Nebo (Pisgah)
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Nebo (Pisgah)
Bible Meaning: Prophet
Strong's Concordance #H5015

Nebo is the name of a man whose fifty-two descendants (Ezra 2:29, Nehemiah 7:33) returned to Judah after being in Babylonian captivity. Seven of these returning captives, when they came back home, were encouraged by Ezra the prophet to get rid of their foreign wives via a bill of divorcement.

Location of Mount Nebo in Ancient Israel Map

Pagan god

Nebo, according to the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, is the Hebrew form of the name of the Babylonian pagan deity Nabu (Isaiah 46:1). Nabu was the deity of wisdom, education, and literature. He may have also represented the planet Mercury.

City and mountain

The tribes of Reuben and Gad, who had many cattle, asked Moses if they could have their land inheritance east of the Jordan River. They made this request because the area in question was excellent for grazing their flocks. One of the cities given to the tribe of Reuben, after the request was granted, was named Nebo (Numbers 32:33, 37 - 38).

Mount Nebo, also found east of the Jordan River, has a modern elevation of 2,651 feet (808 meters). Its location, roughly opposite to Jericho, offered Moses an ideal scenic view of the Promised Land before he died at the age of 120 (Deuteronomy 32:49 - 50, 34:1). God led him to the mountain to view Israel's inheritance since he was not allowed to enter it due to his sin.

Is Pisgah the same thing?

Mount Pisgah, a name that means "cleft" (Strong's #H6449), is mentioned only five times in the Old Testament (Numbers 21:20, 23:14, Deuteronomy 3:27, 4:49, 34:1). Its last Biblical listing (Deuteronomy 34:1) mentions it along with Mount Nebo.

It is Biblically unclear whether Pisgah and Nebo are two distinct locations or not. The 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia states that both are possibly synonymous names for the same mount (Deuteronomy 34:1). Some commentaries, however, believe Pisgah and Nebo are the names of two different peaks on the same mountain.

Important verses


Ezra 2:1, 29
Now these are the children of the province that went up out of the captivity, of those which had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away unto Babylon, and came again unto Jerusalem and Judah, every one unto his city . . .

The children of Nebo, fifty and two.

Nehemiah 7:6 - 7, 33
These are the children of the province, that went up out of the captivity, of those that had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and came again to Jerusalem and to Judah, every one unto his city; Who came with Zerubbabel . . .

The men of the other Nebo, fifty and two.

Pagan deity

Isaiah 46:1
Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle: your carriages were heavy loaden: they are a burden to the weary beast.


Numbers 32:33, 37 - 38
And Moses gave unto them, even to the children of Gad, and to the children of Reuben . . .

And the children of Reuben built Heshbon, and Elealeh, and Kirjathaim, and Nebo, and Baalmeon, (their names being changed,) and Shibmah: and gave other names unto the cities which they builded.

Deuteronomy 32:48 - 49
And the LORD spake unto Moses that selfsame day, saying,

Get thee up into this mountain Abarim, unto mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is over against Jericho: and behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession . . .

Deuteronomy 34:1
And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the LORD shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan . . .

Isaiah 15:2
He is gone up to Bajith, and to Dibon, the high places, to weep: Moab shall howl over Nebo, and over Medeba: on all their heads shall be baldness, and every beard cut off.

Jeremiah 48:1 - 2, 21 - 22
Against Moab thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Woe unto Nebo! for it is spoiled: Kiriathaim is confounded and taken: Misgab is confounded and dismayed. There shall be no more praise of Moab . . .

And judgment is come upon the plain country; upon Holon, and upon Jahazah, and upon Mephaath, and upon Dibon, and upon Nebo, and upon Bethdiblathaim . . .

Further Bible study:

Meaning of Biblical Names
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Series Notes
Scripture quotes are taken from
the King James translation.
The definition of each listing
is derived from a variety of sources.

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