Jordan is an Arab kingdom on the East Bank of the Jordan River. It’s known to be one of the friendliest and most modern nations in the Middle East, with no hostility between Muslims and Christians.
Many Christians choose to begin or end their Holy Land tour with a few days in Jordan. In the Bible, Jordan is known as Ammon, Moab and Edom, and it is very significant in Bible prophecy. The area of Jordan beside the Dead Sea and the Jordan River was called the Plains of Moab in the Old Testament. The Ammonites and Moabites were the children of Lot and his daughters, and God gave Edom to Esau and his descendants.
In Jordan God often appeared to man through various means, for example speaking through angels or prophets, or in a cloud of light. The Old Testament says “God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran.” (Habakkuk 3:3) and “The Lord came from Sinai, and dawned on them from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran” (Deuteronomy 33:2). Teman, Seir and Paran are in Edom which is in southern Jordan.
Jordan has a rich spiritual heritage. Here, Jacob wrestled with an angel, Job suffered, and Elijah ascended to heaven in a whirlwind on a chariot of fire. Moses delivered God’s Law to the people. Most significantly, Jesus was baptised in the River Jordan by John the Baptist, and He ministered in the New Testament area of Perea.
Ruth, Elijah, David and other Biblical characters found refuge and peace in Jordan. Abraham, Jacob, Moses and Joshua travelled from the east bank to the west bank of the River Jordan.
Here are a few places worth visiting:
It is believed that John the Baptist baptised Jesus at Bethany on the east bank of the River Jordan.
Mount Nebo, in Moab, is where God showed Moses the Promised Land before he died.
Known in the Bible as Ammon or the Ammonite Kingdom, this is the place where David sent Uriah the Hittite to the front lines of battle, ensuring his death, so that David could marry Bathsheba, Uriah’s widow. The massive fortifications of Ammon are still standing.
Gadara, or Umm Qays as it is now known, is the site of Jesus’ miracle of the Gadarene swine, where Jesus cast demons out of a demented man and into a herd of pigs. The pigs ran down the hill and drowned in the Sea of Galilee.
After fleeing from Sodom and Gomorrah on the Dead Sea plain, Lot and his two daughters stayed in a cave near Zoar, known now as Safi. During their escape from Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot’s wife disobeyed God’s command not to look back and as a result was turned into a pillar of salt…
Interestingly, it appears that Jordan is the only nation that will escape the Antichrist (Daniel 11:41-42). Some believe that the mountains at Petra is where the Jewish remnant will take refuge for the remaining three and a half years of the Tribulation (Matthew 24:16 and Revelation 12:14). Petra is known in the Bible by its Hebrew name, Sela, which means “rock”. Petra, the world wonder, is without a doubt Jordan’s most valuable treasure and greatest tourist attraction. The ruins of this ancient city are well worth a visit – see the Siq, the narrow crevice which is Petra’s main access, and the famous Treasury, both featured in the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”.
Also known as ‘The Valley of the Moon’, this is the place where Prince Faisal Bin Hussein and T.E. Lawrence based their headquarters during the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans in World War I, their exploits intrinsically woven into the history of this amazing area. A maze of monolithic rock formations rise up from the desert floor to heights of 1750 metres creating a natural challenge for serious mountaineers. Hikers can enjoy the tranquility of the boundless empty spaces and explore the canyons and water holes to discover 4000 year old rock drawings and the many other spectacular treasures this vast wilderness holds in store.
The Red Sea resort of Aqaba is prized as Jordan’s window to the sea and offers some of the best diving in the world. Bringing a refreshing release from the rose-coloured desert to the north, the sandy beaches and pristine coral reefs are the cleanest and most tropical on the Red Sea.
Beneath the clean, crystal clear waters of the Red Sea, is a unique marine environment, where divers can discover Jordan’s amazing underwater wildlife. Brightly coloured corals, sponges and sea fans are home to millions of reef fish and a range of invertebrates. Even the world’s largest fish, the Whale Shark, visits these nutrient-rich waters. Aqaba’s reef is thriving and you can swim with friendly sea turtles and dolphins as they dart amongst the schools of multi coloured fish. Night dives reveal the nocturnal sea creatures, crabs, lobsters and shrimp, as they search for a midnight snack.
There are many activities to enjoy in Jordan, including horse riding, canyoning, cycling, walking and scuba diving.