Exploring Greece, Israel, and Jordan– Part Sixty Five

Exploring Greece, Israel, and Jordan– Part Sixty Five September 1, 2018

We are now heading into Jordan, and the first stop is Amman, the capital city itself. But actually this is a very ancient city named Philadelphia, the city of sisterly love, and it was one of the major Greek cities of the Decapolis. We will start with a visit to the Citadel, the ancient acropolis of the city, and to its museum.

When you cross into Jordan near the Dead Sea, you notice how much the Dead Sea has shrunk, and here is a schematic from the museum showing the diminution of it…. This is very troubling for many reasons, and it is caused to large extent by the using of the water of the Jordan which flows into it, and also the mining of the mineral salts to make Ahava cream etc. Here’s the Citadel…

What is there today are ruins of the temple of Hercules, of a synagogue turned into a mosque, of original shops and walls.

Hercules, or more properly using the Greek name Herakles was a demi-god known for his famous exploits or labors. From the top of the Citadel there is as well a great view of the city

Below you can also see the Roman theater….

Here’s the mosque/synagogue….. No one in attendance except…… the Geico Gecko! Near the Citadel museum there was this interesting sign….
Notice that this was once a Nabatean city in antiquity, before it was a Greek city, and then a Roman one. The Nabatean kingdom was still thriving in Paul’s day, and Paul visited it when he went to ‘so-called’ Arabia, which explains why the ethnarch of King Aretas IV was after Paul (see 2 Cor. 12).

Some of the things in the Citadel museum, such as the Copper Scroll from Qumran have been moved to the new Jordanian museum…..but there are still good things to see here.

The most important objects are some of the oldest and most primitive statues of humans from the prehistoric period….

Nearby we stopped for lunch and watched them make bread…. No, that’s not a gigantic bee hives, its the bread oven….

The Jordanian museum is new, and well worth the visit….even if one is just interested in the Copper Scroll. Notice how the windows in the museum have images from Petra on them….

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