The area shaded in pink is the territory known as Moab, located on the east side of the Dead Sea, across from the wilderness of Judah. A flat and arid plane extends east from the banks of the Dead Sea before ascending sharply some 4,000 feet to the plain above. The upper plain is a more fertile stretch of land that extends about 15 miles from the escarpment east to the Arabian Desert. Dibon, the capital city of Moab in the biblical era, is located in the northern region of the upper plane. It is here that the Mesha Stela, one of the most important historical sources relating to the Bible, was found. In this inscription, the Moabite king Mesha recounts his battles with the Omride dynasty of the northern kingdom of Israel. The Moabites are portrayed as a constant adversary to the Israelites in the Hebrew Bible. Produced by

A sequence of rulers from the same family.

A West Semitic language, in which most of the Hebrew Bible is written except for parts of Daniel and Ezra. Hebrew is regarded as the spoken language of ancient Israel but is largely replaced by Aramaic in the Persian period.

A stone inscribed in the Moabite language, commissioned by the Moabit king Mesha to celebrate his accomplishments, including a successful revolt against the kingdom of Israel (see 2 Kings 3).

The kingdom consisting of the northern Israelites tribes, which existed separately from the southern kingdom of Judah. According to the Hebrew Bible, all the tribes were part of a unified kingdom under David and Solomon, but the northern kingdom under Jeroboam I rebelled after Solomon's death (probably sometime in the late 10th century B.C.E.), establishing their independence. The northern kingdom of Israel fell to the Neo-Assyrian Empire in 722 B.C.E.

related to the dynasty of Omri

An upright stone slab usually inscribed or carved for commemorative purposes.

 NEH Logo
Bible Odyssey has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.