Idea #560 – Visiting Moses’s sanctuary of the Mount Nebo in Jordan
The mount Nébo (in Hebrew the “hill”, the “tumulus”) is a 817 meter summit, situated in the West of current Jordan. In the book of the Deuteronomy (chapter 34) which is a part of the Bible, Moses, wasn’t authorised to enter on the Promised Land towards which it led the Hebrew went out of Egypt, observed the Country of Canaan down from this mountain, and died there in 120 years (Deuteronomy 34,5-6). If the Christian tradition fixes the grave of Moses to this mount, the Muslims honor him on the other side of the Jordan, near Jericho, in the sanctuary of Nabi Musa.
In the IVth century, a primitive Christian sanctuary was built on the western summit of the mount Nébo, considered for sheltering the mausoleum of Moses; the exact place of the grave is not known for all that, because the historicity of this biblical character is inaccessible. The sanctuary became a well-knowm place of pilgrimage. A baptismal chapel was added in 530. The sanctuary was modified and restructured in basilican plan at the end of the VIth century.
In 1863, the archaeologist Félicien de Saulcy identified the mount Nébo with Jebel Neba, that is the “mountain of Moses”. In 1933, franciscan Custodie of Holy Land bought from the Bedouins who occupied him the summit of the hill of Siyagha. Excavations were done, supervised by archaeologists of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum de Jérusalem. In 2000, pope Jean-Paul II visited the mount Nébo, during his pilgrimage in Holy Land.
Where is it ?
Mont Nebo, Jordan