In those times when the people wanted to enter the city they had to lie to the locals, stating that they wanted to go to Mt Hor to worship Aaron. The so called Mt Hor (not according to the bible) is the highest peak over there and in order to reach there one had to pass through Petra. The journey to Mt Hor is tiresome and long and includes hours of travel by foot and also go through Petra, the city which is totally hidden. When you look from above the narrow entrance looks just like a crack and one would assume that perhaps there is nothing there but caves but upon entering the city is very high and feels like its amongst the stars.
This city is what described in the book of Obadiah, (Holy Bible) verse 3: The pride of your heart has deceived you, You who dwell in the clefts of the rock; whose habitation is high; You who say in your heart ‘Who will bring me down to the ground?’” The so call “clefts of the rock” is the clefts you see in the photo.
The city belonged to a person called Esau (from Genesis). Esau started to live here as the famous highways through which the Kings passed was through here. Esau’s income depended on these travellers as he survived by robbing them, and then needed a place to hide, hence the secret entrance and the hidden city.
In Genesis, god promised Ishmael will become a great kingdom, so where did his descendants live, the bible says they live to the east of all brothers, which points to the Arabian Desert. As they were similar to Mongolians and lived a nomadic life, until about a 100 years BC they migrated here. And like Mongolians they had a unique warfare technique and were able to establish the First Empire from here all the way to Syria and extended to the Sinai Peninsula. In conclusion this is the first Kingdom where God promised Ishmael for greatness and the capital was Petra, the inside of which is a proof of that time.
However today when you enter Petra there is nothing but ruins as all had been destroyed by a great earthquake. They say that in Jerusalem the Jewish agreed with the Roman Emperor to rebuild the temple on Mt Hor but on the day when all was ready, the materials gathered and the men were about to commence the work there was a great earthquake which destroyed everything and light shone out of the original temple. Henceforth the people never dared to rebuild the temple and that very earthquake also destroyed Petra.
So basically whatever you see here today, actually originated from Esau. Jacob represents “corrupted Flesh”, and Esau represents “secret self”. Just like this place as we cannot see the depth of it, as, in a smart man apart from the outward we cannot see whats inside of him. The trickiness of Jacob was known to all but how tricky Esau could be can be known by looking at this city. Therefore Jacob and Esau are like twins, their reflections similar sand their treachery is similar in nature except that one’s is well hidden. Here, in the Land Of Edom the area is red because in Genesis, Esau sold his first sonship for a bowl of red bean soup and if you look from afar the entire Mt Seir looks like a hairy mountain making one think of Esau as he too was known to be an extremely hairy individual.