Day 2 (2) Mount Nebo

From Madaba, we proceeded to Mount Nebo. (Also known as Pisgah). The Bible says it is from here Moses viewed the Promised Land. He could not enter the Promised Land.
The Bible Story
Deuteronomy, Chapter 34 of the Bible says... Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the Lord showed him the whole land.... Then the Lord said to him, "This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, 'I will give it to your descendants.' I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it."
And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said. He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day on one knows where his grave is. --Deuteronomy 34:1-6
As we walked to mount Nebo, our local guide showed us a place at a distance which is believed to be the sight where Moses was asked to hit on a rock to get water., now known as the Spring of Moses (Numbers 19). As we read in the Bible it is lack of faith showed by Moses a this instance made God curse him.
The Bible Story
The people of Israel have been wandering for 40 years in the desert and they're thirsty. So God tells Moses to speak to the rock and water will come forth (Numbers 20:8). The instruction to "speak" to the rock is in contrast to 40 years earlier, when Moses followed God's instruction to HIT the rock -- and water gushed out (Exodus 17:6).
This time, Moses is to speak. Yet he again hits the rock. Nothing happens, so Moses hits the rock a second time, and water comes out.God's response: "Since you HIT the rock rather than speaking to it, you will not lead the people of Israel into the promised land" (Numbers 20:11-12).
Looking down from Mount Nebo, like Moses, we too had our first glimpses of the Promised Land(now called the Holy Land). The vision of the Holy Land was partially impeded by the fumes from the dead sea. Perhaps, one article of special interest is a sculpture by an Italian artist Giovanni Fantoni, representing Moses' staff and Jesus' words in John 3: "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up."

As mentioned above, Pope John Paul II visited mount Nebo on 19th March 2000. (Link) A huge stone monument to commemorate the Pope's visit welcomes the visitors at mount Nebo.
Recently on 9th May 2009, Pope Benedict XVI also visited mount Nebo (Link1, Link 2 - good video on Mount nebo as well, Link 3 video)

The mount Nebo monuments and many of the other Holy Land monuments are under the custody of Franciscan fathers (Link).

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