Petra is like no other city on earth. It is one of the most mysterious, fascinating and beautiful of all the ancient Biblical sites. Known in the Scriptures as "Selah" during the time of Abraham, it is situated in the mountains of Seir, the land of the Edomites.
So perfectly concealed among the rose-red cliffs of Edom, this amazingly well preserved city remained lost and almost forgotten for over a thousand years. Nestled in a craggy canyon of red, pink, white, brown and violet rock, the city is practically invisible from the air and impregnable from the ground. The natural caves that honeycomb the area were home to man thousands of years before history began.
The very memory of the great and mighty city was lost, its situation completely forgotten, and it became a legend of mystery and wonder. Explorers tried in vain to find its fabled glories. But, due to the utter inaccessibility of Petra's rocky vastness and the wild nature of the few inhabitants of the surrounding district, its entrance was kept secret for centuries.
Once Petra had been discoverd it was inevitable that it should be a focus of study. From beneath the shifting sands that cover ancient Petra has emerged evidence that has shed light on the city and its people. These people are woven intermittently across the pages of the Bible.
On the pages that follow, the author presents a brief review of the history and peoples of a city spoken of by the prophet Ezekiel: "Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, O Mount Seir, I am aganist thee, and will stretch out mine hand aganist thee, and will make thee most desolate." (Ezekiel 35:3)