A date with biblical history
Posted Sunday, October 28 2012 at 00:00
The mysteries in the Bible are seen live in the Jordan. Through the writer’s eyes, we take a journey into the world of the Christian and Islamic faith history.
Stepping out of the plane in Queen Alia International airport in Amman the capital city of Jordan, one gets the impression of the country being occupied by only Muslims but going deeper into the biblical history it is a country where Jesus performed most of his spiritual duties.
A ride from the airport to Dead Sea Spa Hotel is another cause of anxiety especially when a group of science journalists from Kenya and Uganda saw a bill board with writings “Baptism Site”. At this moment, the passengers were forced to ask the taxi driver “what is this baptism site all about” and he replied “River Jordan is not far from where we are, it is the site where John the Baptist baptised Jesus, just 30 minutes drive and you will be there.”
He continued with the conversation, “You know Jordan is a country rich with biblical history, Dead Sea which is mentioned a lot in the bible is where I am taking you people. You will be residing in a hotel which is constructed along its shores, another place you should not miss to see is Mt Nebo which is famously known in the world history because it is the place where Moses died and his remains where buried there.”
Mount Nebo is an elevated ridge that is approximately 817 meters about 2680 feet above sea level, in Jordan. 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 visible from the summit, as is Jerusalem on a very clear day.
According to the book of Deuteronomy, Mount Nebo is where the Hebrew prophet Moses was given a view of the Promised Land that God was giving to the Israelites.
Moses went up to the highest pick of the Mount which is opposite Jericho city
According to the Jewish and Christian tradition and the Bible, Moses was buried on this mountain by God Himself, and his final resting place is unknown. According to the book of 2 Maccabees, the Prophet Jeremiah hid the tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant in a cave here on this mountain.
From the mountaintop, which is the highest point in the Moabite range, rising to about 800 meters at its apex, you can admire the dazzling view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea, to the rooftops of Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Centuries ago, pilgrims flocked to Mount Nebo on their final destination to visit the sanctuary. These pilgrims left behind vivid accounts of their travels, which helped archaeologists identify this sanctuary.
Floating in the Dead Sea
Upon arrival at the hotel, the first thing we did was to go swimming in Dead Sea. Even if one is not a swimmer, at the Dead Sea, there is no worry because once you are in the water you begin floating.
The Dead Sea which is famously known to be have healing power because of some of its features, is a tourist attraction centre for Jordan.
According to Omar Salameh, the communications and media director of the ministry of water and irrigation in Jordan, the sea is at the lowest part of the world below sea level and its highest salinity feature is a cause for people who go swimming in it to simply float on the water.
He said the composition of the salts and minerals in the water are what make it very unique and beneficial for the body.
The sea also contains some precious black mud which tourists smear on their body before entering the water. This prevents the salt from itching people’s skins and this same mud is used by cosmetic industries to manufacture lotion.
“The Dead Sea bed has deposits of black mud that is easy to smear on the body and provides the skin with nourishing minerals. As if that were not enough, the bromide in the air is also beneficial to the body’s systems, thus making the Dead Sea a provider for good health and healing for vacationers from all over the world” Salameh said.