trip to Israel

Jordan - Mt. Nebo, Kings Highway and more



Here we are on top of Mt. Nebo. This is where God took Moses to see the Promised Land. They say that on a clear day you can see for quite a distance. The day we visited it was hazy - you can see the hazy edge of visibility just above the wall. The Bible reports that Moses could see to the "western sea." As high as Nebo is and as far as you can see on a clear day, human eyes can't see the Mediterranean Sea. God gave Moses supernatural vision to see the entire land. The cross for the church here is a serpent raised up in the desert - the serpent that Moses raised up to heal those bitten by snakes.

We traveled the King's Highway from Mt. Nebo to Petra. Most of the landscape ranged from ash gray to ruddy red sand. Occasionally you would spot the green of an oasis or of an irrigated farm such as the one below. Here we crossed the Wadi - a dry streambed that was the Arnon River. In Old Testament days it separated the kingdoms of Moab and Ammon. And later between Moab and the territory given to Reuben.

This is a small portion of the mosaic tile floor in the Chapel of St. George at Medeba, Jordan on the King's Highway. It is believed to be from the Byzantine era - about the 6th century - and is a map of all of the Middle East. The portion shown here contains a map of Jerusalem (the oval shaped portion at the middle of the right side). It was discovered by a group of Greek Orthodox Christians who were given permission to settle in Medeba and build churches only on the sites where previous churches had existed.

This was a wonderful example of a shepherd leading his flock in the desert fields. Here there were no sheepdogs to drive there herd. The shepherd calls out to the sheep - they hear his voice and they follow him. I noticed that the shepherds each had a donkey at their side. And one we saw was talking on a cell phone as he walked along. What grass there was, was brown and dry. I didn't think it really looked fit to eat.

We arrived in Jordan on the day of King Abdullah's coronation. When we arrived in Ammon the next day, we found pictures of the King and his wife all over the city. They were usually side by side pictures of his father King Hussein. Sam snapped this picture as we drove down one of the major highways in Ammon. It was placed at an intersection and must have been at least 16 feet high. The whole city seemed to be in a celebratory mood.

During the two nights we spent at the hotel in Ammon, we got to see three weddings. On the second night, we managed to snap this picture of the second wedding party to enter the hotel. In every case a band or music group preceded the happy couple into the hotel. The guests would form two lines and the band would lead the couple through to either the stairway or the elevator. This was an Egyptian wedding with a small professional band. The man with the red shirt was the vocalist using a bullhorn in order to be heard over the drums and trumpet. In an earlier (Jordanian) wedding the music group consisted of vocalists only - about 16 of them in wonderful costumes. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me.

This is one of three crossover points between Israel and Jordan. It is just north of the Dead Sea, east of Jerico. The designation on the Israel side in "Allenby Bridge" and on the Jordan side it is called the "King Hussein Bridge." This is one of the places were the uneasy peace between Israel and Jordan is more obvious. The bridge itself is a one-lane bridge - only one vehicle can move across the bridge at any given time. The bus from Jordan brought us across the bridge, dropped us off, turned around and left. We went through "customs" and the Israeli bus picked us up for the ride back to Jerusalem. The process had been the same on the way into Jordan. The Jordanian bus made the trip back and forth.


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