A short account of the Mt. of Beatitudes, given by your Israel & Jerusalem private tour guide

“Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:” "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth….” (Matthew 5:1-5). With these words, the Sermon on the Mount begins.

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What is the Sermon about?

The Sermon on the Mount is the most famous sermon Jesus ever gave, and it is widely used to teach the main principles of Christianity. The ideas that Jesus expressed in his sermon touch upon the following subjects:

The Beatitudes, giving hope to righteous people
The righteous are the salt of the earth and the light of the world
Ideas about anger and insult
Ideas about lust and adultery
Ideas about divorce and remarriage
Against taking oaths
Ideas about retaliation (giving the other cheek)
Loving your enemies
Giving to the needy
The right way to pray
The right way to fast
Stay away from worry
Avoid judging other people

One may say that the Sermon on the Mount is a manual for the person who wants to live a good and useful life to its fullest.

Is this the real mountain?

Probably not. Perhaps this is a metaphor, based on Moses’ teaching from Mt. Sinai. However, if the Sermon on the Mount did occur, it most likely happened on a hill close to the Sea of Galilee, where most of Jesus’ followers lived. Still, some believe that it did happen on Mt. Hittin, while others believe it was on Mt. Arbel.

What can we see in the Church of the Beatitudes?

Not very much. It is a small and simple building, octagonal in shape, dating back to 1938. It was built by the Catholic Franciscan Order, who maintains the church today. In the church, the eight beatitudes are written in Latin on the eight walls of the octagonal building. The mosaic floor expresses the seven virtues of Man. The church’s atrium has seven arches; there is also a line of nine arches on each side of the building. The number seven symbolizes the proper order of things. The number eight stands for the super-natural, the miraculous, and the number nine symbolizes perfection.

The church and monastery are surrounded by a beautiful garden, in which there are places for groups to have contemplation, prayer and communion.

In the vicinity of the Mount of Beatitudes you can find other important sites as: Tabgha, Capernaum and Magdala

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