Tomb of Aaron

Last updated
Aaron's tomb on Jabal Harun in Petra, Jordan Shrine on Mt Aaron.jpg
Aaron's tomb on Jabal Hārūn in Petra, Jordan
Aaron's tomb on Jabal Harun in Petra, Jordan Aaron's tomb.jpg
Aaron's tomb on Jabal Hārūn in Petra, Jordan

The Tomb of Aaron is the name of the supposed burial place of Aaron, the brother of Moses. There are two descriptions of its location in the Pentateuch, and different interpretations of its location. Although in Jewish tradition, the location of Aaron's grave, like that of Moses, is shrouded in mystery, the Islamic tradition places it on Mount Hor, near Petra in Jordan.

Contents

Location

The Pentateuch gives two accounts of Aaron's death. The Book of Numbers (Chapter 20) [1] gives a detailed statement to the effect that, soon after the incident at Meribah (Kadesh), when Moses and Aaron showed impatience by bringing water out of a rock to quench the thirst of the people after God commanded them to speak to the rock, Aaron, his son Eleazar, and Moses ascended Mount Hor, on the edge of the borders of Edom. There, Moses stripped Aaron of his priestly garments and gave them to Eleazar. Aaron died and was buried on the summit of the mountain, and the people mourned for him thirty days. [2] [3]

Mount Hor is usually associated with the mountain near Petra in Jordan, known in Arabic as Jabal Hārūn (Aaron's Mountain), upon the summit of which a mosque was built in the 14th century. [4] [5] Indeed, Josephus and Eusebius both describe its location above the city of Petra.

The other account is found in the Book of Deuteronomy, where Moses is reported as saying that Aaron died at Moseroth (Mosera) and was buried there. [6] Mosera has been identified with el-Tayibeh, a small fountain at the bottom of the pass leading to the ascent of Mount Hor. However others are of the opinion that the location of Mosera cannot be here, since the itinerary in Numbers 33:31-37 [7] records seven stages between Mosera and Mount Hor. [8] For similar reasons, others still doubt that Mount Hor can in reality be identified with Jabal Hārūn. [9]

The site at Jabal Hārūn (Aaron's Mountain) is occasionally visited by Jewish pilgrims as well as Muslims. [10]

Religious status

Jordanian authorities regard the Tomb of Aaron as a mosque and forbid Jewish prayer services at the site. In August 2019, a group of Israeli tourists shared a video of themselves dancing with a Torah scroll at the site. Authorities then confiscated religious items from the group and closed the summit to foreign tour groups that do not have permission to visit from the Awqaf Ministry. [11] Unrestricted access to the tomb was restored in December. [12]

Related Research Articles

Aaron Prophet, high priest, and the brother of Moses in the Abrahamic religions

Aaron was a prophet, high priest, and the elder brother of Moses in the Abrahamic religions. Knowledge of Aaron, along with his brother Moses, comes exclusively from religious texts, such as the Bible and Quran.

Book of Numbers Fourth book of five featured In the Bible

The Book of Numbers is the fourth book of the Hebrew Bible, and the fourth of five books of the Jewish Torah. The book has a long and complex history; its final form is possibly due to a Priestly redaction of a Yahwistic source made some time in the early Persian period. The name of the book comes from the two censuses taken of the Israelites.

Petra Ancient historical site in Jordan

Petra, originally known to its inhabitants in as Raqmu or Raqēmō (𐢚𐢛𐢓𐢈), is a historic and archaeological city in southern Jordan. Petra lies around Jabal Al-Madbah in a basin surrounded by mountains which form the eastern flank of the Arabah valley that runs from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. The area around Petra has been inhabited from as early as 7000 BC, and the Nabataeans might have settled in what would become the capital city of their kingdom, as early as the 4th century BC. However, archaeological work has only discovered evidence of Nabataean presence dating back to the second century BC, by which time Petra had become their capital. The Nabataeans were nomadic Arabs who invested in Petra's proximity to the trade routes by establishing it as a major regional trading hub.

Abarim Mountain range in Jordan

Abarim is a mountain range across Jordan, to the east and south-east of the Dead Sea, extending from Mount Nebo — its highest point — in the north, perhaps to the Arabian desert in the south.

Samaritan Pentateuch Text of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, written in the Samaritan alphabet and considered as the holy scriptures by the Samaritans

The Samaritan Pentateuch, also known as the Samaritan Torah, is a text of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, written in the Samaritan alphabet and used as scripture by the Samaritans. It constitutes their entire biblical canon.

Mount of Olives Mountain in Jerusalem that is mentioned several times in the Bible

The Mount of Olives or Mount Olivet is a mountain ridge east of and adjacent to Jerusalem's Old City. It is named for the olive groves that once covered its slopes. The southern part of the Mount was the Silwan necropolis, attributed to the ancient Judean kingdom. The mount has been used as a Jewish cemetery for over 3,000 years and holds approximately 150,000 graves, making it central in the tradition of Jewish cemeteries.

Givat HaMoreh

Givat HaMoreh is a hill in northern Israel on the northeast side of the Jezreel Valley. The highest peak reaches an altitude of 515 metres (1,690 ft), while the bottom of the Jezreel Valley is situated at an altitude of 50–100 metres (160–330 ft). North of it are the plains of the Lower Galilee and Mount Tabor. To the east, Giv'at HaMoreh connects to the Issachar Plateau. To the southeast it descends into the Harod Valley, where the 'Ain Jalut flows eastwards into the Jordan Valley.

Mount Nebo

Mount Nebo is an elevated ridge of the Abarim in Jordan, approximately 710 metres (2,330 ft) above sea level. It is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as the place where Moses was granted a view of the Promised Land. The view from the summit provides a panorama of the land and, to the north, a more limited one of the valley of the River Jordan. The West Bank city of Jericho is usually visible from the summit, as is Jerusalem on a very clear day.

Kadesh (biblical)

Kadesh or Qadesh is a place-name that occurs several times in the Hebrew Bible, describing a site or sites located south of, or at the southern border of, Canaan and the Kingdom of Judah. Many modern academics hold that it was a single site, located at the modern 'Ain el-Qudeirat, while some academics and rabbinical authorities hold that there were two locations named Kadesh. A related term, either synonymous with Kadesh or referring to one of the two sites, is KadeshBarnea. Various etymologies for Barnea have been proposed, including 'desert of wanderings,' but none have produced widespread agreement.

Eleazar

Eleazar or Elʽazar was a priest in the Hebrew Bible, the second High Priest, succeeding his father Aaron after he died. He was a nephew of Moses.

Mount Gerizim Mountain in Judea and Samaria Area, Israel

Mount Gerizim is one of the two mountains in the immediate vicinity of the key West Bank city of Nablus, and forms the southern side of the valley in which Nablus is situated, the northern side being formed by Mount Ebal. The mountain is one of the highest peaks in the West Bank and rises to 881 m (2,890 ft) above sea level, 70 m (230 ft) lower than Mount Ebal. In Samaritan tradition, Mount Gerizim is held to be the highest, oldest and most central mountain in the world. The mountain is particularly steep on the northern side, is sparsely covered at the top with shrubbery, and lower down there is a spring with a high yield of fresh water.

Mount Hor

Mount Hor is the name given in the Old Testament to two distinct mountains. One borders the land of Edom in the area south of the Dead Sea, and the other is by the Mediterranean Sea at the Northern border of the Land of Israel. The first Mount Hor is especially significant to the Israelites as Aaron the high priest, brother of Moses, died there.

The Exodus Founding myth of the Jewish people

The Exodus is the founding myth of the Israelites. It tells of their departure from Egypt, the revelations at biblical Mount Sinai, and their wanderings in the wilderness up to the borders of Canaan. Its message is that the Israelites were delivered from slavery by Yahweh their god, and therefore belong to him by covenant.

Some translators of the biblical book of Deuteronomy translate Pisgah as a name of a mountain, usually referring to Mount Nebo. The word פִּסְגָּה literally means "summit". The region lies directly east of the Jordan River and just northeast of the Dead Sea. Mount Nebo is the highest among a handful of Pisgah summits; an arid cluster of hilltops on the western edge of the Trans-Jordanian Plateau. Arabic names for Pisgah include: Fasga (Phasga), Jabal Siyāgha, Rās as-Siyāgha and Rujm Siyāgha.

Mount Ebal

Mount Ebal is one of the two mountains in the immediate vicinity of the city of Nablus in the West Bank, and forms the northern side of the valley in which Nablus is situated, the southern side being formed by Mount Gerizim. The mountain is one of the highest peaks in the West Bank and rises to 940 m (3,080 ft) above sea level, some 60 m (200 ft) higher than Mount Gerizim. Mount Ebal is approximately 17 km2 (6.6 sq mi) in area, and is composed primarily of limestone. The slopes of the mountain contain several large caverns which were probably originally quarries, and at the base towards the north are several tombs.

Mount Sinai (Bible) Biblical Mount Sinai

In the Bible, Mount Sinai is the mountain at which the Ten Commandments were given to Moses by God. In the Book of Deuteronomy, these events are described as having transpired at Mount Horeb. "Sinai" and "Horeb" are generally considered to refer to the same place by scholars.

Maan Governorate Governorate of Jordan

Ma'an is one of the governorates of Jordan, it is located south of Amman, Jordan's capital. Its capital is the city of Ma'an. This governorate is the largest in the kingdom of Jordan by area.

Chukat Hebrew for "decree"

Chukat, Hukath, or Chukkas is the 39th weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the sixth in the Book of Numbers. The parashah sets out the laws of corpse contamination and purification with the water of lustration prepared with the Red Cow. It also reports the deaths of Miriam and Aaron, the failure of Moses at the Waters of Meribah, and the conquest of Arad, the Amorites, and Bashan. The parashah constitutes Numbers 19:1–22:1. The parashah is the shortest weekly Torah portion in the Book of Numbers, and is made up of 4,670 Hebrew letters, 1,245 Hebrew words, 87 verses, and 159 lines in a Torah Scroll.

Jebel al-Madhbah

Jebel al-Madhbah is a mountain at Petra, Jordan, at whose peak there is a large Nabataean ritual site centered around an altar.

In the Exodus narrative, Yam Suph is the body of water which the Israelites crossed following their exodus from Egypt. The same phrase appears in over 20 other places in the Hebrew Bible. While traditionally understood to refer to the Red Sea, the appropriate translation of the phrase remains a matter of dispute; as does the exact location referred to. It is now often translated as Sea of Reeds — with several competing theories as to where this was.

References

  1. "Numbers 20".
  2. KJV
  3. KJV
  4. "Aaron's Tomb, Petra". Atlas Travel and Tourist Agency. Retrieved 2008-07-12.
  5. "Tomb of Aaron". United States Naval Academy. Retrieved 2008-07-12.
  6. Deuteronomy 10:6
  7. KJV
  8. McCurdy, Frederic; Kaufmann Kohler. Aaron . Retrieved 2008-07-12.
  9. Levi, Gerson. Aaron's Tomb . Retrieved 2008-07-12.
  10. "Jordanian police threaten to jail Israeli pilgrims for praying". Times of Israel. Retrieved 2017-07-24.
  11. Joffre, Tzvi (5 August 2019). "Jordan Closes Aaron's Tomb After Jews Seen Praying at Site". Jerusalem Post.
  12. ירדן תפתח מחדש את קבר אהרן הכהן (Hebrew)

Coordinates: 30°18′57.27″N35°24′35.22″E / 30.3159083°N 35.4097833°E / 30.3159083; 35.4097833