Machaerus, Mount Nebo, Dead Sea, Madaba

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Machaerus (Mukawir), overhangs 1200m the bank of the Dead Sea Jordanian side. This place is especially known to be the place of the torment of Saint-John-Baptist.

«And when everybody turned to John -for they were profoundly stirred by what he said—Herod feared that John’s so extensive influence over the people might lead to an uprising (for the people seemed likely to do everything he might counsel). He thought it much better, under the circumstances, to get John out of way in advance, before any insurrection might develop, than for himself to get into trouble and be sorry not to have acted, once an insurrection had begun. So because of Herod’s suspicion, John was sent as a prisoner to Machaerus, the fortress already mentioned, and there put to death. But the Jews believed that the destruction which overtook the army came as a punishment for Herod, God wishing to do him harm» (Flavius Josephus (37?-100 A.D.) Antiquities, XVIII.).

It was there, in spite of the will of Herode, decapitated at the request of Salome, girl of Herodiade. One found there the vestiges of a luxurious palate.

 


Mount Nebo

Mount Nebo

The Mount Nebo is not the highest mountain of the area, but it is the place according to the biblical tradition where God showed the Holy Land with Moïse right before his death. One sees the Dead Sea there, and in clear weather Jericho.

God said to Moses (Deuteronomy 32:49-52) "Go up into the Abarim Range to Mount Nebo in Moab, across from Jericho, and view Canaan, the land I am giving the Israelites as their own possession. There on the mountain that you have climbed you will die and be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people. This is because both of you broke faith with me in the presence of the Israelites at the waters of Meribah Kadesh in the Desert of Zin and because you did not uphold my holiness among the Israelites. Therefore, you will see the land only from a distance; you will not enter the land I am giving to the people of Israel."

 


Dead Sea


 


Madaba Fragments of the map

The valley of the Jordan. We can see the oasis of Jericho there, with his palm trees, the Jordan and his fish, and the Dead Sea.

Jerusalem