Scenes around Tell Ḥesbân (Heshbon)

The photo below was made from the top of Tell Ḥesbân in Transjordan. It provides us a view of the general area of Moab during the period of the United Kingdom of Israel, and the Divided Kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

Sheepfold on the slope of Tell Ḥesbân. View of territory of Moab. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Sheepfold on the slope of Tell Ḥesbân. View of territory of Moab. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

There are several biblical references to the sheepfold, or the fold of the sheep (Jeremiah 50:6; Micah 2:12; John 10:1, 16). Jesus used an illustration involving the sheepfold:

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. (John 10:1-2 ESV)

We associate the land of Moab with Ruth the grandmother of King David.

So Naomi returned, and with her Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, who returned from the land of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest. (Ruth 1:22)

I find it fascinating that the modern locals pick up on the ancient names in order to attract the tourists who visit the area. At Madaba, about six miles south of Ḥesbân, there is a small hotel named Mo’ab Land Hotel. How appropriate.

The Moab Land Hotel in Madaba, Jordan. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The Moab Land Hotel in Madaba, Jordan. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

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