|Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia|
mal'-ki-el (malki'el, "God is king"): Grandson of Asher (Genesis 46:17 Numbers 26:45 1 Chronicles 7:31).
(har naphtali; en to orei to Nephthalei): This was the most northerly of the three divisions of the Western Range, which derived their names from those of the tribes holding chief sway over them-Mt. Judah, Mt. Ephraim, and, Mt. Naphtali (Joshua 20:7 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) replaces Mount" by the hill country of").
(har nebho; Nabau): A mountain in the land of Moab which Moses ascended at the command of God in order that he might see the Land of Promise which he was never to enter. There also he was to die. From the following passages (namely, Numbers 33:47 Deuteronomy 32:49; Deuteronomy 34:1), we gather that it was not far from the plain of Moab in which Israel was encamped; that it was a height standing out to the West of the mountains of Abarim; that it lay to the East of Jericho; and that it was a spot from which a wide and comprehensive view of Palestine could be obtained. None of these conditions are met by Jebel `Attarus, which is too far to the East, and is fully 15 miles South of a line drawn eastward from Jericho. Jebel 'Osha, again, in Mt. Gilead, commands, indeed, an extensive view; but it lies too far to the North, being at least 15 miles North of a line drawn eastward from Jericho. Both of these sites have had their advocates as claimants for the honor of representing the Biblical Nebo.
The "head" or "top" of Pisgah is evidently identical with Mt. Nebo (Deuteronomy 34:1). After Moses' death he was buried "in the valley in the land of Moab," over against Beth-peor.
The name Neba is found on a ridge which, some 5 miles Southwest of Hesban and opposite the northern end of the Dead Sea, runs out to the West from the plateau of Moab, "sinking gradually: at first a broad brown field of arable land, then a flat top crowned by a ruined cairn, then a narrower ridge ending in the summit called Siagbah, whence the slopes fall steeply on all sides. The name Nebo or Neba (the "knob" or "tumulus") applies to the flat top with the cairn, and the name Tal`at es-Sufa to the ascent leading up to the ridge from the North. Thus we have three names which seem to connect the ridge with that whence Moses is related to have viewed the Promised Land, namely, first, Nebo, which is identically the same word as the modern Neba; secondly, Siaghah, which is radically identical with the Aramaic Se`ath, the word standing instead of Nebo in the Targum of Onkelos (Numbers 32:3), where it is called the burial place of Moses; thirdly, Tal`at es-Sufa, which is radically identical with the Hebrew Zuph (tsuph), whence Mizpah (mitspah) and Zophim (tsophim..... The name Pisgah is not now known, but the discovery of Zophim (compare Numbers 23:14) confirms the view now generally held, that it is but another title of the Nebo range."
Neither Mt. Hermon nor Dan (Tell el-Qady) is visible from this point; nor can Zoar be seen; and if the Mediterranean is the hinder sea, it also is invisible. But, as Driver says ("Dt," ICC, 419), the terms in Deuteronomy 34:1, 3 are hyperbolical, and must be taken as including points filled in by the imagination as well as those actually visible to the eye. Mr. Birch argues in favor of Tal`at el-Benat, whence he believes Dan and Zoar to be visible, while he identifies "the hinder sea" with the Dead Sea (PEFS, 1898, 110;).
OLIVES, MOUNT OF
ol'-ivz, (har ha-zethim (Zechariah 14:4), ma`aleh ha-zethim, "the ascent of the mount of Olives" (2 Samuel 15:30, the King James Version "the ascent of (mount) Olivet"); to oros ton elaion, "the Mount of Olives" (Matthew 21:1; Matthew 24:3; Matthew 26:30 Mark 11:1; Mark 13:3; Mark 14:26 Luke 19:37; Luke 22:39 John 8:1), to oros to kaloumenon elaion, "the mount that is called Olivet" (Luke 19:29; Luke 21:37; in both references in the King James Version "the mount called (the mount) of Olives"), tou elaionos (Acts 1:12, English Versions of the Bible "Olivet" literally, "olive garden")):
2. Situation and Extent
3. Old Testament Associations
(1) David's Escape from Absalom
(2) The Vision of Ezekiel
(3) The Vision of Zechariah
4. High Places
5. Olivet and Jesus
6. View of the City from Olivet
7. Churches and Ecclesiastical Traditions
Olivet comes to us through the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) Oliverum, "an oliveyard."
Josephus frequently uses the expression "Mount of Olives" (e.g. Ant, VII, ix, 2; XX, viii, 6; BJ, V, ii, 3; xii, 2), but later Jewish writings give the name har ha-mishchah, "Mount of Oil"; this occurs in some manuscripts in 2 Kings 23:13, and the common reading har ha-mashchith, "Mount of Corruption," margin "destruction," may possibly be a deliberate alteration (see below). In later ages the Mount was termed "the mountain of lights," because here there used to be kindled at one time the first beacon light to announce throughout Jewry the appearance of the new moon.
To the natives of Palestine today it is usually known as Jebel et Tar ("mountain of the elevation," or "tower"), or, less commonly, as Jebel Tur ez zait ("mountain of the elevation of oil"). The name Jebel ez-zaitun ("Mount of Olives") is also well known. Early Arabic writers use the term Tur Zait, "Mount of Oil."
2. Situation and Extent:
The mountain ridge which lies East of Jerusalem leaves the central range near the valley of Sha`phat and runs for about 2 miles due South. After culminating in the mountain mass on which lies the "Church of the Ascension," it may be considered as giving off two branches: one lower one, which runs South-Southwest, forming the southern side of the Kidron valley, terminating at the Wady en Nar, and another, higher one, which slopes eastward and terminates a little beyond el-`Azareyeh (modern Bethany). The main ridge is considerably higher than the site of ancient Jerusalem, and still retains a thick cap of the soft chalky limestone, mixed with flint, known variously as Nari and Ka`kuli, which has been entirely denuded over the Jerusalem site (see JERUSALEM, II, 1). The flints were the cause of a large settlement of paleolithic man which occurred in prehistoric times on the northern end of the ridge, while the soft chalky stone breaks down to form a soil valuable for the cultivation of olives and other trees and shrubs. The one drawback to arboriculture upon this ridge is the strong northwest wind which permanently bends most trees toward the Southeast, but affects the sturdy, slow-growing olive less than the quicker-growing pine. The eastern slopes are more sheltered. In respect of wind the Mount of Olives is far more exposed than the site of old Jerusalem.
The lofty ridge of Olivet is visible from far, a fact now emphasized by the high Russian tower which can be seen for many scores of miles on the East of the Jordan. The range presents, from such a point of view particularly, a succession of summits. Taking as the northern limit the dip which is crossed by the ancient Anathoth (`anata) road, the most northerly summit is that now crowned by the house and garden of Sir John Gray Hill, 2,690 ft. above sea-level. This is sometimes incorrectly pointed out as Scopus, which lay farther to the Northwest. A second sharp dip in the ridge separates this northern summit from the next, a broad plateau now occupied by the great Kaiserin Augusta Victoria Stiftung and grounds. The road makes a sharp descent into a valley which is traversed from West to East by an important and ancient road from Jerusalem, which runs eastward along the Wady er Rawabeh. South of this dip lies the main mass of the mountain, that known characteristically as the Olivet of ecclesiastical tradition. This mass consists of two principal summits and two subsidiary spurs. The northern of the two main summits is that known as Karem es Sayyad, "the vineyard of the hunter," and also as "Galilee," or, more correctly, as Viri Galilaei (see below, 7). It reaches a height of 2,723 ft. above the Mediterranean and is separated from the southern summit by a narrow neck traversed today by the carriage road. The southern summit, of practically the same elevation, is the traditional "Mount of the Ascension," and for several years has been distinguished by a lofty, though somewhat inartistic, tower erected by the Russians. The two subsidiary spurs referred to above are:
(1) a somewhat isolated ridge running Southeast, upon which lies the squalid village of el `Azareyeh-Bethany;
(2) a small spur running South, covered with grass, which is known as "the Prophets," on account of a remarkable 4th-century Christian tomb found there, which is known as "the tomb of the Prophets"-a spot much venerated by modern Jews.
A further extension of the ridge as Batn el Hawa, "the belly of the wind," or traditionally as "the Mount of Offence" (compare 1 Kings 11:7 2 Kings 23:13), is usually included in the Mount of Olives, but its lower altitude-it is on a level with the temple-platform-and its position South of the city mark it off as practically a distinct hill. Upon its lower slopes are clustered the houses of Silwan (Siloam).
The notices of the Mount of Olives in the Old Testament are, considering its nearness to Jerusalem, remarkably scanty.
3. Old Testament Associations:
(1) David's Escape from Absalom:
David fleeing before his rebellious son Absalom (2 Samuel 15:16) crossed the Kidron and "went up by the ascent of the mount of Olives, and wept as he went up; and he had his head covered, and went barefoot: and all the people that were with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went (2 Samuel 15:30)..... And it came to pass, that, when David was come to the top of the ascent where he was wont to worship God, (m), behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat rent, and earth upon his head (2 Samuel 15:32). And when David was a little past the top of the ascent, behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred loaves of bread, and a hundred clusters of raisins, and a hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine" (2 Samuel 16:1).
It is highly probable that David's route to the wilderness was neither by the much-trodden Anathoth road nor over the summit of the mountain, but by the path running Northeast from the city, which runs between the Viri Galilaei hill and that supporting the German Sanatorium and descends into the wilderness by Wady er Rawabi.
(2) The Vision of Ezekiel:
Ezekiel in a vision (11:23) saw the glory of Yahweh go up from the midst of the city and stand "upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city" (compare 43:2). In connection with this the Rabbi Janna records the tradition that the shekhinah stood 3 1/2 years upon Olivet, and preached, saying, "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near"-a strange story to come from a Jewish source, suggesting some overt reference to Christ.
(3) The Vision of Zechariah:
In Zechariah 14:4 the prophet sees Yahweh in that day stand upon the Mount of Olives, "and the Mount of Olives shall be cleft in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south."
In addition to these direct references, Jewish tradition associates with this mount-this "mount of Corruption"-the rite of the red heifer (Numbers 19); and many authorities consider that this is also the mount referred to in Nehemiah 8:15, whence the people are directed to fetch olive branches, branches of wild olive, myrtle branches, palm branches and branches of thick trees to make their booths.
4. High Places:
It is hardly possible that a spot with such a wide outlook-especially the marvelous view over the Jordan valley and Dead Sea to the lands of Ammon and Moab-should have been neglected in the days when Semitic religion crowned such spots with their sanctuaries. There is Old Testament evidence that there was a "high place" here. In the account of David's flight mention is made of the spot on the summit "where he was wont to worship God" (2 Samuel 15:32 margin). This is certainly a reference to a sanctuary, and there are strong reasons for believing that this place may have been NOB (which see) (see 1 Samuel 21:1; 1 Samuel 22:9, 11, 19 Nehemiah 11:32; but especially Isaiah 10:32). This last reference seems to imply a site more commanding in its outlook over the ancient city than Ras el Musharif proposed by Driver, one at least as far South as the Anathoth road, or even that from Wady er Rawabi. But besides this we have the definite statement (1 Kings 11:7): "Then did Solomon build a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, in the mount that is before (i.e. East of) Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the children of Ammon," and the further account that the "high places that were before (East of) Jerusalem, which were on the right hand (South) of the mount of corruption (margin "destruction") which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Sidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king (Josiah) defile" (2 Kings 23:13). That these high places were somewhere upon what is generally recognized as the Mount of Olives, seems clear, and the most probable site is the main mass where are today the Christian sanctuaries, though Graetz and Dean Stanley favor the summit known as Viri Galilaei. It is the recognition of this which has kept alive the Jewish name "Mount of Corruption" for this mount to this day. The term Mons offensionis, given to the southeastern extension, South of the city, is merely an ecclesiastical tradidition going back to Quaresmius in the 17th century, which is repeated by Burckhardt (1823 A.D.).
5. Olivet and Jesus:
More important to us are the New Testament associations of this sacred spot. In those days the mountain must have been far different from its condition today. Titus in his siege of Jerusalem destroyed all the timber here as elsewhere in the environs, but before this the hillsides must have been clothed with verdure-oliveyards, fig orchards and palm groves, with myrtle and other shrubs. Here in the fresh breezes and among the thick foliage, Jesus, the country-bred Galilean, must gladly have taken Himself from the noise and closeness of the over-crowded city. It is to the Passion Week, with the exception of John 8:1, that all the incidents belong which are expressly mentioned as occurring on the Mount of Olives; while there would be a special reason at this time in the densely packed city, it is probable that on other occasions also our Lord preferred to stay outside the walls. Bethany would indeed appear to have been His home in Judea, as Capernaum was in Galilee. Here we read of Him as staying with Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42); again He comes to Bethany from the wilderness road from Jericho for the raising of Lazarus (John 11), and later He is at a feast, six days before the Passover (John 12:1), at the house of Simon (Matthew 26:6-12 Mark 14:3-9 John 12:1-9). The Mount of Olives is expressly mentioned in many of the events of the Passion Week. He approached Jerusalem, "unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives" (Mark 11:1 Matthew 21:1 Luke 19:29); over a shoulder of this mount-very probably by the route of the present Jericho carriage road-He made His triumphal entry to the city (Matthew 21 Mark 11 Luke 19), and on this road, when probably the full sight of the city first burst into view, He wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41). During all that week "every day he was teaching in the temple; and every night he went out, and lodged in the mount that is called Olivet" (Luke 21:37)-the special part of the mount being Bethany (Matthew 21:17 Mark 11:11). It was on the road from Bethany that He gave the sign of the withering of the fruitless fig tree (Matthew 21:17-19 Mark 11:12-14, 20-24), and "as he sat on the mount of Olives" (Matthew 24:3 Mark 13:3 f) Jesus gave His memorable sermon with the doomed city lying below Him.
On the lower slopes of Olivet, in the Garden of Gethsemane (see GETHSEMANE), Jesus endured His agony, the betrayal and arrest, while upon one of its higher points-not, as tradition has it, on the inhabited highest summit, but on the secluded eastern slopes "over against Bethany" (Luke 24:50-52)-He took leave of His disciples (compare Acts 1:12).
6. View of the City from Olivet:
The view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives must ever be one of the most striking impressions which any visitor to Jerusalem carries away with him. It has been described countless times. It is today a view but of ruin and departed glory compared with that over which Jesus wept. A modern writer with historic imagination has thus graphically sketched the salient features of that sight:
"We are standing on the road from Bethany as it breaks round the Mount of Olives and on looking northwest this is what we see..... There spreads a vast stone stage, almost rectangular, some 400 yards. North and South by 300 East and West, held up above Ophel and the Kidron valley by a high and massive wall, from 50 to 150 ft. and more in height, according to the levels of the rock from which it rises. Deep cloisters surround this platform on the inside of the walls..... Every gate has its watch and other guards patrol the courts. The crowds, which pour through the south gates upon the platform for the most part keep to the right; the exceptions, turning westward, are excommunicated or in mourning. But the crowd are not all Israelites. Numbers of Gentiles mingle with them; there are costumes and colors from all lands. In the cloisters sit teachers with groups of disciples about them. On the open pavement stand the booths of hucksters and money-changers; and from the North sheep and bullocks are being driven toward the Inner Sanctuary. This lies not in the center of the great platform, but in the northwest corner. It is a separately fortified, oblong enclosure; its high walls with their 9 gates rising from a narrow terrace at a slight elevation above the platform and the terrace encompassed by a fence within which none but Israelites may pass..... Upon its higher western end rises a house `like a lion broad in front and narrow behind.'.... From the open porch of this house stone steps descend to a great block of an altar perpetually smoking with sacrifices..... Off the Northwest of the Outer Sanctuary a castle (the Antonia) dominates the whole with its 4 lofty towers. Beyond.... the Upper City rises in curved tiers like a theater, while all the lower slopes to the South are a crowded mass of houses, girded by the eastern wall of the city. Against that crowded background the sanctuary with its high house gleams white and fresh. But the front of the house, glittering with gold plates, is obscured by a column of smoke rising from the altar; and the Priests' Court about the latter is colored by the slaughterers and sacrifices-a splash of red, as our imagination takes it, in the center of the prevailing white. At intervals there are bursts of music; the singing of psalms, the clash of cymbals and a great blare of trumpets, at which the people in their court in the Inner Sanctuary fall down and worship" (extracts from G.A. Smith's Jerusalem, II, 518-20).
7. Churches and Ecclesiastical Traditions:
To the Bible student the New Testament is the best guide to Olivet; tradition and "sites" only bewilder him. Once the main hilltop was a mass of churches. There was the "Church of the Ascension" to mark the spot whereby tradition (contrary to the direct statement of Luke) states that the Ascension occurred; now the site is marked by a small octagonal chapel, built in 1834, which is in the hands of the Moslems. There a "footprint of Christ" is shown in the rock. A large basilica of Helena was built over the place where it was said that Christ taught His disciples. In 1869 the Princess de Latour d'Auvergne, learning that there was a Moslem tradition that this site was at a spot called el Battaniyeh south of the summit, here erected a beautiful church known as the Church of the Pater Noster and around the courtyard she had the Lord's Prayer inscribed in 32 languages. When the church was in course of erection certain fragments of old walls and mosaics were found, but, in 1911, as a result of a careful excavation of the site, the foundations of a more extensive mass of old buildings, with some beautiful mosaic in the baptistry, were revealed in the neighborhood; there is little doubt but that these foundations belonged to the actual Basilica of Helena. It is proposed to rebuild the church.
Mention has been made of the name Viri Galilaei or Galilee as given to the northern summit of the main mass of Olivet. The name "Mount Galilee" appears to have been first given to this hill early in the 4th century and in 1573 A.D. Rawolf explains the name by the statement that here was in ancient times a khan where the Galileans lodged who came up to Jerusalem. In 1620 Quaresmius applies the names "Galilee" and Viri Galilaei to this site and thinks the latter name may be due to its having been the spot where the two angels appeared and addressed the disciples as "Ye men of Galilee" (Acts 1:11). Attempts have been made, without much success, to maintain that this "Galilee" was the spot which our Lord intended (Matthew 28:10, 16) to indicate to His disciples as the place of meeting.
The Russian enclosure includes a chapel, a lofty tower-from which a magnificent view is obtainable-a hospice and a pleasant pine grove. Between the Russian buildings to the North and the Church of the Ascension lies the squalid village of et tur, inhabited by a peculiarly turbulent and rapacious crowd of Moslems, who prey upon the passing pilgrims and do much to spoil the sentiment of a visit to this sacred spot. It is possible it may be the original site of BETHPHAGE (which see).
PEF, Memoirs, "Jerusalem" volume; G. A. Smith, Jerusalem; Robinson, BRP, I, 1838; Stanley, Sinai and Palestine; Baedeker's Palestine and Syria (by Socin and Bensinger); Tobler, Die Siloahquelle und der Oelberg, 1852; Porter, Murray's Palestine and Syria; R. Hofmann, Galilaea auf dem Oelberg, Leipzig, 1896; Schick, "The Mount of Olives," PEFS, 1889, 174-84; Warren, article "Mount of Olives," in HDB; Gauthier, in EB, under the word; Vincent (Pere), "The Tombs of the Prophets," Revue Biblique, 1901.
E. W. G. Masterman
per'-a-zim, pe-ra'-zim (har-peratsim): "Yahweh will rise up as in mount Perazim" (Isaiah 28:21). It is usually considered to be identical with BAAL-PERAZIM (which see), where David obtained a victory over the Philistines (2 Samuel 5:20 1 Chronicles 14:11).
SERMON ON THE MOUNT
I. PARALLEL ACCOUNTS
II. HISTORICITY OF THE DISCOURSE
III. TIME AND OCCASION
V. THE HEARERS
VI. THE MESSAGE: SUMMARY
2. Argument: The Kingdom of God (Heaven)
(1) Characteristics of the Subjects (Matthew 5:3-12)
(2) Vocation of the Subjects (Matthew 5:13-16)
(3) Relation of New Righteousness to Mosaic Law (Matthew 5:17-48)
(a) The Relation Defined (Matthew 5:17-20)
(b) The Relation Illustrated (Matthew 5:21-48)
(4) Motives and Principles of Conduct (Matthew 6:1-7:12)
(a) In Worship (Matthew 6:1-18)
(b) In Life's Purpose (Matthew 6:19-34)
(c) In Social Relations (Matthew 7:1-12)
(5) Hortatory Conclusion (Matthew 7:13-27)
(a) The Narrow Way (Matthew 7:13-14) (b) The Tests of Character (Matthew 7:15-27)
The Sermon on the Mount is the title commonly given to the collection of sayings recorded in Matthew 5-7 and in Luke 6:20-49. The latter is sometimes called the Sermon on the Plain from the fact that it is said to have been delivered on a level space somewhere on the descent of the mountain. The Sermon appears to be an epitome of the teachings of Jesus concerning the kingdom of heaven, its subjects and their life. For this reason it has always held the first place of attention and esteem among the sayings of Jesus.
See SERMON ON THE PLAIN.
I. Parallel Accounts.
As indicated above, the Sermon is reported by both Matthew and Luke. A comparison of the two accounts reveals certain striking differences. A total of 47 verses of the account in Matthew have no parallel in Luke, while but 4 1/2 verses of the latter are wanting in the former. On the other hand, many of the sayings in Matthew that are lacking in the Sermon of Luke, amounting in all to 34 verses, appear elsewhere distributed throughout the Lukan narrative and in some instances connected with different incidents and circumstances.
These facts give rise to some interesting literary and historical questions: Do the two accounts represent two distinct discourses dealing with the same general theme but spoken on different occasions, or are they simply different reports of the same discourse? If it be held that the Sermon was delivered but once, which of the accounts represents more closely the original address? Is the discourse in Matthew homogeneous or does it include sayings originally spoken on other occasions and early incorporated in the Sermon in the gospel tradition?
II. Historicity of the Discourse.
There have been and are today scholars who regard the sermons recorded in Matthew and Luke as collections of sayings spoken on different occasions, and maintain that they do not represent any connected discourse ever delivered by Jesus. In their view the Sermon is either a free compilation by the evangelists or a product of apostolic teaching and oral tradition.
The prevailing opinion among New Testament scholars is, however, that the gospel accounts represent a genuine historical discourse. The Sermon as recorded in Matthew bears such marks of inner unity of theme and exposition as to give the appearance of genuineness. That Jesus should deliver a discourse of this kind accords with all the circumstances and with the purpose of His ministry. Besides, we know that in His teaching He was accustomed to speak to the multitudes at length, and we should expect Him to give early in His ministry some formal exposition of the kingdom, the burden of His first preaching. That such a summary of one of His most important discourses should have been preserved is altogether probable.
On the other hand, it may be conceded that the accounts need not necessarily be regarded as full or exact reports of the discourse but possibly and probably rather summaries of its theme and substance. our Lord was accustomed to teach at length, but this discourse could easily be delivered in a few minutes. Again, while His popular teaching was marked by a unique wealth of illustration the Sermon is largely gnomic in form. This gnomic style and the paucity of the usual concrete and illustrative elements suggest the probability of condensation in transmission. Moreover, it is hardly probable that such an address of Jesus would be recorded at the time of its delivery or would be remembered in detail.
There is evidence that the account in Matthew 5-7 contains some sayings not included in the original discourse. This view is confirmed by the fact that a number of the sayings are given in Luke's Gospel in settings that appear more original. It is easy to believe that related sayings spoken on other occasions may have become associated with the Sermon in apostolic teaching and thus handed down with it, but if the discourse were well known in a specific form, such as that recorded in Matthew, it is hardly conceivable that Luke or anyone else would break it up and distribute the fragments or associate them with other incidents, as some of the sayings recorded in both Gospels are found associated in Luke.
III. Time and Occasion.
Both Matthew and Luke agree in assigning the delivery of the Sermon to the first half of the Galilean ministry. The former apparently places it a little earlier than the latter, in whose account it follows immediately after the appointment of the twelve apostles. While the time cannot be accurately determined, the position assigned by the Gospels is approximately correct and is supported by the internal evidence. Portions of the Sermon imply that the opposition of the religious teachers was already in evidence, but it clearly belongs to the first year of our Lord's ministry before that opposition had become serious. On the other hand, the occasion was sufficiently late for the popularity of the new Teacher to have reached its climax. In the early Galilean ministry Jesus confined His teaching to the synagogues, but later, when the great crowds pressed about Him, He resorted to open-air preaching after the manner of the Sermon. Along with the growth in His popularity there is observed a change in the character of His teaching. His earlier message may be summed up in the formula, "Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 4:17). Later, both in His public discourses and in His more intimate conferences with His disciples, He was occupied with the principles of the kingdom. The Sermon on the Mount belongs to this later type of teaching and fits naturally into the circumstances to which it has been assigned. Luke probably gives the true historical occasion, i.e. the appointment of the Twelve.
According to the evangelists, the scene of the delivery of the Sermon was one of the mountains or foothills surrounding the Galilean plain. Probably one of the hills lying Northwest of Capernaum is meant, for shortly after the Sermon we find Jesus and His disciples entering that city. There are no data justifying a closer identification of the place. There is a tradition dating from the time of the Crusades that identifies the mount of the Sermon with Karn Chattin, a two-peaked hill on the road from Tiberias to Nazareth, but there are no means of confirming this late tradition and the identification is rather improbable.
V. The Hearers.
The Sermon was evidently addressed, primarily, to the disciples of Jesus. This is the apparent meaning of the account of both evangelists. According to Matthew, Jesus, "seeing the multitudes,.... went up into the mountain: and when he had sat down, his disciples came unto him: and he opened his mouth and taught them." The separation from the multitudes and the direction of His words to the disciples seem clear, and the distinction appears intentional on the part of the writer. However, it must be observed that in the closing comments on the Sermon the presence of the multitudes is implied. In Luke's account the distinction is less marked. Here the order of events is: the night of prayer in the mountain, the choice of the twelve apostles, the descent with them into the presence of the multitude of His disciples and a great number of people from Judea, Jerusalem and the coast country, the healing of great numbers, and, finally, the address. While the continued presence of the multitudes is implied, the plain meaning of the words, "And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said," is that his address was intended especially for the latter. This view is borne out by the address itself as recorded in both accounts. Observe the use of the second person in the reference to suffering, poverty and persecution for the sake of the Son of Man. Further the sayings concerning the "salt of the earth" and "the light of the world" could hardly have been addressed to any but His disciples. The term disciple, however, was doubtless employed in the broader sense by both evangelists. This is clearly the case in Matthew's account, according to which the Twelve had not yet been appointed.
VI. The Message: Summary.
It is hardly proper to speak of the Sermon on the Mount as a digest of the teaching of Jesus, for it does not include any reference to some very important subjects discussed by our Lord on other occasions in the course of His ministry. It is, however, the most comprehensive and important collection or summary of His sayings that is preserved to us in the gospel record. For this reason the Sermon properly holds in Christian thought the first place of esteem among all the New Testament messages. As an exposition of the ideal life and the program of the new society which Jesus proposed to create, its interpretation is of the deepest interest and the profoundest concern.
It may assist the student of the Sermon in arriving at a clear appreciation of the argument and the salient features of the discourse if the whole is first viewed in outline. There is some difference of opinion among scholars as to certain features of the analysis, and consequently various outlines have been presented by different writers. Those of C. W. Votaw in HDB, Canon Gore in The Sermon on the Mount, and H. C. King in The Ethics of Jesus are worthy of special mention. The following analysis of the Sermon as recorded by Matthew is given as the basis of the present discussion.
It is not implied that there was any such formal plan before the mind of Jesus as He spoke, but it is believed that the outline presents a faithful syllabus of the argument of the Sermon as preserved to us.
THEME: THE KINGDOM OF GOD (HEAVEN), ITS SUBJECTS AND ITS RIGHTEOUSNESS (MATTHEW 5:3-7:27)
I. The subjects of the kingdom (Matthew 5:3-16).
1. The qualities of character essential to happiness and influence (Matthew 5:3-12).
2. The vocation of the subjects (Matthew 5:13-16).
II. The relation of the new righteousness to the Mosaic Law (Matthew 5:17-48).
1. The relation defined as that of continuance in a higher fulfillment (Matthew 5:17-20).
2. The higher fulfillment of the new righteousness illustrated by a comparison of its principles with the Mosaic Law as currently taught and practiced (Matthew 5:21-48)
(1) The higher law of brotherhood judges ill-will as murder (Matthew 5:21-26).
(2) The higher law of purity condemns lust as adultery (Matthew 5:27-32).
(3) The higher law of truth forbids oaths as unnecessary and evil (Matthew 5:33-37).
(4) The higher law of rights substitutes self-restraint and generosity for retaliation and resistance (Matthew 5:38-42).
(5) The higher law of love demands universal good will of a supernatural quality like that of the Father (Matthew 5:43-48).
III. The new righteousness. Its motives as applied to religious, practical and social duties, or the principles of conduct (Matthew 6:1-7:12).
1. Reverence toward the Father essential in all acts of worship (Matthew 6:1-18).
(1) In all duties (Matthew 6:1).
(2) In almsgiving (Matthew 6:2-4).
(3) In prayer (Matthew 6:5-15).
(4) In fasting (Matthew 6:16-18).
2. Loyalty toward the Father fundamental in all activities (Matthew 6:19-34).
(1) In treasure-seeking (Matthew 6:19-24).
(2) In trustful devotion to the kingdom and the Father's righteousness (Matthew 6:25-34).
3. Love toward the Father dynamic in all social relations (Matthew 7:1-12).
(1) Critical estimate of self instead of censorious judgment of others (Matthew 7:1-5).
(2) Discrimination in the communication of spiritual values (Matthew 7:6).
(3) Kindness toward others in all things like the Father's kindness toward all His children (Matthew 7:7-12).
IV. Hortatory conclusion (Matthew 7:13-27).
1. The two gates and the two ways (Matthew 7:13-14).
2. The tests of character (Matthew 7:15-27).
2. Argument: The Kingdom of God (Heaven):
(1) Characteristics of the Subjects (Matthew 5:3-12).
The Sermon opens with the familiar Beatitudes. Unlike many reformers, Jesus begins the exposition of His program with a promise of happiness, with a blessing rather than a curse. He thus connects His program directly with the hopes of His hearers, for the central features in the current Messianic conception were deliverance and happiness. But the conditions of happiness proposed were in strong contrast with those in the popular thought. Happiness does not consist, says Jesus, in what one possesses, in lands and houses, in social position, in intellectual attainments, but in the wealth of the inner life, in moral strength, in self-control, in spiritual insight, in the character one is able to form within himself and in the service he is able to render to his fellowmen. Happiness, then, like character, is a by-product of right living. It is presented as the fruit, not as the object of endeavor.
It is interesting to note that character is the secret of happiness both for the individual and for society. There are two groups of Beatitudes. The first four deal with personal qualities: humility, penitence, self-control, desire for righteousness. These are the sources of inner peace. The second group deals with social qualities; mercifulness toward others, purity of heart or reverence for personality, peacemaking or solicitude for others, self-sacrificing loyalty to righteousness. These are the sources of social rest. The blessings of the kingdom are social as well as individual.
(2) Vocation of the Subjects (Matthew 5:13-16).
Men of the qualities described in the Beatitudes are called "the salt of the earth," "the light of the world." Their happiness is not, then, in themselves or for themselves alone. Their mission is the hope of the kingdom. Salt is a preservative element; light is a life-giving one; but the world is not eager to be preserved or willing to receive life. Therefore such men must expect opposition and persecution, but they are not on that account to withdraw from the world. On the contrary, by the leaven of character and the light of example they are to help others in the appreciation and the attainment of the ideal life. By their character and deeds they are to make their influence a force for good in the lives of men. In this sense the men of the kingdom are the salt of the earth, the light of the world.
(3) Relation of the New Righteousness to Mosaic Law (Matthew 5:17-48).
(a) The Relation Defined (Matthew 5:17-20):
The qualities of character thus set before the citizens of the kingdom were so surprising and revolutionary as to suggest the inquiry: What is the relation of the new teaching to the Mosaic Law? This Jesus defines as continuance and fulfillment. His hearers are not to think that He has come to destroy the law. On the contrary, He has come to conserve and fulfil. The old law is imperfect, but God does not despair of what is imperfect. Men and institutions are judged, not by the level of present attainment, but by character and direction. The law moves in the right direction and is so valuable that those who violate even its least precepts have a very low place in the kingdom.
The new righteousness then does not set aside the law or offer an easier religion, but one that is more exacting. The kingdom is concerned, not so much with ceremonies and external rules, as with motives and with social virtues, with self-control, purity, honesty and generosity. So much higher are the new standards of righteousness that Jesus is constrained to warn His hearers that to secure even a place in the kingdom, their righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees.
(b) The Relation Illustrated (Matthew 5:21-48):
In illustration of the deeper meaning of the new righteousness and its relation to the Mosaic Law, Jesus proceeds to deal in detail with the precepts of the old moral law, deepening it as He proceeds into the higher law of the kingdom. In each instance the standard of judgment is raised and the individual precepts are deepened into spiritual principles that call for perfect fulfillment. In considering specific precepts no account is taken of overt acts, for in the new righteousness they are impossible. All acts are treated as expressions of the inner life. The law is carried back to the impulse and the will to sin, and these are judged as in the old law the completed acts were judged. Therefore, all anger and lust in the heart are strictly enjoined. Likewise every word is raised to a sacredness equal with that of the most solemn religious vow or oath. Finally, the instinct to avenge is entirely forbidden, and universal love like that of the Father is made the fundamental law of the new social life. Thus Jesus does not abrogate any law but interprets its precepts in terms that call for a deeper and more perfect fulfillment.
(4) Motives and Principles of Conduct (Matthew 6:1-7:12).
The relation of His teaching to the law defined, Jesus proceeds to explain the motives and principles of conduct as applied to religious and social duties.
(a) In Worship (Matthew 6:1-18):
In the section Matthew 6:1-7:12 there is one central thought. All righteousness looks toward God. He is at once the source and the aim of life. Therefore worship aims alone at divine praise. If acts of worship are performed before men to be seen of them there is no reward for them before the Father. In this Jesus is passing no slight on public worship. He Himself instituted the Lord's Supper and authorized the continuance of the rite of baptism. Such acts have their proper value. His censure is aimed at the love of ostentation so often associated with them. The root of ostentation is selfishness, and selfishness has no part in the new righteousness. Any selfish desire for the approval of men thwarts the purpose of all worship. The object of almsgiving, of prayer or of fasting is the expression of brotherly love, communion with God or spiritual enrichment. The possibility of any of these is excluded by the presence of the desire for the approval of men. It is not merely a divine fiat but one of the deeper laws of life which decrees that the only possible reward for acts of worship performed from such false motives is the cheap approval of men as well as the impoverishment of the inner life.
(b) In Life's Purpose (Matthew 6:19-34):
The same principle holds, says Jesus, in the matter of life's purpose. There is only one treasure worthy of man's search only one object worthy of his highest endeavor, and that is the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Besides, there can be no division of aim. God will be first and only. Material blessings must not be set before duty to Him or to men. With any lower aim the new righteousness would be no better than that of the Gentiles. And such a demand is reasonable, for God's gracious providence is ample guaranty that He will supply all things needful for the accomplishment of the purposes He has planned for our lives. So in our vocations as in our worship, God is the supreme and effectual motive.
(c) In Social Relations (Matthew 7:1-12):
Then again because God is our Father and the supreme object of desire for all men, great reverence is due toward others. Considerate helpfulness must replace the censorious spirit. For the same reason men will have too great reverence for spiritual values to cast them carelessly before the unworthy. Moreover, because God is so gracious and ready to bestow the best gifts freely upon His children, the men of the kingdom are under profound obligation to observe the higher law of brotherhood expressed in the Golden Rule: "All things.... whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do ye also unto them." Thus in the perfect law of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of men the new righteousness makes perfect the Law and the Prophets.
(5) Hortatory Conclusion (Matthew 7:13-27).
(a) The Narrow Way (Matthew 7:13-14):
In the hortatory conclusion (Matthew 7:13-27), Jesus first of all warns His hearers that the way into the kingdom is a narrow one. It might seem that it ought to be different; that the way to destruction should be narrow and difficult, and the way to life broad and easy, but it is not so. The way to all worthy achievement is the narrow way of self-control, self-sacrifice and infinite pains. Such is the way to the righteousness of the kingdom, the supreme object of human endeavor. "Narrow is the gate, and straitened the way, that leadeth unto life."
(b) The Tests of Character (Matthew 7:15-27):
The test of the higher fulfillment is fruit. By their fruits alone the subjects of the kingdom will be known. In the presence of the Father there is no room for those who bring nothing but the leaves of empty professions. The kingdom is for those alone who do His will. The test of righteousness is illustrated in conclusion by the beautiful parable of the Two Builders. The difference between the two is essentially one of character. It is largely a question of fundamental honesty. The one is superficial and thinks only of that which is visible to the eye and builds only for himself and for the present. The other is honest enough to build well where only God can see, to build for others and for all time. Thus he builds also for himself. The character of the builder is revealed by the building.
The Sermon on the Mount is neither an impractical ideal nor a set of fixed legal regulations. It is, instead, a statement of the principles of life essential in a normal society. Such a society is possible in so far as men attain the character and live the life expressed in these principles. Their correct interpretation is therefore important.
Many of the sayings of the Sermon are metaphorical or proverbial statements, and are not to be understood in a literal or legal sense. In them Jesus was illustrating principles in concrete terms. Their interpretation literally as legal enactments is contrary to the intention and spirit of Jesus. So interpreted, the Sermon becomes in part a visionary and impractical ideal. But rather the principles behind the concrete instances are to be sought and applied anew to the life of the present as Jesus applied them to the life of His own time.
The following are some of the leading ideas and principles underlying and expressed in the Sermon:
(1) Character Is the Secret of Happiness and Strength.
Men of the qualities described in the Beatitudes are called "blessed." Happiness consists, not in external blessings, but in the inner poise of a normal life. The virtues of the Beatitudes are also the elements of strength. Humility, self-control, purity and loyalty are the genuine qualities of real strength. Men of such qualities are to inherit the earth because they are the only ones strong enough to possess and use it.
(2) Righteousness Is Grounded in the Inner Life.
Character is not something imposed from without but a life that unfolds from within. The hope of a perfect morality and a genuine fulfillment of the law lies in the creation of a sound inner life. Therefore, the worth of all religious acts and all personal and social conduct is judged by the quality of the inner motives.
(3) The Inner Life Is a Unity.
The spiritual nature is all of a piece, so that a moral slump at one point imperils the whole life. Consequently, a rigid and exacting spiritual asceticism, even to the extent of extreme major surgery, is sometimes expedient and necessary. "If thy right eye causeth thee to stumble, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not thy whole body be cast into Gehenna" (Matthew 5:29 margin).
(4) Universal Love Is the Fundamental Social Law.
It is the dynamic principle of true character and right conduct. In this respect, at least, the perfection of the Father is set as the standard for men. Kindliness in disposition, in word and in act is an obligation binding on all. We may not feel alike toward all, but our wills must be set to do good even to our enemies. In this the supernatural quality of the Christian life may be known.
(5) The Sermon Sets the Fact of God the Father at the Center of Life.
Character and life exist in and for fellowship with the Father. All worship and conduct look toward God. His service is the supreme duty, His perfection the standard of character, His goodness the ground of universal love. Given this fact, all the essentials of religion and life follow as a matter of course. God is Father, all men are brothers. God is Father, all duties are sacred. God is Father, infinite love is at the heart of the world and life is of infinite worth.
(6) Fulfillment Is the Final Test of Life.
The blossoms of promises must ripen into the fruit of abiding character. The leaves of empty professions have no value in the eyes of the Father. Deeds and character are the only things that abide, and endurance is the final test. The life of perfect fulfillment is the life anchored on the rock of ages.
See further ETHICS; ETHICS OF JESUS; KINGDOM OF GOD.
The standard commentaries and Lives of Christ. Among the most important encyclopaedic articles are those of C. W. Votaw in HDB, James Moffatt in Encyclopedia Biblica and W. F. Adeney in DCG. The following are a few of the most helpful separate volumes on the subject: A. Tholuck, Exposition of Christ's Sermon on the Mount; Canon Gore, The Sermon on the Mount; B. W. Bacon, The Sermon on the Mount; W. B. Carpenter, The Great Charter of Christ; Hubert Foston, The Beatitudes and the Contrasts; compare H. C. King, The Ethics of Jesus, and Stalker, The Ethic of Jesus. The following periodical articles are worthy of notice: Franklin Johnson, "The Plan of the Sermon on the Mount," Homiletic Review, XXIV, 360; A. H. Hall, "The Gospel in the Sermon on the Mount," Biblical Sac., XLVIII, 322; The Bishop of Peterborough (W. C. Magee), "The State and the Sermon on the Mount," Fortnightly Review, LIII, 32; J. G. Pyle, "The Sermon on the Mount," Putnam's Magazine, VII, 285.
Russell Benjamin Miller
(tabhor, har tabhor; oros Thabor, to Itaburion): This mountain seems to be named as on the border of Issachar (Joshua 19:22). It is possibly identical with the mountain to which Zebulun and Issachar were to call the peoples (Deuteronomy 33:19). Standing on the boundary between the tribes, they would claim equal rights in the sanctuary on the top. The passage seems to indicate that it was a place of pilgrimage. The worshippers, bringing with them the "abundance of the sea" and the "treasures of the sand," would be a source of profit to the local authorities. The mountain can be no other than Jebel et-Tur, an isolated and shapely height, rising at the northeast corner of the Plain of Esdraelon, about 5 miles West of Nazareth. The mountain has retained its sacred character, and is still a place of pilgrimage, only the rites being changed. The present writer has mingled with great interest among the crowds that assemble there from all parts at the Feast of the Transfiguration.
It was on the summit and slopes of this mountain that Deborah and Barak gathered their forces; and hence, they swept down to battle with Sisera in the great plain (Judges 4:6, 12, 14). Here probably the brothers of Gideon were murdered by Zeba and Zalmunna (Judges 8:18). Moore ("Judges," ICC, at the place) thinks the scene of the slaughter must have been much farther South. He does not see what the brothers of Gideon were doing so far North of their home in Abiezer. There is, however, no reason for placing Ophrah so far to the South as he does; and in any case the men were probably captured and taken to Tabor as prisoners. Josephus (Ant., VII, ii, 3) says it was in one of Solomon's administrative districts (compare 1 Kings 4:17). Such a prominent and commanding position must always have invited fortification. In the time of Antiochus the Great, 218 B.C., we find a fortress here, which that king took by stratagem, Atabyrion by name (Polyb. v. 70, 6). It was recovered by the Jews, and was held by them under Janneus, 105-70 B.C. (Ant., XIII, xv, 4). The place fell to the Romans at the conquest under Pompey; and not far from the mountain Alexander, son of Aristobulus II, suffered defeat at the hands of Gabinius, proconsul of Syria, 53 B.C. (Ant., XIV, iv, 3; BJ, I, viii, 7). Josephus, who commanded in Galilee at the outbreak of the Jewish war, recognized the importance of the position, and built a wall round the summit. After the disaster to Jewish arms at Jotapata, where Josephus himself was taken prisoner, many fugitives took refuge here. Placidus the Roman general did not attempt an assault upon the fortress. Its defenders were by a feint drawn into the plain, where they were defeated, and the city surrendered.
A tradition which can be traced to the 4th century A.D. places the scene of the Transfiguration on this mountain. Allusion has been made above to the sacred character of the place. To this, and to the striking appearance of the mountain, the rise of the tradition may have been due. Passing centuries have seen a succession of churches and monasteries erected on the mountain. The scene of the Transfiguration was laid at the southeastern end of the summit, and here a church was built, probably by Tancred. Hard by was also shown the place where Melchizedek met Abraham returning from the pursuit of Chedorlaomer. The mountain shared to the full the vicissitudes of the country's stormy history. In 1113 A.D. the Arabs from Damascus plundered the monasteries and murdered the monks. An unsuccessful attack was made by Saladin in 1183, but 4 years later, after the rout of the Crusaders at Hattin, he devastated the place. Twenty-five years after that it was fortified by el-Melek el-`Adel, brother of Saladin, and the Crusaders failed in an attempt to take it in 1217. In 1218, however, the Saracens threw down the defenses. Sultan Bibars in 1263 ordered the destruction of the Church of the Transfiguration, and for a time the mountain was deserted. The Feast of the Transfiguration, however, continued to be celebrated by the monks from Nazareth. During the last quarter of the 19th century much building was done by the Latin and Greek churches, who have now large and substantial monasteries and churches. They have also excavated the ruins of many of the old ecclesiastical buildings. The remains now to be seen present features of every period, from Jewish times to our own.
Mt. Tabor rises to a height of 1,843 ft. above the sea, and forms the most striking feature of the landscape. Seen from the South it presents the shape of a hemisphere; from the West, that of a sugar loaf. Its rounded top and steep sides are covered with thick brushwood. It is about half a century since the oak forest disappeared; but solitary survivors here and there show what the trees must have been. A low neck connects the mountain with the uplands to the North. It is cut off from Jebel ed-Duchy on the South by a fertile vale, which breaks down into Wady el-Bireh, and thence to the Jordan. A zigzag path on the Northwest leads to the top, whence most interesting and comprehensive views are obtained. Southward, over Little Hermon, with Endor and Nain on its side, and Shunem at its western base, we catch a glimpse of Mt. Gilboa. Away across the plain the eye runs along the hills on the northern boundary of Samaria, past Taanach and Megiddo to Carmel by the sea, and the oak forest that runs northward from the gorge of the Kishon. A little to the North of West, 5 miles of broken upland, we can see the higher houses of Nazareth gleaming white in the sun. Eastward lies the hollow of the Jordan, and beyond it the wall of Gilead and the steep cliffs East of the Sea of Galilee, broken by glens and watercourses, and especially by the great chasm of the Yarmuk. The mountains of Zebulun and Naphtali seem to culminate in the shining mass of Great Hermon, rising far in the northern sky. Standing here one realizes how aptly the two mountains may be associated in the Psalmist's thought, although Hermon be mighty and Tabor humble (Psalm 89:12). Tabor is referred to by Jeremiah (46:18), and Hosea alludes to some ensnaring worship practiced on the mountain (5:1).
The present writer spent some weeks on Mt. Tabor, and as the result of careful observation and consideration concluded that the scene of the Transfiguration cannot be laid here. The place would appear to have been occupied at that time; and the remoteness and quiet which Jesus evidently sought could hardly have been found here.
See TRANSFIGURATION, MOUNT OF.
TRANSFIGURATION, MOUNT OF
trans-fig-u-ra'-shun (referred to as the "holy mount" in 2 Peter 1:18): Records of the Transfiguration are found in Matthew 17:1;; Mark 9:2;; Luke 9:28;. From these narratives we gather that Jesus went with His disciples from Bethsaida to the neighborhood of Caesarea Philippi, where Peter's memorable confession was made. Some six or eight days later Jesus went up into a high mountain to pray, taking with Him Peter, James and John. There He was transfigured before them. Descending the next day, He healed a demoniac boy, and then passed through Galilee to Capernaum.
1. Not Olivet or Tabor:
It is quite evident that the tradition placing the scene on the Mount of Olives must be dismissed. Another tradition, dating from the 4th century, identifies the mountain with Tabor. In the article on TABOR, MOUNT, reasons are stated for rejecting this tradition. It was indeed possible in the time indicated to travel from Caesarea Philippi to Tabor; but there is nothing to show why this journey should have been undertaken; and, the mountain top being occupied by a town or village, a suitable spot could not easily have been found.
2. Mt. Hermon:
In recent years the opinion has become general that the scene must be placed somewhere on Mt. Hermon. It is near to Caesarea Philippi. It is the mountain paragraph excellence in that district (Luke 9:28). It was easily possible in the time to make the journey to Chasbeiyah and up the lofty steeps. The sacred associations of the mountain might lend it special attractions (Stanley, S and the Priestly Code (P), 399). This is supported by the transient comparison of the celestial splendor with the snow, where alone it could be seen in Palestine (ibid., 400).
It seems to have been forgotten that Mt. Hermon lay beyond the boundaries of Palestine, and that the district round its base was occupied by Gentiles (HJP, II, i, 133). The sacred associations of the mountain were entirely heathen, and could have lent it no fitness for the purpose of Jesus; hos chion, "as snow," in Mark 9:3, does not belong to the original text, and therefore lends no support to the identification. It was evidently in pursuance of His ordinary custom that Jesus "went up into the mountain to pray" (Luke 9:28). This is the only indication of His purpose. It is not suggested that His object was to be transfigured. "As he was praying," the glory came. There is no hint that He had crossed the border of Palestine; and it is not easy to see why in the circumstances He should have made this journey and toilsome ascent in heathen territory. Next morning as usual He went down again, and was met by a crowd that was plainly Jewish. The presence of "the scribes" is sufficient proof of this (Mark 9:14). Where was such a crowd to come from in this Gentile district? Matthew in effect says that the healing of the demoniac took place in Galilee (Matthew 17:22). The case against Mt. Hermon seems not less conclusive than that against Tabor.
3. Jebel Jermuk:
The present writer has ventured to suggest an identification which at least avoids the difficulties that beset the above (Expository Times, XVIII, 333). Among the mountains of Upper Galilee Jebel Jermuk is especially conspicuous, its shapely form rising full 4,000 ft. above the sea. It is the highest mountain in Palestine proper, and is quite fitly described as hupselon ("high"). It stands to the West over against the Safed uplands, separated from them by a spacious valley, in the bottom of which runs the tremendous gorge, Wady Leimun. It is by far the most striking feature in all the Galilean landscape. The summit commands a magnificent view, barred only to the Southwest by other mountains of the range. It rises from the midst of a district which then supported a large population of Jews, with such important Jewish centers as Kefr Bir`im, Gishcala, Meiron, etc., around its base. Remote and lonely as it is, the summit was just such a place as Jesus might have chosen for prayer. It was comparatively easy to reach, and might be comfortably climbed in the evening. Then on His descent next day the crowd might easily assemble from the country and the villages near by. How long our Lord stayed near Caesarea Philippi after the conversation recorded in Matthew 16:21; we do not know. From Banias to Gishcala, e.g. one could walk on foot without fatigue in a couple of days. If a little time were spent in the Jewish villages passed on the way, the six days, or Luke's "about eight days," are easily accounted for. From this place to Capernaum He would "pass through Galilee" (Mark 9:30).
See GILEAD (2).
See EPHRAIM, MOUNT.
MOUNT OF CONGREGATION, THE
See CONGREGATION, MOUNT OF.
MOUNT OF CORRUPTION
See OLIVES, MOUNT OF.
Malchiel (3 Occurrences)
Genesis 46:17 The sons of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, and Serah their sister. The sons of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS)
Numbers 26:45 Of the sons of Beriah: of Heber, the family of the Heberites; of Malchiel, the family of the Malchielites. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS)
1 Chronicles 7:31 The sons of Beriah: Heber, and Malchiel, who was the father of Birzaith. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS)