The Mount of Beatitudes is also identified as the place in Galilee where Jesus, after the resurrection, gave an appointment to the apostles before sending them to evangelize all the nations (Mt. 28,10) [3]. According to Matthew the place where Jesus meets with the apostles is

«the mount» (to oros)

the same expression with which he previously designated the place where Jesus pronounced the sermon. The recourse to the use of the determinative article indicates also here that “the mount”, that is the mount par excellence, had to be well known by all readers. Also, Mt. 28,16-17 adds that this precise mount was the place where Jesus

«etaxato autois» [4]

This expression can be translated in three different ways:

1. «to the mount that Jesus had indicated to them»

This hypothesis, the one most used in modern translations, is also the most improbable:

  1. Jesus does not mention any mount previously.
  2. Those who translate this way have to force the text and translate ou (where) a relative like which or that, or with a locution of motion towards a location, ‘to which’, ‘at which’, or to complete the meaning, one must add «where Jesus had commanded them to go...» otherwise the sentence does not make sense. The adverb of place ou, (where) indicates, in fact, the reference to a location where something had previously taken place.
  3. The tradition has never used this translation

2. «to the mount where Jesus 'had instituted them'.»

That is, the mount where Jesus, according to the Gospel of Luke, chose and appointed the 12 apostles. This is the translation of the Vulgate:

«ubi Jesus contituerat illis»

3. «to the mount where Jesus had given them orders»

In this case, Matthew would be making reference to the mount, on which Jesus had given his orders, that is, where he pronounced his fundamental discourse, the new law, and the new torah on the new Mount Sinai.

The second and the third hypotheses, even though different, do not contradict each other on the location of the mount.

Other scholars, agreeing with many fathers of the Church, retain that this meeting in Galilee on the mount may also be the one with the 500 disciples. According to Pixner [5], the news of the appointment with the Risen One became known to the brothers in Galilee and on the fixed date, half way through the count of the Omer, that is 25 days before Pentecost, not only 11 gathered but also 500 brothers [6] who were present when Jesus gave the mandate to the apostles to announce the Gospel.

To conclude, the exact location of the place of the discourse is certainly difficult. What is certain is that the Mount of Beatitudes is the one where Jesus appointed the 12 and then pronounced the sermon. Also, with great probability, it was the place where Jesus met the disciples after his resurrection to send them to evangelize the nations.

It is also certain that this place was largely frequented by Jesus in his missionary trips to Capernaum, Korazim, and the locations situated on the shore of the sea. The place of the blessed trees is the one most filled with the presence of Jesus and it opens itself to a truly marvelous view on the Sea of Galilee, where a great part of the life of Our Lord took place:

«The panorama from this place emanates a mysterious power of evocation. For those who do not lack sensitivity (it is the ideal location) to meditate on the sermon of the mount...» [7]

galilee lake


[1] The manuscripts of Egeria give the word specula which means height or plateau.  Some have proposed instead of specula the variation spelunca, in particular, in our days, Pixner.  Kopp has criticized this interpretation.  The word ascending is never used when referring to a grotto while it is always used in reference to a height.  Also, the sermon would then be called the sermon of the grotto and not of the mount.
[2] Clemens Kopp, "Die Heiligen Stratten der Evangelien", Regensburg, 1959, pg. 265 and following.
[3] Mt. 28,10 “go and announce to my brothers to go into Galilee, there they will see me”.
[4] Etaxato,etaxato, Aoristo medium of tatto, tattw,to command.
[5] Bargil Pixner, “With Jesus in Jerusalem”, pg. 167
[6] I Cor. 15,6.
[7] Isidro Goma Civit, "El Evangelio segun San Mateo", vol. II, pg. 197