Aqaba is situated on the edge of the Red Sea and considered as Jordan’s access to the whole world from the sea. In biblical times, there were two cities in this area: Elath and Ezion Geber. The Israelites passed by this area on their wilderness travels (Num 33:35), and later Moses led them near here on their detour around Edom (Deut 2:8; cf. Num 21:4). Three kings in Jerusalem established a port in this area: Solomon, Jehoshaphat, and Uzziah (1 Kgs 9:26-28; 22:48; 2 Kgs 14:22).
The city of Petra is not mentioned in the Bible by that name; rather, it is called by its Hebrew name, Selain Isaiah 16:1 and 2 Kings 14:7. Both Petra and Sela mean “rock,” an appropriate name, since much of the city is carved into sandstone cliffs. Petra is located about fifty miles south of the Dead Sea and 170 miles southwest of modern Amman, Jordan.
Petra’s main access is via a narrow crevice called the Siq, which winds for about a mile through mountainous terrain. The Siq provided an excellent natural defense for Petra’s inhabitants. Many moviegoers are familiar with the Siq and the treasury building of Petra, which were featured in the 1989 film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Petra was in the land of the Edomites, who were descendants of Esau. Israel and Edom were constantly at odds, starting with Edom’s refusal to allow Moses and the Israelites passage through their land on their way to Canaan (Numbers 20:18-21). During the kingdom years, King Saul and King David both fought the Edomites (1 Samuel 14:47; 2 Samuel 8:13-14). During the reign of King Jehoshaphat, Edom invaded Judah and was repelled (2 Chronicles 20). Later, King Amaziah fought against Edom, and he took control of Petra, renaming it “Joktheel” (2 Kings 14:7).
When King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon destroyed Jerusalem in 586 BC, the Edomites gave aid and comfort to the enemy (Psalm 137:7). For this, they were strongly condemned by the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Obadiah (Isaiah 34:5-8; Jeremiah 49:16-18).
For centuries, Petra seemed secure in its unassailable fortress of rock, but today its ruins lie uninhabited, in fulfillment of the prophetic word: “‘As Sodom and Gomorrah were overthrown, along with their neighboring towns,’ says the LORD, ‘so no one will live there; no people will dwell in it’” (Jeremiah 49:18.
Madaba the City Of Ruth …..med'-e-ba (medhebha'; Maidaba, Medaba): The name may mean "gently flowing water," but the sense is doubtful. This city is first mentioned along with Heshbon and Dibon in an account of Israel's conquests (Numbers 21:30. The district in which the city stood is called the Mishor or plain of Medeba in the description of the territory assigned to Reuben (Joshua 13:9), or the plain by Medeba (Joshua 13:16). Here the Ammonites and their Syrian allies put the battle in array against Joab, and were signally defeated (1 Chronicles 19:7). This must have left the place definitely in the possession of Israel. But it must have changed hands several times. It was taken by Omri, evidently from Moab; and Mesha claims to have recovered possession of it (M S, ll. 7, 8, 29, 30). It would naturally fall to Israel under Jeroboam II; but in Isaiah 15:2 it is referred to as a city of Moab. It also figures in later Jewish history. John, son of Mattathias, was captured and put to death by the Jambri, a robber tribe from Medeba. This outrage was amply avenged by Jonathan and Simon, who ambushed a marriage party of the Jambri as they were bringing a noble bride from Gabbatha, slew them all and took their ornaments (1 Maccabees 9:36;; Ant, XII, i, 2, 4). Medeba was captured by Hyrcanus "not without the greatest distress of his army" (Ant., XIII, ix, 1). It was taken by Janneus from the Nabateans. Hyrcanus promised to restore it with other cities so taken to Aretas in return for help to secure him on the Judean throne (ibid., xv, 4; XIV, i, 4). Ptolemy speaks of it as a town in Arabia Petrea, between Bostra and Petra. Eusebius and Jerome knew it under its ancient name (Onomasticon, under the word). It became the seat of a bishropric, and is mentioned in the Acts of the Council of Chalcedon (451 A.D.), and in other ecclesiastical lists.
The ancient city is represented by the modern Madeba, a ruined site with an Arab village, crowning a low hill, some 6 miles South of Heshbon, with which it was connected by a Roman road. The ruins, which are considerable, date mainly from Christian times. The surrounding walls can be traced in practically their whole circuit. There is a large tank, now dry, measuring 108 yds. X 103 yds., and about 12 ft. in depth. In 1880 it was colonized by some Christian families from Kerak, among whom the Latins carry on mission work. In December, 1896, a most interesting mosaic was found. It proved to be a map of part of Palestine and Lower Egypt of the time of Justinian
According to the final chapter of the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses ascended Mount Nebo to view the Land of Israel, which God had said he would not enter, and to die there; he was buried in an unknown valley location in Moab.
According to Christian tradition, Moses was buried on the mountain, although his place of burial is not specified.(Deuteronomy 34:6) Some Islamic traditions also stated the same, although there is a grave of Moses located atMaqam El-Nabi Musa, 11 km (6.8 mi) south of Jericho and 20 km (12 mi) east of Jerusalem in the Judean wilderness.Scholars continue to dispute whether the mountain currently known as Nebo is the same as the mountain referred to in Deuteronomy.
According to 2 Maccabees, (2:4–7), the prophet Jeremiah hid the tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant in a cave there.
On March 20, 2000, Pope John Paul II visited the site during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. During his visit he planted an olive tree beside the Byzantine chapel as a symbol of peace. Pope Benedict XVI visited the site in 2009, gave a speech, and looked out from the top of the mountain in the direction of Jerusalem.
A serpentine cross sculpture (the Brazen Serpent Monument) atop Mount Nebo was created by Italian artist Giovanni Fantoni. It is symbolic of the bronze serpent created by Moses in the wilderness (Numbers 21:4–9) and the cross upon which Jesus was crucified (John 3:14).
Depart after breakfast to start your city tour of Jordan's Capital Amman and the most populous city of Jordan, and the country's economic, political and cultural centre. Situated in north-central Jordan, Amman is the administrative centre of the Amman Governorate. It has a population of 4,007,526 and a land area of 1,680 square kilometres (648.7 sq mi).Today, Amman is considered to be among the most liberal and westernized Arab cities.
It remained the biblical city of the Ammonites of the bible with the name Rabath Ammon until it was captured by the Greeks and Under Ptolemy II Philadelphos (285-247 B.C.), Amman was rebuilt and renamed Philadelphia. In 63 B.C., Philadelphia became part of the Decapolis set up by Pompey. In 106 A.D., Philadelphia was included in the Roman province of Arabia by the Emperor Trajan. He built a new road from Elath to Damascus which ran through Philadelphia. This created an economic boom for the city and it flourished. Most of the town’s Roman structures were built in the 2nd century A.D., including the theater, forum and Hercules temple.
The acropolis is surrounded by deep Wadis (dry river bids) on three sides. The north side was not as protected and thus was the most vulnerable to attack. It is likely that David’s men concentrated their campaign against the city at this point, and perhaps it was here that Uriah was killed at David’s order (2 Sam 11:16-17)
Jerash, located 48 kilometers north of Amman is considered one of the largest and most well-preserved sites of Roman architecture in the world outside Italy. To this day, its colonnaded streets, baths, theaters, plazas and arches remain in exceptional condition. Within the remaining city walls, archaeologists have found the ruins of settlements dating back to the Neolithic Age, indicating human occupation at this location for more than 6500 years. This is not surprising, as the area is ideally suited for human habitation indeed, the name of the city itself reflects this interaction. The earliest Arab/Semitic inhabitants, who lived in the area during the pre-classical period of the first millenium BCE, named their village Garshu. The Romans later Hellenised the former Arabic name of Garshu into Gerasa, and the Bible refers to "the region of the Gerasenes" (Mark 5:1; Luke 8:26). At the end of the 19th century, the Arab and Circassian inhabitants of the small rural settlement transformed the Roman Gerasa into the Arabic Jerash.