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ALBERI DI BENEDIZIONE: GENNAIO 1999 NEL TERRITORIO DELLA "DOMUS

GALILAEAE"

DOVE GESU' PREDICO' LE BEATITUDINI?

In tutta la letteratura' sui Luoghi Sacri non si trova mai un accenno a un santuario
(chiesa o cappella) delle Beatitudini; si parta soltanto di una Montagna delle Beatitudini
cioe' del luogo tradizionale del Sermone della Montagna (Matteo: 5,1 - 7,27; Luca 6,20 -
26).
Il luogo preferito dalle diverse tradizioni e' un piano elevato, che si trova sopra
una grotta. La grotta ("magharet Ayub") e' proprieta' dell'Ordine Francescano. L'altura era
una volta un cimitero beduino, abbandonato da piu' di 50 anni. I Padri Benedettini di
Tabgha hanno il tacito permesso della manutenzione di questo sito sacro. Esso porta
anche il nome EREMOS (Egeria). Questa altura corrisponde ad ambedue le descrizioni
dei Vangeli sulle Beatitudini. Secondo Matteo, Gesu' sali' su una montagna; secondo
Luca, scese dalla montagna su un luogo piano, dove pronuncio' il suo discorso ai
discepoli circostanti e al popolo radunato da tutte le parti. Un blocco di basalto
commemora l'apparizione del Risorto davanti agli undici apostoli e ai cinquecento fratelli
(Mt. 28,16-20; 1 Cor 15,6).

FONTI LETTERARIE:

EGERIA (383 - 385 AD.).Le citazioni originali, che si riferiscono ai luoghi santi di
Cafarnao e Tabgha, mancano dell' Itinerario di Egeria, ma si trovano fortunatamente
copiate nella Collezione di Pietro Diacono, monaco di Montecassino (1137 AD.).
"Juxta Septem Fontes (Heptapegon-Tabgha) , in quo campo Dominus de quinque
panibus et duobus piscibus populum siatiavit... Inde in montem, qui iuxta est, est
spelunca, in qua ascendens beatitudines dixit Salvator'

(Enchiridion, D. Baldi, Jerusalem 1982, nr. 412) "Vicino alle Sette Fonti, Nel quale
campo il Signore sazio' il popolo con cinque pani e due pesci. Di la' verso la montagna,
che e' la' vicina, si trova una grotta, sulla quale il Salvatore sali' e disse le Beatitudini",
Questa antichissima tradizione, che risale senza dubbio alle informazioni ricavate da
Egeria (383 AD.) dai giudei-cristiani di Cafamao e' considerata come la sola genuina.
Coll'andar del tempo la localizzazione del posto delle Beatitudini sembra salire sempre
piu' in alto fino a raggiungere, come vedremo, la montagna del Alberi Benedetti. .

Sul luogo della moltiplicazione fu costruita gia' verso il 350 A.D. una semplice chiesa.
Questa chiesa fu distrutta (forse da un terremoto?).

La chiesa d'oggi (1982) fu costruita sulle basi di una chiesa bizantina, eretta verso 470
AD. e che fu distrutta probabilmente durante l'incursione dei Persiani (614 AD.). Col
tempo i ruderi furono coperti da macerie e cosi' il luogo del santuario fu dimenticato.

Molto piu' tardi, dal tempo di Carlo Magna (808 A.D.) abbiamo la notizia di due modesti
santuari, uno sovrastante le Sette Fonti e un altro vicino al lago. Il santuario in alto fu

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ritrovato durante lo scavo di P. B. 8agatti nel 1935. L'altro vicino al mare si chiama oggi
Mensa Christi o Primato di Pietro. Ecco la notizia conservata nell'elenco mandato alla
corte di Carlo Magno.

"SUDra mare Tiberiadis monasterium. quod vocatur Heptaoegon. Ubi Dominus sattiavit
popoli su(l quindue panibus et duobus) piscibus quinque milia; ibi sunt monachi decem.
ftem iuxta mare eccfesia. quam vocant duodec (im apostoforum). ubi fui_ Dominus cum
discipulis suis; ibi est mensa. ibi cum iIIis sedit: ibi sunt presbyter unus. elerici duo".
Commemoratorium de Casis Dei: Enchiridion, nr. 405. .

Con questo monastero in alto, che aveva una piccola cappella, si comincia a
commemorare il Miracolo della Moltiplicazione sull'Altura dell'Eremos.

EPIPHANIUS MONACHUS (IX SECOLO) viene da Cafamao e trova dopo mille passi
una pietra con croce, che commemorava la guarigione dell'emoroissa (Marco 5,21 _ 43);
dopo altri mille passi trova un "kastellion" (monastero fortificato) con una chiesa, "quod
dicitur Heptapegon; quo in foca Christus edidit miraculum quinque panum et duorum
piscium" (Enchridion, r. 406) .

In un rapporto, detto di S. Elena (X Sec.), si accenna che ai piedi di questo "kaste/lion"


nasceva una grande fontana, che si chiamava Heptapegon. (Ench. nr. 407).

Durante il Medio Evo il luogo def Sermone della Montagna continua a salire sempre di
piu' sul Monte delle Beatitudini. Per esempio:

THEODORICUS (1172 A.D.):

"Juxta idem mare. non fonge a Tiberiade. mons iIIe est. in quem videns turbas ascendit,
et in quo. saepius sedens et sermocinans ad discipulos et turbas. in ipso monte pernoctari
sofebat. ubi etiam leprosum curare dignatus est" (Enchiridion, nr. 413)

BURCHARDUS DE MONTE SION (1283 A.D.) :

"De castro Sephet duas feucas. in descensu montis contra orientem. ad iactum a mare
Galilee, supram viam. quae ducit ad otientem. est ascensus montis iflius in quam tociens
ascendit Christus Jhesus. in quo fecit sermonem iIIum secundum Matheum (V - VII)".

"In quo saturavit quinque milia hominum de quinque panibus et duobus pscibus. IWc
misissa turba ascendit sofus orare. Fugit in ipsum. cum eum vellent facere regem. Ibi
docuitdiscipulos orare. fn eo erat pernoctans in oratione" (Enchiridion nr. 419,1-2)

Dopo la discesa dunque da Safet Burcardo arrivo' ad un luogo con un magnifico


panorama. Con gran ammirazione descrive la vista, che si gode da questo monte: di la' si

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vede tutto il Mare di Galilea e la regione della Traconitide ed Iturea, fino al Libano,
l'Hermon e la Terra di Zabulon e Neftali etc.

LA MONTAGNA DEGLI ALBERI DI BENEDIZIONE

La tempo dei Crociati fu scritto un Compendio De Situ Urbis Jerusalem (1130 – 1150
A.D.). L’autore immagina il luogo del Sermone della Montagna nella regione distante un
miglio dal posto della Moltiplicazione (Tabgha):

“Secondo miliario a Capharnaum descensus montis est. in quo sermocinavit ad


turbas in quo et elprosum curavit. Miliario a descensu mo, locus in quo pavit
Dominus qiunque milia hominum. unde focus iIIe mensa vocatur” (Enchiridion,
Baldi, nr. 411).

Clemens Kopp, un sacerdote ricercatore, che ha vissuto per tanti anni in Terra Santa, e'
l'autore di un libro apprezzatissimo sulle diverse tradizioni dei Luoghi Santi. Il titolo
tedesco dei libro e' Die Heiligen Stratten der Evangelien (Edizione F. Pustet, Regensburg,
1959. Vedi pagg. 263, 265-67). C. Kopp, che fece uno studio approfondito su tradizioni
tardive del luogo delle Beatitudini, pensa che i due passi citati sopra (De Situ Jerusalem e
di Burchardus de Monte Sion) potrebbero riferirsi a un pendio del Monte delle
Beatitudini, che i. beduini al suo tempo (ca 1930) chiamarono Deir Makir, (forse
Monastero di Macario). Alcuni antichissimi alberi che si trovarono la' sono stati chiamati
dai beduini Es-sajarat el-mubarakat (essaggiarat el-mubaracat) = alberi benedetti.
Originariamente gli alberi benedetti erano tre, una quercia, un terebinto e un sider
("sisphus spinae Christi"). Questi alberi, considerati sacri, godevano una grande
venerazione presso i beduini. Ormai e' rimasto il solo terebinto, e cioe' sul pendio
orientale della montagna. I beduini raccontano che nel 1913 un beduino purtroppo
aveva !'audacia d'abbattere due di essi. Egli subi' una morte improvvisa "castigo di
AHah", dissero ì beduini. L'autore Kopp dice, che nell'opinione dei beduini questo luogo
con questi alberi fu benedetto dal Messia Issa (Gesu'). I beduini credono che le muraglie
ciclopiche siano resti del Deir Makir. Pero' finora nessuna traccia di un monastero e' stata
trovata. Sappiamo pero' in antichita' si trovavano in quei dintorni monaci eremiti. Forse la
tradizione beduina e' un ricordo di questo fatto.

Prima di C. Kopp erano gia' altri autori èhe parlarono di questa tradizione locale, per
esempio P. Bemabe Meistermann O,F.M. nella sua Guide de Terre Sainte (Paris, 111. Ed.
Pago 590) e P. Uevin de Hamme in Guide Indicateur-de/a Terre-Sainte (Jerusalem 1897,
pago 174).

Fino all'occupazione della regione da parte degli Ebrei, il terreno apparteneva alla tribu'
beduina dei Semacchie, che ogni tanto si accampavano in questo luogo e seminavano
grano in alcune zone. Gia' ai tempi di Gesu' questa regione era deserta e solitaria ed era
ideale per chi cercava ritiro, solitudine o riposo.

SITUAZIONE PRESENTE

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A causa di questa tradizione la Custodia Francescana di Terra Santa era interessata in
questa regione _ acquisto' la proprieta'_NeI19981'organizzazione cattolica del
NEOCATECUMENATO segno' un contratto colla Custodia per l'utilizzazione della loro
proprieta' nella regione degli Alberi di Benedizione a fin di costruire la' un Centro di
Studio e Preghiera per le loro comunita'. In presenza degli iniziatori della Via
Neocatecumenale, Kiko, Carmen e P. Mario e di ospiti e pellegrini venienti da tutto il
mondo, Sua Beatitudine il Patriarca Michel Sabbah presiedera' alla benedizione della
Prima Pietra per il Centro Internazionale DOMUS GALlLAEAE il 15 gennaio 1999, alle
ore 10.30.

AD MUL TOS ANNOS!!

P. Bargil Pixner O.S.B.


Abbazia Hagia Maia Sion
Jerusalem

TREES OF BEATITUDES: January 1999


IN THE TERRITORY OF “DOMUS GALILAEAE”

WHERE DID JESUS PREACH THE BEATITUDES?


In all of the literature concerning the holy places we never find mention of a sanctuary
(church or chapel) of the Beatitudes; it is only spoken of a mountain of the Beatitudes,
that is, of the traditional place of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew: 5, 1-7,27; Luke 6,
20-26).
The preferred place according to different traditions is on a high elevated surface (plain),
found above a grotto. The grotto (“magharet Ayub) belongs to the Franciscan Order. The
hill was once a bedouins’ cemetery, being abandoned for more than 50 years. The
Benedictine Fathers of Tabgha have the tacit assignment (promise) of the support
(maintenance) of this holy place. It is also called “Eremos” (Egeria). This hill
corresponds to both descriptions from the Gospels about the Beatitudes. According to
Matthew, Jesus went up the hill; according to Luke, came down from the hill to level
ground, where he pronounced his sermon to his disciples gathered around him and to the
people gathered there from all over. There is a block of basalt that commemorates the
apparition of the Risen Lord in before the eleven apostles and the five hundred brothers
(Mt. 28, 16-20; 1Cor. 15, 16).

LITERARY SOURCES
EGERIA (383-385 A.D.). The original quotations referring to the holy places of
Capernaum and Tabgha, are missing in “The Itinerary” of Egeria, but are fortunately
found copied in the “Collection” of deacon Peter, monk of Mount Casino (1137 A.D.).

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“Juxta Septem Fontes..,in quo campo Dominus de quinque panibus et duobus piscibus
populum siaciavit... Inde in montem, qui iuxta est, est spelunca, in qua ascendens
beatitudines dixit Salvator”
“Near the Seven Fountains (Heptapegon-Tabgha)…, in that field where the Lord
satisfied the people with five loaves of bread and two fishes… From this place towards
the hill that is close by, there a grotto is found, where the Savior went up and pronounced
the Beatitudes.
This ancient tradition, that dates back to the information collected by Egeria (383 A.D.)
from Judeo Christians of Capernaum, is considered the only genuine one. With the
passing of time, the location of the site of the Beatitudes seems always to go up higher
until arriving, as we shall see, to the mount of the Blessed Trees.
On the place of the multiplication, there was already a little church built around 350
A.D.. This church was destroyed (by an earthquake?).
The present church (1982) was built on the base of a Byzantine church, erected around
470 A.D. and that was probably destroyed during the incursion (attack) of the Persians
(614 A.D.). With the passing of time, the ruins were covered with debris and the place of
the sanctuary was forgotten.
Much later, in the time of Charles the Great (808 A.D.) we have the news of two small
sanctuaries, one that is on the top of the Seven Fountains and another one near the lake.
The sanctuary on the top was found during the excavations of P. B. Bagatti in 1935. The
other one near the lake is called today Mensa Christi or Primacy of Peter.
This is the news kept in the list sent to the Court of Charles the Great: “Supra mare
Tiberiadis monasterium, quod vocatur Heptapegon, ubi Dominus sattiavit popoli su ( i
quindue panibus e duobus) piscibus quinque milia; ibi sunt monachi decem. Item iuxta
mare ecclesia, quam vocant duodec (im apostolorum), ubi fuit Dominus cum discipulis
suis; ibi est mensa, ibi cum illis sedit: ibi sunt presbyter unus, clerici duo”.
Commemoratorium de Casis Dei: Enchiridion, nr. 405.
With this monastery on the top, that had a little chapel, starts the commemoration of the
miracle of the multiplication, on the top of the hill Eremos.

Epiphanius monacus (IX century)


He comes from Capernaum and after two thousands steps, finds a stone with a cross that
commemorated the cure of the woman with a hemorrhage (Mk. 5, 21-43); after another
thousand steps he finds one “Kastellion” (a fortified monastery) with a church, “quod
dicitur Heptapegon; quo in loco Christus edidit miraculum quinque panum et duorum
piscium” (Enchiridion, r. 406).
In a report, made by S. Elena (X century), she accentuates that at the feet of this
“Kastellion” sprang a big fountain, that was called Heptapegon. (Ench. Nr. 407)
During the Middle Ages the place of the Sermon on the Mount continues to go on more
up the Mount of Beatitudes. For example:
Theodoricus (1172 A.D.): “Juxta idem marem, non longe Tiberiade, mons ille est, in
quem videns turbas ascendit, et in quo, saepius sedens et sermocinans ad discipulos et
turbas, in ipso monte pernoctari solebat, ubi etiam leprosum curare dignatus est” (Ench,
nr. 414)
Burchardus of the mount Zion (1283 A.D.): “De castro Sephet duas leucas, in descensu
montis contra orientem, ad iactum a mare Galilee, supram viam, quae ducit ad orientem,

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est ascensus montis illius in quam tociens ascendit Christus Jhesus, in quo fecit
sermonem illum secundum Matheum (V-VI)”.
“In quo saturavit quinque milia hominum de quinque panibus e duobus piscibus. Illic
misissa turba ascendit solus orare. Fugit in ipsum, cum eum vellent facere fegem. Ibi
docuit discipulos orare. In eo erat pernoctans in oratione” (Ench. Nr. 419, 1-2)
And so after the descent from Safet, Bucardo arrived to a place with a magnificent
landscape. He describes amazed the view that one can enjoy from this mount: from there
you can see all of The Sea of Galilee and the region of Traconitide and Iturea, until
Lebanon, Hermon and the land of Zebulon and Naphtali, etc.

THE MOUNT OF THE BLESSED TREES


In the time of the Crusades a summary was written “De Situ Urbis Jerusalem” (1130-
1150 A.D.). The author imagines the place of the Sermon on the Mount one mile from
the place of the Multiplication (Tabgha):
“Secundo miliario a Capharnaum descensus montis est, in quo sermocinavit ad turbas, in
quo et leprosum curavit. Miliario a descensu illo, locus in quo pavit Dominus quinque
milia hominum, unde locus ille mensa vocatur”.
Clemens Kopp, a researcher priest, which has lived for many years in the Holy Land, is
the author of a valuable book on the Holy places’ different traditions. The original
German title is: “Die Heiligen Stätten der Evangelien” (F. Pustet Publisher, Regensburg,
1959. See pages 263, 265-67. Translation pag. 4). C. Kopp, who made a serious study
about the late traditions of the place of the Beatitudes, thinks that the two last passages
cited (De Situ Jerusalem and Buchardus of mount Zion), could refer to a slope of the
Mount of Beatitudes, that bedouins on his time called Deir Makir (perhaps the
monastery of Macarius). Some ancient trees that are found there have been called by
Bedouins “Es-sajarat el-mubarakat (essaggiarat el-mubaracat)” = Blessed trees.
Originally the blessed trees were three, one oak, one terebinth, and one cedar (“sisphus
spinae Christi”). These trees, considered sacred, were venerated by the Bedouins. By now
the only one that remains is the terebinth, on the western slope. The Bedouins say that in
1913 a Bedouin, had unfortunately cut two of them. He has suffered an unforeseen death
“punishment of Ala”, like they say. The author Kopp says, that in the opinion of
Bedouins this place with these trees was blessed by Messia Issa (Jesus). Bedouins believe
that the giant walls are the ruins of Deir Makir. But until now, no sign of the monastery
has been found. However, in antiquity we find in the surroundings eremitic monks.
Perhaps, the Bedouin’s tradition is a remembrance of this.
Before C. Kopp, there were already other authors that spoke about these local traditions,
for example: P. Bernabe O.F.M. in his “Guide de Terre Sainte” (Paris, III. Ed. Pag. 590)
e P. Lievin de Hamme in his “Guide Indicateur dela Terre Sainte” (Jerusalem 1897, pag.
174).
Until the Hebrew occupation of this region, the land belonged to the Bedouin’s tribe of
Semacchie, that from time to time camped in this place and sowed the grain in some
zones. Already in Jesus’ time this region was desert and isolated, and was ideal for whom
ever was looking to get away, solitude and rest.

PRESENT SITUATION

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Due to this tradition the Franciscan Custodian of The Holy Land was interested in this
region and acquired the property. In the 1998 the catholic organization of The
Neocatechumenal Way made a contract with the Custodian for the use of the property in
the region of the blessed trees in order to build there a Center of Study and Prayer for
their communities. In the presence of the Initiators of The Neocatechumenal Way: Kiko,
Carmen and Rvd. Mario, and guests, and pilgrims coming from all over the world. The
Patriarch Michel Sabbath will preside the blessing of the first stone of the International
Center DOMUS GALILAE the 15 January of 1999, at 10:30.

AD MULTOS ANNOS!!

RVD. BARGIL PIXNER O.S.B.


ABBAZIA SANTA MARIA
SION JERUSALEM

Clemens Kopp: “Die Heiligen Stätten der Evangelien”, 1959, Friedrich Pustet,
Regensburg
(page:263, 265-267)

The site of the sermon on the mount and the multiplication of the loaves of bread in the
time of the crusaders

(2. The tradition of the crusaders)

However this localization, which Egeria already found, never got lost. De situ urbis
Jerusalem (1130/50) reports as the oldest witness of the abridged edition (compendio): “2
miles away from Capernaum is the descent of the mountain (descensus montis), on which
he preached to the crowds and cured the lepers (i lebrosi). One mile away from this
descent is the place where he nourished 5000 people”. The abridged edition finds the
multiplication of the loaves of bread down at the “Heptapegon”, so we have to suppose,
also that the information about the Sermon on the Mount goes back to the Byzantine. So
the place was 1 mile away from the multiplication of the loaves of bread at the
“Heptapegon”, but 2 miles away from Capernaum. If you draw a line from these 2 spots
upwards a triangle appears whose tip is in the region of the “blessed trees” (es-sadscharat
el-mubarakat). The cordillera closes towards north-west a wide basin which turns to the
wadi el-dschamus in the south. This wadi is the plain at the “Heptapegon” before it ends

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in the lake. From the church of the multiplication of the loaves of bread one has a free
view through this wadi up to the cordillera which is 2,5 km away from here and which is
250 meters above the lake’s level. In a straight line as the crow flies the cordillera is
about 4 km away from Capernaum, so the information of the abridged edition can be
correct.
In the past there were 2 Terebinths and 1 “Cedar” which were seen as holy and the people
worshiped them often. Only one of the terebinths remained at the eastern slope, the other
one was chopped by a Bedouin in 1913. The people thought that he died very early
because of this sin. “To the inhabitants of this region the site of the trees has the worth of
a monastery and a church. The Bedouins themselves call the locality always es-
sadscharat el-mubarakat. Maybe this is a local tradition, which can be old, kept by the
inhabitants of this region. The name means: the Messiah blessed these trees.” Cyclopean
walls there are called Deir (monastery) Makir. Makir “is maybe connected with ...
(Jewish letters, you can find them in the original book on page 263); that means: place of
beatitudes.” But you can’t find ruins of a church or a monastery, you can only find rests
of settlements from the prehistoric time.
The region was owned by Bedouins from the semakije tribe which camped sometimes in
this region until Galilee was conquered by the Jews. Also in the time of Jesus this was a
very solitary place and from Capernaum or the “Heptapegon” you could reach this place
quickly to get away from the daily noise.
… (Page 264)
This topographical information corresponds to the region of the blessed trees, but the
high elevation in the northeast of the “Heptapegon” doesn’t correspond to this
information. Because:
1. He (Burchard, on page 264) starts at Safed and touches the Via Maris, “the street
which leads to the east”. Towards this street the mountain which is in the northwest of
the line “Heptapegon”- Capernaum abruptly declines. If you look up to the cordillera
from the direction Safed-Via Maris, the biblical place can be found in the expression:
“At the mountain’s descent towards the east.” However if you are at the lake you can
say: “Near the Sea of Galilee…is the mountain’s ascent.” So it is a whole cordillera
whose last part ends near the lake. Why fix the spot so intricately, from the direction
of Safed, when he meant the hill at the “Heptapegon”? Didn’t he take this “source of
Capernaum” as the axis?
2. The Sermon on the Mount and the multiplication of the loaves of bread are two
different sites like Thetmar, because, according to Lk 6, 17, also here the Sermon on
the Mount takes place on a “plane site”. Then there appears a third higher spot where
Jesus taught his disciples and “during the night prayed”. This night of prayer is
according to Lk 6, 12 the beginning of the election of the apostles, which also has to
be in this region. How do you want to connect these two, independent from each
other, events on the small hill at the “Heptapegon”? Moreover there is the street
leading to Capernaum with its traffic and noise. So where is the solitude, which is
particularly pointed out?
3. The vast view, described with obvious enthusiasm, can only be enjoyed on the
heights at the blessed trees. Only at this spot you have a free view in every direction,
you can see the whole Genesaret lake and in the south the Jordan. However down at
the hill the view is totally cut by the higher heights in the north, highly handicapped

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to the west, so that for example the “chan dschubb jusuf,” mistakenly considered
“Dothain” is covered by the cordillera.
4. Also the measurements fit to the mountain of the blessed trees. If you look from the
“Heptapegon” upwards, you can see the height of this mountain as a sharp line on the
horizon. The information about its measurements can be enlarged. Burchard didn’t
measure with a measuring tape, as the “or more” proves. What he wants to say is that
this mountain stands isolated and is longer than wider in the region.

Already Egeria stood on this mountain and enjoyed the free view, which calls to mind the
synagogue of Corazin. But neither she or the abridged edition or other pilgrims marked
this place which lies in the heights exactly. Neither did Burchard. However very strong
reason makes it reasonable that the Sermon on the Mount was at the blessed trees. The
Bedouin’s Deir (monastery) Makir brought the memory of this holy place of the
Christians up to the new age. Moreover this place fits perfectly in the gospels. It is a quiet
place but you can easily reach it through the “wadi ed dschamus” from the street along
the lake. The height goes slowly down to this wadi, so there are “plane trails” there been
spaces for crowds of people. Burchard first mentions the Sermon on the Mount and then
the multiplication of the loaves of bread. Did he think that they were at different places?
It seems so because he names afterwards the site of the multiplication of the loaves of
bread in another, higher and lonelier spot. He characterizes the position of the Sermon on
the Mount as the “plane trails” by Lk. 6, 17, so this spot has to be at the lowest point.
Because he recognizes explicitly that Jesus “stood” during the Sermon on the Mount, his
holy stones belong to the place of the Multiplication of the loaves of bread too. They
should localize John 6, 3: “Jesus walked on the mountain and sat down with his
disciples.” Where was this spot on the mountain? If the Beatitudes had been at the
‘blessed trees’, the site had to be in a higher place. From the Terebinth, which remains
there, one has to go about 15 minutes, passing a trough, to reach the highest point. You
localize probably the Multiplication of the loaves of bread in this trough and one places
some rocks around as seats for Jesus and his disciples. On top of the elevation where the
mountain declines abruptly towards the street to Safed that could be the spot where Jesus
took refuge into solitude and where he spent nights praying and where he taught the
disciples.

(3. The late tradition)


Immediately after the crusader’s collapse, the evidence of Ricoldus (1294) testifies that
the above-mentioned interpretation of Burchard is correct. He starts in Bethsaida (el
minje). “From there we went up 3 miles on the mountain, which is above the Galilean
sea, where the lord sat and made a homily to his disciples. And we sang the gospel: ‘As
Jesus saw the crowds he went up on the mountain.’ From there we went on the mountain
where the Lord prepared the feast with five pieces of bread.” These 3 miles are exactly
the distance between el-minje (Bethsaida) and the “blessed trees”. Here you can see
clearer than Thetmar and Burchard that the Multiplication of the loaves of bread had its
place above the Sermon on the Mount. From the site he mentions ‘chan dschubb jusuf”
and Safed. Then he goes to Capernaum, probably on the way that goes from this chan
over the mountain. From this town he moves southward along the lake without

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mentioning the Beatitudes or the miracle of the bread at the “Heptapegon”. So also in his
way he makes sure that he found the 2 biblical spots on top of the mountain.
Jacob of Verona (1335) uses Burchard as a tour guide. He comes from Safed leaves the
street at “Chan Dschubb Jusuf” and climbs “with his companions on the holiest
mountain” and it was his biggest wish to visit this mountain. Then immediately he stops
the personal note. However by an almost literal repetition this report verifies the
testimony of Burchard. In one issue he makes it very clear. The seats and the “table of the
Lord” were on the terrain of the Multiplication of the loaves of bread.
In the following time the average pilgrim attempted only to go to Jerusalem and the
region around it. The lake is rarely visited and Tiberius if only was visited. Fabri
(1480/83) for example wasn’t able to travel from Jerusalem to Galilee because of the
insecurity. So his wish “to see the mountain of Christ’s teachings and the mountain where
he gave the crowds to eat” was unfulfilled. Other pilgrims who were able to visit Galilee
saw there wish fulfilled because for them the site of the Sermon on the Mount and the
Multiplication of the loaves of bread was excluded from what was considered the danger
zone.

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