Is the City of Petra in the Bible

allaboutarchaeology
Is the city of Petra in the Bible?

Simplistically, the answer to this question is yes. The City of Petra is in the Bible. The city is located near Mount Hor which is the location in scripture, where the brother of Moses -- Aaron -- passed away,

“At Mount Hor, near the border of Edom, the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, Aaron will be gathered to his people…They went up Mount Hor in the sight of the whole community…and Aaron died their on top of the mountain” (Numbers 20:23, 27, 28b).

Edom, as mentioned in the Scripture above is located in a valley between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea -- a valley of salt. 2 Kings 14:7 says, “He (Amaziah, King of Judah) was the one who defeated ten thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt and captured Sela in battle, calling it Joktheel, the name it has to this day."

Many believe that Sela is the same city/location as Petra. This is primarily due to their similarities in meaning -- rock. However, this is disputed by other groups.

The Edomites, prior to the settling of the Nabataeans and during the time of the Israel exodus from Egypt, lived in this valley. Therefore, it is quite likely that any reference to the Edomites, Sela, the Valley of Salt or Mount Hor is referring to the current location of the city of Petra. No doubt that even if the locations in Scripture do not specifically point to the city of Petra, they do point to the surrounding area which provide evidence that the city of Petra was involved in these biblically historic stories in some way.

Other scriptures that point to the city of Petra are: Isaiah 16:1, Isaiah 34:5-6, Jeremiah 49:16-18, Ezekiel 25:13, Ezekiel 35, Joel 3:19, Amos 1:11, Obadiah, and Malachi 1:3-4.



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