Monastery of Temptation

The summit of Mount of Temptation, rising to a height of 350 meters above sea level and commanding a magnificent and panoramic view of the Jordan Valley, is the site where Jesus (pbuh) spent forty days and forty nights fasting and meditating during the temptation of Satan, about 3 km northwest of Jericho. A Greek Orthodox monastery was built in the 6th century over the cave where Christ (pbuh) stayed. This spot is another of the holy sites said to have been identified by Queen Helena in her pilgrimage of 326 AD. The mountain; which from early Christian times has been called the Mount of Temptation; was referred to as “Mons Quarantana” by the Crusaders in the first half of the 12th century, and is locally known as Quruntul mountain (from Quaranta meaning forty, the number of days in the Gospel account of Christ’s fast). “… Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” Matthew (IV, 8-10). To climb up the bare, rocky slopes of Quruntul mountain might sound daunting, as the path leading to the Monastery of the Temptation is very steep and difficult to ascend but is well worth the walk, which is in fact a trek of only 15-30 minutes. The nearly 30 to 40 caves on the eastern slopes of the mountain have been inhabited by monks and hermits since the early days of Christianity.

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