Mount Precipice

Nazareth Village Sermon on the Mount

Mount Precipice

Mount of Precipice

Mount Precipice - Nazareth, Israel

Mount Precipice is a cliff near the city of Nazareth in Israel. Above is the downward view from Mount Precipice. It looks steep because it is, as Mount Precipice plunges 1,000 feet almost straight down. Since "precipice" means, "a very steep cliff," Mount Precipice lives up to its name.

Does it live up to its fame?

Mount Precipice became famous after the Catholic church said it was the place where the Jews in Nazareth synagogue, enraged at Jesus' reminder of how God at times blessed the gentiles more than the Jews,* led Jesus with the intent to throw him over the edge.

Is Mount Precipice really "the brow of the hill" mentioned in Luke chapter 4*?

There is a possibility of Mount Precipice being that brow but it is extremely unlikely for five reasons.

1. According to the Bible, Nazareth was built on that hill: "the brow of the hill on which the town was built."* Nazareth is a much larger town today than it was 2,000 years ago, yet the urban spread has yet to reach Mount Precipice, so there is still no town built on this hill.

2. While a 1,000 foot drop will kill a man, so will a 50 foot drop. The area in and around Nazareth is still rugged and has many cliffs with a 50+ foot drop, including en route to Mount Precipice.

3. During the time of Jesus, Israel was under the Roman rule, which allowed only the Romans to execute anyone. Throwing Jesus over a cliff would have been a spur-of-the moment crime of passion to be committed at the nearest available hilltop.

4. The old synagogue of Nazareth, marked with the white arrow below, is 2 kilometers from Mount Precipice. Most of the leaders of the synagogue would have been old men for whom trudging up and down the rugged terrain to reach Mount Precipice would have been challenging.

Mount Precipice

5. An angry mob marching for 2 kilometers would have caught the attention of Nazareth's Roman garrison, which would have intervened and upheld Roman law.

What isn't in dispute?

The eyesore of the pillar and cubes of pride (below) left by some fine pillars of North American Christianity, including a bingo parlor and a casino (inset), that apparently financed the Mount Precipice "lookout."

Mount Precipice

What are the Biblically authentic sites to visit in Israel?

Golgotha, Jesus' Tomb, Wailing Wall, Hezekiah's Tunnel and Gihon Spring in Jerusalem, and Nazareth Village in Nazareth.

* Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked. Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’” “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed - only Naaman the Syrian.” All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way. (Luke 4:14-30)

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