Jane Taylor/Sonia Halliday Photographs

Mt. Nebo (shown here, compare with photo of Mesha Stele) rises from the plains of Moab, just east of the Jordan River. It was from this mountaintop that Deuteronomy 34:1–8 describes Moses viewing the Promised Land, which he was fated never to enter. He was buried in an unknown spot in the valley between Mt. Nebo and Mt. Peor.

Other biblical events associated with this area include the delivery of Balaam’s oracles from Mt. Peor (Numbers 23 and 24) and the illicit coupling with the Midianite women (Numbers 25). These incidents, though taking place in Moab, include references to a Midianite presence in the area. Cross suggests that the Midianites exercised commercial hegemony over the area, controlling the newly developed incense trade.