HOLY JORDAN BLOG

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Jordan’s Top Pilgrimage Sites

July 5, 2022

Jordan’s historic significance and biblical sites make the country a must-visit pilgrimage destination with fascinating places to visit.

The holy Bible mentions countless stories and destinations that are located in present day Jordan. JTBNA rounded up three of the top pilgrimage sites to visit during a trip to the kingdom.

Tel Mar Elias

Located slightly outside of the town of Ajloun in Jordan’s northern region, Tel Mar Elias, commonly known as the home of the prophet Elijah, is a site that consists of incredible archeological ruins of two Byzantine churches that are situated on the top of a hill overlooking vast greenery and hilly landscapes. Tel Mar Elias has long been identified with Tishbe, which is mentioned in the Bible as the home town or region of Elijah. The Bible states, “Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead” (1 Kings 17:1). 

Screen Shot 2022-04-13 at 3.35.12 PM(Tel Mar Elias, Jordan)

Umm Qais

Suspended on a beautiful hilltop overlooking the Jordan Valley and the Sea of Galilee, the biblical town of Gadara, known today as Umm Qais in Jordan, is steeped with historic and religious importance and offers an array of local and cultural activities for guests to experience. Located in Jordan’s northern region, Umm Qais is mentioned in the Bible as the location where Jesus performed the famous miracle of the Gadarene Swine. Many empires also passed through Umm Qais which filled the town with immense culture and history from across the globe, such as the Greeks, the Ptolemaic dynasty from Egypt, the Seleucids Empire from Macedonia, the Romans, the Byzantines, and the Ottomans. 

Petra

While Petra is renowned for its architectural genius and beautiful stone structures, the Nabatean city is also believed to be mentioned in the Bible as the name “Sela.” Isaiah 16:1 states, “Send lambs as tribute to the ruler of the land, from Sela, across the desert, to the mount of Daughter Zion.” Both names Petra and Sela mean “rock” which is descriptive of the city as it is built by rock and sandstone cliffs.

Screen Shot 2022-04-13 at 3.47.41 PM(Petra, Jordan)

By Leen Hajjar
Leen Hajjar

Leen Hajjar, born and raised in Amman, is JTBNA's blog editor. A recent graduate from Villanova University with a master's degree in Communication, Leen focuses on media analysis, specifically mainstream media’s portrayal of Arabs and the Middle East. Her previous experience as a writer for Al Arabiya English, inspired stories that shed light on the diverse and positive attributes of the Arab world, aiming to provide a more comprehensive representation of the region and its people.

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