MemberMay 23, 2021 at 12:12 am
Here is another strong geographical point from the BiblePlaces blog comments thread, this one by “Uberslags” signing as “Tom”:
3) Also, from Mount Nebo (Jebel en-Neba?) Moses was privileged to see “as far as Zoar”. I understand that the Dead Sea is clearly visible from Nebo? You would know better than I would. I am of course assuming a clear day, not unreasonably in view of the context of Deut 34:1-4.
“Then Moses went up from the desert plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which faces Jericho. And the LORD showed him all the land, from Gilead to Dan, and all Naphtali and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah as far as the western sea, and the Negeb and the District, the valley plain of Jericho, the city of the palm trees, as far as Zoar.”
Zoar, as Tom deduces, cannot be far away from Sodom, because Lot and his daughters ran there to escape the destruction of Sodom. We know, of course, that Moses could not possibly have seen all these regions from his vantage on Mount Nebo: this must have been a kind of vision. But the relevant point here is that Zoar is a kind of ‘end-point’ for Moses’ view of the “valley plain” from Jericho southward. Yet Tall al Hammam and any other of the smaller tels in the Jordan Valley are directly below Mount Nebo. A location for Zoar in the kikkar could hardly be the full extent of his view of the Land.