View looking west from Mount Nebo at the Plains of Moab across from Jericho.When the Israelites were encamped at Mount Sinai, God gave instructions to build a gold-plated, wooden box. This box became known as the Ark of the Covenant and it remained in the possession of the Israelites for hundreds of years. They carried the Ark before them and it led them into battle. I thought that it would be interesting to take a look at some of the places where the Ark resided and discuss them in a series of posts. After wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, the Israelites approached the land of Canaan from the east and temporarily settled in the Plains of Moab. Moses ascended to the top of Mount Nebo where God showed him the land that was being given to the nation of Israel. After Moses died, the Israelites stayed in the Plains of Moab while they mourned his death.

And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. So the days of weeping and mourning for Moses ended. - Deuteronomy 34:8

The plains of Moab stretched north-to-south along the eastern side of the Jordan River, opposite from the city of Jericho. The land is rather flat and ranges from 5-10 miles wide before rising dramatically into what we commonly call the Trans-Jordan plateau. A majority of it lies below sea level, but despite the arid climate, crops and agriculture flourish.

Later, we recognize this location as the same area where Elijah was taken into Heaven in a whirlwind. In New Testament times, this was part of what we know as Perea. The location of Bethany beyond the Jordan was also in this same area.