Map View from Mount Nebo
View from Mount NeboMount Nebo has the highest summit on the plateau, at 2,300 feet elevation, or 710 meters. That’s an especially good vantage point to view what is now Israel and Palestinian territories since the Dead Sea is about 1,400 feet below sea level, or 430 meters. That’s more than a kilometer above the Jordan River Valley, about three-fourths of a mile.
Why God didn’t let Moses into Promised LandScholars debate why God reacted wouldn't let Moses into the Promised Land of Canaan. Two popular guesses:
- God told Moses to merely speak to the rock, but Moses angrily hit it with a stick—twice. Also, Moses seemed to take some credit for the miracle when he said “Do we have to bring water from this rock” (Numbers 20:9). As in God and Moses, the tag team? Some scholars say God’s complaint about Moses and Aaron in Numbers 20: 12 and 24 seem like an overreaction to what the men did.
- So, another guess is that the writer didn’t want to report what really happened. Instead, he wanted to protect the reputation of the men.
- Mountains east of the Jordan River. It includes Mount Nebo and extends south.
- Across the Jordan River from Jericho.
- It’s unclear where Mount Hor was. There’s a long tradition that connects it to Jebel Nabi Harun (Mountain of Prophet Aaron), roughly a day’s walk south of Edom’s capital city of Petra. Some scholars say that mountain was well inside the country of Edom, which is where the Israelites were forbidden to go. Another contender is Jebel Madurah. It was about a two-day walk northwest of Petra. The mountain is southwest of the Dead Sea, along what would have been the border of the Promised Land and Edom.
- Literally “the waters of Meribah-kadesh.” Meribah means to fight, argue, complain, rebel. Kadesh is a location. Scholars most often identify Kadesh, also called Kadesh Barnea, as the spring-fed oasis at Tel el-Qudeirat, on Egypt’s side of the border with Israel. Another contender is Ain Qadeis, also on Egypt’s side of the border. Bible writers put the location in different deserts: Zin Desert (Numbers 20:1) and Paran Desert (Numbers 13:26). Some theorize there were two Kadesh oases. West Kadesh and East Kadesh. Not many scholars seem to buy into that. The story of Moses disobeying God, as reported in Exodus, says Moses named the site “Pushy Complainers,” or literally in the Hebrew name, “Massah Meribah.” Massah means to test or to get pushy.