Z is for Zered

And now, we come to the end of the A to Z Blogging Challenge and our Biblical Tour of Jordan. I certainly hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the holy men and women of the Bible and their activities in Jordan as much as I’ve enjoyed bringing them to you.

30-Zered5Today, we will travel south again to Zered, a site very important in the history of both Jordan and the newly rising kingdoms of the Israelites as they moved in and occupied the lands.

Zered is known by several names; Brook Zered, Valley of Zered, and in modern times, Wade al-Hesa. It was here that the wandering Israelites marked an end to their wilderness trail and entered the promised land. “They journeyed from Oboth and camped at Iyeabarim, in the wilderness which is opposite Boab, to the east. From there they set out and camped in Wadi Zered.” (Numbers 21:11-12) and “The Horites formerly lived in Seir, but the sons of Esau dispossessed them and destroyed them from before them and settled in their place, just as Israel did to the land of their possession which the Lord gave to them. ‘Now arise and cross over the brook Zered yourselves.’ So we crossed over the brook Zered. Now the time that it took for us to come from Kadesh-barnea until we crossed over the brook Zered was thirty-eight years, until all the generation of the men of war perished from within the camp, as the Lord had sworn to them.” (Deuteronomy 2:12-14)

30-Zered1By the time they crossed Zereb, all the children of Israel who were of the generation that left Egypt, and were responsible for the revolt at the report of the spies had died. With a very few exceptions; Caleb and Joshua, and perhaps some Levite priests, all the group were of a new, younger generation.

At this time, the lands of the Moabites and Edomites were divided. The northern boundaries of Edom were now part of the governate of Gebal as indicated by Psalms 83:7. It is believed that at least part of this wadi was involved in Jerhoram’s conquest described in 2 Kings 3.

30-Zered3 30-Zered4This beautiful 28 kilometer (17.4 mile) wadi is a favorite of trekkers in the twenty-first century. It begins, down below the Dead Sea near the potash mines near the biblical King’s Highway. At the eastern end of the wadi is a Nabatean temple at Khirbet Tannur. The artifacts from the excavation of the temple can be seen at the archaeology museum in Amman. West of the wadi is the Valley of Salt.