Petra – homes and theater area.
Finally, we made it to the bottom of the hill and found ourselves at Petra. The site was inhabited for thousands of years until more recent times. Biblically, Edom is the kingdom mentioned in the passage just before Aaron’s death is recorded in Numbers 20. Moses had asked for passage through Edom and was denied by the king. This was especially troublesome because Edom was the brother of Israel, or as they had been previous known, Esau (Genesis 36.1) and Jacob (Genesis 35.10). Obadiah later prophecies against this same group because the Edomites again betrayed their relatives when the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem in 587/586 B.C.
However, Petra is most known in our day and age as the destination of Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, and many others, in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. If you have seen the movie you no doubt recognize the entry to the temple. The walk to the temple from the entrance is about ½ mile, but I found myself anticipating the sight of the temple as we rounded each turn in the rocks. Past this main sight was a theater with many openings in the rocks which had once been homes.
Petra was our final site on the trip though it was supposed to be seen our first day. The snow and rain prevented the excursion that day and we saw Jerash and Mount Nebo instead. The wait, however, was worth it. What began with excitement and anticipation ten days prior was now rapidly coming to an end. Many sites were visited. Many insights gained. And for most everyone, I believe, our faith was deepened. The sites were great, but it was knowing we had walked where Jesus walked and that we had observed places and customs that we had only previously read about in Scripture that deepened our appreciation, our understanding, and even our faith.
Next week, this series of articles will come to a close. I will share one final article with some concluding thoughts related to the trip as a whole. What began as a two-week adventure has turned into five months of sharing, four months of articles, and even a six-week Bible study I have developed. But the saying tells us that all good things must come to an end, and next week will be that end. Until then, shalom aleichem (peace unto you).